Figure 1: This is an image of a typical asthma inhaler. With further development of MPPs, the drugs within these inhalers will be more effective than they are currently.

Nanoparticle Drug Delivery

Richard Liang 18’ Mucoadhesive particles (MAPs) are used as the primary method of pulmonary drug delivery since it was believed that they increase drug duration within the lungs. MAPs act by sticking to the mucus layers and are used to treat a variety of illnesses including asthma, cystic fibrosis and lung cancer. However, administered MAPs are, in reality, quickly removed from the body via physiologic … Continue reading Nanoparticle Drug Delivery

Figure 1: This is an example of a patient that shows symptoms of vitiligo. TRM cells were found to permanently reside in the affected areas and can be the key to long-term anti-tumor immunity.

Immunity to Future Cancers with Resident Memory T Cells

Richard Liang 18’ Skin cancer melanomas develop from melanocytes, or pigment-containing cells, and cause discoloration in various parts of the body. Patients with melanomas are also likely to develop an autoimmune disease known as vitiligo, in which the body’s immune system attacks melanocytes. This results in a patchy loss of pigmentation. Recently, in a study led by Mary Jo Turk from the Department of Microbiology … Continue reading Immunity to Future Cancers with Resident Memory T Cells

Figure 1: This is an illustration depicting the difference between healthy muscle cells (shown on the right) and muscle cells affected by muscle dystrophy (shown on the left). Due to the degeneration of the muscle cells, they will appear much smaller than usual.

Correcting Muscular Dystrophy Gene Mutations

Richard Liang 18’ Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe form of muscle degeneration that can become lethal if it affects heart muscle. It is known to be caused by mutations in the X-linked dystrophin-coding gene and thus, there has been ongoing research in correcting these mutations. Currently, there is no effective treatment for this disease. Recently, in a study led by Yu Zhang from … Continue reading Correcting Muscular Dystrophy Gene Mutations

Effects of Neutrophil production on tumor metastasis

by Richard Liang ’18   The term “cancer” comprises various diseases involving abnormal cell growth. They become most dangerous after metastasis, when they spread to multiple organs. Though few treatments are currently available for cancers past this stage, a recent study led by Dr. Juwon Park in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has identified neutrophils, a type of leukocyte in the blood, as a potential therapeutic target … Continue reading Effects of Neutrophil production on tumor metastasis

Genetic Vulnerability in Alzheimer’s Disease

by Richard Liang ’18   Alzheimer’s disease is a major neurodegenerative condition, with individuals usually developing symptoms at ages above 65. Symptoms include impaired memory, speech, and other mental functions. Alzheimer’s has shown a correlation with increasing aggregates of Amyloid-β plaques and neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). However, it is difficult to predict whether and at what time these plaques and tangles will be expressed in an individual. … Continue reading Genetic Vulnerability in Alzheimer’s Disease

Self-Control Beyond the Prefrontal Cortex

by Richard Liang ’18   The human brain affects almost everything aspect of existence, from locomotion and speech to feeling. Decision making and self-control are also affected by parts of the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex. However, a recent study led by Alexander Soutscheck in the Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research of the University of Zurich has shown that there could also be another … Continue reading Self-Control Beyond the Prefrontal Cortex

Potential Means of Controlling Fevers

by Richard Liang   The human body is equipped with effective mechanisms that maintain thermal homeostasis. For example, fevers can be induced to provide an optimal environment to fight certain diseases. However, it is vital that fever temperatures are maintained within a particular threshold. They cannot be too low or the energy available for enzyme activity will be too low. They cannot be too high … Continue reading Potential Means of Controlling Fevers

New Enzyme Responsible for Cell Mediated Death Identified

by Richard Liang   The human body has developed mechanisms to deal with genetically damaged cells before they can become a threat. One such mechanism occurs when DNA is excessively damaged. Cells undergo cell death mediated by an enzyme known as poly ADP-ribose polymerase-1 (PARP-1). However, in certain instances like a stroke, the PARP-1 pathway is overly activated, causing mass cell death in the body. … Continue reading New Enzyme Responsible for Cell Mediated Death Identified

Effects of Second Hand Marijuana Smoke

by Richard Liang   Though it is known that second hand smoke from tobacco is extremely detrimental to one’s health, second hand marijuana smoke is often seen as less harmful. However, a recent study led by Dr. Xiaoyin Wang and his team of researchers from the Cardiology Division of The University of California supports the theory that second hand marijuana smoke might not be so harmless … Continue reading Effects of Second Hand Marijuana Smoke

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