by Dylan Sam, '21
by Erika Nakajima, '21
With the high demand for rare genetic disease treatments and the limited success of small molecule drugs, there is a pressing need for novel therapeutics. Gene silencing alleviates the symptoms of genetic diseases by preventing the translation of harmful or dysfunctional proteins. Pioneering a new means of gene silencing, Alnylam, a growing biotech company stationed in Cambridge, MA, has turned the idea of RNA interference into a reality with its newly FDA approved drug. The company’s first drug treats amyloidosis, a fatal genetic disease characterized by the buildup of amyloids (protein aggregates) throughout the body.
by Kyle Qian, '21
The ding of the push notification, the pull to refresh muscle memory, the FOMO from Snapchat stories, the Instagram envy. These are daily occurrences for our generation today that affect our lives -- for better and worse. To me, the internet is much more addicting than caffeine could ever be. It's something I could never imagine quitting, and I am not alone in this sentiment. As the internet claims (lol), the average adult spends more than 3 hours on the phone every day, and over 70% sleep next to their phone at night. A plethora of reasons fuel this addiction, and this problem will only become more relevant in the future as big tech aims for even bigger schemes.
by Mitchell Yeary, '19
In discussing cancer, we often refer to it as a singular disease, much like we would talk about the Spanish Influenza, or meningitis. This gives rise to the common misconception, that there is a single cure to cancer. Of course, if we invented nano-bots that could perfectly repair our DNA in every cell, then a lot of our problems would be solved, including cancer. But for the most part, the faltering and bounding progress we have made asymmetrically affects different types of cancer, leaving some types of cancers with much worse prognosis than others. To give a sense for this, prognosis ranges from 99% 5 year survival for prostate cancer, to as low as 7% 5 year survival for pancreatic cancer.
By Sumaiya Sayeed, '20
What we can say definitively about objects is that they take up space and, if experiencing forces, can move. To that extent, it may seem obvious the way that a ball will behave if dropped from the Eiffel Tower. What happens if there are strong winds? You might reply, of course, the ball will move in the direction of the wind. But more challenging questions persist. Is wind on a snowy hill enough to cause an avalanche? How does the heroin market take shape in cities? The answers to those questions – avalanche, heroin markets– can be answered through computer simulations. Inherent in patterns of movement are variations, complications, nuances which make stagnant models and sets of statistics inadequate for understanding the inner workings of complicated events. The advent of visualization technology in the recent years not only illuminates the workings of dynamic items but serves an aesthetic, artistic purpose that simplifies itself for those outside the field.
by Olivia Woodford-Berry, 19'
While it is widely accepted germline stem continuously regenerate sperm populations in mammalian males, the existence of ovarian stem cells (OSCs), or lack thereof, was long viewed as a closed book within the world of mammalian research. Since 1951, the prevailing dogma, set by Dr. Solly Zuckerman, has asserted that neo-oogenesis (egg formation) in mammals occurs neither postnatally beyond a few days nor after damage to the existing egg population.  That is to say, women are born with a set number of germline cells that will only decline over their lifetimes. Indeed, this data would be corroborated by later studies showing that DNA synthesis does not occur in adult ovaries.  However, this dogma was seriously challenged for the first time in 2004, when Tilly’s group published a paper blatantly refuting previous claims, arguing that oocyte regeneration occurs in mice. This controversial study marked the beginning a new, promising line of research surrounding female germline regeneration and reproductive health.
by Holly Zheng, '22
When we are talking to a friend at a noisy cocktail party, we usually are able to identify the voice of the friend and keep track of what they are saying despite the chattering in the background. This task seems effortless for the human brain, but for computer-user interacting devices such as Alexa and Google Home, “cocktail party” scenes induce a complicated process through which the device has to filter the background voices and pinpoint the target one. Recently, researchers at Google and the Idiap Research Institute in Switzerland proposed a new approach to the training of similar devices on the voice filtering process.
By Maddie Critz, '20
Humans weren’t the first to meet Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Hallucinogenic drugs, be they magic mushrooms, blowfish, or moss, have played a role in the animal kingdom since long before the dawn of man. Animal models of hallucinogen use provide key insight into human behavior, drug interaction, and neurological disorders.
By Claire Bekker, '21
On October 8th, 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a strong wake-up call to the world: we only have twelve years to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change . To prevent a 2ºC increase in warming from pre-industrial levels, we need to meet stringent goals for CO2 emissions. By 2030, emissions must be 45% lower than 2010 levels. By 2050, we need to reach zero net emissions (in which case we would either emit no CO2 or remove as much CO2 from the atmosphere as we released).
by Rahul Jayaram, '21
El Amino Hospital in California has experienced tremendous success with its implementation of artificial intelligence technology throughout the clinic floors. The rate at which patients experienced harmful falls dipped 39% below its original value due to the integration of a software that analyzes the patient's behavior along with their health history records to predict the moments in which they may be the most at risk. If at risk for a fall, the patient is moved closer to a nurse station or monitored through video . The use of such a program to assist the El Camino Hospital staff in providing a better quality of life for patients is one of the many positive results of introducing smart technology in the field of healthcare.