Neurons

FDA Approves New Drug for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that affects over 2 million people worldwide. In patients who suffer from MS, an abnormal immune response causes damage to a fatty substance called myelin. Like the coating around an electrical wire, myelin insulates nerve cells and facilitates neural communication. Symptoms of MS include muscle weakness, fatigue, and impaired speech. On March 28th 2017, the FDA approved Ocrevus, an … Continue reading FDA Approves New Drug for Multiple Sclerosis

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Min Ya

My name is Min Ya, or Ya Min, but I go by Minya. I was born and raised in China. Heavily influenced by my botany-enthusiast father, I have been a plant lover since I was very little. Before grad school, I finished my undergrad in China and Japan, and obtained dual Master’s Degree in Sweden and France. Although the subfields of biology varied between my … Continue reading Min Ya

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Diamonds in the Leaf

This cross section of an oleander (Nerium oleander) leaf reveals two beautiful mineral crystals inside. Leaf cells are stained red. Adapted to dry conditions, this leaf possess three epidermal layers to prevent water loss, below which there are tightly packed palisade mesophyll cells that are specialized for harvesting light and loosely packed spongy mesophyll cells allowing efficient gas exchange. These calcium oxalate crystals are deposited by specialized … Continue reading Diamonds in the Leaf

Knowledge-sharing

How to be a Socially Conscious Scientist

by Katherine Wu My freshman year of college, I was given a choice: techie or fuzzy? And, before you ask, no, it wasn’t about creepy role-play. It was worse: my major. At Stanford, there were two kinds of people: those who studied the technical, hard science, and mathematics-based majors were “techie,” and those pursuing the humanities, arts, and social sciences were “fuzzy.” I chose biology … Continue reading How to be a Socially Conscious Scientist

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Unexpected Lessons Learned from Mid-Century Atomic Bomb Explosions

by Paris Bentley figures by Michael MacArthur The immediate environmental effects of nuclear bomb testing during the Cold War era were undoubtedly devastating. Having left enormous negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts all over the world, it is hard to imagine that any sort of silver lining to these tests could exist. But despite all the destruction that these tests caused, their remnants are now being … Continue reading Unexpected Lessons Learned from Mid-Century Atomic Bomb Explosions

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The Splice of Life: Cutting and pasting RNA in medicine and disease

The intricate process of reading genes in our DNA to make proteins is arguably the most fundamental part of life. In this talk, we will dive into one critical step within this process, called RNA splicing. We will discuss what RNA splicing is, how splicing alternative forms of RNA leads to more protein diversity, and what happens when RNA splicing goes wrong.   Continue reading The Splice of Life: Cutting and pasting RNA in medicine and disease

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Mosquitos: Friend or Foe? Possible use of mosquitos in modern epidemiology

With the warm weather of summer quickly approaching, a common enemy known as the mosquito will soon make a reappearance. Mosquitoes are more than just an irritation. In many areas of the world, mosquitoes are also carriers of infectious diseases such as malaria and the Zika virus. While the mosquito is a  major problem to many, scientists at Microsoft Research are attempting to exploit some … Continue reading Mosquitos: Friend or Foe? Possible use of mosquitos in modern epidemiology