Viral Fossil Records: A Look into the Past! (and the Future?)

by Misha Guptafigures by Xiaomeng Han For close to two centuries, humans have been studying the biological past using fossil records. In recent history, we have added the ability to reconstruct the sequence of our DNA to our arsenal. Furthermore, phylogenetic trees (structures that define the evolutionary relationships in the line of descent from a common ancestor) have been created for all manners of organisms, … Continue reading Viral Fossil Records: A Look into the Past! (and the Future?)

Home Decor and the Hippocampus: How environmental enrichment can enhance brain function  

by Ariel Hairstonfigures by MacKenzie Mauger Our lives are stuffed with opportunities for excitement and stimulation. You might wake up in the morning and find yourself staring at your modest collection of succulents, or that small oil painting you bought at a flea market. The first moments of your day might be spent taking a walk around the block, the smell of tree bark hanging … Continue reading Home Decor and the Hippocampus: How environmental enrichment can enhance brain function  

Climate Change is Happening in Our Own Backyards

by Jessica Schifffigures by Sarah Dendy Climate change is impacting every region in the United States, fueling more intense natural disasters. It is hard to ignore the number of people leaving their homes due to either sudden events, like wildfires, or gradual climate-related changes, like sea level rise. In 2020, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (iDMC) reported 1,719,000 new displacements and registered 126,000 internally displaced … Continue reading Climate Change is Happening in Our Own Backyards

The Human-Tuberculosis Arms Race

by Sanjana Kulkarnifigures by Corena Loeb The bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) has been infecting humans for thousands of years. Today, TB, which is thought to have originated in Africa and evolved alongside human hosts, is found across the globe and causes 1-2 million deaths annually, making it the second leading infectious disease killer after COVID-19. As new COVID-19 variants keep emerging, we can observe the … Continue reading The Human-Tuberculosis Arms Race

Antibiotic Persistence and Resistance

by Molly Sargen Antibiotics are drugs that kill or inhibit the growth of microbes, including bacteria and fungi. These drugs work by blocking essential processes like protein production, DNA replication, and cell division. After Alexander Fleming’s serendipitous discovery of Penicillin, antibiotics became a central feature of medical care. Today, antibiotics are used to treat a wide variety of infections and prevent new infections during invasive … Continue reading Antibiotic Persistence and Resistance

(Meat) pie in the sky? – When will our appetite for lab-grown meat be satisfied?

by Insa Mohrfigures by Jovana Andrejevic Reading about cultured meat can be confusing. While many major companies claim to have found the holy grail, some academic experts go to the lengths of calling it a scam. But what does the science and market reality really tell us about the progress and potential of cultured meat? A review. Introduction It has been almost 10 years since … Continue reading (Meat) pie in the sky? – When will our appetite for lab-grown meat be satisfied?