Written by: Gyles Ward ‘21
Edited by: Jordan Feldman ‘24
If climate change is a crime against the environment, industrialized nations are the prime suspects. China, the U.S., and the European Union are the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, responsible for a combined 46.36% of global greenhouse gas emissions.1 While these and other developed countries contribute to climate change the most, they're impacted by it the least. With fewer protective barriers to climate change, developing nations suffer the most.2 One might posit the question: how will they survive? The answer is simple, they don't.
Written by: Elisa Dong '24
Edited by: Meehir Dixit '24
Each day, Americans head to work masks-up, struggling to keep themselves afloat, while others remain in the seventh month of self-imposed lockdown. The gloomy shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of leaving— at least, not unless we take it into our own hands.
American citizens from all groups alike put their faith in one possible solution: a vaccine. This silver bullet will shield those it inoculates from the virus, allowing a return back to “normalcy” without fear of infection. In the meantime, however, it feels like all we can do is wait.
Time is ticking, lives are being lost, and after seven months of the greatest scientific minds devoting their every waking hour to research, the vaccine still isn’t here. What’s the deal?
Written by: Justin Perry '23
Edited by: Nina Mehta '22
Since this past August, the state of California—indeed the entire West Coast—has experienced devastating wildfires. The Bobcat Fire, for instance, has killed more than 25 people and burned nearly 115,800 acres and over 100 homes. By September 13, wildfires had scorched an area of forest and brush land equivalent to the size of New Jersey. On September 9, the August Complex fire in the Coast Range of Northern California became the largest fire in California history. While summer and fall wildfires have been frequent, natural occurrences, the size and scope of recent fires has been astonishing. Even though the seasonal Santa Ana winds, which usually trigger an increase in wildfires, had not yet arrived, California wildfires burned about 3.2 million acres from January to mid-September 2020, nearly half of the total land area burned from 2001-2010. In the past decade, California wildfires have destroyed nearly 30,000 structures, (1) roughly five times the number of structures in downtown Los Angeles.
Written by: Melinda Li
Edited by: Abigail Li
A Cornell-led team of researchers have recently created microscopic robots that can be controlled with electronic signals and “walk” using four legs. Their paper, published in Nature on August 26th, describes these microrobots which are about the size of paramecium — even smaller than a cross-section of a single human hair (1). Each bot includes a basic circuit made from silicon photovoltaics, which essentially converts light into electricity, and four electrochemical actuators that function as the legs (2).
Written by: Shreya Rajachandran '22
Edited by: Carlie Darefsky '22
When we do a Google search for “Vikings”, what do we see? Typically, tall blonde men with horned helmets, wielding double-sided axes as they traverse Europe in their fleets of ships and raid countrysides in search of riches. Modern depictions paint Viking life as a monoculture, and we consequently tend to think of Vikings as warlike people who terrorized Europe from the 9th to the 11th century (1). However, a newly published study involving the largest survey of Viking DNA to-date aims to turn this stereotype on its head.
Written by Sarah Wornow ‘23
Edited by Geat Ramush ‘23
As of November 2020, there are eleven major COVID-19 vaccines in Phase 3 clinical trials. These vaccines come from a diverse set of interdisciplinary teams: from pharmaceutical giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca, to up-and-coming biotech startups Moderna and Novavax, to international companies from China, Russia, and Australia. Arguably some of the most promising clinical trial results have come from the joint Pfizer, BioNTech, and Fosun Pharma vaccine, known as BNT162b2. Early results from their Phase 3 trial has shown the vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 . With these promising results, the vaccine is expected to be mass-produced and distributed globally. By the end of 2021, Pfizer expects more than 1.3 billion doses of the vaccine to be manufactured [2, 3].
Written by: Saradha Miriyala
Edited by: Julienne Chaqour
The presidential debate on September 29th brought many things to light on the national stage. Immortalized in memes, the debate was outraging, heart-wrenching, and even ridiculous at times. However one surprising, and frankly alarming statistic presented during the debate was Vice President Joe Biden citing the alarming statistic that the COVID-19 pandemic has killed 1 out 1000 black Americans.
Written by: Casey Chan '23
Edited by: Priya Bhanot '23
At Brown, COVID-19 testing, food delivery, and transportation is made possible by essential workers on campus. You might see familiar images of health workers wearing masks at the OMAC, and Brown Dining Services workers placing food in bags to give to students.
Written by Maya Mazumder ‘23
Edited by Elana Balch ‘21.5
Though it’s sometimes hard to believe when faced with an endless cycle of news harping on the failures of society, science tells us that humans are actually an incredibly prosocial species. In fact, our ability to forge cooperative social bonds not just with those closest to us, but also with others on the scale of creating entire governments and nations is part of what makes humans so unique when compared to any other animal. However, researchers have struggled to understand how people balance prosociality, or behaviors that benefit others, with the risk of being exploited. In order for societies to sustain themselves, there must be some mechanism to prevent the most cooperative members of a social network from being taken advantage of too much.
Written by: Courtney Lysiak '23
Edited by: Ziwen Zhou '23
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a prescription drug that prevents HIV-negative individuals from acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) if exposed. Prophylactic medications work to prevent infection upon exposure and can take the form of either pre-exposure prophylactics or post-exposure prophylactics. Pre-exposure prophylactics consist of a regimen to counteract infection before an exposure event, while post-exposure prophylactics can be taken to reduce infection risk after exposure. It is important to note that PrEP does not prevent other sexually transmitted infections/diseases or pregnancy.