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Optimizing Treatment for Diabetic Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

By Allan Mai ‘20 There are currently 415 million people worldwide living with diabetes; this number is expected to rise to 640 million by the year 2040. Complications, especially coronary artery disease (CAD), is one of the leading causes of death in diabetic patients; conversely, optimizing management of such complications can also significantly increase lifespan. While the previous assumption was that good glycemic control would … Continue reading Optimizing Treatment for Diabetic Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

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Yeast and the Biosynthesis of Cannabinoids

By Allan Mai ‘20 Scientists have recently been exploring routes to biosynthesize cannabinoids by introducing a series of genes into yeast cells. Using the simple sugar galactose, Dr. Xiaozhou Luo and his team at the University of California at Berkeley successfully devised a pathway to produce major cannabinoids such as cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid among others. The biosynthesis of such compounds would allow for … Continue reading Yeast and the Biosynthesis of Cannabinoids

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Assessing the Risk: The Susceptibility of a Cancer Patient to Acute Kidney Injury

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 Due to their ability to purify blood and remove wastes, the kidneys are regarded as the filtration system for the human body. As such, they are one of the most crucial organs. However, what happens one or both of your kidneys are damaged, or worse, fail completely? Such an occurrence is known as acute kidney injury (AKI) and can transpire within … Continue reading Assessing the Risk: The Susceptibility of a Cancer Patient to Acute Kidney Injury

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Invasion of the Gboxins: Inhibiting the Proliferation of Glioblastoma Cells

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 The aggressive proliferation of glioblastoma cells is characteristic of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a fatal cancer of the brain. As much as treatments may help, patients with this cancer typically relapse. Furthermore, radiotherapy and chemotherapy unintentionally target and poison normal proliferating cells, thereby harming the wellbeing of the patients. However, under principle investigator Dr. Yufeng Shi, researchers at the Cancer Biology & … Continue reading Invasion of the Gboxins: Inhibiting the Proliferation of Glioblastoma Cells

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Reducing Exhaustion in Entrepreneurs Through Mindfulness Exercises

Raymond Cheung ‘22 Entrepreneurs play an essential role in developing innovations and redefining the way businesses operate. However, entrepreneurship is arduous and often causes entrepreneurs to work until they are exhausted to achieve their goals. Although it may not be possible to prevent exhaustion, mindfulness exercises can potentially mitigate the effect of exhaustion. Researchers at Oregon State University present promising findings of the effect of … Continue reading Reducing Exhaustion in Entrepreneurs Through Mindfulness Exercises

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Augmented Reality Games and Physical Activity: Exploring the Effect of Pokémon Go

Raymond Cheung ‘22 When Pokemon GO was released in 2016, the world was captivated by the ability to capture Pokemon in the real world through augmented reality. An interesting consequence of the game’s popularity is that it promotes physical activity in its players. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo found that the game positively impacted the physical activity in older … Continue reading Augmented Reality Games and Physical Activity: Exploring the Effect of Pokémon Go

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Relationship Between Academic Environment and the Mental Health of Students

Raymond Cheung ‘22 Researchers at the University of Munich and other universities analyzed the effect of a high-achieving environment on the mental health of students. Their work is vital because it provides insight into how a high-performing environment can harm the academic development and mental wellbeing of students. In the study, the researchers analyzed the responses of over 7,700 German school students with regards to … Continue reading Relationship Between Academic Environment and the Mental Health of Students

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Neutrophils Escort Circulating Tumor Cells and Increase Metastatic Potential

By Nicole Zhao ’20 Numerous cancer research projects are dedicated to investigating the primary tumor and its microenvironment. Though this is undoubtedly important, the role of immune cells during cancer dispersion in the blood cells is largely uncharacterized. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) lead to metastasis of several types of cancers and its levels are often a predictor of survival rate. These cells are often found … Continue reading Neutrophils Escort Circulating Tumor Cells and Increase Metastatic Potential

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South Asians Have the Highest Rates of Heart Disease

By Nicole Zhao ’20 Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women worldwide. However, people of South Asian descent have a higher death rate from heart disease than any other group. Following a variety of diets, from omnivorous to vegetarian, South Asians are four times more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease even at normal body weight and tend … Continue reading South Asians Have the Highest Rates of Heart Disease

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Sleep Modulates Hematopoiesis and Protects Against Atherosclerosis

