Science

Celebrating Twenty Years on the ISS

Celebrating Twenty Years on the ISS

Kelly Shen '23 Twenty years ago, American William Shepherd and Russians Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko orbited the Earth on the International Space Station (ISS) for 141 days, the first to do so. Over the last two decades, the ISS has housed 241 people from 19 countries, and its microgravity laboratory has hosted 3000 research investigations from over 108 countries. Let’s take a look at the most memorable biology, physics, and astronomy discoveries made on the ISS, just to name a few. 1. Veggie Veggie is Nasa’s own space garden. Since 2014, they have planted dwarf what, leafy mizuna, dwarf…
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A New Kind of 600mph Transportation

A New Kind of 600mph Transportation

Whoosh! A few articles ago I discussed the pros and cons of flying cars, one of the many new technologies that will aid future transportation. However, there is a new form of transportation that some of you may have already heard about. Known as the Virgin Hyperloop, this company wants to transport passengers from Las Vegas to Los Angeles: using a vacuum.  If the image that comes to mind is seeing a human jump into a pod and watching them go at supersonic speeds through a tube, you’re really not that far off. The only difference between this description and…
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Water Found on the Moon

Water Found on the Moon

Kelly Shen '23 Data collected by spacecraft eleven years ago revealed a shocking truth: the Moon wasn’t the dry dusty desert we all imagined it to be, it was actually a little damp. However, we couldn’t confirm the presence of water, because we couldn’t tell if the substance picked up by the craft was H2O, or OH (hydroxyl). This week, two journal articles published by the Nature Astronomy magazine revisited the finding, confirming that yes, there truly is water on the moon.  How scientists found the water: First, scientists used infrared to scan the surface of the moon, showing chemical…
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Can Cold Water be a Cure for Dementia?

Can Cold Water be a Cure for Dementia?

Kelly Shen, Science Column Cold water swimming might be a way to protect the brain from degenerative diseases such as dementia, researchers from Cambridge University have discovered. For the first time, a "cold-shock" protein has been found in the blood of regular winter swimmers at London's Parliament Hill Lido. Why is that important? The exact same protein has been shown to slow the onset of dementia and even repair some of the damage it causes in mice.  Each year, there are around 10 million new cases of dementia. It is a neurodegenerative disease that slowly inhibits one’s memory, thinking, behavior…
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Jennifer Doudna and CRISPR

Jennifer Doudna and CRISPR

Kelly Shen '23, photo from Wikimedia Commons Last week, the Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to Dr. Jennifer Doudna, who is known for pioneering the CRISPR gene editing tool. In this article, we will be going over what CRISPR is and how Doudna made her groundbreaking discovery.   What CRISPR Is and How it Works: CRISPR is a gene editing tool that enables us to change the DNA in cells. “CRISPR” stands for “clusters of regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.” “CRISPR” (pronounced “crisper”) is shorthand for "CRISPR-Cas9." CRISPRs are specialized stretches of DNA. The protein Cas9 is an enzyme that…
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24 ‘Superhabitable’ Planets Discovered

24 ‘Superhabitable’ Planets Discovered

Kelly Shen '22 So far, Earth is still the only planet we know of that supports life, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only one. A new study shows that there were 24 potential planets that could possibly support life, and they aren’t far from our planet. They may have conditions more suited to host life. They could also be slightly older than the Earth (4.5 billion years old), "a little larger, slightly warmer and possibly wetter", and orbit stars with longer lifespans than the sun, the researchers found. The major criteria the researchers looked at to determine the exoplanets…
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Upcoming Astronomical Events

Upcoming Astronomical Events

Hopefully you have your calendar ready to take note of all of the upcoming events relating to astronomy in the next month! Here's another episode of Kelly's science series! Image obtained through Creative Commons showing the Draconids Meteor shower in 2018. October 1: Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 25.8 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset. October 7 - Draconids…
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A New Organ?

A New Organ?

Kelly Shen is back again with another fascinating topic in science - made short and sweet just for you! Let's read about a potential new discovery in the human body... (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) It’s not every day that we discover a new organ, but scientists did just that. Though it isn’t an organ yet, the discovery of the interstitium has sparked debates - and could potentially be the newest organ in the human body. What is the Interstitium?  The interstitium is a fluid-filled space existing between a structural barrier, such as a cell wall or the skin, and internal…
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How Americans Are Helping Scientists During The Pandemic

How Americans Are Helping Scientists During The Pandemic

Episode 3 of Kelly Shen's science series! Enjoy an informative article that lets you know how you can help. All images are taken from Wikimedia Commons. In March, everything came to a standstill when the coronavirus swept through the country. However, there has been an uptick in “citizen scientists”. These people took the opportunity to go outdoors and start documenting the nature around them. When field work stops, the population steps up The contributions of volunteers are crucial at a time like this, when research facilities are shut down. Many citizen science websites, like eBird, founded by Cornell Lab of…
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Japan’s First Public Manned Flying Car

Japan’s First Public Manned Flying Car

Kelly Shen '23 Photo provided by Unsplash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Gx5ijVqxNM Are flying cars still a thing of the future? Not anymore. Japan based-company Skydrive had their first public manned flying car test on Aug. 25, as a pilot flew the SD-03 around a test field for four minutes. The aircraft has one seat and operates with eight motors and two propellers on each corner, and lifted about 3 meters (or about 10 feet) into the air.  Facts about the SD-03 (according to Business Insider):  The SD-03 is the world's smallest electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle at 6.56 feet tall, and…
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