Hi, Science Issue III (Summer 2023)

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Hi, Science.


The scientific mind, first and foremost, is one of curiosity.

Hi, Science.

Summer 2023

A Note From the Editor-in-Chief

Dear reader,

I’m thrilled to present the summer 2023 edition of Hi, Science, a student-led publication dedicated to making STEM accessible and approachable. This issue features submissions from around the world, including four global Avenues campuses and other high schools across the U.S.

We received a record number of submissions this season, and though we were unable to publish every article we received, we are very grateful for the overwhelming student interest. It is gratifying to know that this publication is inspiring more students and thoughtful STEM writers, and is becoming a powerful vehicle for STEM education!

I’m honored to share that my eorts in starting and leading Hi, Science were recently recognized by my school with the Golden Tiger Award. This award celebrates “the courage to take big chances, explore the unknown, and challenge the status quo to make us all better.” I hope that this spirit of curiosity and adventure will continue to propel the Hi, Science team forward to reach new heights!

Happy reading! I hope you discover something new.


Our Team

Renee Cai, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Cecilia Cary, Managing Editor

Jack Hurewitz, Deputy Managing Editor

Valentina Ménager, Editor & Contributor

Arely Peckham, Editor & Contributor

Mya Cahana, Editor

Reece Davidoff, Chief of Staff & Contributor

Kylan Huang, Deputy Chief of Staff

Oceane Siegell-Gori, Creative Director

Eleonora Ziehler, Director of Finance

Carolina Bor toni, Contributor

Maria Lamy Eduarda Cardoso, Contributor

Athos Cespedes, Contributor

Tenille Faison, Contributor

Future Scientists Club, Contributor

Uma Gambhir, Contributor

Rushank Goyal, Contributor

Kyla Guimaraes, Contributor

Matthew Hong, Contributor

Maya Inaltong, Contributor

Layla Kluth, Contributor

Abby Macklin, Contributor

Ace Meltzer, Contributor

Alexander Musso, Contributor

Josie Miller, Contributor

Katie Miller, Contributor

Ayah Orynbay, Contributor

Darren Robbins, Contributor

Henry Steckman, Contributor

Gwyneth Vandenberg, Contributor

Andy Yang, Contributor



12 The Power and Perils of CRISPR-Cas9 by Carolina Bortoni

13 Have Scientists Found the Cure for Cancer? by Abigail Macklin

How Long Should You Nap for?
Ayah Orynbay 02 Peto’s Paradox: Cancer’s Evolutionary Enigma by Reece Davido 03 The Special World of Koalas
Valentina Ménager 04 Inside the Cookie: The Science Behind Baking by Arely Peckham 05 Are Black Holes Really “Black”? by Future Scientists Club 06 How Did Water Get on Earth? by Uma Gambhir 07 The Frozen Zoo by Gwyneth Vandenberg
Bioluminescence: Nature’s Light Show
Maria Eduarda Cardoso Lamy
Table of Contents 01
09 How Chronic Stress Can Shrink Your Brain by Maya Inaltong 10 What are Genetically Modied Organisms?
Darren Robbins, Henry Steckman, and Alexander Musso 11 How Pulling out Plants Can Save Nature by Layla Kluth

Table of Contents

14 Is There a Bigger Innity Than Innity? by Josie Miller

15 Nuclear Fusion: Future or Failure? by Andy Yang

16 The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle by Tenille Faison

17 The Secrets of Color Psychology by Matthew Hong

18 The Hidden Benets of Saliva by Kyla Guimaraes


Aerospace Engineering: Powering the Skies by Athos Cespedes

20 Mosquitos: Our Deadliest Enemy by Rushank Goyal

21 The Secret Dance of Electricity by Katie Miller

22 Is Generational Trauma Hardwired in Our DNA? by Ace Meltzer

Check out hiscience.avenues.school for more articles and previous issues!


How Long Should You Nap for?

Have you ever taken a nap where you woke up even more tired than you were before falling asleep? Well, there are actually scientically proven ways for you to prevent drowsiness and get the best results from your naps.

