Our Neighbor, Earth

By: Ian Santana Moore Last August, a team of astronomers at the European Southern Observatory announced a discovery that forever changed how we view our place in the Universe. On nearby Proxima Centauri–a red dwarf star found within a ternary star system containing two much larger blue giant stars–scientists discovered an exoplanet in the habitable zone, … Continue reading Our Neighbor, Earth

Climate Change Skeptics: Their Arguments, Their Motivations, and How to Critically Evaluate the Knowledge at Hand

By: Jacqueline Epstein Climate change: it’s happening, regardless of how inconvenient it may be to any personal or political agenda. It is not only happening; it is progressively getting worse. To rehash just a few of the many statistics that support these actualities, nine of our planet’s ten warmest years on record have occurred since … Continue reading Climate Change Skeptics: Their Arguments, Their Motivations, and How to Critically Evaluate the Knowledge at Hand

A Plan to Eradicate the Zika Virus

By: Jeongmin Lee Over this past summer, the Zika virus infected not only unborn children but also the news, directing the public’s attention towards the medical community. Health segments were filled with descriptions of the Zika virus, research updates, and the quickly rising number of cases. In a consultation of the World Hunger Organization, one … Continue reading A Plan to Eradicate the Zika Virus

Tackling the Replication Crisis

By: Felipe Flores ‘19 We are in the midst of what has been dubbed the “replication crisis” of science. Recent retrospective analyses reveal the results of several important experiments are inconclusive. We expect research results to be consistent. For this to occur, they must be unbiased and unaffected by conflicts of interest, as well as timeless … Continue reading Tackling the Replication Crisis

Fall 2016: Hot and Cold

Behold our Fall 2016 issue: Hot and Cold! Articles are posted individually as blog posts (we have linked them below). We also have a PDF version available on our Archives page. Print issues will be available around Harvard's campus starting early Spring 2017! A big thank you to our fantastic staff—and Happy Holidays! NEWS BRIEFS OSIRIS-REx: A New Frontier after … Continue reading Fall 2016: Hot and Cold

Spring 2016: In and Out of Focus

We are happy to release our Spring 2016 issue: In and Out of Focus! Articles are posted individually as blog posts (the links are listed below). We also have a PDF version available on our Archives page. Print issues will be available around Harvard's campus starting early Fall 2016!   Table of Contents: NEWS BRIEFS LIGO’s Discovery: Understanding the Gravity … Continue reading Spring 2016: In and Out of Focus

The Battlefield is the Lab: Curing Type I Diabetes

By: Felipe Flores Diabetes has aroused great interest in public health experts, physicians, patients and researchers because of its many accompanying conditions and complications, including stroke, blindness, and limb loss (1). However, research is promising to find better forms of treatment, and even a cure. To understand all of this research, one should first understand … Continue reading The Battlefield is the Lab: Curing Type I Diabetes

Lower Extremity Exoskeletons

By: Patrick Anderson In the late 1960s, researchers started to address the prospect of wearable robotic technologies for humans. The majority of these first attempts were intended for enhancing the physical capabilities of able-bodied people, particularly those serving in the military (3). Despite the failure of these initial powered prototypes to attain widespread usage either for … Continue reading Lower Extremity Exoskeletons

Survival of the Fittest: Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory Applied to Programming Languages

By: Eleni Apostolatos Living organisms are physical manifestations of genetic data. Formally known as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic code of living creatures is composed of two strands with varying configurations of four bases—adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. DNA is interpreted and expressed by native molecular machinery within cells. In transcribing and translating the bases, … Continue reading Survival of the Fittest: Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory Applied to Programming Languages

LIGO’s Discovery: Understanding the Gravity of the Situation

By: Alex Zapien History was made on February 11, 2016 when the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific and Virgo collaboration teams confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, ripples that propagate in the fabric of spacetime generated by gravitational interactions once predicted by Albert Einstein. The announcement sparked widespread excitement in the scientific community. Many described … Continue reading LIGO’s Discovery: Understanding the Gravity of the Situation

Cellular Senescence: Age and Cancer

By: Una Choi With age comes a bevy of age-related diseases and tissue deterioration. Cellular senescence heavily impacts this process and describes the final, irreversible period during which cells -- most often fibroblasts or connective tissue cells -- flatten and cease to undergo mitosis after around fifty rounds of replication (1). Senescent cells are at the … Continue reading Cellular Senescence: Age and Cancer

