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

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

Grand Evolutionary Transitions: The eruption of multicellularity

by Piyush Nandafigures by Corena Loeb Around 600 million years ago, single-celled life transitioned to multicellular life forms, begetting a paradigm shift in the definition of life on earth. This was an event so remarkable in earth’s timeline that it would set the stage for the evolution of complex organisms, from sponges to the human body we each reside in. These complex life forms eventually … Continue reading Grand Evolutionary Transitions: The eruption of multicellularity

Mining DNA for Disease Prediction: The polygenic risk score

by Alex Yenkinfigures by Allie Elchert Long before the completion of the Human Genome Project, scientists knew that many common diseases had a genetic component. However, there was debate about the architecture of these genetic effects: were there a few high-effect mutations or thousands of tiny effect mutations spread throughout the genome? Now, in the full swing of the genomics revolution, we can see that … Continue reading Mining DNA for Disease Prediction: The polygenic risk score

James E. Bowman: Making history in science and society

by Tian Lu James Edward Bowman was born in Washington, D.C. on February 5, 1923. He grew up in a segregated environment which he described saying “there was complete segregation. … One could only go to theaters, movies, restaurants in the black neighborhood.” He graduated with honors from Dunbar High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Howard University in 1943. Inspired by … Continue reading James E. Bowman: Making history in science and society

Rebecca Lee Crumpler: Physician, Author, Pioneer

Jaclyn Long is a first year Ph.D. student in the Immunology Program at Harvard Medical School. Abby Knecht is a second year graduate student in the Molecules Cells and Organisms program at Harvard University where she is studying self versus non-self recognition in bacteria. Cover image by Parentingupstream from Pixabay. This biography is part of our “Picture a Scientist” initiative. To learn more about the … Continue reading Rebecca Lee Crumpler: Physician, Author, Pioneer

Rebecca Lee Crumpler: Physician, Author, Pioneer

Rebecca Lee Crumpler was born in Delaware in 1831. She was raised by her aunt in Pennsylvania, who often spent time caring for sick neighbors. Inspired by her aunt, Crumpler began working as a nurse in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1852. During her eight years as a nurse, she impressed many of the doctors that she worked with. These doctors eventually encouraged her to apply to … Continue reading Rebecca Lee Crumpler: Physician, Author, Pioneer