Napping not only feels good, but it also increases creativity, happiness, memory recall, health, and much more. According to a study by the Sleep Research Society, people who nap at least twice a week reduce their risk for heart disease by 12%, and those who nap three times a week reduce this risk by up to 37%. Although taking a nap has many benets, napping for too long may cause sleep inertia, the groggy and tired feeling you experience when you wake up in the morning. The good news is that there are ways to avoid sleep inertia and increase your quality of life by napping!

The timing of your naps is key If you are looking for a quick energy boost, a 10-20 minute power nap is your best bet. You can nap for just long enough to feel less tired without entering deep sleep. For days when you want to sleep a bit longer, NASA has deemed 26 minutes to be the ideal nap time. But be careful, for taking a nap longer than 30 minutes increases your chances of experiencing sleep inertia

If you ’ re willing to take the risk, however, longer naps may have specic benets. A 60 minute nap is great for memorizing information during your last-minute study session, since it takes 30-60 minutes for our brain waves to begin slowing down and for us to sink into deep sleep In deep sleep, our memories are pushed to our neocortex, the outermost layer of the brain where memories are believed to be stored. If you choose to sleep a half hour longer than that, you can achieve a full sleep and dream cycle, which improves creativity, emotional memory, and procedural memory. These longer naps may help you learn a new skill faster by activating the hippocampus, an area of the brain in charge of learning and memory Since you go through the full sleep cycle, it is unlikely that you will experience sleep inertia.

Therefore, the optimal nap duration depends on your desired outcome Shorter naps of 10-20 minutes can provide an energy boost and longer naps of 60-90 minutes can improve memory and creativity So go grab a cozy blanket and enjoy your snooze, but be careful!


Peto's Paradox: Cancer ’s Evolutionar y Enigma

The rst known case of cancer was found in duck-billed dinosaur fossils from around seven million years ago. Only a few decades ago, scientists discovered that cancerous cells are created by errors in DNA, called mutations, and that every time a cell divides, there’s a tiny chance a cancerous cell is created. Robert Peto, a cancer researcher, saw this and asked a simple yet powerful question: if each cell division has a tiny chance of creating a cancerous cell, shouldn't larger animals with 100 times more cells than us and therefore 100 times more chances to get cancer—have giant tumors by now?

Researchers have calculated that by age 80, 100% of blue whales should have cancer. In reality, however, whales and other large animals have the same amount or even less cancerous cells than humans This is known as Peto's Paradox, and tells us that somehow big animals are 100 times better at ghting cancer than us.

So far, we know ho Elephants were fou gene called p53 tha identies mutated cells to x themselv elephants kill muta often destroying ca

Applying this discovery, scientists inserted extra copies of p53 into the DNA of seventeen mice who were observed throughout their entire lives These mice were shown to get signicantly less cancer than regular mice, which raised hopes for a potential p53 vaccine that could add more copies of the gene to the human genome and possibly reduce the risk of getting cancer. While promising, more research has to be done before this vaccine can be tested in a safe and responsible way And even if it doesn't work out, there are still other large animals with dierent keys to ghting cancer hidden beneath their skin

The secrets to curing cancer may be sitting right outside our doors, grazing on the savannah or swimming in the sea. All we have to do is go out and discover them.


The Special World of Koalas

Koalas are fascinating animals. These cute and somewhat aggressive creatures are part of a specialized class of mammals called marsupials, animals that carry their young in a pouch. However, koalas are so dierent from every other marsupial; they survive o toxic leaves, sleep all day, and are extremely susceptible to chlamydia.

