Pint-Sized Science: How’s It Smelling?

Interviewee: Dr. Venki Murthy, Raymond Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University Interviewers: Ana-Andreea Stoica (Ph.D. student in Computer Science, Columbia University) and Anastasia Repouliou (Ph.D. student in Molecular Biology, Harvard University) Pint-Sized Science · How’s It Smelling? What really is our sense of smell? Why is it important but difficult to study? What happens when we lose it, for … Continue reading Pint-Sized Science: How’s It Smelling?

How to improve cheese quality and taste? Understand the cheese’s microbial community.

What makes all the different cheeses taste so wonderful? All of the different microbes that help make your cheese! Scientists have begun linking specific flavors to specific bacteria – meaning sometime soon we can start making designer cheese flavors. Continue reading How to improve cheese quality and taste? Understand the cheese’s microbial community.

Et tu, Okmok? Alaska’s Okmok Volcano Contributed to Fall of Roman Republic and the Ptolemaic Kingdom

As the Roman Republic began to fall, the Earth suffered from extreme cold and famine that helped push Rome’s instability to its ultimate collapse. The cause of the extreme climate? The eruption of an Alaskan volcano on the opposite side of the world. Continue reading Et tu, Okmok? Alaska’s Okmok Volcano Contributed to Fall of Roman Republic and the Ptolemaic Kingdom

Fairness in Machine Learning

by Isabella Grabski figures by Nicholas Lue It’s no secret that bias is present everywhere in our society, from our educational institutions to the criminal justice system. The manifestation of this bias can be as seemingly trivial as the timing of a judge’s lunch break or, more often, as fraught as race or economic class. We tend to attribute such discrimination to our own internalized … Continue reading Fairness in Machine Learning

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?

Taking out the (space) trash

If you saw the blockbuster Gravity, then you probably had the dangers of orbiting space debris impressed upon you by a 90-minute emotional Hollywood roller coaster. While such catastrophic events haven’t ever happened, the risks of in-space collisions are certainly very real. In 2009, two satellites collided and rapidly produced thousands of smaller orbiting objects. It is this high production of smaller material from a … Continue reading Taking out the (space) trash