By Nicole Zhao ’20 Numerous pathological conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease have been connected to insufficient or interrupted sleep. However, little is known about the specific mechanisms by which sleep maintains health. In this study, it was found that sleep regulates hematopoiesis and protects against atherosclerosis in mice. Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cellular components from stem cells. Research … Continue reading Sleep Modulates Hematopoiesis and Protects Against Atherosclerosis

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CYFIP1 is Gene Responsible for Movement Impairments in Autism

Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Researchers from Cardiff University in the UK discovered a link between the CYFIP1 gene and developmental movement impairments in autism. The group concluded that this genetic mutation leads to alterations in developing brain cells, causing motor problems linked to motor learning difficulties at a young age. This, however, may be able to be reversed through behavioral training. People with autism tend to … Continue reading CYFIP1 is Gene Responsible for Movement Impairments in Autism

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Neural Timescales as a Possible Autism Diagnostic Tool

Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Takamitsu Watanabe and his research team in the RIKEN Center for Brain Science in Tokyo, Japan, found that neural ‘time windows’, the limited time during which development can be accomplished, in certain areas of the brain play a role in the cognitive symptoms of autism. A brain imaging study involving adults was used to observe the severity of autistic symptoms and how … Continue reading Neural Timescales as a Possible Autism Diagnostic Tool

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Positive Attitudes During Pregnancy Impact Child Development

Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 A recent longitudinal study, conducted at the University of Bristol, suggests that having a positive attitude during pregnancy has a strong impact on child development later in life. Researchers used data from Bristol’s “Children of the 90s” study, which involved a questionnaire given to over 1600 pregnant women. The researchers also administered specially designed tests to study the mathematical and scientific problem-solving … Continue reading Positive Attitudes During Pregnancy Impact Child Development

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The link between symptoms of depression in children and involvement in sports

By Kavindra Sahabir ‘21 Depression is an issue that is rapidly becoming more and more common in modern day society, even among preadolescents. Many studies have been conducted that show a correlation between a dip in depressive symptoms with an increase in physical activity, yet such an effect had not been measured in those below the ages of 9 to 11. In this study conducted … Continue reading The link between symptoms of depression in children and involvement in sports

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How audio training can impact the spatial cognition of visually impaired children

By Kavindra Sahabir ‘21 One of the biggest challenges for helping anyone with a sensory impairment is training the brain in making up for the missing sense. In the case of people born with a sensory impairment, it is easier to undergo such training successfully at earlier ages due to the plasticity of the brain, which allows for changes to take effect quicker. A study … Continue reading How audio training can impact the spatial cognition of visually impaired children

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The effect of diabetes on fingernail quality

By Kavindra Sahabir ‘21 In our current public understanding, Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with the need for sugar-free foods and blood sugar monitors. Beyond a high blood sugar level however, it also causes chronic degradation and damage to nerves, joints, and other bodily tissues. A study done by Dr. Silhota and team endeavored to determine whether the fingernail could be a useful site … Continue reading The effect of diabetes on fingernail quality

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Edible Hydrogel Pill as Alternative to Implantation

By Mariam Malik ‘22 Hydrogels are known for absorbing significant amounts of water and having a high biocompatibility, while also possessing a high level of mechanical conformity and the ability to self-heal. Devices that physiologically monitor the body are usually made from materials with a high biocompatibility, including certain metals, silicon, and ceramics. But installing these devices require intrusive procedures. However, researchers at the Massachusetts … Continue reading Edible Hydrogel Pill as Alternative to Implantation

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Social Interactions Possibly Linked to Cerebellum

By Mariam Malik ‘22 The cerebellum, a five-centimeter wide part of the hindbrain, was initially thought of as having one major function: coordinating motor functions and balance. But new research on mice from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City shows that the remarkable cerebellar cortex may play a part in our social interactions as well. Kamran Khodakhah and colleagues were aware … Continue reading Social Interactions Possibly Linked to Cerebellum

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Global Disease Outbreaks Linked to El Niño

By Allan Mai ‘20 El Niño is a complex series of weather patterns that occurs off the coast of South America. While the last El Niño occurred three years ago, the unusually warm weather and nutrient-poor water caused a series of events that continues to affect plant and animal and life, especially those that are responsible for transmitting a disease from one organism to another. … Continue reading Global Disease Outbreaks Linked to El Niño

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The Unlikely Relation Between Gut and Brain