Koalas are known for living in eucalyptus trees, o which they eat bark, leaves, and branches. Interestingly, these trees contain toxic molecules that are poisonous to nearly every other living species. Koalas, however, are somehow able to ush these toxins out of their system and eat their way through pounds of eucalyptus leaves every day without getting sick. Scientists hypothesize that the part of the koala genome that codes detoxifying proteins could be about twice as big as other animals, even humans. Perhaps this special characteristic of the koala genome arose from random mutations, and eventually, all koalas had an abundance of detoxifying proteins as a result of natural evolution

Scientists have also noticed another odd habit: koalas sni eucalyptus leaves before eating them and occasionally throw some away. This observation was coupled with a discovery that koalas have extra genes that allow them to sni subtle dierences in the minty smell of eucalyptus leaves Building on these ndings, some theorize that these special creatures can sni out the nutritional value or toxicity of each leaf and assess whether or not to eat it. In the end, though, all eucalyptus leaves contain so few calories that koalas have to spend a whopping 22 hours a day resting or sleeping.

The gut microbes in koalas are so complex that they are not only experts at digesting poisonous plants but are also very sensitive to common antibiotics used to treat diseases like chlamydia, a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. This sensitivity is problematic because many koalas suer from a retrovirus similar to HIV that weakens the immune system and increases their susceptibility to diseases like chlamydia. Unfortunately, they cannot be treated with antibiotics, as ingesting them interferes with the ability of their special gut microbes to break down eucalyptus and could cause them to starve.

This has made it nearly impossible for scientists to treat koalas for infections. A vaccine to prevent koala chlamydia is currently being developed in hopes of one day letting these creatures roam the eucalyptus trees chlamydia free.


Inside the Cookie: The Science Behind Baking

Have you ever wondered why almost all recipes call for our, sugar, eggs, and leavening agents (like baking powder or yeast)? The answer has to do with the unique chemistry of the baking process!

Flour is the foundation of most baked goods. It contains gluten protein, which gives bread its signature chewy texture When our is mixed with a liquid, such as water or milk, the gluten forms a web that entraps air bubbles, creating a stable structure for the baked good. By providing stability, our prevents the nished product from not rising properly or even collapsing in the oven. Sugar is equally as important as our not only does it add sweetness, it also tenderizes. When sugar molecules interact with water molecules, they limit the development of the gluten protein (which hardens baked goods) Eggs enhance the velvety texture of baked goods, prevent them from drying out, and serve as the baking glue that binds all of the ingredients together. When exposed to heat, egg-white proteins collide with water molecules. This collision breaks the weak bonds in the proteins and allows them to form new chemical bonds with other ingredients

Leavening agents are necessary for baked goods to rise eectively. One common agent is baking powder, a combination of baking soda and acid that releases carbon dioxide gas when combined with a liquid This is an acid-base reaction that results in the expansion of gas bubbles and the rising of dough Yeast, another common leavening agent, is a microorganism that consumes sugar and similarly releases carbon dioxide gas in the process, allowing batter to rise.

While these ingredients are vital, the reactions that occur during the baking process are what truly bring out the avor in baked products. One essential reaction is the Maillard reaction, which gives food its toasty color and taste The Maillard reaction is triggered by heat, which breaks down carbohydrates and proteins in the batter, generating distinct aromas and avor. This is the sole reason why some breads are pale and bland, while others have that golden-brown color and hearty avor

So, it's fair to call all bakers chemists. Although, I suppose for some, the concept of lab coats and beakers isn't the most appetizing thought.


Are Black Holes Really “Black”?

Complete darkness. A region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. Is it really true? Scientists have been studying black holes for decades, and they’ve made some exciting discoveries.

Black holes have a couple of basic properties. First, they have temperatures inversely proportional to their masses, which means that a higher mass equates to a lower temperature. Second, black holes have an event horizon, a theoretical boundary beyond which nothing can escape the immense pull of its gravity, not even light.

In the mid-1600s, Issac Newton discovered gravity, and recognized that there is an attractive force exerted by all objects Over 200 years later, Albert Einstein found that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant and that distortions in space-time are created by massive objects it’s these space-time distortions that give rise to the apparent gravitational forces between objects. Einstein explained in his theory of general relativity that the gravitational pull of an object and the warp it exerts in space does not only aect the object’s motion, but also impacts its surrounding space and time A few decades later came a new theory set forth by Stephen Hawking. In 1974, Hawking combined Einstein’s theory of general relativity with quantum mechanics and postulated that black holes in fact emit radiation and are not completely “black ” Hawking contended that this radiation is the result of a quantum eect near the event horizon, where subatomic particles are composed in pairs, and as one particle escapes the black hole, the other gets sucked into it.

