Need to jog your memory? A zap to the brain could help

As you read this article, you may not be consciously trying to memorize each sentence, but the words do need to stick around temporarily. After all, you have to remember what you just read to understand the full article. This is your working memory, sometimes called “short-term memory,” and it allows us to remember things just long enough to complete a task. Its decline is … Continue reading Need to jog your memory? A zap to the brain could help

Photographing the Darkest Objects in Existence: The First Image of a Black Hole

Black holes are super dense objects that hypothetically exist in our universe. They have a gravitational pull so strong that any object that gets close enough falls in and can’t escape, including light. These objects often have a mass tens to millions of times greater than the mass of our sun. While we have predicted their existence for a hundred years, only recently have scientists … Continue reading Photographing the Darkest Objects in Existence: The First Image of a Black Hole

Evidence of an Ancient Human Species Unearthed in the Philippines

In 2007, during an excavation on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, archeologist Armand Salvador Mijares discovered a 67,000-year-old foot bone that led scientists to rethink the history of human evolution.  The bone had features resembling hominins – a subfamily of primates comprised of modern Homo sapiens and others closely related human species.  The finding provided the earliest direct evidence of human presence in … Continue reading Evidence of an Ancient Human Species Unearthed in the Philippines

Clean Corn? Study Measures Effects of Air Pollution in Corn Farming

Air pollution conjures up images of dirty factory smokestacks or crowded traffic-clogged cities. A recent study, however, revealed that one significant source of air pollution in America is actually associated with corn. The researchers found that the fertilizer used to increase crop yields can cause a kind of air pollution called PM2.5 (Particle Matter 2.5 micrometers thick), resulting in negative health impacts for people living nearby. … Continue reading Clean Corn? Study Measures Effects of Air Pollution in Corn Farming

Fossil Fuel Companies Invest in Removing Carbon Dioxide Directly from Air

In the Canadian town of Squamish, there’s a small building with a massive fan on its purple roof. The fan is rapidly pulling outside air into the facility. The air enters the outdoors again, but it’s not quite the same. About 75% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) is gone. Run by the company Carbon Engineering (CE), the building is the pilot plant for their technology … Continue reading Fossil Fuel Companies Invest in Removing Carbon Dioxide Directly from Air

Speedy Plants for Improving Food Production Efficiency

By introducing a tool commonly used to study brain function into the leaves of plants, researchers at the University of Glasgow have developed a technique that shows promise in improving the efficiency of food production by controlling how quickly plants respond to changing conditions. Not only does this method produce a more desirable solution to improving efficiency than previous methods, it also highlights the importance of employing tools in non-conventional scenarios to produce clever solutions to complex problems. Continue reading Speedy Plants for Improving Food Production Efficiency

Burger King serves up the meatless Whopper

Livestock accounts for up to 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and cattle are responsible for about 65% of this sector’s emissions. With the world’s population projected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050, we must change the way we eat and produce food if we are to avoid climate change and food shortages. In addition, reducing meat production would also bring benefits for animal … Continue reading Burger King serves up the meatless Whopper

Pain works differently between the sexes

For a long time, scientists did not often carefully consider sex as a variable in their research, and often worked with only male or only female animals depending on the ease of housing and handling these animals. In 2016, the NIH began requiring grant applications to justify the choice of sex of experimental animals, as part of a growing movement to consider sex as a … Continue reading Pain works differently between the sexes

April 24 –  Photopharmacology – How light can help improve medication

Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 10th Location: Pfizer Hall at Harvard University, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge (link to directions) Speakers: Michael Lerch Graphics: Alyson Warr Light is such a normal part of our everyday lives that we often fail to recognize that light can be a powerful tool. Over the last decades, scientists have increasingly used light to exert control. In chemistry, for example, light is used to steer … Continue reading April 24 –  Photopharmacology – How light can help improve medication