The New Trojan Horse: Using tumor cells to kill tumors

Cancer immunotherapy exploits our immune system to kill cancerous cells. Recently, researchers have discovered a novel way to do this. They engineered cells that are programmed to die and injected them into tumor. They have successfully shown that the dying cells is able to kill tumor cells via recruitment of the immune system. This strategy might be a potential new method to improve the efficacy of current cancer immunotherapy methods. Continue reading The New Trojan Horse: Using tumor cells to kill tumors

How Kelp Naturally Combats Global Climate Change

by Sylvia Hurlimann figures by Hannah Zucker When we think of kelp, we conjure up images of magical underwater forests. Recent research, however, suggests that in addition to creating beautiful habitats, macroalgae such as kelp play a large role reducing the effects of global warming. Kelp has an incredibly fast growth rate (up to two feet per day) and exports a large portion of its … Continue reading How Kelp Naturally Combats Global Climate Change

Genetic tools create new opportunities for decoding protein structures

Proteins are made up of linear sequences of amino acids but understanding how these amino acids fold to form a three-dimensional structure is notoriously difficult. Knowing what a protein looks like in 3D is often necessary for understanding how it functions and how it can be manipulated. For instance, understanding how proteins such as antibodies bind to viruses like the flu would enable scientists to … Continue reading Genetic tools create new opportunities for decoding protein structures

What Scientists Do When Funding Runs Dry

by Melanie Basnak figures by Jovana Andrejevic Doctor Marina Simian won a big money prize playing “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” last month in Argentina. She’s not using that money to buy a house or go on a fancy vacation. Instead, she’s using it to fund her cancer research at the University of San Martin (Figure 1). “Why does she have to go to a TV … Continue reading What Scientists Do When Funding Runs Dry

Is it Smoky in Here? The importance of the Clean Air Act in the 21st century

by Felix Barber figures by Hannah Zucker We live in exceptional times, with extreme weather events in recent memory including devastating wildfires in California, flooding and polar conditions in the Midwest USA, and extreme rainfall in the wake of hurricane Harvey. Such events are predicted to only become more common with global climate change. In the US, the Clean Air Act (CAA) is a major … Continue reading Is it Smoky in Here? The importance of the Clean Air Act in the 21st century

Human endurance is not limitless

Imagine you’re running a race. But this is no normal race—this is a 140-day trek from Huntington Beach, CA to Washington, D.C. Welcome to Race Across the USA, a seemingly-superhuman feat that provides the perfect laboratory to study human endurance. After all, extreme athletes push their bodies to the proverbial “limit”—but what, exactly, is this limit? That’s what a new study published in Science Advances … Continue reading Human endurance is not limitless

Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: Applications, implications, and limitations

by Daniel Greenfield figures by Sean Wilson The future of ‘standard’ medical practice might be here sooner than anticipated, where a patient could see a computer before seeing a doctor. Through advances in artificial intelligence (AI), it appears possible for the days of misdiagnosis and treating disease symptoms rather than their root cause to move behind us. Think about how many years of blood pressure measurements … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: Applications, implications, and limitations

Can converting methane into CO2 help reduce climate change?

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane, contribute to global warming by slowing the rate at which heat energy escapes into space. Although methane is less abundant than CO2, it is several times more potent, absorbing up to 36 times more energy than CO2 over a century. Last year marked the first time that global methane concentrations reached levels 2.5 times greater than … Continue reading Can converting methane into CO2 help reduce climate change?

Augmented Medicine: the power of augmented reality in the operating room

by Nivanthika K. Wimalasena figures by Rebecca Clements Imagine going in for a surgery where the surgeon, instead of looking down and seeing only your swollen leg, can see the exact location of your fracture before making a single incision. Now imagine that this doesn’t require x-ray vision or the stuff of science fiction, but is possible through augmented reality (AR), used to overlay an image … Continue reading Augmented Medicine: the power of augmented reality in the operating room