by Rahul Jayaram, '21
If you have ever played a racing video game, that experience probably formed your first understanding of what driving a vehicle actually feels like. In fact, you probably developed a better intuition for the basic techniques of driving, such as accelerating, braking, and steering, from playing a game than you would have from observing another person drive. Despite not driving an actual car, the experience obtained from a simulation was meaningful. This scenario parallels the concept of neural modeling, or the use of mathematical representations of different brain aspects to better understand how our own brains work. Modeling uses equations to describe the changing relationship between different factors, in this case those that underlie human brain functionality, and can provide a functional understanding of the dynamic processes in our body.
By Olivia Woodford-Berry, '19
In the age of stem cell engineering and genetic research, groundbreaking gene therapies, treatments that reprograms a patient’s own cells to behave differently, has captured the imagination of scientists and laymen alike.
by Wonyoung Lee, '22
In the span of only several decades, neuroscience has revealed that numerous mental processes are keenly related to the biochemistry systems in the brain. It was revealed that certain chemicals and hormones, such as serotonin, can induce sleep. There are many researches regarding the cause of certain brain diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease, a disease that is potentially caused by lack of a chemical called dopamine and is known to cause loss cognitive function. But, what about daily functions like emotions? Dr. Yaden and Dr. Kaufman conducted a study on the emotion awe, specifically with the purpose of narrowing the compositions of awe in order to make an emotional state measure of it called the Awe Experience Scale (AWE-S).
By Kyle Qian, '21
In an eerily disturbing, yet ironic video, Obama can be seen describing the dangers of deep-fake technology. The video looks completely genuine and had I not read the title of the video, I would have been completely deceived. For the unaware, deep-fake videos are videos that are entirely generated by AI algorithms. With some of the crazy progress in technology these days such as self-driving cars and virtual assistants, this does not seem overly surprising. The rise of deep-fake technology signals that we are headed towards the end of trust in media; this trend is advanced by the recent advancement of fake news, falsified evidence, and blackmail.
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