By Miku Suga, '22
Renewable, safe, and sustainable energy production that meets the demands of the increasing human population will always be the ultimate goal of the energy industry. Only 12.5% (as of 2015) of the global energy consumption is contributed by the renewable resources (main examples include hydroelectric, solar, and wind power), and it is still essential to look out for ways in which reliable energy could be generated.  Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell (P-MFC), a fascinating example of sustainably generated energy, was proposed in 2009 by the sub-department of Environmental Technology at Wageningen University in Netherlands as their project “Plant-e”, and it is worth discussing its advantages and how shortly it could be widely used in the world. 
by Dylan Sam, '21
By Malika Ramani, '21
A fever, a cough, a sore throat. Congestion, body aches, headaches. Chills, vomiting, pneumonia. No matter how its symptoms are described, the flu cannot be made to sound less debilitating that it is. And it warrants being taken seriously: last year alone, influenza killed more than 80,000 people and hospitalized an additional 900,000.  Despite this, however, a recent report published by CNN announced that this year, 34% of U.S. parents say it is unlikely that their child will receive the flu shot, with these concerned parents citing a plethora of reasons for why the vaccine is either ineffective, dangerous, or otherwise unnecessary. 
By Mitchell Yeary, '19
In his book “Scale”, Geoffrey West (a particle physicist by training) talks of how organisms of all sizes are governed by universal laws, and thoroughly explains how those laws can be scaled to explain a wide variety of phenomena about very diverse organisms . Metabolic rate, length of the circulatory system, and lifespan scale according to relatively simple (in the context of particle physics) power laws. He points out, as others have done before him, that all mammals get the same number of heartbeats, about a billion, in their lifetime. Humans, however, became an exception to this trend starting about two hundred years ago, and now get on average two billion heartbeats.
Yet West does not suggest that this kind of improvement on human lifespan be continued. On the contrary, he suggests that even the leading causes of death, like heart disease, cancer, strokes, would only allow us to reach the edge of our biological limit. Eventually, West claims, the “wear and tear” from metabolic activity will wear down cells, overtaxing the proliferative capabilities of our cells, and our organs will fail. There is, of course, still great value in curing such pathologies, giving people 40 or 50 years beyond the current life expectancy. It, however, highlights how important it is to focus on pathologies that affect the young, for whom there are many years of quality life left to live.
A recent population-based study conducted in Ohio showed that more than 40% of people reported a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at a previous point in their lifetime. Of course, these are not usually due to horrific accidents. The vast majority (80 – 90%) are mild TBIs, what we would call concussions. Mild TBIs are something we hear discussed in our daily lives, often in the context of sports like football and hockey. Most of us have ourselves or know someone who has had at least one concussion. Though they are commonplace, concussions can have long-term effects, and we actually don’t have very effective treatments for TBI’s of any severity. Taking the time to learn a bit more about the consequences of traumatic brain injuries and what we are doing to treat them will be well worth your time.
by Erika Nakajima, '21
By Claire Bekker, '21
by Wonyoung Lee, ‘22
Why do our dogs seem to understand when we ask them to go to the park, but not seem to understand when we tell them to leave the toilet paper alone? To what extent do our dogs understand what we say? A study conducted by five scholars examines this.
By Miku Suga, '22
Before the first genetically modified (GM) plant was introduced in 1983, ancestral farmers that knew nothing of genes and inheritance had been selectively breeding their crops for thousands of years. They closely observed each vegetation, hand picked, and crossed those with the desired features, i.e. the high yielding, weather-tolerant, well-adapted palatable crops. The genes for these traits were passed on to the offsprings, and the repetition of this process over many generations increased the frequency of this desired genes among the population. As demand generating competition incentivized the development of better crops, agriculturists turned to other farming techniques: interspecies crossing, hybridization, and eventually when the technology emerged, genetic engineering. 
By Ashley Nee, '22
Recently, a group of Chinese researchers led by Jiankui He claimed that they had created the world’s first genetically modified human twins. The twins were born this November from embryos that were designed with CRISPR-CAS9 technology to theoretically be more resistant to HIV infection. The veracity and success of the researchers’ claims have been called into question; even still, the act of genetic modification on humans both violates a 2003 health-ministry guideline and ethical protests made by many both within and outside of the scientific community. 
by Kaitlyn Lew, 20'
Scientists have been fighting cancer in a continuous battle. However, over the past few decades, researchers have discovered several breakthrough treatments. Of particular interest within the Nobel Prize Committee was immunotherapy. On October 1, 2018, the Nobel Prize of Medicine was awarded jointly to James P. Allison of University of California, Berkeley, and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University for their work on inhibition of negative immune regulation as cancer therapy.  So, what is immunotherapy?