Immunology v. Ferrari: What the oldest endurance race in the world has in common with immunity

by Haim Moorefigures by Rebecca Senft How familiar are you with your immune system? You might be aware of its role in protection from external threats, but what if I told you that it does a lot more behind the scenes? New research is shedding light on how your immune system carries out several unexpected functions in your body, including repairing wounds post-injury and controlling … Continue reading Immunology v. Ferrari: What the oldest endurance race in the world has in common with immunity

Optimal Strategy for a COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out

by Melis Tekantfigures by Aparna Nathan  The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2  (SARS-CoV-2) has arguably been the single most devastating global crisis in recent history. As of December 2020, the virus claimed the lives of 1.7 million people, and healthcare systems around the world have been stretched to their limits. Notably, the U.S. has been exceptionally hard hit, … Continue reading Optimal Strategy for a COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out

How Pain Led to an Opioid Epidemic: Learning from the past to better treat pain in the future

by Beatrice Awasthifigures by Tal Scully      Opioid use was a crisis in the United States long before the COVID-19 pandemic—among the 76,000 deaths due to drug overdoses in the United States between April 2019 and April 2020, at least 54,000 were caused by opioids (Figure 1). This represented a 12% increase in drug-attributed overdoses over the previous year. But the situation has grown even worse … Continue reading How Pain Led to an Opioid Epidemic: Learning from the past to better treat pain in the future

The Possibility of a New Path to Parenthood

by Mahaa Ahmedfigures by Jovana Andrejevic Each of the organs in our body has an important role to play. So, what happens when one of them is damaged? For many years, one of the only solutions to an irreparably damaged organ was an organ transplant; however, the need for organs far exceeds the number of donors. Approximately 17 people die each day waiting for an … Continue reading The Possibility of a New Path to Parenthood

Can Microdosing Psychedelics Improve Your Mental Health?

by Isabelle Grabskifigures by MacKenzie Mauger When you hear the term “psychedelics,” you might think of hallucinogenic and mystical experiences. Popular psychedelics include LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), magic mushrooms (containing the psychedelic psilocybin), and DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine, part of the spiritual medicine ayahuasca), all of which can cause intense psychological experiences colloquially known as “trips.” However, there is an emerging push within the scientific community to … Continue reading Can Microdosing Psychedelics Improve Your Mental Health?

Chien-Shiung Wu — A Heroic Experimental Physicist

by Xiaomeng Han In the spring of 1912, a baby girl was born to a family in China. It was the family’s tradition that all the boys in the generation have the character “Chien” in their first names, followed by characters from the phrase “Ying-Shiung-Hao-Jie”, which means “heroes”. The parents believed their daughter should be treated equally, so they named her “Chien-Shiung”. They were determined … Continue reading Chien-Shiung Wu — A Heroic Experimental Physicist

Bacteria: The drug factory you’d never expect

by Wei Lifigures by Rebecca Senft If you’ve ever taken an organic chemistry class, you may know that making chemical compounds can be a long and painful process. Bacteria, however, face no such struggles. After millions of years, these tiny microbes have evolved into the perfect molecule-makers — powerful factories capable of churning out many complex molecules. These molecules are known as bacterial natural products, … Continue reading Bacteria: The drug factory you’d never expect

Wild Fermentation

by Mary Mayfigures by Aparna Nathan People have been eating and drinking fermented foods since long before we understood how to cultivate the yeast and bacteria that make them. As anyone who’s cultivated a sourdough starter can attest, the microorganisms that make bread rise, ferment juice into alcohol, take the bitterness out of raw olives, and turn cabbage into kimchi are everywhere and all around … Continue reading Wild Fermentation

Cancer in the Time of COVID: One oncologist’s look into how the pandemic is impacting the larger medical world

by Paige Haukefigures by Paige Hauke and Catherine Ding As the pandemic rages on and strict social distancing guidelines remain in place for much of the United States, COVID-19, for good reason, takes up most of the medical limelight. But as someone who works at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and walks past our clinical buildings each day, I find myself wondering what this means for other … Continue reading Cancer in the Time of COVID: One oncologist’s look into how the pandemic is impacting the larger medical world