Figure 1. Despite being known for entertainment, Disney has also gained an edge in technological research via 3D printing and modeling. Shown here is one of the compliant mechanisms created in a study from Disney’s research division.

New Disney Study Suggests More Effective 3D Printing Designs

By Caleb Sooknanan ’20 Compliant mechanisms are mechanisms that can transfer forces or displacements to other points along their bodies. 3D printing can be used to quickly and effectively design compliant mechanisms for commercial use, but more work is needed to understand how such devices can be printed. Doctor Bernhard Thomaszewski and researchers from Disney Research Zurich in Switzerland devised a computational tool that would … Continue reading New Disney Study Suggests More Effective 3D Printing Designs

Figure 1. Lutein is a naturally occurring pigment found within foods such as kiwifruits. A study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggests that an intake of lutein can reduce cognitive decline in adults.

The Effects of Carotenoids on Cognitive Ability

By Caleb Sooknanan ’20 Lutein — a carotenoid or pigment from green foods such as spinach and kiwifruit — can be quantified in central nervous system tissue, making it a useful way of evaluating diet’s effect on the brain. However, scientists are still determining whether higher lutein amounts yield cognitive ability improvements. Doctor Naiman A. Khan and researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign … Continue reading The Effects of Carotenoids on Cognitive Ability

Figure 1. Scientists strive to create wearable smart devices that can detect physiological phenomena in real time. According to a study from UC Berkeley, new ear devices can be 3D printed and used to indicate patients’ true body temperatures.

3D-Printed Ear Devices Detect Core Body Temperature

By Caleb Sooknanan ’20 Healthcare sensors are frequently used to detect skin temperature, but more research is needed to design a device that can pinpoint core body temperature levels and help doctors predict the likelihood of fever, fatigue, and other physiological phenomena. Professor Ali Javey and researchers at the University of California, Berkeley designed a printable smart device that — when placed on a patient’s … Continue reading 3D-Printed Ear Devices Detect Core Body Temperature

Figure 1. Enzyme that plays a role in memory loss can be inhibited to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Disrupting Enzyme To Tackle Alzheimer’s Disease

By Rideeta Raquib ’19 From histone modifications to DNA alterations, epigenetic processes play a major role in various physiological systems. Histones are proteins in eukaryotic cells that package DNA strands into nucleosomes. Gene regulation processes include histone acetylation, whereby an acetyl group is transferred from one molecule to another. This eventually removes the positive charge on the histones, giving nucleosomes a relaxed structure and allowing … Continue reading Disrupting Enzyme To Tackle Alzheimer’s Disease

Figure 1. Human gut microbe, P. histicola has therapeutic effects against Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Gut microbe as Potential Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

By Rideeta Raquib ’19 The human gut is colonized by many microorganisms and each of them plays a role in maintaining various physiological functions, such as regulating digestion and fat absorption. It has been found that a vast number of inflammatory diseases around the world are associated with an instability of the gut microbiome. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic and University of Iowa suggest that … Continue reading Gut microbe as Potential Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

Figure 1. Zika vaccine developed from Nicotiana benthamiana plant extract

Improved Zika Vaccine Produced by Tobacco Plant extract

By Rideeta Raquib ’19 The Zika virus (ZIKV) is a deadly virus transmitted through mosquito bites that at its climax has infected more than 1.5 million people in Brazil in 2015. The virus continues to spread with approximately 200 ZIKV cases reported in the United States this year. In order to combat the epidemic, new ZIKV vaccines have been developed to inactivate the virus. However, … Continue reading Improved Zika Vaccine Produced by Tobacco Plant extract

Figure 1: Stairs are frequently a major obstacle for individuals with neuromuscular conditions.

Researchers Develop Low-Power Assistive Stairs

By Anna Tarasova ’19 Many elderly and mobility-impaired individuals are unable or tend to be unwilling to use stairs. While assistive technologies exist, they are frequently costly and unsustainable. The principle of energy recycling has been previously applied to walking assistance mechanisms that take advantage of the continuous braking and propelling of the legs. However, during stair-walking, ascent is a period of constant propulsion and … Continue reading Researchers Develop Low-Power Assistive Stairs

A New Model for Group Decision-Making

By Anna Tarasova ’19 Making a decision in a group requires integrating individual and group beliefs. It has been previously demonstrated that one is more likely to assign greater credibility to the beliefs of a larger group than to those of a smaller group. Prior researchers have also theorized that the adoption of group beliefs by individuals is driven by a desire to mitigate potential … Continue reading A New Model for Group Decision-Making

Figure 1: The auditory cortex of the brain highlighted with mapping of sound frequencies.

Restoring Auditory Cortex Plasticity in Adults

By Anna Tarasova ’19 Being able to form, maintain, and strengthen neural connections within the auditory cortex is an important part of language acquisition. Neural plasticity, or the ability of the brain to establish new connections, is especially high in childhood, but decreases with age. A discovery made by Dr. Jay Blundon and his colleagues at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has the potential … Continue reading Restoring Auditory Cortex Plasticity in Adults

Figure 3. Slow wave activity and low quality sleep affect levels of amyloid beta and tau levels respectively which are linked to Alzheimer’s.

Sleep and Its Impact on Alzheimer’s Disease

By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19 A good night’s rest is hard to come by these days, however a study led by Yo-El S. Ju MD from Washington University suggests that it is more important than one may realize. They found that inadequate sleep causes the Alzheimer’s related protein, amyloid beta, to increase. They tested the amyloid beta levels from the cerebral spinal fluid of 22 middle … Continue reading Sleep and Its Impact on Alzheimer’s Disease