Daily Archives: November 5, 2015

The Dynamic Brain

  In the film Lucy, a student asks his professor “… what would happen if … somebody unlocked one hundred percent of the cerebral capacity?”  While the professor replies “I don’t know,” the informed reader of this article might scoff and respond: “Dude, that myth is absurd.”  The myth in question is the so-called “ten…

Not About Abortion

It started with doctored videos and fetal tissue. It could end with hundreds of thousands of women losing access to health care, says the Congressional Budget Office. Right now, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 is making its way through the halls of Congress. This bill is one in a long line of attempts…

The Meaning of ER

Frantic nurses and doctors prepare for the incoming patient. A text page alert makes everyone take up their battle stations. The white-haired surgeon steps into the middle of the room, and the formation reforges around him like the scattering dance of iron particulates induced by a magnetic field. The surgeon extends his hands out in…

CRISPR-Cas9: Harbinger of Human Gene Editing and Its Ethical Turmoil

Last April, a group of geneticists at Sun Yat-sen University in China published a paper describing their attempt to alter the genomes of human embryos using CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful new gene editing technology. The embryos possessed mutant copies of beta-globin, a gene that normally helps produce hemoglobin but in its mutant form causes beta-thalassemia, a…

Is Organic Food Really Better?

By now, most people are familiar with the term “organic,” especially those of us who do our own grocery shopping. To some, it is associated with higher prices; to others, it is a worthwhile expense for safer, more nutritious food options. The organic movement took hold in the United States in the 1940s, a response…

Gut Bacteria and Our Mood

In the past decade, universities such as Washington University in St. Louis have been conducting research on probiotics’ effect on our gut and metabolism. Jeffrey I. Gordon at the Washington University School of Medicine found that Malawi children suffering from undernutrition did not respond to highly nutritious food. However, while this was the case, undernourished…

What’s In Your Bottle?

In 2009, Washington University in St. Louis became the first major university to ban the sale of bottled water in an effort to reduce plastic waste. Other schools, like the University of Vermont, soon followed suit. But a recent study at the University of Vermont showed that the ban on bottled water led to an…

Letter to the Editor: For Antibiotics to Fight Diseases, We Must Fight Overuse of Antibiotics

This week, researchers at the Washington University Medical School (WUSM) announced they had successfully combined three antibiotics that, together, can kill MRSA, otherwise known as antibiotic-resistant staph infection. According to WUSM professor Gautam Dantas, this is a major breakthrough that could save 11,000 American lives every year. However, our society urgently needs to address the…

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