Written by: Jon Zhang '24
Edited by: Melinda Li '22
If you care about the environment, you’ve likely heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), a collection of trash more than twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean. Carried by winds and ocean currents, plastic debris accumulates at the surface of the ocean, and the GPGP grows larger each day .
The GPGP spans over 600,000 square miles and consists of roughly 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic weighing over 88,000 U.S. tons . While these numbers already seem staggering enough, this only accounts for about 1% of all plastic that has ever entered the ocean . It is mind-boggling enough to visualize a gigantic mass of plastic floating in the ocean, but this is only a small contributor to the sheer extent of marine pollution.
Written by: Gyles Ward '21
Edited by: Alyscia Batista '23
As teenage boys anxiously await the next Yeezy drop, many Americans are longing for the day when herd immunity becomes a realization. Currently, three vaccines have been approved by the FDA for emergency use, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson . Despite aggressive distribution approaches, Black Americans trail dangerously behind in vaccination rates . The Pew Research Center reported in December that only 42% of Black Americans would take the Covid-19 vaccine upon distribution, compared to 63% of white Americans . A well-charted history of denied healthcare and unethical experimentation has forged a contentious dynamic between Black Americans and the medical industry. To put it simply, many Black Americans don’t trust this vaccine. However, it wasn't always this way.
Written by: Yonatan Najman-Licht '24
Edited by: Jason Johnston '23
It takes about 45 hours to drive across America, 51 hours to fly around the globe, and 3 days to reach the moon by rocket ship. When you look into the sky on a clear night, you might be able to see the greenish purple mist of stars that we call the Milky Way. It resembles a thin disk highlighted with a glow of captivating brightness. You might ask yourself: how long would it take me to travel across that massive cloud of stars?
Written by Sarah Wornow ‘23
Edited by Geat Ramush ‘23
Researchers have been building a molecular biology manipulation toolbox for decades. From genome editing to epigenetic control, scientists have the ability to modify intracellular processes. Proteomic editing, or the editing of protein function and regulation, is one tool we don’t yet have at our disposal. However, new technology that takes advantage of proteases has recently been developed that opens the door to proteomic editing.
Written by: Alexander Pralea '24
Edited by: Angelina Cho '24
When a patient sees a medical provider, the ideal clinician strives to provide kind, compassionate care that looks beyond genetics to match the patient’s values and cultural beliefs as best as possible–so-called “personalized medicine” . As medicine adopts the best features of personalized medicine–being attuned to individual preferences–it is also challenged to take advantage of data science and computational biology. This approach, called precision medicine, promises to revolutionize health delivery systems by integrating the best approaches from preventive medicine and reactive medicine, the former of which refers to actively anticipating disease and the latter of which refers to solving disease . Still, logistical barriers consistently impinge on its implementation in clinical settings, raising concerns that scientists’ and clinicians’ gung-ho attitude toward it has been premature.
Written by: Josephine Chen '24
Edited by: Saradha Miriyala '23
In the midst of the pandemic with limited contact with friends and family, people are bound to be bored. Boredom pushes people to ignore risks and consequences and lose their self-control. However, this can be especially dangerous, as boredom causes people to ignore social distancing guidelines to the extent that recent studies have linked boredom to higher infection rates of COVID-19.
Written by: Jon Zhang ‘24
Edited by: Meehir Dixit ‘24
Obesity has emerged as a worldwide public health issue. According to the WHO, over 1.9 billion adults were overweight or obese in 2016, almost tripling since 1975 . The rise in obesity stems largely from industrialization and urbanization, as individuals around the globe consume more calorie-rich foods and lead less active lifestyles.
Written by: Devin Juros ‘23
Edited by: Pradyut Sekhsaria ‘24
In the mid-1990’s, a loving, polite, and warm grandmother, Kitty, suffered a series of small strokes and was diagnosed with vascular dementia, a condition of inadequate blood flow to the brain . Beyond progressively losing her short-term and long-term memories (she could only recognize her family), Kitty’s personality changed drastically as she became aggressive and paranoid. This lasted for several years, until one day she was transported to the hospital for a urinary tract infection, and Kitty suddenly seemed to “wake up”, regaining many of her past memories and her past personality that had seemed permanently destroyed. For a few hours, Kitty was able to hold lively conversations with her family, reminiscing about the past. Then, as quickly as this rush of lucidity had entered Kitty, it left; leaving her in a semi-consciousness state to pass within the next few days. Kitty’s case is an example of terminal lucidity, a fairly rare recovery of memory and mental clarity by terminally ill patients shortly before they depart. What can terminal lucidity tell us about the brain and the progression of diseases that disrupt our memory and cognitive faculties?
Written by Josephine Chen '24
Edited by Saradha Miriyala '23
Music therapy, a psychological treatment involving music as a mode of interaction and conveying emotions, has been demonstrated to improve the quality of life for people with mental disorders. This treatment has shown to decrease symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and dementia in clinical settings. Still, studies are being conducted to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating music therapy into the treatment of mental disorders.
Written by: Jon Zhang ‘24
Edited by: Meehir Dixit ‘24
Over 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), a crippling cognitive condition that inhibits important mental functions and interferes with daily life .
Despite widespread knowledge of its symptoms, little else is understood about AD. Along with having no cure, causes and strategies to slow the disease’s progression remain largely unknown. Tragically, individuals are forced to watch as their loved ones slowly succumb to the deteriorating effects of mental decline, withering away into shadows of their former selves.