Category Archives: Science News

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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Wayfinding and Sustainability: A reflection on the 7th Annual Schneider Memorial Lecture

On the first Tuesday of February, I listened to a story of struggle, death, and extinction, of honor, heritage, and revival. The storyteller was Nainoa Thompson, a native Hawaiian navigator who led a worldwide voyage to bring dignity to his culture and build a worldwide network of people thinking about sustainability in our modern world. The evening began with 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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Thinking Small: A Historical Perspective on the Current Miniaturization of Fusion

  To many in the general public today, the concept of “nuclear fusion” evokes a sense of strange, distant, otherworldly awe. Even in recent pop culture, Marvel’s cinematic Iron Man franchise uses this property of fusion reactors to augment the sleek, futuristic feel of Tony Stark’s suit. Yet despite its long relegation to science fiction, a few small organizations–including one

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