Allergies: the bane of people who can’t snack on peanut butter and banana sandwiches, who can’t cuddle up to our favorite furry companions on a bad day, and who want to love spring or autumn but are assaulted on all sides by annoying, invisible particles. Allergies plague people seemingly indiscriminately, and symptoms can vary from an itchy nose and watery eyes to hives or difficulty … Continue reading Sit’N Listen Episode 3: Allergies
Every year, the NFL makes rule changes that affect team strategy and game outcomes. Some of these rules are designed to maintain the safety of players, while others are designed to increase the competitiveness of the game. However, there is one aspect of the game that the NFL can never change: the laws of physics. In the new series by Forbes Science, “Football Physics,” Chad Orzel … Continue reading The Physics of Football
After two weeks of discussions the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) ended December 12th with the passing of a climate change deal signed by almost 200 nations and the agreement has rightfully been called a “landmark.” It represents a departure from previous agreements by extending the responsibility of fighting climate change to all countries, not just developed nations. With this, according to Megan Bailey, the … Continue reading Paris Climate Agreement: An important moral victory with the potential for greatness
Pigeons are many things to many people – navigators, couriers, rats with wings – but the word “doctors” rarely comes to mind. A recent study, however, tested their medical prowess by placing the keen-eyed birds in front of a touchscreen monitor that showed images of breast tissue. If the pigeon correctly identified the sample as malignant or benign, as communicated by a peck on the … Continue reading Birdbrains? Pigeons capable of recognizing malignant tumors in breast tissue
Presented by Elaine Garcia and Angela She In July 2015, NASA’s space probe New Horizons sent back the first high-resolution photos of Pluto, engendering excitement around the world. These images are evidence of the progress we have made scientifically and technologically in our pursuit to explore and understand outer space. But, how did it all begin? What happened along the way? How did we overcome … Continue reading From stargazing to space travel: Our brief history into space
Spitting into a plastic tube normally doesn’t cost $199, but the personal genomics company 23andMe has recently won FDA approval to turn that saliva into a DNA fingerprint. By identifying common variants in our genetic code, 23andMe’s DNA-testing service originally supplied personalized insights into disease predisposition, drug sensitivity, and other health-related traits. In 2013, however, the FDA demanded that 23andMe shutter the health-related aspect of … Continue reading 23andMe wins approval from FDA: What does your DNA say about you?
Quantum mechanics is so mind-boggling that it has stumped even the greatest minds. In particular, Albert Einstein was so bothered by quantum mechanics that he never gave up in his efforts to discredit the theory. Physicists have spent several decades trying to develop an experiment that would definitively prove him wrong. A few weeks ago, a team from Delft University finally settled the score. Einstein’s … Continue reading Answering Einstein Decades Later; Quantum Entanglement is Real
Presented by: Shirlee Wohl and Katherine Wu Think of a virus, and you’ll likely think of an infection – Ebola, HIV, mononucleosis. But in actuality, the viruses that infect humans make up an infinitesimally small percentage of the total number on Earth, now estimated to be in the range of 10^31. Neither truly “alive” nor “dead,” viral particles are miniscule but complex pieces of machinery … Continue reading Growing Together: How Viruses Have Shaped Human Evolution
Surface features such as canyons and valleys on the “Red Planet” suggest an abundance of liquid water in its geological past. Water vapors on Mars were first detected in the early 60s followed by observation of water-rich ice patches decades later, but it was not until 2011 that Lujendra Ojha, a Nepali undergraduate student, spotted signs of possible water flows on our neighboring planet. While … Continue reading Going with the Flow: New Evidence for Liquid Water on Mars
Presented by Martin Fan and Matt Schwartz Tyrannosaurus Rex may have gone extinct, but could there be other dinosaurs lurking in your backyard? In fact, birds are modern dinosaurs. In this talk we will discuss the theories on why non-avian dinosaurs went extinct, why avian dinosaurs survived, and the evidence that birds are actually modern dinosaurs. Lecture Continue reading Living in a Jurassic World: Could dinosaurs be lurking in your backyard?