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…

Elimination of Pathogens by Signaling Interference

By Allan Mai ‘20 Ever see that probiotic label on the side of a container of yogurt or another dairy product and wonder what it means? Probiotic nutrition helps reduce pathogenic colonization of the intestines; however, until recently, researchers’ knowledge of the mechanism behind this process was ambiguous. Pipat Piewngam of Mahidol University in Thailand…

Using the Genome to Forecast Health

By Allan Mai ‘20 Wouldn’t it be convenient if researchers could tell how likely an individual is to have a certain disease just by looking at his or her genome? Researchers are doing exactly that by looking at over 6.6 million points of the human genome; according to Sekar Kathiresan, a geneticist at Massachusetts General…