Month: April 2013

Solar Powered Proteins: Providers of Advanced Filtration

By Alex Bernstein Solar energy is often thought of as a means of powering large machines and structures. Solar panels on homes, schools, and factories are able to capture enough sunlight to provide for the energetic costs of these buildings in an efficient and environmentally sustainable way. Now, scientists are beginning to use solar energy

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Team of Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital Makes Leaps and Bounds in Field of Organ Growing

By Alex Bernstein In the United States alone, there are currently over 100,000 people waiting in line for a donor kidney. While dialysis machines can perform the essential functions that those with advanced kidney diseases so desperately need, only a new donated kidney can prove to be a permanent solution. Sadly, with the dearth of

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The Future of Virtual Reality: A Roadmap to Losing Yourself

“Yesterday’s Future Today” – a biweekly column exploring the various predictions of classic science fiction and how they’ve stood the test of time. Earlier this year, Lucasfilm announced its decision to scrap the slated 2013 release dates for the 3D conversions of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. As

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Secrets of the Brain Becoming Clear with New CLARITY

Ever since the Obama Administration announced its backing of a new $100 million initiative to map the connections of the brain’s 85 to 100 billion neurons, skeptics have questioned whether neuroscientists have the tools available to achieve the massive feat. Now, researchers at Stanford University are reporting in the journal Nature a new technology that

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Reconsidering L-Carnitine

By Ian MacArthur Anyone who has enjoyed the temporary stimulation provided by today’s popular energy drinks has experienced the metabolic effects of L-carnitine. For a brief amount of time after consumption, the nonessential amino acid may enhance the body’s breakdown of fat and help to eliminate dangerous free radicals. The compound has also been noted

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Finally, a light in the darkness: New genetic testing of tumors provides more accurate predictions than ever.

By Alex Bernstein Until quite recently, oncologists, despite all of the progress that has been made in the field, could at best make educated guesses when asked about survival chances by patients. When Cassandra Caton, an 18-year-old tragically diagnosed with a large melanoma growth inside her eye, asked, “Am I going to die, is my

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Telomerase Mapped: Locating the “Fountain of Youth”

By Ian MacArthur In 1978 Elizabeth Blackburn and Joseph Gall published their work on telomeres, the regions on the ends of chromosomes comprised of simple, repetitive DNA sequences. This work constituted the first venture into elucidating the nature of the structures believed to play an important role in aging and cancer. Now, scientists at the

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Lasers and Wizards and Spaceships, Oh My!

I like to imagine myself as being something of a science fiction connoisseur. As such, I was quite shocked and more than a little embarrassed to discover that until a few months ago I had scarcely even heard of what has been dubbed the single greatest science fiction book ever written: the Hugo-winning, Nebula-winning, all-time

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