Using Genetics to Fight Cancer: The pros and cons of direct-to-consumer testing

by Alyson Warr figures by Olivia Foster One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. This statistic makes breast cancer the leading cancer diagnosis for women in the US. With such staggering numbers, a focus on prevention is key: how can we stop breast cancer before it starts? One way is to develop fast and convenient methods of … Continue reading Using Genetics to Fight Cancer: The pros and cons of direct-to-consumer testing

Computational Biomedicine: How data can revolutionize the patient experience

by Aparna Nathan Hospitals are churning out medical data at an unprecedented rate. 153 billion gigabytes of health care data were produced in 2013, and we’re expected to reach 2300 billion gigabytes per year by 2020. That’s almost 9 billion MacBooks’ worth of storage each year, not even counting the hundreds of thousands of genomes sequenced each year. It’s more than a human can process … Continue reading Computational Biomedicine: How data can revolutionize the patient experience

Retrofitting a Cleaner Future: How technology can counteract the negatives of coal-fired power plants

by Cheng-Kuan Lin figures by Sean Wilson President Trump has repeatedly promised to bring coal back to the US, but most experts believe coal-mining jobs will continue to disappear.  Natural gas plants are replacing coal power plants due to decreased costs and more stringent environmental regulations. Unfortunately, this trend does not hold true worldwide. In most countries, especially developing ones such as China and India, … Continue reading Retrofitting a Cleaner Future: How technology can counteract the negatives of coal-fired power plants

Cellular Secrets: Getting a look at how cells repair DNA

Before cells divide, they have to unwind their chromosomes, copy of all of their DNA, and then wrap the DNA backup into chromosomes. When this process happens, cells often lose a little bit of DNA from the tips of their chromosomes. An enzyme, called telomerase, can help repair chromosomes by adding that DNA back onto the ends. Scientists are interested in telomerase because inhibiting it … Continue reading Cellular Secrets: Getting a look at how cells repair DNA

Building the Smallest Chemical Beaker

Typically, if you want to understand the foundation of something, building from the ground up sounds like a sensible approach. However, researchers in Dr. Ni’s group at Harvard have taken this idea a step further by building molecules one atom at a time. The group’s goal is to better understand the minimal requirements and exact properties of chemical reactions. For comparison, while every chemistry class … Continue reading Building the Smallest Chemical Beaker

The FDA Approves the First Non-Opioid Drug to Ease Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

It is 2018, and we are well on our way towards curing cancer. Yet, as we look around, we find another nightmare haunting our society that is as formidable, if not more so, as it has been for centuries. That nightmare is opioid addiction.  Overcoming opioid addiction is notoriously difficult, because of the excruciating symptoms associated with the withdrawal process, during which the only aid … Continue reading The FDA Approves the First Non-Opioid Drug to Ease Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

You Asked: If you were able to talk on another planet, how would you sound?

by Katherine J. Wu In space, no one would hear you scream. But make a quick detour down to the surface of Venus, and all bets are off. Because even if you scream on another planet with no one else around to hear it, you’ll certainly make a sound – just not quite the one you’d make on Earth. And with that cliffhanger, let’s tap … Continue reading You Asked: If you were able to talk on another planet, how would you sound?