Another monumental theory that could further shed light on the behavior of black holes is string theory, which proposes that reality is made up of vibrating strings that are even smaller than atoms, as strings are the only particles in our universe that can collide and rebound without losing great amounts of energy and momentum. String theory is known as the “Theory of Everything,” as it attempts to unify general relativity and quantum mechanics in describing how gargantuan forces aect tiny objects in our universe, such as electrons and protons This could apply to the paradoxical nature of black holes that Hawking illuminated nearly 50 years ago. All in all, black holes represent a gateway to the cutting edge of modern physics, with many more exciting discoveries to come!


How Did Water Get on Ear th?

Earth is the only planet we know of that harbors life. Crucial for life on Earth is water. Was water on Earth from the beginning? Or did it come from space?

Approximately 4 5 billion years ago, when the sun was still in its nal stages of formation, the solar system was a harsh place. During this time many planets formed, and many planets collided. Because of the turbulence and extreme heat of the inner ring of planets in this period, it's impossible for water to have existed on Earth at the time

However, scientists theorize that 400 million years later, during the inner solar system’s 100-million-year period of giant impacts, countless asteroids containing ice crashed into Earth. This ice melted on the volcanic surface of Earth and then evaporated into the planet’s atmosphere. This evaporation turned into rain as Earth’s temperature started to cool down, forming enough rain to create our oceans. In support of this theory, scientists have found that earlier asteroids carried OH (hydroxide), which turns into H₂O (water) after melting.

Others hypothesize that water on Earth may have come from Theia protoplanet during the early years of our solar system that collided Earth and formed our Moon in the process. Scientists hypothesize Theia was created in the outer ring of planets, an area less turbulen during those early days of our solar system Water (or, at this far dis from the sun, ice) could have existed in large quantities on Theia. T could have deposited some of this water on Earth through the colli

In our solar system, water can only exist on asteroids that are carbon rich, which are only found in the outer regions of the solar system. Using mass spectroscopy, a group of scientists at the University of Münster recently found that a large amount of molybdenum, an element mostly found in Earth’s mantle and core, is also present in asteroids from these same outer regions. Perhaps Theia, from the same area as these asteroids, brought these molybdenum isotopes and water to Earth during the collision. Scientists theorize that this small protoplanet could have transferred enough carbon rich material to account for all water on Earth. So, scientists haven’t yet found the single answer to why there’s water on Earth, but some exciting theories are in the works!


The Frozen Zoo

We are currently living through a sixth mass extinction, with the survival of nearly one million animal and plant species on our planet threatened by harmful human activities. The time to act is now. One of the largest wildlife conservation facilities in the world, known as the Frozen Zoo, is leading the way.

The mission of the Frozen Zoo in San Diego, California is to prevent animal species from disappearing entirely. As of date, the zoo contains samples from over 10,500 individual animals across 1,220 species. To preserve these organisms, scientists collect skin or other tissue samples from threatened wildlife during routine veterinary exams or after the animal has died. They then grow and freeze living cells from these tissues Freezing cells is a complex procedure that must be executed with great care, as rushing the freezing process can cause ice crystals to form, which may damage cell membranes and cause these tissues to die. To avoid this problem, scientists carefully place these cells in vials and freeze them at an exact temperature of -196°C in tanks lled with stable liquid nitrogen.

These animal tissues, alongside embryos, plant tissues, seeds, and pollen, are genetic resources that can aid conversation eorts. Using these resources, or “germplasm,” scientists can save and reproduce organisms through procedures like vitro oocyte (ovary cell) maturation and fertilization, embryo transfer, and articial insemination Conservationists at the Frozen Zoo have seen much success with these methods already. They have successfully created a cheetah embryo by fertilizing an in vitro matured cheetah oocyte with thawed cheetah sperm. The hope is to use these embryos to breed more cheetahs and save them from extinction. Similarly, they have fertilized oocytes from southern white rhinos with sperm that had been frozen for nearly two decades by injecting a single sperm directly into an egg, a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Eective fertilization can help revive the endangered white rhino population and save these special animals from extinction.

