October 9 – America’s Next Top Neuron: How microscopic competition shapes our brains

Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 9th Location: Armenise Amphitheater at Harvard Medical School, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston (link to directions) Speakers: Vicky Chou and Kevin Dervishi Graphics: Vicky Chou What do The Bachelor, America’s Got Talent, Hell’s Kitchen, and your brain have in common? They all need competition to work properly! Competition drives our development in ways that confused scientists for years. In this talk, we’ll learn about … Continue reading October 9 – America’s Next Top Neuron: How microscopic competition shapes our brains

Living in a World of Extreme Droughts, Floods, and Storms

by Tianjia Liu cover image by Elayne Fivenson A new normal in an intensifying global water cycle While humans have long adapted to regimes of water scarcity or excess, we are underprepared for extreme events — the “mega” droughts, storms, and floods that used to occur once in a hundred or thousand years. But in this decade alone, we witnessed hot, cracked earth in California … Continue reading Living in a World of Extreme Droughts, Floods, and Storms

Nature-Inspired Technology Can Help Combat Looming Water Shortages

by Aparna Nathan In January 2018, Cape Town, South Africa started counting down toward “Day Zero.” It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was similarly apocalyptic: the day that the city would run out of water completely. Through discipline and technological advances, the city was able to avoid catastrophe. But that’s not the last we’ll see of water crises, and like Cape Town, … Continue reading Nature-Inspired Technology Can Help Combat Looming Water Shortages

Water Beyond Earth: The search for the life-sustaining liquid

by Andrew Greenspon figures by Hannah Zucker Picture yourself as the Curiosity Rover, which landed on Mars in 2012. You’ve just arrived on Mars after an eight-month journey from Earth. You begin traveling across the Gale crater toward Mount Sharp, 18,000 feet higher than the floor of the crater. On the way, you take images with a high-resolution camera. There, you find a slab of … Continue reading Water Beyond Earth: The search for the life-sustaining liquid

Hydroponics: The power of water to grow food

by Valentina Lagomarsino figures by Rebecca Senft In the year 600 B.C.E., the climate was arid and dry along the Euphrates River in Western Asia, but there were lush gardens climbing up the walls of the metropolis, Babylon. It is believed that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were surviving through a pulley-system of water from the river, a technique of agricultural that today is known … Continue reading Hydroponics: The power of water to grow food

Biological Roles of Water: Why is water necessary for life?

by Molly Sargen figures by Daniel Utter Water makes up 60-75% of human body weight. A loss of just 4% of total body water leads to dehydration, and a loss of 15% can be fatal. Likewise, a person could survive a month without food but wouldn’t survive 3 days without water. This crucial dependence on water broadly governs all life forms.  Clearly water is vital … Continue reading Biological Roles of Water: Why is water necessary for life?