Category Archives: Research

Warming the globe with methane burps? Eat more linseed and nitrate.

It’s no secret that the cattle industry is a major source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming. But cows can’t make methane alone– in order to pull nutrients out of plants, animals like cattle, sheep, and deer leverage a unique gut microbiome that includes methane-producing archaea. One strategy to reduce methane emissions is to modify

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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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Brain Balls: Effective Science Communication or Misinformed Hype?

Which is more likely to catch a reader’s attention: a pop science article referring to “human cortical spheroids” or “brain balls”? Each has its advantages, but also its drawbacks. Communication of science requires reader-friendly translation of jargon-filled, complex ideas, but it’s crucial that this is done accurately and without misinformed hype. For Stanford researcher Dr. Sergiu Pasca, this challenge is

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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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A Quantum Leap in Verification

On October 7th 2018, Urmila Mahadev, a graduate student in computer science at University of California, Berkeley, presented a breakthrough algorithm with the power to change quantum computing as we know it. Dr. Thomas Vidick, a professor at the California Institute of Technology and past collaborator with Mahadev on quantum computing, declared Mahadev’s discovery “one of the most outstanding ideas…

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The Replication Crisis: Making Science True

The Royal Society of London is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. Founded in 1660, the Royal Society was one of the birthplaces of science as we know it today. The Royal Society’s founding ideal became its motto–“nullius in verba,” meaning “take nobody’s word for it.” Every week, the fellows of the Royal Society would meet to show

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Colombian Jungle Cows to Syrian Social Media: Researching Leishmaniasis

Dusk has fallen in the jungle outside of Tumaco, Colombia. A team of researchers has traveled via jeeps and canoes to the western side of the country, leaving behind the glimmering lights of the Cali metropolitan area. They load the supplies for their remote three-day expedition and placate perhaps the most important item of their trek, a cow borrowed from

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