New and Revolutionary Treatment for Bacterial Infection

By Patrick Yang ’20 Bronchiectasis occurs when the lung’s bronchial tubes are permanently damaged or inflamed, leading to chest pain, coughing up blood, and large production of mucus. These damaged lung walls also make bronchiectasis patients more prone to chronic infection and, specifically, Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections, which increase mortality rates. However, previous research has shown that patients with bronchiectasis and chronic P. aeruginosa infection … Continue reading New and Revolutionary Treatment for Bacterial Infection

Figure 1. High dosages of vitamin C are selectively toxic to cancer cells and can enhance cancer therapies.

Vitamin C Enhances Cancer Therapy

By Patrick Yang ’20 Ascorbate, or vitamin C, is a potential anti-cancer agent when paired with chemotherapy. Scientists hypothesize that ascorbate’s curative powers stem from its ability to produce hydrogen peroxide, which reduces iron to form free radicals – highly reactive molecules that damage DNA and cause cell death. Since aggressive cancers have unusually large intracellular iron pools that support cancer spread and growth, ascorbate … Continue reading Vitamin C Enhances Cancer Therapy

Figure 1. Whooping cough can be fatal in infants, but it is easily preventable through vaccination.

Maternal Vaccination’s Role in Infant Survival

By Patrick Yang ’20 Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is a life-threatening infection in infants that can easily be prevented through vaccination. However, infection rate has been increasing over the past several years. And since the DTaP vaccine for pertussis is administered after two, four, and six months of age, an infant is especially vulnerable during his or her first two months of … Continue reading Maternal Vaccination’s Role in Infant Survival

Figure 1. The odd association between anxiety and bowel movements in irritable bowel syndrome is a result of altered gut bacteria.

Exploring the Anxiety Associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

By Patrick Yang ‘20 While symptoms of abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea are implied in its name, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common gastrointestinal disorder, is also often accompanied by anxiety. The odd association with gut and brain behavior has led scientists to believe that there is a disorder of unknown cause between gut-brain communication that results in the concurrent symptoms. Recent research on IBS … Continue reading Exploring the Anxiety Associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Figure 1. Biodiversity loss is partially compensated by the altered behaviors of remaining organisms.

Extinction of a Species is Compensated by Remaining Ecosystem

By Patrick Yang ’20 Biodiversity loss is often associated with ecosystem degradation because it is assumed that a species’ ecological role vanishes along with the species in the case of extinction. Current models of ecosystems utilize this assumption and predict an accelerated decline in ecological properties as biodiversity loss increases. Although this is a logical prediction, Dr. Martin Solan at the University of Southampton and … Continue reading Extinction of a Species is Compensated by Remaining Ecosystem

Figure 1. Close interaction between embryonic trophoblast stem cells and embryonic stem cells resembles natural embryo development.

Scientists Create First Ever Artificial Embryo

By Patrick Yang ’20   Embryo development has been a very limited and sanctioned field of research due to concern for the pregnant mother. Although safety is a priority for live subjects, research in this area could improve understanding of optimal prenatal conditions, as well as the molecular interactions between embryonic stem cells. Researchers have thus entertained the idea of an artificial embryo because it … Continue reading Scientists Create First Ever Artificial Embryo

Figure 1. Asthma’s exaggerated contraction of airways is due to a lack of smooth muscle relaxant.

Airway Smooth Muscle Relaxant Finally Identified

By Patrick Yang ’20 Asthma, characterized by its iconic inhalers and abrupt episodes of coughing and wheezing, affects approximately 334 million people worldwide. The inflammatory disease is caused by the prolonged contraction of airway smooth muscles, which triggers difficulty with breathing. Despite our understanding of asthma’s symptoms, the mechanism behind asthma is still a mystery. Scientists speculate that normal airway epithelium, or cells composing the … Continue reading Airway Smooth Muscle Relaxant Finally Identified

Figure 1. Human skin cells can be converted into homing neural stem cells that deliver treatment directly to brain tumors.

Homing Neural Stem Cells Deliver Direct Cancer Treatment

By Patrick Yang ’20 With average survival for glioblastoma patients at approximately 12-15 months, speed is of essence for glioblastoma cancer treatment. Currently, promising stem cell research has found that neural stem cells naturally migrate towards the chemical signals released by glioblastoma cells. If these neural stem cells are engineered to contain cytotoxic agents, they can deliver cancer treatment directly to cancer cells. However, the … Continue reading Homing Neural Stem Cells Deliver Direct Cancer Treatment

Figure 1. Hospital patients who are connected to medical devices are at risk for bacterial sepsis.

Hospital Sepsis Is Dependent on Toxins for Survival

By Patrick Yang ’20 The hospital is considered a place of treatment, but hospitalization also runs the risk of bacterial sepsis – an often fatal immune response to bacterial infection. Bacterial sepsis frequents patients who are connected to medical devices like needles and catheters, which can easily launch the bacteria into the bloodstream. That infection, compounded with an already compromised immune system, can prove to … Continue reading Hospital Sepsis Is Dependent on Toxins for Survival

Chicoric Acid Supplementation May Prevent Memory Loss

Patrick Yang ’20 Chicoric acid, a common component in chicory and edible plants, such as lettuce and basil, is a known antioxidant that has anti-HIV and anti-obesity qualities. It can also reduce inflammation caused by high-fat diets and is rapidly distributed to tissues, including the brain, after ingestion. Because of its anti-inflammatory trait and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, it may be able to … Continue reading Chicoric Acid Supplementation May Prevent Memory Loss