In 2000, a graduate student and his mentor at Princeton University had successfully inserted a set of genes into E. coli bacteria that induced the cells’ fluorescence—namely, the genes invoked the production of a certain protein that made the cells glow.
While most of science and technology has been dominated, and rightfully so, by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, science never stops expanding. As such, many new technologies have been developed this year, and they have been largely geared towards ensuring a more sustainable, ethical, and equitable future.
As it’s been impossible to engage in good old fashioned conversation for the past year, platforms like Zoom and Skype have stepped up to fill the gap. Google, however, seems to have something bigger in mind. The company’s latest mischief feels like it comes straight from the pages of a Neal Stephenson novel: a way of communicating through hyper-realistic 3D projections. By using an array of shiny new software and hardware, they’ve created what is essentially a hologram.
With a raging virus, a global toilet paper shortage, and an atypical year of masks and hand sanitizer, teenage stress rates have been skyrocketing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. However, even before then, the age group was showing signs of concern: between the years of 2005 and 2017, teens experienced a significant increase in serious psychological distress, major depression, and suicide rates, and, in 2013, it was even reported that they had higher levels of stress than adults.
For the eastern coast of the United States, it’s about time for a bideccadial (is that even a word?) miracle of nature: a cicada brood emerging. Every 13 or 17 years, different regions of cicadas emerge all at once, ranging in the billions of bugs swarming massive regions of the United States. This May, it’s time for Brood X to emerge after 17 years across states from Pennsylvania to Indiana. For most of us at East, this will be the first time in our lives that Brood X has emerged. While it won’t be hitting Buffalo, to your disappointment or excitement, what would one expect to see when a brood emerges?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met again on April 23 and voted to recommend resumption of the vaccine’s use in people age 18 and older with a warning about the rare risk of blood clots, especially in women ages 30-39. Following the recommendation, the CDC and FDA reauthorized distribution of the vaccine.
Leading states in the EU such as Italy, Germany, France, and Spain are resuming rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after a brief pause due to health concerns. Thirteen European countries stopped distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure after reports of a relatively small number of fatal blood clots in patients shortly after receiving the vaccine.
About 5.4 million adults and 1.6 million children in the U.S. suffer from peanut allergies, which can vary from mild to severe. As a method of treating these allergies, a company called Intrommune Therapeutics has developed a toothpaste product, in the hopes of easing the challenges that allergy sufferers face.
As more and more animals share the increasingly ubiquitous title of “endangered species,” the birth of Elizabeth Ann, a black-footed ferret, and the first ever North American endangered species to be cloned, brings new hope for conversation efforts worldwide.
If you’ve seen some of the headlines, flu cases are apparently down this year, and while it’s certainly true that flu hospitalizations are down 98% from last year to well under 1,000, some of the conspiracies that seasonal flu cases were somehow reported as COVID are just outright false.