Critical Periods: Envisioning New Treatments for Lazy Eye

By: Audrey Effenberger “How many circles do you see?” “Two red.” “Two red,” the physician echoes. “I really thought that there was nothing that could be done for my condition beyond childhood,” says adult patient Zach Fuchs in a recent TIME interview (1). He has amblyopia, or lazy eye, a developmental disorder that occurs when … Continue reading Critical Periods: Envisioning New Treatments for Lazy Eye

Prions and Small Particles: Micro Solutions for a Macro Problem

By: Caroline Wechsler  Since their formal discovery in 1982, prions have been a mysterious scourge. Very small and not well-defined, these mysterious disease-causing agents are the source of great confusion and grief in the scientific world. But some recent discoveries are shedding new light on how to conceptualize and potentially treat such diseases. What are … Continue reading Prions and Small Particles: Micro Solutions for a Macro Problem

Human Genome Editing: A Slippery Slope

By: Alissa Zhang On January 14, 2016, the Human Fertilization & Embryology Authority (HFEA) approved a research license renewal for research project R0162. The application, submitted by Dr. Kathy Niakan of the Francis Crick Institute in London, proposed to study the roles of certain genes in the early development of human embryos, with promising potential … Continue reading Human Genome Editing: A Slippery Slope

Redefining Home?: The Discovery of “Planet X”

By: Alex Zapien How should we define the solar system? Most people would point to and agree with the Merriam Webster definition: “the Sun together with the groups of celestial bodies that are held by its attraction and revolve around it”(1). For decades, people have been accustomed to the familiar names of the Sun and the … Continue reading Redefining Home?: The Discovery of “Planet X”

Fall 2015: Invaders & Defenders

Check out our Fall 2015 issue on Invaders & Defenders! Articles are posted individually as blog posts (links below). We also have a full issue in ISSUU (below) and PDF format (on our Archives page). Print issues are also available around Harvard's campus! http://issuu.com/harvardsciencereview/docs/hsrfall15invadersanddefenders?e=15877934/31752392     Table of Contents: NEWS BRIEFS AND GENERAL ARTICLES A New Horizon … Continue reading Fall 2015: Invaders & Defenders

To the Rescue: Insects in Sustainable Agriculture

by Ada Bielawski In 1798, Thomas Malthus published his Essay on the Principle of Population and described the limits of human population growth: the population will continue to grow exponentially while the Earth’s resources are able to sustain the increasing food production needed to feed this population. He concluded that, as the population approaches 8 … Continue reading To the Rescue: Insects in Sustainable Agriculture

Earth’s Missiles, Ready to Go?

by Eesha Khare In 1991, an unusual phenomenon was observed following the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. After nearly 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide were launched into the stratosphere1—the second largest eruption of this century—the global temperatures dropped temporarily by 1°F. Amid the large-scale destruction, it seemed the Earth was fighting … Continue reading Earth’s Missiles, Ready to Go?

Artificial Superintelligence: The Coming Revolution

by William Bryk The science fiction writer Arthur Clarke famously wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Yet, humanity may be on the verge of something much greater, a technology so revolutionary that it would be indistinguishable not merely from magic, but from an omnipresent force, a deity here on Earth. It’s known … Continue reading Artificial Superintelligence: The Coming Revolution

“Invaders from Earth!”: Exploring the Possibilities of Extraterrestrial Colonization

by J. Rodrigo Leal We’ve all seen films or heard stories about the “Invaders from Mars”: aliens coming from other galaxies to colonize Earth and take advantage of its bountiful natural resources. But what if the story happened the other way around? Organizations like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and private companies like … Continue reading “Invaders from Earth!”: Exploring the Possibilities of Extraterrestrial Colonization

Laws of Nature Defending Our Information: Quantum Cryptography

by Felipe Flores Secure communications and data encryption have been very important topics in the popular eye for the past few years, especially after Edward Snowden made public that the NSA attempts to intervene most communications. I, for instance, never thought my information would be that vulnerable and accessible to potential hackers, sponsored by a … Continue reading Laws of Nature Defending Our Information: Quantum Cryptography

Genetically Engineered Viruses Combat Invasive Cancer

by Caroline Wechsler 58-year-old Georgia resident Nancy Justice was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a tumor of the brain, back in 2012. Though her doctors immediately combated the cancer with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, the tumor relapsed in late 2014, stronger than ever. According to her doctors, Justice had only seven months to live because the tumor … Continue reading Genetically Engineered Viruses Combat Invasive Cancer

Genetically Modified Crops as Invaders and Allies

by Sophie Westbrook It’s not hard to tell frightening stories about genetically modified crops. These days, there is even a formula to follow: the soulless company creates dangerous variants, silences the protests of right-thinking environmentalists, and sends biodiversity and public health down the drain. This scenario’s proponents tend to be horrified by transgenic organisms. Unfortunately, … Continue reading Genetically Modified Crops as Invaders and Allies