All in all, the preservation eorts of the Frozen Zoo help safeguard our planet’s biodiversity by preventing animal species from going extinct. Who knows which species the Frozen Zoo will save next!


Bioluminescence: Nature’s Light Show

Bioluminescence, the emission of light by living organisms, is a beautiful adaptation mechanism that many creatures on Earth have evolved to acquire.

Bioluminescence occurs when two proteins, luciferin and luciferase, are combined in the presence of oxygen. In bioluminescent organisms, luciferase catalyzes the oxidation of luciferin, and this reaction produces light. The emission of light will continue until all of the luciferin has been oxidized.

Some bioluminescent organisms produce their own luciferin One example is dinoagellates, which bioluminesce a bluish-green hue. Some bioluminescent organisms, however, are incapable of producing luciferin on their own, and instead acquire it by consuming, or forming symbiotic relationships with, other organisms For instance, luciferin is obtained by midshipman sh from the seed shrimp they consume Many marine animals, including squid, have a symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria in their light organs.

Bioluminescence serves several purposes. Anglersh use their light organs, which dangle from their forehead, to lure in their prey Some squid and shrimp produce a luminescent cloud to startle their predators and confuse them as they ee. For other living organisms in ocean depths where sunlight is scarce, bioluminescence is used to camouage themselves. Their bioluminescence matches the color and brightness of the dim sunlight, making them more challenging for predators to detect

Bioluminescence can also be used for communication and mating. The best known example of this is the bioluminescence of reies Males and female reies exchange ashes as a way of communicating to their possible mates. Females react to the ashes of ying males, and eventually, the male approaches the female for the purpose of mating To avoid confusion between members of dierent rey species, each species' signals are coded in a distinct temporal sequence of ashing.


How Chronic Stress Can Shrink Your Brain

The human body is constantly reacting to stressors, whether internal or from the environment. Temporary stressors can activate healthy responses in the body, but consistent and long-term sources of stress can be damaging.

When a stressor is detected, information about it is sent to the amygdala, the region of the brain that deciphers images and sounds If there seems to be danger, the amygdala sends a signal to the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls homeostasis by regulating body temperature, heart rate, and mood. The hypothalamus proceeds to take over the body and activate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) The rst step in this activation process is the release of the hormone norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) throughout the bloodstream. These hormones trigger a quicker heart rate, faster breathing, and higher blood pressure, allowing us to respond quickly to threats and stressful situations with enough energy. Once the initial response of the hormones diminishes, the hypothalamus activates the secondary stress response system: the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). The HPA axis allows the body to stay on alert for longer periods of time by permitting the release of cortisol, a hormone that helps regulate the body’s response to stress.

Stress in moderate amounts is healthy for us, but our brains can undergo many detrimental changes if exposed to severe chronic stress for long periods of time. When the SNS and HPA axis are constantly activated, the body produces elevated levels of cortisol, which have been associated with reduced volume of neurons and circuits in the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex, which are all integral parts of emotional regulation, decision making, and storing memories Additionally, when the amygdala is constantly exposed to cortisol, it becomes hyperactive towards fear stimuli and activates the SNS system for much smaller threats, like triggering sounds or emotions.

So the stress caused by a looming deadline or important exam might be natural and healthy, but the constant anxiety that arises out of being in a toxic relationship or living in a violent household may negatively impact you in ways that are detrimental to your long-term health.


What are Genetically Modified Organisms?

A genetically modied organism, or GMO, is an organism in which one or more changes have been made to its genome. These changes are typically done using high-tech genetic engineering that promotes certain characteristics of an organism by inserting a selective gene to produce a desired trait.

GMOs are primarily used to help farmers prevent crop loss and control weeds.

