By Timur Katsnelson, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘19 Author’s Note This topic was brought up during our discussion on the development of the nervous system in my neurobiology foundations class. I found it to be interesting because of its significance in the earliest stages of our lives. Further research into scientific literature discussing the role of pruning in neurodevelopment led me to learn more about its mechanism, distinctions from other forms of axon degrading, and its use in adult organisms.
By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics and Genomics ‘20 Author’s Note Cultured meat has been a topic of great discussion as we try to understand the extent to which animal agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues. While plant-based imitation meats have been on the market for decades, I was particularly interested in this lab-grown alternative when I heard that stem cells were being used to produce actual meat without having to raise animals themselves. This could potentially reduce the environmental footprint of the agricultural industry while providing a viable solution for consumers. While it is critical to understand how consumption levels of animal-based products have had an effect on health, and particularly how the change in consumption […]
By Rachel Hull, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ’19 Author’s Note I first became interested in this topic when I read a news article about a team of scientists that had successfully integrated what the article called “mini human brains” into mice. Although the idea seemed novel to me, after a little digging, I found that the technology that generates such mini organs — or organoids — has existed for more than a decade. This technology is nevertheless constantly evolving, and I believe it will continue to do so for years to come.
By Emily Villarreal, Nutrition Science (Biology Emphasis), 2018 Author’s Note: This literature review was written for a UWP 104F course. I chose this topic because the gut microbiota is something that I am deeply interested in as a student researcher. The audience for this review includes medical professionals or members of academia who are interested in the microbiota and its effects on the onset of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
By Gita Mallya, Plant Biology, ‘19 Author’s note: I wrote this piece for my UWP 104E class with Brenda Rinard during Fall Quarter 2017. The assignment was to read a classic book based in science and then to write a review on it. I chose this book because I have always been fascinated by genetics and the study of genes even catalyzed my decision to study biology. Although the review was a class assignment, it gave me the opportunity to explore and think critically about a subject I feel passionately about. I would like the reader to come away with the notion that scientific study is not always as cut and dry as it may seem, and that The Gene is […]
By Mari Hoffman, Genetics and Genomics ‘21 Author’s Note: I chose to interview Dr.LaSalle because of my interest in epigenetics and the relationship that our genes have with environmental interactions. Dr. LaSalle’s lab focuses on the role of epigenetics in the human autism-spectrum and many other neurodegenerative disorders. Her research group looks at the pathogenesis of the disorders by focusing on heritable changes that are not encoded in the DNA, such as DNA methylation and imprinted genes. It was an honor to get to talk to Dr. LaSalle about her research, as she is extremely passionate about this very complex and exciting topic.
By Sabrina Lazar, Cell Biology ‘20 Author’s note: After attending an interesting meeting on cytoskeleton dynamics in the weekly Joint Seminars in Molecular Biology series, I wanted to learn more about the subject and found Anna Franz and her colleagues’ recent paper about fat cells in Drosophila, a model organism I work with and is dear to me. This essay serves as a way for me to share fascinating research with those that are interested in Drosophila, cells, or biology in general.
By Daniel Erenstein, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘20 Author’s Note: One of the major assignments in my Writing in Science (UWP 104E) course was a literature review on some current topic of scientific interest. The process involved in understanding prior research on a topic and in predicting a field’s future directions was challenging. Along the way, I often found myself lost in a world of complicated scientific jargon. In the end, it was a personal story that provided the inspiration I needed for this article. Worldwide, more than 70,000 people have cystic fibrosis, and there are over 30,000 patients in the United States alone. Mary Frey is one of them, and she chronicles her life alongside Peter, her husband, and […]
By Ruby Nguyen, Music and Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, ‘19 Author’s note: I wrote this literature review for UWP104F, Writing for Health Professions. The assignment was to write a literature review on a health-related topic of our choosing. I decided to write this literature review on ecstasy-induced hyperthermia, the primary cause of death in ecstasy overdoses. I want to inform researchers on potential drug options or treatments that could be further explored for use in treating ecstasy-using patients. I also want to reveal areas for further consideration. My hope is that this literature review will spark greater interest on the topic and guide future research into exploring new treatment options for ecstasy-induced hyperthermia.
By Tannavee Kumar, Genetics & Genomics, ’20 Author’s Note Going into my research on fully automated and autonomous bee swarms, I was aware that there was much controversy on how we as a society should address and work to solve the problem of the drastically declining honeybee population. Upon coming across the large initiative that a team at Harvard University is spearheading, I was interested whether robotic bees are the future of agriculture and moreover part of the tidal wave of automation.