Loss of Reefs Traced Back to Carbon Dioxide Levels

By Julia Newman ’19 As the growth of limestone in coral reefs slows, their ecosystems are drastically reduced in terms of size and diversity. This is a natural cycle that occurs in autumn and winter each year due to the decrease in water temperature and light during those months; the corals that represent much of these reefs are usually able to produce enough limestone to make up for … Continue reading Loss of Reefs Traced Back to Carbon Dioxide Levels

DNA Packing Mechanisms in Viruses Revealed

by Julia Newman ’19 New studies on the packing of DNA in viruses show that it sometimes behaves like a fluid and other times like a solid, similar to a tube of toothpaste or a cup of sand. For this reason, it was difficult in the past for scientists to determine how DNA is packed within a viral shell. However, it turns out that viruses actually have a … Continue reading DNA Packing Mechanisms in Viruses Revealed

Asteroids May Have Fostered Life on Mars

By Julia Newman Fig 1: Analysis of Mars’ surface shows a history of bombardment.   Ever since the official announcement of water on Mars just last September, the search for habitable conditions on the planet has been more intense than ever. Studies from earlier this week suggest that while Earth’s surface is affected mostly by erosion and plate tectonics, Mars has been subjected to billions of … Continue reading Asteroids May Have Fostered Life on Mars

Baboon Case Study Furthers Transplant Research

By Julia Newman ’19 Eight thousand people in the United States die each year while waiting for a viable heart transplant, but recent baboon studies suggest that scientists may one day be able to drastically decrease this statistic. Finding enough human organ donors can be extremely difficult, which has led researchers to investigate cross-species transplants within the last few decades. However, given that many donated … Continue reading Baboon Case Study Furthers Transplant Research

Algae May Be The Key To Curing Cancer

By Julia Newman ’19 Newly discovered properties of blue-green algae may make it a better treatment for brain tumors than any method or drug used in the past. Although this type of algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can be traced back over two billion years, the effect of the coibamide A found within cyanobacteria has only been discovered now. Most cancer cells undergo a process … Continue reading Algae May Be The Key To Curing Cancer

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