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
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – but maybe you can have an old brain grow new neurons. New research published in Nature Medicine has shed some light onto the debated topic of whether adult brains can create new neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain that is important in short- and long-term memory consolidation. As you might expect, … Continue reading Old Brain, New Neurons?
by Lorena Lyon figures by Lorena Lyon If you’ve ever backed down from an argument with a popular kid, you might relate to a male spotted hyena. Spotted hyenas are highly social animals, forming large groups called clans, which range from 6 to over 100 members. Hyenas in clans, like eighth graders in middle school, are sorted into complex social hierarchies. At the top of … Continue reading Hyenas Probably Have More Friends Than You: Spotted hyena social hierarchies
How a clock measures time and how you perceive it are quite different. As we grow older, it can often feel like time goes by faster and faster. This speeding up of subjective time with age is well documented by psychologists, but there is no consensus on the cause. In a paper published this month, Professor Adrian Bejan presents an argument based on the physics … Continue reading No, It’s Not Just You: Why time “speeds up” as we get older
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
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
by Jordan Wilkerson figures by Aparna Nathan Every morning when I wake up, I take a swig of water and swallow a blue pill. I don’t have an illness that the drug is treating. In fact, I’m quite healthy. I take the pill to keep from getting ill. Referred to as PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, the pill protects me from potential infection by the infamous … Continue reading What’s in My Morning Pill?
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
Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 27th Location: Pfizer Hall at Harvard University, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge (link to directions) Speakers: Emily Kerr Graphics: Aparna Nathan How do you know that your light will definitely turn on within seconds of your flicking the switch? Ready and reliable access to energy has dramatically changed how human beings live their lives. In this talk, we will discuss how humans have harnessed … Continue reading March 27 – Energy: Where We Get It and Where We Are Going
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.