Science & Technology


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Contrary to popular belief, genetics might not be the biggest indicator of longevity.

Longevity may not be an inherited trait in humans

November 28, 2018

Many human traits are heritable. Unlike what most people confuse it to be, heritability is not simply whether a trait is inherited but a measure of how much of the variation in a trait can be explained by genetic differences. Your hair color, for example, is highly heritable because it is directly influenced by your parent’s genes. On the other hand, traits like the number of limbs you have or your lifestyle has low heritability. 


Giving holiday gifts that uplift women and fight gendered stereotypes

November 29, 2018

For many people, the end of November marks the start of holiday shopping season. While searching for the perfect present can be fun, it can also be infuriating. Perhaps the most difficult gifts to find are those for young girls interested in STEM. In an age of iPhones and AI, one would expect to find toy options for girls extending beyond baby dolls and play carriages. Unfortunately, many toys aisles today look like they’re designed more for the Stepford Wives than for the intelligent, dynamic young girls of 2018.            

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There are frequently gender stereotypes that surround holiday gifts.

 
COURTESY OF SUA MYONG
Myong is the head of the Single Molecule Imaging Lab.

Lab Spotlight: Sua Myong

November 28, 2018

In Sua Myong’s lab, proteins dance. To hear Myong talk about single molecule detection, her research specialty, one might think that she was describing a ballet.


Understanding the many complex causes behind mental disorders

November 29, 2018

The question of what causes mental illnesses and disorders has been debated by doctors, researchers and psychologists for decades. One of the most widely-accepted approaches to understanding the causes of mental illness is the biological approach. This is the assumption that mental illness is due to defective biological mechanisms, such as neural circuitry and biochemistry. 

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Wrap up: the latest in technology...

November 28, 2018

Apple rumored to host veteran medical records Apple is allegedly planning with the Department of Veteran Affairs to host veteran medical records on the iPhone. Currently, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) hosts the health records of nine million veterans. In order to transfer the information from the VHA to iPhone, Apple needs to create new software that will display veterans’ medical records.


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Coronary calcium levels can be used to calculate various types of heart disease risk scores.

Calcium levels can indicate coronary artery disease

November 28, 2018

Doctors often discuss the benefits of calcium intake for the body. Not only is calcium beneficial for bone health, but it’s also required for the heart, muscles and nerves to function properly. More recently, a study presented at the 2018 American Heart Association Scientific Session conference in Chicago found that measuring calcium levels can also provide insight in predicting the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).


Health-related ballots in the midterm elections

November 28, 2018

Much of the attention surrounding this year’s midterm elections concerned the candidates, but in addition to electing representatives, citizens also had the opportunity to vote on ballot measures. These questions appear on ballots to be approved or rejected by voters in an example of direct democracy. 

 
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Health-related measures made the ballot this election in several states.

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Patients who have chronic back pain show abnormalities in their neuronal oscillations.

Modulating brain waves may be the key to treat chronic back pain

November 29, 2018

Have you been experiencing lower back pain recently? If so, you are not alone. As many as 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.  It is a commonly observed job-related disability that can range in intensity from a constant ache to sharp pains. A lower back pain is considered chronic if it continues to persist for 12 weeks or longer. 


Research shows seasonal variation in some illness

November 28, 2018

While it may be well-known that flu season is in the winter, it may come as a surprise that other forms of illness, including sexually transmitted diseases, malaria and even chickenpox have “peak seasons” as well, according to a study published in PLOS Pathogens.


Should tigers be classified into six subspecies?

November 14, 2018

Tigers are not only the largest cat species in the world, but they are also a keystone species integral to the continued maintenance of the food chain. For decades, researchers have been warning governments around the world about the endangered status of tigers and encouraging more stringent protection on habitats and against poaching. With fewer than four thousand tigers remaining around the world, down from an estimated one hundred thousand in 1990, conservationists have been studying the best ways to keep the species alive. 

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Genetic analysis of tigers shows there may be six distinct subspecies.

Lab spotlight: Professor Lisa Feigenson

November 14, 2018

Do you remember the first time you took a shower by yourself without the help of your parents? When you first learned the concept of infinity? Or the day you first noticed that time is a continuous flow — that as you waited for the minute hand to move, dozens of seconds have already passed by?

Courtesy of Lisa Feigenson
Feigenson studies young minds.

Experts question FDA’s approval of new opioid

November 14, 2018

The opioid epidemic has become one of the greatest concerns in the U.S., with an estimated 29,000 deaths from overdose of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, 115 Americans pass away due to an opioid overdose every day. 


Bitcoin’s electric demand may fuel global warming

November 15, 2018

Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency that shot to fame in 2017 due to its surge in price from below $1,000 to nearly $20,000 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). The spike was good news for those involved with the cryptocurrency and left those who weren’t involved curious. As of today, one bitcoin equals 5,586.01 United States dollars. 

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Maintaining the Bitcoin platform requires a lot of electricity input.

The gradual evolution of today’s contact lenses

November 14, 2018

Contact lenses are the sort of everyday object that have become so commonplace to us, it is hard to appreciate just how strange they are in concept. How exactly did we arrive at putting small pieces of glass or plastic on our eyes to improve vision?


Wrap up: the latest in technology...

November 8, 2018

The new iPad Pro is the best tablet on the market  Apple recently released the new Macbook Air and iPad Pro in Brooklyn, N.Y. The highly anticipated new iPad Pro model did not disappoint. It is all around better than its predecessor with huge upgrades. Weighing in at one pound for the 11 inch and 1.4 pounds for the 12.9-inch model, Apple’s new iPad Pro has gotten lighter.