By Allan Mai ‘20 With the high selectivity of the blood-brain barrier, it appears unlikely that microorganisms in the stomach could ever be able to reach the brain. However, past studies that have suggested major correlation between depression and specific gut bacteria and even correlation between social behavior and the activities of certain gut bacteria have sparked intense research regarding the “gut-brain” axis. Among these … Continue reading The Unlikely Relation Between Gut and Brain

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Protecting You from Yourself: The Function of Interleukin-22 Against Genotoxic Stress

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 Genotoxic stress is defined as an agent that disrupts or impairs genetic information within a cell and leads to mutations. If not repaired, these mutations often develop into cancer. Within epithelial stem cells, for example, there is a pathway called the DNA damage response (DDR) that halts the cell cycle and induces DNA repair or destruction of impaired cells through apoptosis. … Continue reading Protecting You from Yourself: The Function of Interleukin-22 Against Genotoxic Stress

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Potassium’s Role in Stem Cell Proliferation

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 Human cells multiply at high speeds to maintain proper functioning of the human body. Even when occur and cancerous growths appear, the cell cycle does not cease; as a result, the number of malignant cells rapidly increases. One aspect in the chemistry of cell proliferation is clear: monovalent ions contribute to the cell cycle. The specifics of their role, however, are … Continue reading Potassium’s Role in Stem Cell Proliferation

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Mind the Gap! Nanoparticles Increase Endothelial Leakiness

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 Although recent advancements in the field of nanomedicine are elucidating potential novel therapies for cancer, researchers have uncovered one major drawback called gap growth. Under the leadership of principal investigator Fei Peng, a recent study at the National University of Singapore discovered that the introduction of nanomaterial into animal bodies may result in micro-sized gaps in the endothelial lining, which can … Continue reading Mind the Gap! Nanoparticles Increase Endothelial Leakiness

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Fibrinogen Plays a Neurodegenerative Role in Alzheimer’s Disease

By Natalie Lo ‘21 Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is characterized by the formation of β-amyloid plaques Aβ, microglial activation, and inflammation in the brain. Microglia are immune cells found in the central nervous system (CNS). In AD, the blood-brain barrier is disrupted, which leads to bleeding, vascular damage, and an increase in blood proteins. Currently, there is an unknown relationship between vascular dysfunction, proteins like fibrinogen … Continue reading Fibrinogen Plays a Neurodegenerative Role in Alzheimer’s Disease

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Different Gut Microbiota for Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

By Natalie Lo ‘21 Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is a common form of liver cancer and is possibly related to an infection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) since it can result in cancer formation through activation of oncogenic proteins, inflammation, and cirrhosis. Through a symbiotic relationship, microorganisms in the gut interact with organs in humans, such as the liver, and play an important role in nutrition … Continue reading Different Gut Microbiota for Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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Coenzyme Q10 Has Protective Effects in Alzheimer’s Disease

By Natalie Lo ‘21 Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most prevalent type of dementia with links to memory impairment and behavioral issues in those diagnosed. Although the cause of AD is unknown, molecular characteristics of the disease include the growth of β-amyloid oligomers, which form plaques that result in brain atrophy. Previous studies have shown that oxidative stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of … Continue reading Coenzyme Q10 Has Protective Effects in Alzheimer’s Disease

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Metabolic Reactions Activated During 58-hour Fasting

By Ellie Teng ‘21 Fasting is an ancient component in numerous religions and cultures. Individuals seeking weight loss often practice fasting, making it a prominent topic in the nutrition field. A team of scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University and Kyoto University recently found that fasting comes with innumerable health benefits. Blood samples from four healthy individuals who fasted for … Continue reading Metabolic Reactions Activated During 58-hour Fasting

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Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Well-being

By Ellie Teng ‘21 Fruits and vegetables have always been linked to good physical health, but results from the UK Household Longitudinal Survey demonstrate a positive association between fruits and vegetables, and psychological well being. Controlling for diet, health, and lifestyle, researchers found a clear relationship between the amount of fruits and vegetables consumed and mental state. In conducting the survey, researchers identified the three … Continue reading Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Well-being

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Protein WTp53: Fights Tumors or Boosts Cancer?

By Ellie Teng ‘21 A prominent protein in cancer research, p53, is known for its cancer fighting abilities. p53 suppresses the initiation of tumor growth by inhibiting the cancer metabolic switch from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis. Glycolysis is attributed to cancer metabolism and is required for tumorigenesis, or the formation of tumors. Essentially, p53 protects the genome against mutations and prevents the mutations from being … Continue reading Protein WTp53: Fights Tumors or Boosts Cancer?

