Tagged research

The Microbiome

From the late 19th century through the 20th century, scientists and physicians have characterized diseases that afflict humans as illnesses caused by germs. Contracting these diseases can be avoided by disinfecting. In the case that we do contract these pathogen caused diseases, doctors are trusted to identify the germ and propose a respective solution.  Discovery…

Formulas and Failures: A Lab Ethnography

Pre-medical undergraduates in colleges often feel a pressure to get lab experience for medical school and, most importantly, get published. At WUSTL, research symposiums litter the campus, and reading research articles is an important facet of many upper level biology classes. In many research articles, the methods and materials sections are supplementary and placed in…

The Possibility of Eye Transplantation

The gift of sight is something that can be easily taken for granted, at least until something causes issues with vision. Our eyes allow us to take in extraordinary amounts of information every day, and in many ways, are our primary means of understanding our environment through the power of perception. Our bodies invest a…

The Resurgence of Psychedelics

As a graduate student in 1963, psychologist Bill Richards volunteered for a study at the University of Gottingen in West Germany. Little did he know that he would be ingesting psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in many mushroom species. Even so, neither the researcher nor Richards would have any qualms about such an…

Designing Humanity: Regulations on Gene Editing

When doctors diagnosed her with one of the most aggressive forms of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Layla Richards was only 14 weeks old. After rounds of chemotherapy, followed by a full bone marrow transplant, Layla showed no signs of improvement – her only remaining option was palliative end-of-life care. Then, a one-milliliter infusion of white blood…

The Culture of Antibiotic Discovery

Imagine transplanting every species on Earth onto the moon. Most species would not be able to survive the conditions of outer space, while a few might find ways to adapt to the new environment. This can be likened to the process of culturing bacterial samples in standard laboratory media: only a small fraction of the…

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