Thursday, August 11, 2022

A Significant Step for the Antimalarial Effort

People have suffered from malaria for thousands of years, with the first recordings of the serious disease being in ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. It then heightened during the Roman Empire, due to major ecological changes that were caused by the rapid rise of deforestation. This brought up the question of how the disease is transmitted. Initial theories included, drinking swamp water, respiratory transmission from swamp vapors. This ultimately led to the draining of many swamps in the Roman Empire.  

Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded for Work in Nervous System Discovery

Two scientists have received the 2021 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries of molecular receptors that detect temperature and touch. Nearly two decades ago, David Julius, a physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, used capsaicin, the ‘spicy’ compound found in chili peppers, to figure out how the nervous system responds to and registers changes in body temperature. His team searched for a certain gene that induces this response, finally locating it after scouring millions of DNA fragments. Simultaneously, in 2002, Ardem Patapoutian, a scientist at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, independently discovered another receptor that responds to low temperatures. The discovery of these receptors cascaded into the identification of numerous other receptors for temperature change. 

The World’s Whitest Paint Could Remove the Need for Air Conditioning

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Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering Xiulin Ruan and his students have created the whitest paint on record, which scientists claim could potentially lower or remove the need for air conditioning. 

New Noisy Models to Molecular Signaling

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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.

Sci-Tech Wrap Up

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.

Project Starline

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.

An Analysis of Stress Among Teens

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.

Cicada Brood X Emerges

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?

What We Know So Far About the Connection Between Vaccines and Blood Clots

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.

EU Countries Resume Rollout of AstraZeneca 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.

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