By Ashley Nee, 22'
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) devastates individuals and governments both emotionally and financially; the disease robs patients of their memory, and caring for AD and other dementias will cost the U.S. $277 billion this year alone.  Despite this, treatment options only slow its progression, giving rise to a push among some neurologists to emphasize lifestyle changes as preventive measures against AD. In a 2018 study by Dr. Emma Anderson and colleagues, the conversation regarding lifestyle changes as AD prevention is moved from diet and exercise to the centuries old debate of nature versus nurture – of education level versus baseline intelligence and whether or not one is protective against AD. 
by Rahul Jayaram, '21
There exist numerous neurodegenerative diseases with no known cure. Current treatments of diseases such as ALS, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease focus of suppressing symptoms rather than addressing the disease at its source. However, two new technological advancements present hope for the treatment of these types of diseases. Specifically, Brain Computer Interfaces and Antisense Oligonucleotides are each unique methods of combating neurodegenerative diseases.
By Malika Ramani, '21
The average human heart pumps 100,000 times per day.  In doing so, it circulates 2,000 gallons of blood throughout an intricate network of vessels that distribute it to various organs and back to the heart, which requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function. Over time, however, cholesterol and fatty deposits can build up in the vessels leading to the heart – the coronary arteries – impeding blood flow.  If an artery becomes entirely blocked and blood flow to the heart is fully restricted, permanent damage and death of heart muscle tissue (known as “myocardium”) occurs: a heart attack.
Scar tissue then forms over the damaged area, impairing the heart’s ability to contract and pump effectively. Scientists have spent years exploring methods by which to counteract the long-lasting consequences of this tissue death, posing a game-changing question: can hearts regenerate their myocardium via stem cells after damage has occurred?
By Maddie Critz, '20
From veganism to Atkin’s, paleo to raw, fad diets are constantly circulating in the fitness world. They promise immediate and life-changing results, slimming down dress sizes in just weeks with magic combinations of superfoods so delicious you’ll forget you’re even dieting. At the tap of an index finger you can watch countless people finally drop that excess fat, all claiming that the answer was this perfect cocktail of macronutrients on which we humans were always meant to thrive. The miracle diet is constantly changing, but the question remains the same: is this really good for you? Now at the center of the hype and the ensuing nutritional contentiousness: the ketogenic diet, commonly referred to as ‘keto’.
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.