by Carlos Moralesfigures by Shreya Mantri Our cells perform extraordinary functions using information stored in their genetic material, known as DNA. Changes in DNA, known as mutations, can make cells behave erratically, which may lead to cancer. But how does cancer begin? A new model proposes that RNA — the molecular link between DNA and proteins — is at the heart of this phenomenon. How … Continue reading RNA plays a newly discovered role in the development of cancer
by Ya’el Courtneyfigures by MacKenzie Maugeredited by Yuli Lily Hsieh January 2023 marked the third anniversary of the discovery of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic that halted life as we knew it. It overwhelmed hospitals worldwide, and is still infecting around 250,000 people daily across the globe in February 2023. Over these three years, many countries have struggled to monitor the rapidly … Continue reading Something in the Sewage: What watching our wastewater can tell us about infectious diseases
by Mara Casebeer Most bacteria, like the common E. coli, are around a micron in length – less than a tenth of the width of a strand of human hair and invisible without a microscope. Recently, scientists discovered a bacterium, Candidatus (Ca.) Thiomargarita magnifica, that is almost 10,000 times longer than E. coli. Ca. T. magnifica cells were found attached to sunken leaves in the … Continue reading How this Long Bacterium Beats the Diffusion Limit
by Benyapa Khowpinitchaifigures with Carlos Morales When your medication becomes less effective, the first thought you may have is to increase the dosage. But what if there was a way to increase the efficacy of the drug without needing to increase the amount? What if you could simply change when you took the drug? Indeed, the answer may lie in your biological clock. Biological clock … Continue reading Leveraging Circadian Rhythm for Medical Advancement
by Salvador Balkus Collectively, scientists conduct a lot of experiments. Whether they study addiction, air pollution, or animal populations, most basic scientific experiments have one thing in common: data. To perform an experiment, scientists first formulate a hypothesis about how something works. Then, they collect data – measurements, sensor information, images, surveys, and the like – that either support their hypothesis or prove it false. … Continue reading How do scientists know whether to trust their results?
Check out a new info-comics series from SITN! New info-comics will be posted periodically under the Art: Info-comics tab. We hope you enjoy! The Human MicrobiomeAbby Knecht Environmental DNAArianna Lord Gene Editing Corena Loeb Continue reading Info-comics from Harvard’s SITN!
by Hannah Farnsworthfigures with Xiaomeng Han Most people know someone in their life who has been impacted by cancer, and a staggering 40% of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetimes. Despite the prevalence of cancer in the general population, there are many types of cancer that still lack effective treatments. One such form of cancer is a type of brain tumor called … Continue reading Brain Hijackers: How cancer manipulates the brain to help it grow
by Courtney Whildenfigures by Arianna Lord Imagine this: it’s the peak of winter, and you wake up not feeling well. You touch your face, it feels warm, and your thermometer tells you that you have a fever. As the day goes on, you don’t have much of an appetite, you’re exhausted, and you crave the warmth of a blanket and a cup of hot tea. … Continue reading How does your brain make you feel sick?
Getting people on medication treatment for opioid use disorder has gotten harder by Claire Wilcox Healthcare providers who treat addictions are pushing medico-legal boundaries in ways they never did before thanks to the arrival of illicit fentanyl over the last decade. While pharmaceutical fentanyl is an effective prescribed pain treatment, illegally manufactured fentanyl has taken over the illicit opioid market, largely replacing heroin. It has … Continue reading Illicit fentanyl pushes caregivers to go rogue in the new frontier of treating opioid use disorders
by Isle Bastillefigures by Allie Elchert In an episode of the BBC show Planet Earth there is a harrowing scene depicting thousands of freshly hatched baby sea turtles scuttling away from the sea towards a busy highway. A somber voice-over relays that the hatchlings are misguided by the nearby city lights. Paradoxically, while this was a human-driven habitat disruption, the turtles will not survive without … Continue reading Can assisted colonization save endangered species?