The Other Side of the Lab Bench: An Instructor’s Perspective

As I enter my sophomore year as a student at the University of California, Berkeley, I find myself amazed at how quickly time has passed. An entire year of new experiences, relationships and challenges flew by like a blur, yet I don’t feel very different. Actually, that’s not completely true. I have definitely learned so much more in […]

What It’s Like to be a Park Ranger: Fire Management

Fire: it’s often seen as a bad thing– one of destruction. But for the longleaf pine trees of southeast Texas’ Big Thicket National Preserve, it is a life force. Without wildfires, pinus palustris would likely not dominate the southwestern United States as they do now. This is because it, along with other species, is fire-dependent. Evolution has caused species like the […]

The Freshman Plague

It’s everywhere. In all of the classrooms and libraries, the dining hall, and even in my own room, the sounds continue to follow me around wherever I go. The noise haunts me and persistently reminds me of its widespread prevalence. One minute, I’m listening to my Cultural Anthropology professor lecture about cultural relativism. The next minute, her […]

Sunny D- The Vitamin, Not the Juice

When my doctor first told me I was vitamin D deficient, I thought that I simply needed to spend more time out in the sun. This was a bit surprising to me, considering my daily jogs and walks with my adorable dog. Little did I know that my diet played a bigger factor! In fact, […]

The Importance of Play

In his lecture, “The Neuroscience of Play” (you can watch the full thing here, as well as his TED talk on the same subject), Dr. Stuart Brown contends that “the opposite of play is not work; it’s depression”. He’s right. While play is generally credited secondary importance at best, it is utterly vital to the […]

Can Different Types of Lights Affect Test Performance?

  Every student has endured the grueling experience of testing. Whether it is for finals, AP tests, or MCAT/LSATs, we’ve all experienced the pressure. However, in addition to stress, there is another factor affecting how well students perform on exams. The scientists, Kyungah Choi and Hyeon-Jeong Suk, from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology […]

The Increasing Prevalence of Food Allergies

As a growing public health concern, food allergies have drastically increased over the past years. It is estimated by the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) that 15 million people suffer from food allergies in the United States alone. In the United Kingdom, up to 50% of children are diagnosed with an allergic condition of some […]

Algae Blooms on Florida Beaches

Florida Governor Rick Scott was forced to declare a state of emergency in late June to help stop the spread of blue-green algae in South Florida waterways. Three counties in the state’s Atlantic coast were already forced to close the beaches before the busy July 4th weekend. The sludge was as thick as guacamole, and […]

Recent Helium Discovery in Tanzania

  What is the link between party balloons, space satellites, barcode scanners, and medical MRI scanners? The answer is that they all use helium, the second most common element but rare to find on Earth. With the daily use of helium increasing as more machines and technology require the substance, a shortage is bound to […]

Can We Achieve Invisibility?

Can we achieve invisibility? Harry Potter and his magical cloak; the invisible man, Griffin; the former member of the Fantastic Four, the Invisible Woman. All of these fictional characters have abilities that have been envied by nearly all audiences. Invisibility is one of the most treated themes both in science fiction and fantasy. But, what if we could […]