Microchimerism – The More, The Merrier

by Una Choi Microchimerism, or the presence of genetically distinct populations within a single organism, throws a wrench in the biological concept of sex. Although we traditionally learn that biological females possess two X sex chromosomes and males possess X and Y sex chromosomes, microchimerism is responsible for the presence of cells with Y chromosomes … Continue reading Microchimerism – The More, The Merrier

Fight or Flight: When Stress Becomes Our Own Worst Enemy

by Anjali Chandra We have all heard of the amazing fight-or flight response: the man lifting a 3,000 pound stock Camaro, the woman fending herself against a bear with just a backpack, and the man outrunning a flaming sphere. Adrenaline surging, our body prepares to defend itself against a perceived threat. Our brain engages our … Continue reading Fight or Flight: When Stress Becomes Our Own Worst Enemy

Laws of Nature Defending Our Information: Quantum Cryptography

by Felipe Flores Secure communications and data encryption have been very important topics in the popular eye for the past few years, especially after Edward Snowden made public that the NSA attempts to intervene most communications. I, for instance, never thought my information would be that vulnerable and accessible to potential hackers, sponsored by a … Continue reading Laws of Nature Defending Our Information: Quantum Cryptography

“Invaders from Earth!”: Exploring the Possibilities of Extraterrestrial Colonization

by J. Rodrigo Leal We’ve all seen films or heard stories about the “Invaders from Mars”: aliens coming from other galaxies to colonize Earth and take advantage of its bountiful natural resources. But what if the story happened the other way around? Organizations like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and private companies like … Continue reading “Invaders from Earth!”: Exploring the Possibilities of Extraterrestrial Colonization

Earth’s Missiles, Ready to Go?

by Eesha Khare In 1991, an unusual phenomenon was observed following the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. After nearly 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide were launched into the stratosphere1—the second largest eruption of this century—the global temperatures dropped temporarily by 1°F. Amid the large-scale destruction, it seemed the Earth was fighting … Continue reading Earth’s Missiles, Ready to Go?

Genetically Modified Crops as Invaders and Allies

by Sophie Westbrook It’s not hard to tell frightening stories about genetically modified crops. These days, there is even a formula to follow: the soulless company creates dangerous variants, silences the protests of right-thinking environmentalists, and sends biodiversity and public health down the drain. This scenario’s proponents tend to be horrified by transgenic organisms. Unfortunately, … Continue reading Genetically Modified Crops as Invaders and Allies

To the Rescue: Insects in Sustainable Agriculture

by Ada Bielawski In 1798, Thomas Malthus published his Essay on the Principle of Population and described the limits of human population growth: the population will continue to grow exponentially while the Earth’s resources are able to sustain the increasing food production needed to feed this population. He concluded that, as the population approaches 8 … Continue reading To the Rescue: Insects in Sustainable Agriculture

Genetically Engineered Viruses Combat Invasive Cancer

by Caroline Wechsler 58-year-old Georgia resident Nancy Justice was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a tumor of the brain, back in 2012. Though her doctors immediately combated the cancer with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, the tumor relapsed in late 2014, stronger than ever. According to her doctors, Justice had only seven months to live because the tumor … Continue reading Genetically Engineered Viruses Combat Invasive Cancer

Microchimerism – The More, The Merrier

by Una Choi Microchimerism, or the presence of genetically distinct populations within a single organism, throws a wrench in the biological concept of sex. Although we traditionally learn that biological females possess two X sex chromosomes and males possess X and Y sex chromosomes, microchimerism is responsible for the presence of cells with Y chromosomes … Continue reading Microchimerism – The More, The Merrier

Kinesics: What Are You Really Saying?

by Priya Amin What do shoulder shrugs or crossed arms really communicate? Kinesics, or the systemic study of body behavioral communication,1 is a relatively new subsection in the study of language. More specifically, kinesics describes the importance of body motion behavior in social communication—it is the study of communication through “silent” language. Facial expressions, posture, … Continue reading Kinesics: What Are You Really Saying?

Invading the Human Heart

by Hanson Tam Pathogenic viruses and bacteria routinely invade the human body. But so do curative treatments ranging from drugs to surgery. In a society in which invasion connotes violence and injury, many people avoid acknowledging the intrusive nature of medicine. Awareness is important; it encourages the development of less invasive yet equally effective procedures. … Continue reading Invading the Human Heart