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 thaliana, a plant species whose small genome and short generation … Continue reading Parental phenotype may affect offspring phenotype

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 sparked great public interest for the truth. Dr. David Robert … Continue reading The Math of Conspiracy Theories

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 membrane in a process called electroporation. Each organism has a … Continue reading Breaking Barriers for DNA Insertion

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. In collaboration with researchers from Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven … Continue reading Graphene Optimization with Common Glass

A New View of Cancer Cells

By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19 Most scientists study live cancer cell samples by preparing them on a glass slide and coverslip. However, this method often compresses the sample. Since cancer cells are very sensitive to their surroundings, the compression of the slide affects their behavior and may interfere with the results and overall understanding of cancer cell interactions. Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center have designed a … Continue reading A New View of Cancer Cells

Tardigrades Survive & Thrive After Deep Freeze

By Julia Newman ’19 After thirty years of a frozen, hibernation-like state, two tardigrades have not only “awakened” but have already begun to reproduce. Back in 1983, these microscopic water bears were found living in an Antarctic moss at temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius. Scientists that previously knew of the tardigrades’ ability to survive in extreme conditions experimented with two specimen and an … Continue reading Tardigrades Survive & Thrive After Deep Freeze

A Cuckoo Bird’s Egg Trick

By Julia Newman ’19 Robins lay blue eggs, sparrows lay speckled eggs, and cuckoos – well, it depends. Cuckoo birds have the ability to lay different colored eggs over time depending on the other common birds in their environment. For example, if robins are abundant in an ecosystem, the cuckoo birds eventually evolve to lay blue eggs.  However, according to studies done at the Norwegian … Continue reading A Cuckoo Bird’s Egg Trick

Bat Immune Systems Could Strengthen Our Own

By Julia Newman ’19 Immunologist Dr. Baker, working at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, has recently discovered something about bats that can protect humans from multiple deadly diseases. Bats are known to be carriers of various diseases such as Ebola and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome.  However, unlike humans, the bats are not affected as carriers, prompting research into their immunological responses. Studies have shown that … Continue reading Bat Immune Systems Could Strengthen Our Own

From Sugar to Cancer

By Richard Liang ’18 Sugar has been a widely used household item for centuries. However, a recent study from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center indicates that this simple condiment can lead to increased cancer metastasis, the spreading of cancer cells to other parts of the body. The experiment focused on feeding mice two separate diets, one predominantly composed of starches and another … Continue reading From Sugar to Cancer

An Interview with Dr. Harvard Lyman

By Eman Kazi ’15 Professor Harvard Lyman has been a member of the Stony Brook community since 1968.  He’s become a bit of a legend in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and was the lecturer for the course BIO 310, Cell Biology, for a number of years until he retired in the Spring 2015. 1. Where did you complete your undergrad, graduate school … Continue reading An Interview with Dr. Harvard Lyman