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Targeted Neurotechnology Can Restore Walking in Humans With Spinal Cord Injuries

By Allan Mai ‘20 Spinal cord injury continues to be a leading cause of paralysis in humans. Depending on the location of the injury, complete or partial paralysis can occur. Fortunately, we live in an age in which advanced neurotechnology such as epidural stimulation is being developed to reverse this condition. In this study, the University of Lausanne’s Dr. Fabien B. Wagner and his team … Continue reading Targeted Neurotechnology Can Restore Walking in Humans With Spinal Cord Injuries

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Formation of amino acids by abiotic means in the oceanic lithosphere

By Allan Mai ‘20 Experimental studies and thermodynamic calculations have shown that abiotic synthesis of amino acids and hydrocarbons – specifically during the hydrothermal alteration of mantle rocks – is theoretically possible. However, this phenomenon has only recently been demonstrated in a terrestrial setting. Benedicte Menez and his team at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris used high resolution imaging techniques to obtain … Continue reading Formation of amino acids by abiotic means in the oceanic lithosphere

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BH4’s Role in T- Cell Proliferation in Autoimmunity and Cancer

By Allan Mai ‘20 BH4 is an important regulator of many bodily functions. Among its most important functions are its involvement in the production of monoamine neurotransmitters, its generation of nitric oxide, and its role in pain. However, Shane Cronin and his team recently uncovered another important function of this cofactor: proliferation of T cells, which are an integral part of the immune response. Inhibitions … Continue reading BH4’s Role in T- Cell Proliferation in Autoimmunity and Cancer

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Inducing Leukemia Cell Death Through the Inhibition of Amino Acids

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 Thanks to chemotherapy, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is not the most fatal kind of cancer. However, the same chemotherapy that treats the disease may also revitalize leukemia stem cell populations, thereby increasing the probability of relapse. As such, scientists are still actively researching alternative treatments and cures. Most recently, researchers looked into the importance of amino acids for preventing the growth … Continue reading Inducing Leukemia Cell Death Through the Inhibition of Amino Acids

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Expression of Transcription Factor TP63 Reprograms Squamous Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Cells

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 Although pancreatic cancer is not the most common type of cancer, the prognosis for those diagnosed with the disease is very poor. Much like any other cancer, pancreatic cancer develops when cells in the organ multiply at an uncontrollable rate. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), the most common type of pancreatic cancer, garnered the attention of researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory … Continue reading Expression of Transcription Factor TP63 Reprograms Squamous Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Cells

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Inducing Tumor Cell Death by RIG-I: The Future of Breast Cancer?

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 In recent years cancer therapy – especially cancer immunotherapy – has gained momentum and scientists’ interest has turned to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). ICIs aid in the suppression of checkpoint receptors to produce powerful immune responses against tumors. Although such a procedure is gaining momentum in clinical settings, much research must be done to legitimize this treatment for breast cancer. Under … Continue reading Inducing Tumor Cell Death by RIG-I: The Future of Breast Cancer?

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Neural Communication Patterns Found in the Brains of Children with Autism

By Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 A team of researchers at San Diego State University studying MRI scans of school-age children’s brains recently discovered a unique communication pattern involving the amygdala in the brains of children with autism. This pattern involved unexpected detours and exits within the travel of information from one region of the brain to the other. It was shown that in children with autism, … Continue reading Neural Communication Patterns Found in the Brains of Children with Autism

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Weight Loss Linked to Self-Control Brain Regions

By Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 According to a recent study published in Cell Metabolism, weight loss success is linked to an active self-control region in the human brain. The hormones leptin and ghrelin play a role in signaling hunger cues during weight-loss. When weight is lost, the levels of these hormones in the body changes. Alain Dagher and her team at the Montreal Neurological Institute and … Continue reading Weight Loss Linked to Self-Control Brain Regions

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Stress Linked to Memory Impairment and Reduced Brain Size

By Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Given the increased amount of stress present in modern life, cognitive aging is an issue that is attracting more attention. Recent studies conducted in the neurology department of UT Health San Antonio suggest that stress is directly related to memory impairment and reduced brain size in your middle age. Cortisol is a hormone linked to stress and this study demonstrated that … Continue reading Stress Linked to Memory Impairment and Reduced Brain Size

