by Isle Bastillefigures by Allie Elchert In an episode of the BBC show Planet Earth there is a harrowing scene depicting thousands of freshly hatched baby sea turtles scuttling away from the sea towards a busy highway. A somber voice-over relays that the hatchlings are misguided by the nearby city lights. Paradoxically, while this was a human-driven habitat disruption, the turtles will not survive without … Continue reading Can assisted colonization save endangered species?
by Arianna Lord Earlier this year, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium performed artificial insemination on two of their female polar bears in hopes that the procedure would produce cubs. Polar bears greatly rely on Arctic sea ice for hunting, traveling, mating, and resting. However, because of the continued shrinking of sea ice due to climate change, polar bears have been listed as a threatened species … Continue reading Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Biodiversity Conservation
by Rachel Davisfigures by Xiaomeng Han The Academy Award-winning performance of Dustin Hoffman as an autistic savant in the movie Rain Man brought the condition of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sharply into the spotlight. While the movie helped raise awareness and research funding for the condition, it also created a misconception that autism is, at its core, tied together with genius. To this day, our … Continue reading Rethinking Autism: Neurodiversity and Academic Research
by Olubusola Olukoyafigures by Corena Loeb Our ability to take in information from the world around us, make inferences, and execute appropriate reactions is generated by our brains. The brain, which weighs about 1.5 kilograms in the average adult, takes up 20% of our body’s energy expenditure to power a network of roughly 86 billion cells. Ongoing research in the field of neuroscience utilizes various … Continue reading What it Takes to Make a Brain: Cellular diversity in cortical development
by Jackson Weirfigures by Jasmin Joseph-Chazan Why is cancer so difficult to cure? Why do available treatments only help a subset of patients? Why are some cancers more aggressive than others? These are questions that clinicians, scientists, and the public have pondered for generations. As it turns out, the answers are complicated because cancer biology is complicated. Luckily, new tools and technologies are helping us … Continue reading Dissecting cancer complexity across space and time
by Wei Lifigures by MacKenzie Mauger Microbial communities, known as microbiomes, are everywhere—on our bodies, in our food, and in the environment—and they are as important as they are prevalent. The gut microbiome interacts with our body and influences our health, the bacteria composition in cheese and other fermented products shapes their taste, and the bacteria in the soil helps plants grow faster. These microbial … Continue reading Cooperation vs. Competition: Microbiome Diversity and Interactions
by Sanjana Kulkarni SARS-CoV-2 may have spread to humans from an animal host, but it is not the only disease-causing agent (i.e. pathogen) to have done so. Lyme disease, Ebola virus, influenza, HIV, the plague, and rabies virus are just some examples of zoonotic diseases, meaning that they originated in animals and spread (i.e spilled over) to humans. Many human activities, such as deforestation and … Continue reading Biodiversity Loss Can Increase the Spread of Zoonotic Diseases
The world we live in is full of both seen and unseen wonders, filled with unique human beings, organisms, and communities. From the hundreds and thousands of bacteria that make up the microbiomes we interact with on a daily basis, to the efforts made to conserve and increase biodiversity, to saving endangered species, scientific research has enabled us to uncover and preserve more and more … Continue reading Special Edition: Diversity
How do you introduce yourself, scientifically? My name is Dana Boebinger, and I’m an auditory cognitive neuroscientist. I study how the brain understands sound; I specifically study humans, and how the brain understands the kinds of sounds that are particularly relevant for humans, like speech and music. What are the implications or broader impacts of your work? I do basic science, which aims to advance fundamental … Continue reading What Does a Cognitive Neuroscientist Do?
How do you introduce yourself, scientifically? My name is Mia Miyagi, and I’m an evolutionary biologist, which means that I study how the process of evolution works and how that process has generated the incredible biodiversity that we have today. More specifically, I’m a theoretical population geneticist. Population genetics is how we think about evolution and variation across entire populations. In other words, how individuals … Continue reading What Does an Evolutionary Biologist Do?