Factors affecting disaster preparedness in tsunami-prone areas

By Shannon Bohman ’19 Following the 2012 Indian Ocean earthquakes, Dr. Witvorapong and his colleagues surveyed 557 households in tsunami-prone areas of Phang Nga, Thailand. They focused on the relationship between social participation and disaster risk reduction actions, such as stockpiling supplies, making family emergency plans, and promoting risk reduction actions via community involvement. To…

Parental phenotype may affect offspring phenotype

By Shannon Bohman ’19 An individual’s genotype, composed of the maternal and paternal’s genomes, is expressed physically as a phenotype.  A team of Netherland geneticists found that the phenotype of an offspring depends partly on the environmental factors experienced by his or her parents. One species in which such transgenerational effects are evident is Arabidopsis…

The Math of Conspiracy Theories

By Shannon Bohman ’19 Fig. 1 Almost everyone has heard of or even bought into a conspiracy theory. A conspiracy, or the idea that certain groups secretly manipulate important events and power structures, can be political, scientific, or even supernatural. Some conspiracies involving the innate belief that vaccines are dangerous have serious allegations and have…

Breaking Barriers for DNA Insertion

By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19 Fig. 1: To insert foreign DNA, electroporation is used to form pores on the cell membrane. Genetic engineering involves inserting foreign DNA into cells to perform new functions. In order for DNA to pass the cell membrane, cells are put in a specifically calibrated electric field that opens pores in the…

Graphene Optimization with Common Glass

By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19 Graphene, a material made of a two-dimensional sheet of carbon, is effective in durability and the conductivity of electricity. However, it has had trouble being commercialized. In a process called grapheme doping, chemicals were introduced to improve the electron density of grapheme and it eventually made the material more vulnerable do degradation.…