Implications of Solar Geoengineering

Ashley Goland ’23 Solar geoengineering is a technology that aims to reflect incoming sunlight away from the Earth to reduce the rise of global temperatures, and one proposed approach is to send aerosols into the atmosphere. Although this method may seem like a quick, relatively cheap way to delay further climate change, the effects it could have upon marine and terrestrial organisms are not yet … Continue reading Implications of Solar Geoengineering

Countdown to 2050 to Save the Amazon.

Priyanshi Patel ‘22 The number of fires in the Amazon last year had renewed public concern for the future of the region’s forest biome. The concerns date back to the early 1970s when Brazil made the Transamazon Highway, after which the rate of deforestation increased. One of the principal questions Amazon scientists are asking is, how much deforestation and global climate change can the Amazon’s … Continue reading Countdown to 2050 to Save the Amazon.

Examining the Benefits of Unique Coloration for Male Trinidad Guppies

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 The predisposition of organisms in seeking certain phenotypic traits in mates is an oft-observed aspect of the natural world, with sexual selection being a well-studied phenomenon. However, unique coloration specifically often seems to be more linked to lessened survivability (due to an inability to camouflage in environments), or phenomena such as aposematism, where unique colors serve as a warning for predators. In … Continue reading Examining the Benefits of Unique Coloration for Male Trinidad Guppies

Herbaceous Layer Dynamics in Central Appalachian Hardwood Forests

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 Forests are stratified in sections such as the herbaceous layer, which includes tracheophytes (plants with vasculature) over 1 meter in height and can be extremely ecologically significant. Potential factors influencing forest dynamics in this context include top layer (overstory) characteristics and soil quality. A researcher at the University of West Florida, Frank S. Gilliam, recently conducted work at the Fernow Experimental Forest … Continue reading Herbaceous Layer Dynamics in Central Appalachian Hardwood Forests

Threatened mangrove forests can regenerate carbon stocks to defer climate change

Joyce Chen ’23 Shrimp is currently in high demand and is the most-consumed seafood in the United States. However, farming shrimp comes with a large sacrifice. Shrimp are found in shrimp ponds, which are converted from mangrove forests; these forests are known for sequestering, or storing, carbon, thereby delaying global warming. With the expansion of shrimp aquaculture, mangrove forests have depleted significantly, losing up to … Continue reading Threatened mangrove forests can regenerate carbon stocks to defer climate change

CRISPR Editing in Fruit Flies to Mimic Monarch Butterflies

Ellie Teng ‘21 Monarch butterflies can consume toxic milkweed plants due to mutations in their genome. Both the caterpillar and the butterfly store the consumed toxins to defend against predators. Eating a monarch would cause a predator to regurgitate. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have utilized the CRISPR-Cas9 tool to genetically modified harmless fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to have the ability to eat … Continue reading CRISPR Editing in Fruit Flies to Mimic Monarch Butterflies

Viruses in Koalas Can Be Models for Genome Immunity

Ellie Teng ‘21 Retroviruses such as HIV are viruses that take genes from host cells and incorporate them into their own genomes. Transposons are DNA elements that can change positions in the genome, increasing the potential for mutations and genome instability. Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) guide the immune system towards silencing the transposons during germline development. Koalas infected by the retrovirus KoRV-A virus are immunodeficient and … Continue reading Viruses in Koalas Can Be Models for Genome Immunity

Big-Hearted: Arrhythmia in the World’s Largest Living Animal

Mariam Malik ‘22 Bradycardia is a slower-than-normal heart rate, and can vary depending on age and physical condition. According to the American Heart Association, a heart rate lower than sixty beats per minute (BPM) qualifies as bradycardia. Tachycardia, on the other hand, is a heartbeat that is too fast, specifically one that beats over a hundred times per minute. Both conditions vary by age and … Continue reading Big-Hearted: Arrhythmia in the World’s Largest Living Animal

21st Century Mind: The Effects of Blue-Light on the Brain, Retinas, and Rate of Aging

Mariam Malik ‘22 Blue light from electronic devices, such as smartphones and laptops, is of shorter wavelength on the light spectrum, thereby giving off higher amounts of energy. The harmful effects of absorbing too many light rays, such as UV and micro, have been researched and known. However, a recent study at Oregon State University on Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, shows the damaging … Continue reading 21st Century Mind: The Effects of Blue-Light on the Brain, Retinas, and Rate of Aging

Ecological Dynamics of Coastal Plants, Birds, and Herbivores

Fatin Chowdhury ’20 In a recent paper, scientists from the University of Irvine examined the resistance of shrub plants to herbivory, as enabled by plant morphology or the presence of avian species. The scientists studied both direct and indirect defenses in nature and assessed these mechanisms in the context of energetic trade-offs. Characteristics that were already known to directly lower the success rate of herbivory … Continue reading Ecological Dynamics of Coastal Plants, Birds, and Herbivores