Written by : Casey Chan
Edited by: Owen Wogmon
While certain crops are commonly found in our diet, we barely stop to consider the processes that transfer these foods from the field to our plates, let alone their level of efficacy. In fact, some farming processes are highly unsustainable and harmful for the environment. An example of such a farming process is intense monoculture, a practice in which one plant is cultivated in a specific region. Monoculture can lead to a depletion of water and nutrients in the soil.
Written by: Mark Appleman
Edited by: Maximilian Bonnici
With incidences of bladder cancer rising over the last decade from around 60,000 to 80,000 new cases annually, treatments are in high demand. Of these 80,000, roughly 45% present with high-grade, noninvasive tumors most effectively treated through intravesical immunotherapy with Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), a critical microorganism which prompts the immune system to attack bladder cancer cells . Over the past year, a nationwide BCG shortage has led to heavy rationing and has prompted clinics across the board to use less-effective alternatives for all but those with high-risk Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC) .
Written by: Devin Juros
Edited by: Sisasenkosi Mandi
As anyone who has been through major surgery can attest, putting your life in the hands of someone else, even when that person is a highly skilled surgeon attempting to save your life, is difficult. How, then, would people react to putting their life in the inanimate hands of a computer? As artificial intelligence (AI) is developed and improved, new uses for the technology are being established, including in surgery. Recently, T Hollon and others developed effective technology for intraoperative brain tumor diagnosis using laser imaging and AI.
Written by: Saradha Miriyala
Edited by: Yevin Chung
There is no question that coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a widespread panic across the world. With cases appearing far from Wuhan, China (the site of origin), countries are scrambling to keep the disease out of their borders via airport screenings, quarantines, and travel warnings for those travelling to Asia. However, despite these measures, cases of COVID-19 have appeared in the United States, Iran, Italy, and South Korea . With extensive screenings both domestically in China and internationally for those travelling from these regions, why has COVID-19 been able to spread? The answer lies in the nature of the screenings themselves.
Written by: Emily Rehmet
Edited by: Ethan Thio
The rise of neuroscientific data has continued to shape our understanding of the ways in which our mind retrieves, processes, and conveys information about the world around us. New neuroscientific research has shed additional light on a hotly debated topic — free will. Free will is a perception of control — the feeling that we are in command of our actions, desires, and decisions. Developments in neuroscience have led to the general conclusion that because individual action is strictly the result of brain functions, that we must not have “free will” or agency over our decisions.
Written by: Harshini Venkatachalam
Edited by: Ishaani Khatri
The plan was simple: build an app to tabulate the votes and advance the Democratic party’s goal of developing efficient organizing technology in the process. However, in the Iowa Democratic Primary on February 3, 2020, failures in the app structure and disorganization in the backup plan resulted in days of delay in reporting the votes. Following the fiasco, Nevada party leaders decided not to use the app and count paper votes instead .
Written by: Sisasenkosi Mandi
Edited by: Alyscia Batista
HIV infection rates in young people are expected to rise in the next coming years, even if the current rate of HIV prevention progress is maintained . This is because of the projected increase in the number of young people worldwide, and barriers to access particular to this group. This presents adolescents and young people (AYP) as a group requiring special attention for the global goal to end AIDS by 2030 to remain attainable. To achieve this, adolescents must be named and recognized as a key population.
Written by Bria Metzger '20
Edited by Elana Balch '21.5
In the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, a research team is endeavoring to throw off global fossil fuel dependency with the help of microscopic algae. A single cell under the lens of a microscope is not the first place most would think to look for the secret to sustainable energy, but every one of these photosynthetic organisms is its own private generator: on a foundation of energy from the sun, algae thrive off a basic combination of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and the nitrogen and phosphorus common to fertilizers. With these basic ingredients, these singular cells create the full suite of macromolecules necessary to survive. While it may seem counterintuitive to find anything single-celled at the vanguard of biomass production, the microalgae’s small size is actually a massive advantage — small, simple things scale up quickly. In the right environmental conditions, they can double their body mass several times per day .
Written by Ethan Thio '22
Edited by Elana Balch '21.5
The extinction of the dinosaurs is a well-known, epochal moment in the history of our planet. It orients geological timescales and occupies an outsized role in the popular imagination in everything from Jurassic Park to natural history museums. The hypotheses behind its cause range from the widely accepted view, of an asteroid impact wiping out the dinosaurs, to more contested theories such as colossal volcanic eruptions that decimated the dinosaurs. The fact that scientific dissent exists around an event of this magnitude reveals a crucial truth about any theories and conclusions made about the period - that definitive evidence to resolve doubt is exceedingly rare. In what is known as the Tertiary Period, researchers posit that the extinction of the dinosaurs eliminated a major source of competition that allowed for the growth and dominance of mammalian creatures, flowering plants, insects, and many of the organisms that inhabit our present world. But fossil evidence of the period immediately following the extinction of the dinosaurs that could bolster these hypotheses isn't fully comprehensive, often containing gaps in sediment accumulation that leave some periods of time following the extinction event unaccounted for. New research in the journal Science points to a discovery of fossil records in Corral Bluffs, a fossil site in Colorado, which contains a fully continuous fossil record of the first few million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
by Devin Juros
Edited by Felix Green
What happens to the brain when someone dies? The brains of mammals need oxygen and sugar to sustain the cells of the neurons within. They obtain these vital substances from blood flow, as there is a network of blood vessels that runs through the brain to deliver these substances to every neuron. Yet, when one dies, the heart stops pumping blood throughout the body, including the brain. Because of this, neurons no longer receive oxygen and sugar and they begin the process of death and degeneration. This process leads to several questions about the time frame and severity of neuron degeneration post-mortem. How quickly does this degenerative process take place in the brain after death? How long can the brain continue to function? Finally, is it possible to revive some brain activity or function post-mortem?