Your Brain on tACS: Electrical Stimulation Can Alleviate Chronic Back Pain

An investigation of individuals with chronic low back pain revealed that a disruption of normal brain activity patterns is related to worse perceived pain. Use of targeted electrical stimulation showed an increase in normal brain activity and reduced pain severity. While these results are only preliminary, they show promise for use of a noninvasive therapy for chronic pain that can be tailored to an individual’s specific brain activity. Continue reading Your Brain on tACS: Electrical Stimulation Can Alleviate Chronic Back Pain

Eye patches loaded with tiny needles offer new treatment for eye diseases

Aging and prolonged use of contact lenses can cause eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and corneal neovascularization. Common treatment methods such as eye drops require repetitive application because the cornea (the outer protective barrier of the eye) prevents more than 95% of the drugs from being absorbed. In addition, the drugs can be quickly washed out by tears, which is not ideal for treating … Continue reading Eye patches loaded with tiny needles offer new treatment for eye diseases

HIV-Infected T Cell

PrEP: Preventing HIV Infection Before It Starts

We have come a long way in treating HIV over the past two decades. By following a strict drug regimen, an HIV positive patient can stave off the onset of AIDS for many years. These drugs are expensive, however, and they come with side-effects. Furthermore, noncompliance with the drug regimen can have serious and long-lasting impacts on the patient’s health. Preventing HIV infection is both … Continue reading PrEP: Preventing HIV Infection Before It Starts

The Electron Electric Dipole Moment: How the Shape of the Electron’s Field could Hint at New Particles

The matter in our universe is made of atoms; atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons; and protons and neutrons are made of quarks. In our current theory of particle physics, electrons and quarks are elementary particles–they are the foundation of everything else. The full catalog of all known elementary particles and their interactions is called the Standard Model (SM). The SM has been … Continue reading The Electron Electric Dipole Moment: How the Shape of the Electron’s Field could Hint at New Particles

Gamers and scientists work together to conquer a cancer-causing menace

A unique partnership between academic laboratories, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), and Mars, Incorporated hopes to leverage the power of crowdsourced science to develop new protein structures that can degrade the aflatoxin poison. Aflatoxin, produced by certain fungi, is a potent cancer-causing poison estimated to contribute to up to 28% of liver cancer cases globally. This toxin can contaminate crops in the … Continue reading Gamers and scientists work together to conquer a cancer-causing menace

Refugees’ Gut Bacteria Become Westernized After Moving to the US

In each human gut, a community of trillions of bacteria help digest food and make certain nutrients. Some of these bacteria are associated with disease such as diabetes and Crohn’s, while some prevent disease. The composition of bacteria varies from one person to another, with diet and geographical location contributing to the diversity. In modern times, where millions of people migrate around the globe, their … Continue reading Refugees’ Gut Bacteria Become Westernized After Moving to the US

Expanding Scientific Research to “All of Us”

by Luli Zou figures by Olivia Foster Who benefits from medical research? We would like to think that everyone, regardless of background, has access to new discoveries and therapies. In reality, much of our knowledge about disease and treatment originates from research that does not reflect the diversity of all individuals with the disease. This imbalance stems from a variety of factors, including the same … Continue reading Expanding Scientific Research to “All of Us”

Next Generation Forensics: Changing the role DNA plays in the justice system

by Mary May figures by Rebecca Clements As anyone who has watched an episode of CSI can attest, catching a killer is only a DNA sample away. Due to advances in DNA testing technology and its omnipresence in forensics (as portrayed on TV and in pop culture), the public has come to expect and trust genetic testing as evidence in criminal trials. As these methods … Continue reading Next Generation Forensics: Changing the role DNA plays in the justice system

What Pelvis Shape Can Teach Us About Human Evolution

If you are looking for an interesting case study on human evolution, look no further than the female pelvis. The shape of the pelvis is thought to be a compromise between two opposing evolutionary pressures. On one hand, a narrow pelvis is ideal for walking on two feet, a trait that gives us a competitive edge over other species. On the other hand, a wide … Continue reading What Pelvis Shape Can Teach Us About Human Evolution

When Everything Hurts: The story of a grad student trying to rise above chronic pain and depression

Note to the Reader: The following article discusses material of a potentially upsetting nature. While the narrative details are fictional, the ideas and themes—both scientific and personal—are real. Information regarding resources for those in crisis can be found at the end of this article. by Emily Orwell figures by Sean Wilson I’m having one of those days. You know, the type where I accidentally slice my … Continue reading When Everything Hurts: The story of a grad student trying to rise above chronic pain and depression