Author Archives: Julia Thompson

Small Particles, Big Impact: How an Experiment on the International Space Station could Improve Alzheimer’s Treatment

In recent years, medical research has yielded significant advancements in treating debilitating diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. Advancements in prescription drugs have been a major factor behind the development of more effective treatments that could improve patients’ lifespans and quality of life. That said, effective medication is not enough to treat patients. For a drug to have

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Snap Out of It: An Electrical Implant to Treat Severe Depression

“Just snap out of it.”  This advice is an all-too-common attempt to help people with depression that, despite being well-intentioned, usually leaves everyone involved frustrated when it doesn’t work. Depression isn’t something you can just ‘snap out of’ – it’s an incredibly complex illness with a myriad of genetic and environmental causes, and so it’s no surprise that treatment takes a

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How to Make Drugs – Without Patents Getting in Your Way

Some of the most closely guarded secrets in the world are also some of the most important. The formulas and synthesis methods for a variety of crucial medications are patented due to the billions of dollars companies make off of them. As prices of prescription medications skyrocket, stories abound of pill-cutting and other tactics to cope with inability to afford

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The Power of Technology in Mental Health Care

Mental illness is a widespread concern throughout the United States, and perhaps no group feels this more acutely than college students. Young adults aged 18 to 25 have the highest prevalence of mental illness of any age group–with 22.1% of them struggling with a mental disorder.[1] The impact of mental illness is far-reaching, costing the United States nearly $200 billion in

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Curiosity on Campus: Stanford Robotics Club’s Mission to Create a Mars Rover

“The time has come to go to Mars,” proclaims The Mars Society’s website, referring to the exploration and settlement of Mars as “the greatest cause of our generation.”[1] While humans on Mars may sound like a shocking prospect from science fiction, exploration of Mars has been a goal of 49 space missions over the last 58 years, many of which

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DNA Synthesis in Space

Space is modern science’s largest laboratory, and the record of innovations and breakthroughs that have been made in space or through programs focused on space is incredible.  Technological development and scientific research have benefited immensely from out-of-this-world discoveries, but biology has a significant drawback compared to most disciplines. Synthesizing DNA, a molecule crucial to the existence of all organisms, is

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