Mudrocks and Plants: A Shared History

Gene Yang ‘19 Billions of years ago, during the Precambrian, mudrocks were considered a rare sedimentary deposit in rivers. Then, the colonization of land by plants coincided with an increase in mudrocks, resulting in a significant change in the composition of river sedimentary deposits. While this relationship between mudrocks and plants has been well-established, less…

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection Before It Happens

Gene Yang ‘19 After a heart transplant surgery, heart tissue biopsies must be done multiple times to survey for signs of transplant rejection. Although this heart biopsy is currently the gold standard for the detection of acute rejection, this procedure is both risky and invasive. Scientists from Huazhang University of Science and Technology, China, through…

The Search for Blood-Based Cancer Detection

Gene Yang ‘19 A large number of cancer diagnoses are made when the cancer has metastasized and is no longer curable. In order to aid in preventing this from occuring, researchers are currently working on methods of early cancer detection. One such method, CancerSEEK, was created by scientists at John Hopkins University and other institutions.…

Genomic Analysis of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Gene Yang ‘19 Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA, is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that infects approximately 90,000 people in the United States each year. This bacteria’s resistance to many common drugs, including penicillin, makes it a rising public health care threat, yet our understanding of MRSA at the genetic level is limited. In order…

Viral Gene Therapy Protects Tissue from Radiation

Gene Yang ‘19 Lentiviruses are a group of virus that cause deadly diseases, but these same viruses can be modified into harmless versions used in gene therapy, where the virus is used to transport a desired gene into an organism. Using this technique, scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research in London modified lentiviruses to…

As Plastic Spreads, Diseased Coral Reefs Follow

Gene Yang ‘19 275 million people rely on coral reefs for food, coastal protection, and income from tourism. However, as plastic waste continues to spread throughout the ocean, it transmits disease to these same coral reefs. In the first large-scale study to evaluate this impact of plastic on corals, Dr. Joleah Lamb’s team from Cornell…

Searching for New Anti-Malaria Drugs

By Gene Yang ’19 Over 216 million cases of malaria, a disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite and transmitted by mosquitos, were recorded in 2016. While this disease still results in an estimated half a million deaths per year, the majority of which occurs in Sub-Saharan Africa, mortality rates are on the decline thanks to…