How COVID-19 is Shaping Antibiotic Resistance

by Molly Sargenfigures by Molly Sargen, Buse Aktaş, and Aparna Nathan COVID-19 is unarguably devastating from any perspective. Even as we struggle to overcome the present challenges of the pandemic, COVID-19 is paving the way for other infectious agents to cause damage in the future. Although SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that cannot be treated with antibiotics, antibiotic usage has significantly increased throughout the pandemic. With … Continue reading How COVID-19 is Shaping Antibiotic Resistance

A Near Perfect Solution to a Decades-Old Biology Problem

by Sebastian Rowefigures by Jovana Andrejevic First conceptualized in the 1960s, the protein folding problem – how to predict a protein’s structure from its sequence – has been one of the main concerns of structural biologists worldwide. Last year Google’s DeepMind, a team of programmers studying artificial intelligence, claimed to have the solution; much in the same way they solved the board game Go in … Continue reading A Near Perfect Solution to a Decades-Old Biology Problem

What Does A Theoretical Physicist Do?

How do you introduce yourself, scientifically? My name is David Kolchmeyer and I am a theoretical physicist. I’m interested in quantum gravity, which is a theory of gravity that obeys the rules of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is the fundamental framework upon which much of my field is built. I’m most interested in the properties of black holes, which are a good system for studying quantum gravity. … Continue reading What Does A Theoretical Physicist Do?

Are Pandemics the Cost of Human Recklessness Towards Nature?

by Piyush Nandafigures by Corena Loeb In an area devastated by deforestation, an 18-month-old toddler from the nearest settlement, Meliandou in Guinea, was seen playing around a fallen tree swarming with bats. The child then contracted a mysterious illness, which spread to many who came in contact. After it had already killed 30 people, the illness was identified as Ebola. Comprehensive studies have since connected … Continue reading Are Pandemics the Cost of Human Recklessness Towards Nature?

When Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: Why your gut microbes may not (yet) be a silver bullet to all your problems

by Dawn Chenfigures by Daniel Utter Did you know that the divorce rate in Maine strongly correlates with the per capita consumption of margarine? Wow, maybe abstaining from margarine prevents divorce! I can definitely imagine a pop-media article with this eye-catching title. Before throwing out all margarine to save your marriage, an intelligent reader like you would probably think to yourself: “what absurdity, it’s probably … Continue reading When Correlation Does Not Imply Causation: Why your gut microbes may not (yet) be a silver bullet to all your problems

An Unexpected Invasion: How SARS-CoV-2 affects the human brain

by Xiaomeng Han If your best friend Betty told you that she has a sore throat, a runny nose, and has lost her sense of smell or taste, you might immediately recognize the symptoms of COVID-19. But what if she had become very forgetful lately, instead? Recent emerging evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can infect cells in the brain. In fact, … Continue reading An Unexpected Invasion: How SARS-CoV-2 affects the human brain

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