Journey to the Center of the Proton: Using Supercomputers to Probe The Pieces of the Atom

Pressure is felt as the force exerted on bodies when they are submerged in a material; you’ve felt it as you dive to the bottom of the pool and when you uncork a bottle. Recently, scientists have measured the pressure within a proton, a particle that comprises the atom.  Protons are made of fundamental particles called ‘quarks’ and ‘gluons‘ which are constantly bumping together creating … Continue reading Journey to the Center of the Proton: Using Supercomputers to Probe The Pieces of the Atom

Flurries of “marine snow” could help keep the planet cool

Far below the ocean’s surface, millions of tiny particles fall through the water like a scene from a snow globe. But this isn’t anything like normal snow; this is “marine snow,” debris from tiny dead organisms like plankton and algae that floats down to the deep sea. Because carbon is one of the main chemical elements in living things, the ocean floor becomes coated in … Continue reading Flurries of “marine snow” could help keep the planet cool

The Future of Solar is Bright

by Emily Kerr figures by Abagail Burrus The Sun emits enough power onto Earth each second to satisfy the entire human energy demand for over two hours. Given that it is readily available and renewable, solar power is an attractive source of energy. However, as of 2018, less than two percent of the world’s energy came from solar. Historically, solar energy harvesting has been expensive and … Continue reading The Future of Solar is Bright

Future Widespread Water Shortage Likely in U.S.

By 2071, nearly half of the 204 fresh water basins in the United States may not be able to meet the monthly water demand. These model projections, recently published in the journal Earth’s Future, are just one preliminary component of the upcoming Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment expected to be published next year. In 1974, congress required that this assessment of US renewable resources be … Continue reading Future Widespread Water Shortage Likely in U.S.

Sea Otters Leave an Archaeological Record of Their Tool Use

Archaeologists learn about ancient humans by excavating and analyzing historical artifacts. While the use of tools was once thought to be a uniquely human trait, this is far from the case; many terrestrial animals, including chimpanzees, macaque monkeys, and even vultures use stone tools to hunt and gather food. For aquatic animals, however, these behaviors have been difficult to observe in the wild. One exception … Continue reading Sea Otters Leave an Archaeological Record of Their Tool Use

Arrival of Gene-Edited Babies: What lies ahead?

by Valentina Lagomarsino figures by Sean Wilson Nearly four months ago, Chinese researcher He Jiankui announced that he had edited the genes of twin babies with CRISPR. CRISPR, also known as CRISPR/Cas9, can be thought of as “genetic scissors” that can be programmed to edit DNA in any cell. Last year, scientists used CRISPR to cure dogs of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This was a huge step forward for … Continue reading Arrival of Gene-Edited Babies: What lies ahead?

FDA approves first ketamine-based antidepressant

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million people of all ages around the world. The most commonly used antidepressant medications are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Only about  one third of people with major depressive disorder achieve remission after treatment with SSRIs. When the first medication doesn’t work, the next steps are usually to switch to or add another … Continue reading FDA approves first ketamine-based antidepressant

CRISPR-Scanning Towards New Drugs — drug discovery is difficult, but CRISPR might be able to help

by Michael Vinyard figures by Nicholas Lue Most therapeutic drug candidates that are put through clinical trials fail. Given that most of these fail during early development, the cost of bringing a single drug to market is now over $2.5 billion. If we focus on cancer alone, this high cost of drug development, combined with the fact that cancer is one of the leading killers in … Continue reading CRISPR-Scanning Towards New Drugs — drug discovery is difficult, but CRISPR might be able to help

Jellyfish-inspired electronic skin can heal itself under water

Skin is the largest organ in human body, and can sense important information such as pressure, temperature and pain. This waterproof barrier protects us from infections and can heal itself. Electronic skins are soft and flexible electronics that mimic the functions of skin in one or multiple aspects, and can give robots or even prosthetic limbs the sensations of real skin. However, unlike real skin, … Continue reading Jellyfish-inspired electronic skin can heal itself under water