By modifying their genomes, scientists have produced plants with higher yields, lower pesticide consumption, better drought resistance, and longer post-harvest stability Scientists have also made fruits and vegetables more resistant to insects and diseases by altering their genetic characteristics, which has helped farmers use fewer pesticides. Additionally, genetic engineering allows certain foods to have a longer shelf life.

Biofortication is the process of improving the nutritional quality of staple food crops through genetic engineering. This process can boost essential vitamins in various foods. One example of a biofortied crop is golden rice, which is regular rice modied with a compound called beta-carotene. Once digested by a human, the beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A Vitamin A has many benets, such as improved vision and a stronger immune system.

The pink pineapple is another biofortied crop that has been approved by the FDA. Compared to regular pineapples, pink pineapples contain higher levels of lycopene, an organic compound essential for health that may even help slow the spread of cancer cells in the human body.

GMOs have caused controversy among the public over concerns about safety. Evaluations conducted by regulatory government agencies conclude that GMOs are safe to consume However, there is still much to be investigated about the risks of genetically modied organisms, and ongoing research remains necessary.


How Pulling out Plants Can Save Nature

Invasive plants are plants that are not native to an ecosystem and have been brought there by humans not always purposefully. Invasive plants are destructive because they disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem that is established by native species. When a new species is introduced that has no natural predator or any other threats, it can spread uncontrollably, take space and nutrients from native plants, and threaten any organisms that rely on these native plants. Thus, invasive plants not only harm the health of the ecosystem they are introduced to, but also threaten the overall biodiversity of the Earth.

Each of us can help prevent the spread of invasive species and reduce their damage on the environment. We can educate ourselves on invasive species in our neighborhood by consulting the internet, for example If we can identify these harmful plants, we can pull them out and remove them completely We can also be mindful of how we spread seeds. Whether we notice it or not, seeds get attached to us and our things when we move around. To avoid spreading the seeds of invasive species, we can clean o our shoes and clothes after walking through nature and choose not to drive or walk through areas overgrown with invasive plants.

One of the most common invasive plants in New York and New Jersey is garlic mustard, a short, leafy plant with white owers native to Europe and Asia Garlic mustard is a very successful invasive plant for a variety of reasons: it produces large numbers of small, long-lasting seeds; it doesn't need another plant nearby to produce seeds; it can grow in shady and sunny areas; it isn’t eaten by native wildlife; and it comes out in the spring earlier than other plants (hey, that's cheating!). So, the next time you see one of these unwanted plants growing in New York City, make sure you pull it out, and know that you ' re doing it for the greater good of the ecosystem!


The Power and Perils of CRISPR-Cas9

The breakthrough came in 2012, when brilliant biochemists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier discovered CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary technology that allows scientists to add, remove and alter genetic material in a cheap and ecient way.

CRISPR-Cas9 works by utilizing organic matter from bacteria Bacteria are microscopic, unicellular organisms with special traits that allow them to survive nearly anywhere on Earth. Scientists have only recently started to conduct studies that examine these unique characteristics of bacteria on a genetic level, and it was in these studies that the components of CRISPR-Cas9 were discovered

CRISPR-Cas9 has two main parts: Cas9 and guide RNA (gRNA). Cas9 is a protein that can cut DNA, and gRNA is a small piece of RNA that can bind to DNA and alter it. When in action, gRNA can guide Cas9 to the targeted gene, which the protein cuts The result is a powerful piece of technology that allows scientists to make permanent DNA changes that would impact present and future generations of organisms.

CRISPR-Cas9 has applications in many elds, from medicine to agriculture. For example, this technology is currently being used by researchers hoping to resurrect the Woolly Mammoth by genetically modifying a group of elephants to better adapt to the cold.

This innovative technology has endless possibilities and complex ethical dimensions. CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to create in-vitro babies with previously decided traits, making it easy to promote morally unjustiable ideas like eugenics. If misused, this technology could also potentially contribute to the creation of bioweapons and cause global disasters. Additionally, genome editing tools could allow humans to change evolution from this point onward, an idea that many people are against. What most can agree on, though, is that CRISPR-Cas9 is still brand new, and it is up to us to use it in the best ways possible!


