Evolution of avian brain sizes: The uncovered connection with body size

Sooraj Shah ’24 It is a common belief that the cumulative size of an individual’s fists taken together results in an approximate size of that individual’s brain. By this interpretation, individuals with larger hand sizes should thus have bigger brains. On the contrary, towards the end of the Cretaceous era, the relative brain size of both small avians (birds) and massive non-avians (dinosaurs) were the … Continue reading Evolution of avian brain sizes: The uncovered connection with body size

The Origins of Ancient Pterosaurs

Sabah Bari ’24 Pterosaurs were the first flying reptiles with over 150 million years of evolution. The specific anatomy of pterosaurs is what distinguishes them from other Mesozoic reptiles. They are known as Pan Aves, which means dinosaurs. With new fossil discoveries, researchers are now having a better understanding of a dinosaur’s body structure. The origin of pterosaurs is unknown. However, the structure allows archaeologists … Continue reading The Origins of Ancient Pterosaurs

The preservation of proteins and lipids in mammoth rib bones

Joyce Chen ’23 Despite significant technological advances in the past decade, a great deal of mystery still surrounds the ancient animals that once roamed the earth. In order to learn about these organisms, biologists study the biomolecules that are found within fossils. Biomolecules include proteins and lipids, and their preservation allows scientists to understand and trace evolution. Due to a lack of research on the … Continue reading The preservation of proteins and lipids in mammoth rib bones

Return to the Past

Wendy Wu ’22 Each organism has genes adapted for survival to their environment. But over many generations, the environment may change. In the absence of selective pressures, the expression of certain genes can become too costly to maintain. Through evolution, these genes lose function no matter how beneficial they can be. The ability to regain that function when pressure is once again applied is not … Continue reading Return to the Past

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

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

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

Changes in Retinal Chromatin Allow Animals To Be Nocturnal

Mariam Malik ‘22 Night vision allows nocturnal animals to be active at nighttime and sleep when the sun is out, while diurnal animals are active during the day and sleep at night. However, when both diurnal and nocturnal animals are born, their ocular abilities are equal until a change in the cells of the eye occurs, allowing the animal to see in the dark. Through … Continue reading Changes in Retinal Chromatin Allow Animals To Be Nocturnal

Is Eternal Life Actually Possible? New Drug Formula May Reverse Biological Age

Joyce Chen ’23 Biological age is the measurement of the true ages of humans through the chemical changes in their DNA. Previous research and hypotheses inferred that reversing this can allow humans to acquire better immune systems and healthier bodies in general. To test if biological age reversal is actually possible, determined scientists from Intervene Immune and the University of California, Los Angeles, completed a … Continue reading Is Eternal Life Actually Possible? New Drug Formula May Reverse Biological Age

Glutamate Receptor GLR-3 Encodes for Evolutionary Cold-Sensing Receptor

Simran Kaur ’20 The capacity to detect cold temperatures is essential for many living organisms because cold temperatures can cause detrimental effects like severe soft-tissue damage and hypothermia. Some organisms have evolved the presence of thermoreceptors, which are specific nerve endings that are sensitive to changes in temperature and exist in the skin, skeletal muscle, and the hypothalamus. Thermoreceptors relay electrical signals to the central … Continue reading Glutamate Receptor GLR-3 Encodes for Evolutionary Cold-Sensing Receptor

Relearn Faster and Retain Longer

    By Ericka Berman As established, repetitive practice is necessary for knowledge retention. Sleep is also a contributing factor to new learning and memory consolidation. In this study, Dr. Mazza and the team of researchers recruited 40 participants ages 18-29 from University of Lyon, who were randomly assigned to one of two groups. For this study, participants were asked to remember 16 Swahili-French words pairs. … Continue reading Relearn Faster and Retain Longer