Vaccine hesitancy: More than a pandemic

by Edward Chen Historical evidence shows that developing safe vaccines is necessary to protect the world from deadly diseases. But that’s only one part of the solution. After all, what’s the benefit of having vaccines that people don’t want to use? Enter vaccine hesitancy. Defined by a World Health Organization (WHO) working group as a “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccination despite availability of … Continue reading Vaccine hesitancy: More than a pandemic

How do COVID-19 vaccines work? Hear from a researcher who helped develop the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

by Edward Chen The COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed rapid technological advancements as scientists and engineers mobilize to combat its toll on human lives. Time is of the essence, and after rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness, there are now 3 vaccines with emergency approval in the United States that are all based on relatively new concepts. Two of the vaccines are based on messenger RNA … Continue reading How do COVID-19 vaccines work? Hear from a researcher who helped develop the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

When Cells Die a Fiery Death: Pyroptosis as a cell’s response to damage and infection

by Haim Mooregraphics by MacKenzie Mauger When you get sick or injured, you will usually notice redness, heat, swelling, and pain. These symptoms are, interestingly, not the result of the pathogen or damage themselves, but rather of the reaction of your own immune system to them. These are typical manifestations of inflammation, the coordinated rush of many different immune cells to the site of injury … Continue reading When Cells Die a Fiery Death: Pyroptosis as a cell’s response to damage and infection

How Our Brains Estimate Time

by Isabella Grabskifigures by Allie Elchert There are many ways in which our brains track, process, and use time to help us function. One mechanism by which they do so is motor timing. Motor timing relates to our ability to carry out any physical task where time estimation, often done unconsciously, is needed to successfully coordinate our movements. Take, for instance, the task of playing a … Continue reading How Our Brains Estimate Time

Lights. Camera. Action! How the Hawaiian bobtail squid brings a creative vision to its maritime world of small big screens

by Edward Chenfigures by Jovana Andrejevic On a sunny, nondescript Hawaiian day, a Vibrio fischeri bacterium arises the same as on most other nondescript days: homeless. It hurries along on a ride to work. No, not by car. Not onboard a trolley either. Yes! The great, dynamic Pacific Ocean current. Currency-free and open to all, it’s the road to opportunity and fortune for aquatic hard … Continue reading Lights. Camera. Action! How the Hawaiian bobtail squid brings a creative vision to its maritime world of small big screens

“Nature itself is the best physician”

by Jessica Schifffigures by Rebecca Senft For millennia, people have held to the notion that spending time in nature is healing and restorative. Hippocrates stated that “Nature itself is the best physician”. At some point in our lives, many of us have gone on an adventure into nature and left feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. However, it wasn’t until the past few decades that scientists really … Continue reading “Nature itself is the best physician”

It’s Not All about Microbes: Genetics and susceptibility to infections

by Aleks Procherafigures by Shreya Mantri  The past year and a half have been a time of profound uncertainty. We all wish we could gaze into a COVID crystal ball and get answers to our burning questions. Some of us would want to know how long the pandemic will last. Others, however, especially those who have never received a positive result, would likely seek an … Continue reading It’s Not All about Microbes: Genetics and susceptibility to infections

Treating Osteoarthritis the Smart Way

by Beatrice Awasthifigures by Aparna Nathan Every day, our joints successfully bear huge amounts of force as we move about. For example, jogging and stumbling produce forces of up to 550% of a person’s body weight, respectively. Even walking generates forces as high as 480% of the body’s weight!  To successfully bear these massive forces without pain, joints must be healthy and intact. Deterioration of … Continue reading Treating Osteoarthritis the Smart Way

Mutation Madness: How and why SARS-CoV-2 keeps changing

by Sophia Swartzfigures by Shreya Mantri The first reports of a mysterious, pneumonia-like illness surfaced in early December 2019. Fast-forward to 2021, and the culprit—SARS-CoV-2, a virus a thousand times smaller than a speck of dust—has sickened more than 111 million people, infected all seven continents, and killed approximately 2.5 million.  The toll of COVID-19 is heart-wrenching and borders on dystopian. Our pandemic present is … Continue reading Mutation Madness: How and why SARS-CoV-2 keeps changing