Have Scientists Found the Cure for Cancer?

Have you ever heard of a cancer trial that has a 100% success rate? It sounds too good to be true, but this dream became a reality in a 2021-22 study on the eectiveness of the cancer medication Dostarlimab (doh-STAR-luh-mab).

Dostarlimab works by obstructing a protein called PD-1. In the human body, PD-1 stops T cells (a type of white blood cell that ghts infections and diseases) from attacking healthy cells. However, for people with cancer, PD-1 also stops T cells from attacking cancer cells, allowing cancer to spread in the body. Dostarlimab solves this issue by blocking PD-1 from binding with PD-L1, a protein that allows cells to escape from being attacked by the immune system. Therefore, obstructing PD-1 permits T cells to attack cancerous cells, slowing the growth of or even destroying new cancerous cells as they appear.

In Dostarlimab’s rst released study, the medicine had a 100% success rate. While this is very promising news, the initial study only featured twelve patients with the same type of colon cancer. There are close to 2 million times as many people with cancer in 2023 and over 200+ dierent kinds of cancer, so this study is too small for us to say with absolute certainty that Dostarlimab will have the same success rate at curing cancer when it is administered to a greater number of patients who have other kinds of cancer. Additionally, researchers haven’t followed the twelve patients in this study for long enough to be sure that their cancer won’t return.

Currently, Dostarlimab is approved only for patients with endometrial cancer, a type of cancer found in the uterus. In a recent trial with nearly 500 participants, patients who were given both chemotherapy and Dostarlimab had an overall survival rate of 83.3%, which was much higher than the survival rate of 58 7% for those treated only with chemotherapy The larger participant pool may mean that this trial is more representative of the eectiveness of the cancer medication, which is demonstrating great results!

All in all, the future of Dostarlimab seems promising This drug is new to the world of cancer research, but it is already making a big impact!


Is There a Bigger Infinity Than Infinity?

We often think of innity as a simple concept: a value with no limits that goes on forever. But that isn’t the full picture. In fact, innite sets of numbers are not equal in size some are bigger than others.

The amount of numbers in an innite set is known as its ‘cardinality.’ The smallest innite set is the set of natural numbers (1, 2, 3, …), since there are only so many countable whole numbers. If an innite set is equal to the set of natural numbers, then the amount of numbers in this set is the smallest innite ‘cardinal,’ denoted ℵ0 (aleph null) In other words, ℵ0 is how many natural numbers there are

If the set of natural numbers were to have the smallest innity, then what would have the largest? The set of real numbers, including integers and decimals, is considered the biggest innite set. This set has a cardinality of , or ‘continuum.’

In the 1870s, a famous German logician Georg Cantor wondered if the cardinality of the real set of numbers was the smallest cardinal above ℵ0. That is, whether ℵ1 = continuum. His conjecture that the size of all real numbers is the smallest uncountable cardinal is known as the continuum hypothesis.

Another helpful metric for measuring the dierent sizes of innite sets is ordinals. Think of ordinals as positions of something (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd) and cardinals as how many of something there are (i.e. 1, 2, 3) The ordinal number that describes the rst innite position is ω (omega) In other words, instead of saying an ordinal of an innite number is the ∞th number, you would say that an ordinal of an innite number is in the ω range.

Following this logic, the ordinality of the cardinal number ℵ0 is ω, as both ℵ0 and ω describe the rst innity of their respective measures So, with both cardinals and ordinals, you may have a bigger innite amount or position of a set of numbers (i.e. ℵ1, ω1). With ℵ and ω ranges, we can explore how these sizes and positions exist in dierent innite values, and how innity may not be as simple of a concept as it may seem!


Nuclear Fusion: Future or Failure?

Currently, 84.3% of the world's energy comes from fossil fuels. However, the fossil fuel industry is responsible for signicant health and environmental risks, like climate change. With the severity and frequency of natural disasters and political conicts around fossil fuels increasing every year, nations have been scrambling to nd alternative and renewable sources of energy. Nuclear fusion is one possibility.