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Connecting Internet Addiction with Psychological Stressors

By Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Although many students see the internet as a helpful tool in their education and career goals, research suggests that suffering from Internet Addiction (IA) may actually hinder the students’ success, particularly pre-health students (1). The Young Internet Addiction Test – an internationally verified test – assesses a respondent’s IA by measuring the impact of internet usage on general productivity, emotions, and … Continue reading Connecting Internet Addiction with Psychological Stressors

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Attention Network May Play Role in Vision Restoration Resulting from Brain Damage

By Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Hemianopia is defined as a decreased vision or blindness in half of the visual field because of trauma or stroke. Although research on in this field is limited, neuroimaging evidence suggests that a person’s attention may play a role in restoring vision. Recent studies have shown that vision training has the ability to partially restore vision by improving the deficiency of … Continue reading Attention Network May Play Role in Vision Restoration Resulting from Brain Damage

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Periodontal Disease Bacteria Linked to Alzheimer’s

By Annamaria Cavaleri ‘22 Periodontal disease is a common but preventable gum infection that produces bacteria. Recent studies performed by researchers at the University of Chicago (UIC) show that long-term exposure to periodontal disease bacteria causes inflammation and degeneration of neurons in the brains of mice. This is similar to the effects that Alzheimer’s disease has on humans, a disease that currently has no treatment … Continue reading Periodontal Disease Bacteria Linked to Alzheimer’s

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A Novel Approach to Treating Psychopathy Associated with Huntington’s Disease.

By Snigdha Kanadibhotla ‘21 Characterized by uncontrollable and spastic movements, Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder that is estimated to affect about 1 in 10,000 people in the United States (1). HD has pervasive effects that damage neurons in brain regions associated with mobility, emotion, and intellectual capacity leading to symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and difficulty learning. Despite its complex and varied … Continue reading A Novel Approach to Treating Psychopathy Associated with Huntington’s Disease.

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Investigating the Link Between Cancer Cells and Embryonic Cells to Treat Cancer

By Snigdha Kanadibhotla ‘21 Fundamentally rooted in a lack of cell cycle control, cancer is predicted to affect 38.4% of Americans within their lifetimes (1). While most healthy cells are regulated by three cell cycle checkpoints, cancerous cells can bypass these regulatory systems, which leads to uncontrolled division and metastasis (the spread of cancer through the body). Considered to be a unique characteristic of cancer, … Continue reading Investigating the Link Between Cancer Cells and Embryonic Cells to Treat Cancer

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Eradicating Subpopulations of Melanoma-Initiating Cells Using Nifuroxazide

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 In an age in which cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, scientists are seeking to discover and develop novel treatments for the disease. Sometimes, although rarely, the answer is just at their fingertips. In a recent study, a team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh sought to understand the mechanism by which 5-nitrofuran antibiotics, also known as … Continue reading Eradicating Subpopulations of Melanoma-Initiating Cells Using Nifuroxazide

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From Colon Cancer Cells to Cancer Stem Cells: The Value of Reprogramming Cells

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 The location of cancer stem cells in tumors has opened the door to the development of a variety of therapeutic applications. These cells are the future of oncology, and scientists still have much to uncover regarding their various uses in medical treatment. While cancer stem cells are treasure chests of opportunity and have wide scientific application, they are difficult to obtain. … Continue reading From Colon Cancer Cells to Cancer Stem Cells: The Value of Reprogramming Cells

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In Situ Administration of Cytokine Combinations Could Be the Future of Immunotherapy

By Riya Gandhi ‘22 Rather than look outwards for new cancer treatments, scientists are beginning to look inwards – that is, inside the human body – for advanced therapeutic treatments. Although the use of cytokines, biomolecules that direct an immune response,in cancer therapy has been attempted for decades, there is still room for much improvement. In a recent study on cytokines, researchers under the guidance … Continue reading In Situ Administration of Cytokine Combinations Could Be the Future of Immunotherapy

Global Warming Could Allow Squid to Thrive

Ellie Teng ‘21 The unique swimming technique of squid requires energy and oxygen. Jet propulsion allows the cephalopods to rapidly move about, but requires a large output of energy, thereby increasing the demand for oxygen. There is evidence suggesting increased CO2 has adverse effects on squid respiratory performance, however, there has been no research on the effects of prolonged exposure to CO2 for adult cephalopods. … Continue reading Global Warming Could Allow Squid to Thrive