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

Exercise in a bottle? How transferable exercise factors may promote brain health

by Ryan Camirefigures by Shreya Mantri Many of us exercise and push ourselves to new limits without a specific goal; we lace up our sneakers and don our neon running shorts for the purest of intentions – to ‘stay healthy’. But what exactly does this mean? Most of us think only of the physical benefits reaped by our hardworking muscles. Exercise can help improve heart … Continue reading Exercise in a bottle? How transferable exercise factors may promote brain health

(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?

Mapping Individual Microbes among the Multitudes 

by Sophia Swartzfigures by Jasmin Joseph-Chazan If you put all of the living things on Earth in a box–from humans to anteaters to teeny-tiny tardigrades–and then plucked one of these organisms out at random, it is very, very likely that you just found yourself a microbe. Microbes, although too small to be seen with the naked eye, are some of the most common forms of … Continue reading Mapping Individual Microbes among the Multitudes 

Sensitization: Why everything might hurt when it looks like nothing is wrong

by Beatrice Awasthifigures by Allie Elchert Millions of Americans struggle with chronic pain. While the pain sometimes has a clear source—for instance, an arthritic joint or a damaged tendon—oftentimes, people feel pain without any obvious signs of damage at all. This can be extremely distressing, as such patients may deal with stigmatization or invalidation of their pain by others who suggest that the pain is … Continue reading Sensitization: Why everything might hurt when it looks like nothing is wrong

Life as We Know Itch: How our body creates this irritating sensation 

by Garrett Dunlapfigures by Xiaomeng Han What do a homemade sweater, a new laundry detergent, and a mosquito all have in common? All of these things have the potential to cause the uncomfortable, and sometimes maddening, sensation of itch. In fact, itching can be the result of many different things, including allergies, insect bites, illness, medication, and dry skin. But what exactly is an itch, … Continue reading Life as We Know Itch: How our body creates this irritating sensation 

Plasma for Fusion: How magnets are paving the way for clean energy

by Brianna Alicofigures by Aparna Nathan The phrase “energy crisis” likely brings to mind rising gas prices, drying up oil reserves, increasing greenhouse gases, climate change, and the like. Scientists, politicians, and civilians alike are working to combat this crisis by creating plans and developing clean energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines, which generate energy with relatively little carbon emission. Currently, wind … Continue reading Plasma for Fusion: How magnets are paving the way for clean energy

Microglia: The protectors of the brain

by Muhammet M. Ozturkfigures by Wei Wu For decades, scientists have been intrigued by how the brain controls the body. This curiosity led them to discover neurons, the brain’s messenger cells. Neurons, which receive, transmit, and process information, are arguably the most famous cells in our brain. The attention they get might suggest that the brain is only made up of neurons. However, about half … Continue reading Microglia: The protectors of the brain

Finding Life in Space: Why are we so special?

by Wei Lifigures by Catherine Ding The universe is massive, with an estimated 70 quintillion planets—that is 70 followed by an additional 18 zeros. In the Milky Way alone, where we reside, there are billions of planets. With these huge numbers, Earth seems very insignificant in the grand scheme of things. This raises the question: are we truly alone in this vast space of the … Continue reading Finding Life in Space: Why are we so special?