Posts Tagged: biology

Mirror Neurons: Underlying Human Empathy

Mirror Neurons: Underlying Human Empathy

Most people can recall feeling embarrassed due to a situation they witnessed, or sad after seeing someone else cry. What causes these second-hand emotions? It turns out cells called mirror neurons play a role in our reactions in these sorts of scenarios. What are mirror neurons? Neuronal cells make up the circuitry of the brain…. Read more

Phage Therapy: Antibiotic’s Spiritual Successor

Phage Therapy: Antibiotic’s Spiritual Successor

Traditionally, bacterial infections are met with routine antibiotics. As long as the patient follows the directions on the bottle, symptoms resolve, right? Not anymore. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains, or “super bugs,” has already rendered some diseases untreatable by standard prescriptions. A report from the World Health Organization in September sounded the alarm: due to… Read more

Genetically Modified Immune Cells Can Cure Cancer

Genetically Modified Immune Cells Can Cure Cancer

Picture that you are a teenager. Sounds easy enough. Now picture that you are a teenager with leukemia. You know you are going to die and have already accepted the fact. Then, one day, the doctor suggests a therapy that might work. It’s called CAR-T therapy. For the past few decades, treatment of cancer had only… Read more

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and Tampons

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and Tampons

Menstrual cycles, known more commonly as periods, are a part of the lives of half of the population of the world. It’s a natural process that has created a requirement for feminine sanitary products. It would be very difficult to handle daily activities in those days without these products. But, there are health concerns associated… Read more

The CRISPR Files: DNA Data Storage

The CRISPR Files: DNA Data Storage

New ways to store and send digital information pose exciting opportunities for the future. Many remember the recent hoopla over USB 3.0. Computer nerds everywhere became ecstatic over the new transfer speed to grace the next generation of PCs. However, rarely do you see “file storage” and its optimization outside the context of SSDs and HDDs. Many… Read more

Twitching While Falling Asleep? Here’s Why

Twitching While Falling Asleep? Here’s Why

Have you ever been jolted awake by the feeling of falling off a cliff right before you’re about to fall asleep? Or perhaps your body shook uncontrollably as you were closing your eyes? There is a very high chance you might have—in fact, about 70% of people have experienced this at one or multiples times in their lives. Sudden, involuntary… Read more

Insomnia May Be In Your DNA

Insomnia May Be In Your DNA

If you have insomnia, you may have more in common with Madonna, George Clooney, Lady Gaga and Kim Cattrall than you thought. In a Netherlands study, researchers asked 113,000 participants if they had trouble falling asleep every night. Those who responded “usually” were classified as having insomnia. Researchers then took insomnia DNA and found seven genes that those suffering had in… Read more

Importance of Genetic Diversity

Importance of Genetic Diversity

Children are taught growing up that when looking at animal or plant species, it is important to avoid letting species go extinct. Many of us were taught sad extinction stories in elementary school about the Passenger Pigeon or the Tasmanian Tiger. We then learned about the importance of keeping animals from being endangered and maintaining… Read more

Recycling Plant Lignin for Chemicals

Recycling Plant Lignin for Chemicals

  As Earth’s finite supply of fossil fuels gradually depletes, scientists are considering biomass to be a sustainable alternative. Biomass could potentially be utilized to produce low molecular weight chemicals used in the creation of pharmaceuticals, plastics and other household commodities. One component considered valuable in the production of these chemicals is lignin, an organic… Read more

Finding Sick People With Only Sight and Smell

Finding Sick People With Only Sight and Smell

When you see a stranger coughing in the bus on your way home, you know that he is sick. You avoid him. However, research reveals that symptoms don’t have to be this explicit for our brain to detect illness. In a study, participants were divided into two. One group was injected bacteria that gave participants… Read more