The Science of Swearing: A look into the human MIND and other less socially acceptable four-letter words

by Michelle Drews Disclaimer: This article covers the psychological, neurobiological, linguistic, and legal aspects of the use of profanity.  Readers are advised that it does contain words that some individuals my find offensive or inappropriate for young children. What’s in a word?  Would that which I call my pen write any less well if I … Continue reading The Science of Swearing: A look into the human MIND and other less socially acceptable four-letter words

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Should we use genetically modified foods to increase our food reservoir?

by Serena Blacklow Over 80% of all processed foods in the U.S. contain genetically modified ingredients (1).  Yet, the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as sources of food remains intensely controversial, with economists, politicians, and farmers as well as scientists taking conflicting stances on the issue. While GMOs have the potential to increase our … Continue reading Should we use genetically modified foods to increase our food reservoir?

DNA glue facilitates self-assembly of hydrogel bricks

by Serena Blacklow Here at Harvard’s own Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, researchers have introduced a new method of self-assembly using DNA glue.  Self-assembly, the ability of objects to spontaneously come together, enables scientists and engineers to attach objects too small to be manipulated by hand. Although there has been much progress with self-assembly … Continue reading DNA glue facilitates self-assembly of hydrogel bricks

DATA: The bigger the better? A survey of analytical traps and tricks

by Elizabeth Beam Introduction In the way of gas-guzzling vehicles and the great American gut, data these days is big and getting bigger. And why shouldn’t it? By contrast to the toll that other excesses take on the environment and our bodies, the physical burden of a large-scale dataset is nearly negligible, and decreasing. In … Continue reading DATA: The bigger the better? A survey of analytical traps and tricks

Fighting Infections with Feces: The Promise of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

by Brendan Pease The phrase “cutting-edge medical treatment” often conjures up images of complex technologies derived from neural mapping or stem cell research.  However, one of the newest medical treatments may not originate from neurons or progenitor cells, but from fecal matter. Every year, the bacterium Clostridium difficile kills 14,000 Americans and infects many more, … Continue reading Fighting Infections with Feces: The Promise of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

Facing the Fats: Should You Be Scared of Saturated Fat?

by Emily Groopman and Jen Guidera Butter. Bacon. Heavy cream. While considered wholesome staples in 19th and early 20th century America, these foods are now seen as “greasy killers” rather than good nourishment (1, 2). The fear and even shame surrounding consumption of such items reflects a powerful nutritional paradigm. Associated with a plethora of … Continue reading Facing the Fats: Should You Be Scared of Saturated Fat?

How Leukemia Cells Remodel Bone Marrow

by Lauren Claus Approximately 254,000 United States citizens currently have leukemia, a type of cancer in which abnormal blood cells, such as white blood cells, crowd and interfere with normal bone marrow function (1). Despite the range of treatments, including chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, it is estimated that 7.1 out of 100,000 adults die … Continue reading How Leukemia Cells Remodel Bone Marrow

Extinct Today, Alive Tomorrow: The Science And Ethics of De-extinction

by Caitlin Andrews As humans, we have a constant curiosity to know what life on an earlier Earth might have looked like. We use fossils, skeletons, and our own imaginings to reconstruct images of dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, and other prehistoric creatures. We visit museums to come “face-to-face” with these animals and pay tribute to species … Continue reading Extinct Today, Alive Tomorrow: The Science And Ethics of De-extinction