Category Archives: Science News

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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Your Next Therapist Might be a Robot: Artificial Intelligence Advances in Mental Healthcare

For many, the words “artificial intelligence” evoke a spectrum of ideas–everything from the adorable Wall-e and Eve to the scheming robots in the Matrix. While these science fiction, Hollywood portrayals of artificial intelligence have certainly captured the attention of audiences for years, it’s time to make room for a new side of artificial intelligence…one that saves lives. With the advent

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Turning a Natural Phenomenon into a Gene Editing Powerhouse: CRISPR Pioneer, Doudna, at Stanford’s Johnson Symposium

The CRISPR cake Last week, I celebrated my eighteenth birthday. My dorm threw me in the shower, per Stanford tradition, and baked me a cake. The cake was made of Rice Krispies Treats – a direct pun on one of my greatest interests in science: CRISPR. My fascination with CRISPR started when I was a freshman in high school, and

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Epidemic Proportions?: Interpreting Washington State’s Deadly 2015-16 Flu Season

A disease labeled as “epidemic” spread across Washington state this winter. Patients overwhelmed hospital resources across several counties and a Disaster Medical Control Center was activated after a decade of inactivity. The culprit? Influenza (flu) virus. The influenza virus While many may be familiar with the standard symptoms – such as coughing, fever, and a sore throat – associated with

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Cough Up Some Cash: Drug Pricing and Development

In August 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals purchased the rights to an HIV drug that has existed for more than 60 years, and raised its price from $13.50 a pill to $750.00 a pill.[1]  The drug primarily treats toxoplasmosis, a disease that affects AIDS patients, pregnant women and other immunocompromised individuals.[1] Now, with annual treatment costing up to hundreds of thousands of dollars- many

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MARTY MCDRIVE: STANFORD’S SELF DRIFTING DELOREAN

An electric engine whirrs to life as tires screech across the asphalt and the smell of burnt rubber permeates the air. A man sits inside this beast, this mechanical masterpiece, this accomplishment of automotive innovation with no hands on the wheel and feet off the pedals. Its name: MARTY, Stanford’s self drifting DeLorean. Clearly inspired by the time traveling car

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