Written by: Elisa Dong ‘24
Edited by: Meehir Dixit ‘24
If you catch someone in the act of a crime, common sense suggests that the case is good as closed. After all, isn’t eyewitness testimony one of the most reliable forms of evidence? While this faith in witness testification is common, it isn’t so sensible. According to studies by the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization seeking to exonerate innocently convicted individuals, mistaken eyewitness identifications actually contributed to 69% of the more than 375 wrongful convictions in the United States later overturned by DNA evidence .
Written by Hailey Chen ‘24
Edited by Jasmine Shum ‘24
The skin is our first line of defense against external forces and infection. Comprised of 2 principal layers (the tough external epidermis and the inner dermis), it serves 3 primary purposes: protecting the body by keeping pathogens out and fluids in, regulating body temperature by controlling blood vessel dilation, and utilizing nerve pathway connections to communicate environmental stimuli to the brain.  It is this communication pathway that allows the body to adapt to environments through responses in the skin and surrounding tissues in order to maintain homeostasis.
Written by: Devin Juros ‘23
Edited by: Jason Mero ‘22
The sacrifice of animals has always been an unfortunate consequence of medical science. To develop our new COVID-19 vaccines, chemotherapy treatments, and over-the-counter drugs, we often first test them on various animal models, like rats, dogs, and monkeys, with much justified ethical concern. Cell culture, a lab technique that involves growing cells in a petri dish, has developed as a possible alternative to animal experimentation, especially with new advances in growing cells to form 3D “organoids,” which are conglomerates of cells that functionally resemble human organs. However, recent research involving brain organoids grown in a dish yielded cells that resembled preterm human brains. This raises a new concern: whether we can and should grow consciousness from the bottom up. Is it actually possible to grow consciousness from cells in a dish? If so, is cell culture of brain organoids necessarily more ethical than animal experimentation?
Written by: Shreya Rajachandran '22
Edited by: Carlie Darefsky '22
Between their pesky bites, overall insolent presence, and dangerous carried diseases, mosquitoes are undeniably a vexing pest of which anyone would like to get rid. Normally, we spray ourselves with gallons of bug-spray and hope for the best; however, because mosquito populations become increasingly resistant to conventional bug-sprays and insecticides, researchers have turned to a revolutionary method of bug control: genetic modification (1).
Written by: Casey Chan ‘23
Edited by: Priya Bhanot ‘23
Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier made history when they received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry on October 7, 2020 for their work on the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Their landmark discovery affects fields such as medicine, agriculture, and clinical research. The CRISPR-Cas9 system has already been used in agriculture to produce corn crops that have larger and heavier kernels and therefore higher yields. Although CRISPR-Cas9 is not yet used clinically in medicine, studies are being performed to better target the tool and to prevent off-target effects. In medical trials, this tool is used as a possible treatment for diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, HIV, and cancer.One benefit of the CRISPR-Cas9 system is that it allows for precision of genome alteration. It can be used not only to remove gene function but to also add scientifically relevant sequences to different genomes.
Written by: Yonatan Najman-Licht '24
Edited by: Abigail Li '23
In the early 20th century, Albert Einstein theorized and experimented with his “theory of relativity.” This theory added to Newton’s understanding of the universe, by arguing that the fabric of spacetime is shockingly flat until it is warped by matter. However, Einstein’s theory failed to tie in the effect of electromagnetic forces . Since the 1960s, physicists have studied a theory known as “string theory.” String theory states that our universe is made up of little “strings” of energy that vibrate at different frequencies. However, the catch with this theory is that it can only work if there are more than three dimensions in the universe — a number which could be as many as eleven. These non-observable miniscule dimensions surround the strings and influence their vibrations . Understanding these strings can help answer why particles act the way they do.
Written by: Jon Zhang ‘24
Edited by: Angelina Cho ‘24, Elizabeth Ding ‘24
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the #1 killer in the United States. According to the CDC, around 655,000 Americans die from CVD each year--one every 36 seconds .
Although CVD has no cure, lifestyle choices can lower its risk factors. A nutritional diet is fundamental towards physical and mental well-being, and foodies and health-conscious individuals alike must strike a balance between eating healthily and eating for pleasure. One dietary substance has garnered a notorious reputation amongst consumers and the medical community: cholesterol.
Written by: Sarah Wornow ‘23
Edited by: Geat Ramush ‘23
Receiving an influenza vaccine has become an annual tradition for most Americans. Especially important this year with the SARS-COV-2 pandemic coinciding with flu season, manufacturers have projected that they will produce 198 million doses of the flu vaccine, up from the record-setting 2019-2020 season where 175 million doses were prepared . How are all these vaccines produced? The answer, currently, is chicken eggs. Chicken eggs provide a suitable environment for an influenza virus to replicate. After being injected into the egg, the virus is incubated for a few days, then it is isolated, inactivated, and purified. This purified protein, the antigenic component of the virus, becomes incorporated into a vaccine.
Written by: Chaerim Kang ‘24
Edited by: Alyssa Steinbaum ‘23
On October 12th, 2020, Johnson & Johnson announced that they were pausing Phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine trials due to an unexplained illness in a participant. This was concerning to many, as trials from other pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly had been put on hold in the past month for similar reasons . While the public anxiously waits for the development of additional reliable vaccines for this novel disease, it is important to understand how the vaccine testing process works and what the trial halts may tell us.
Written by: Alexander Pralea '24
Edited by: Ishaani Khatri '21
Infants with Pompe disease–also known as glycogen storage disease type II–look like all other infants at birth, yet after several months the onset of the disease occurs . Infants soon present with reduced muscle tone; when most babies their age are learning to crawl and stand up, babies with Pompe disease struggle to move at all. They then develop cardiomegaly, or heart expansion. If left untreated, infants typically die by the end of their first year due to respiratory failure, exacerbated by repeated lung infections