Nuclear fusion the same process that fuels the stars involves heating matter to a state of plasma (over 100,000,000° C) that fuses hydrogen atoms together. This process results in helium, radiation, and incredible energy. Unlike fossil fuels or current nuclear ssion reactors, nuclear fusion is the safest energy alternative that humans can achieve; it creates minimal emissions and nearly no nuclear waste, while also being more reliable than solar or wind energy Unlike current nuclear ssion reactors, an error in the fusion process will simply cause the reaction to stop without the possibility of a nuclear meltdown. In addition to safety, nuclear fusion is four million times more eective than fossil fuels and it easily has the highest potential out of any energy source Unlike solar and wind energy, fusion can be used under any natural conditions.

Despite the incredible potential of nuclear fusion, this new technology has its challenges Currently, it is very hard to sustain nuclear fusion for sucient periods of time to ensure that the energy output is greater than the input. What’s more, a single fusion reactor can cost at least $22 billion and widespread commercialization is not expected until thirty to sixty years from now

There is hope. At the end of 2022, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California were able to nally “break even ” by producing a fusion reaction that was able to generate more energy than was originally used to produce the reaction Along with recent breakthroughs in machine-learning AI technology that could aid the fusion process, commercial nuclear fusion energy might not be as far o as we think.


The Myster y of the Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle is a triangular area right o the coast of Miami, Florida. The three corners of the triangle are located in Bermuda Island, the Greater Antilles area of Puerto Rico, and Miami. Experts claim that 50 ships and 20 aircraft have gone missing in the triangle since 1945. Other sources claim that an even higher number of disappearances nearly 2000 ships and 200 aircraft have gone missing in this region. The question stands: Why?

There are several hypotheses. One hypothesis is that the triangular area is particularly prone to sudden rogue waves, which can reach as high as 100 feet in the air and engulf large objects like ships. These rogue waves form when small waves move across the Atlantic Ocean in dierent speeds and directions. When they cross paths, they can reinforce one another and cause these large, rogue waves

Another theory is that the presence of geomagnetic elds disrupts the navigation systems of ships and aircraft, making navigators disoriented and veer o course. These mysterious elds may also oer an explanation for the reported phenomenon of navigation control centers receiving limited speech or even complete silence from pilots and sea captains traveling through the triangle.

Others hypothesize that these unlucky travelers did not account for the dierence between the True (Geographical) North direction and the Magnetic (Compass) North direction The dierence between these two varies by location If the navigator does not properly consider this variation, he or she may veer o course by 500-800 kilometers!

Finally, some theorize that huge methane gas bubbles in the triangle cause these numerous deaths Scientists have found that methane gas bubbles up from 500 vents along the oor of the Atlantic Ocean. This happens when dead organic matter sinks to the ocean oor, and the bacteria that feed o the dead matter produce methane gas. High levels of methane exposure can lead to memory loss and blurred vision, which those traveling through the triangle may have experienced In the end, these hypotheses still do not fully explain the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle so the myth continues!


The Secrets of Color Psychology

ime, scientists have studied how dierent ence our emotions and behavior, a eld

n as color psychology. Although still

n mystery, some research has ed the potential benets that color could have on our well-being.

en German playwright and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe published a novel exploring how colors can elicit specic emotions. In the early twentieth century, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung developed art therapy to help patients recover from trauma or distress by allowing them to express themselves through particular colors and images Building on these ideas, scientists have identied specic universal color-emotion associations, such as red and passion, yellow and joy, and white and indierence.

The use of color as an alternative for medicine, also known as chromotherapy or color therapy, is currently being considered by scientists as a possible approach to treatment Chromotherapy lacks scientic evidence, but some argue that it can eectively promote psychological health and combat feelings of fatigue, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. These proponents contend that color is an important stimulant for the pituitary gland, which is responsible for regulating body temperature, hormone levels, metabolism, and sleep patterns If this is true, then perhaps dierent colors could aect our moods and bodily functions.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky conducted several experiments to test how colors can inuence our emotions In one experiment, researchers found that people in a room lled with red light tended to overestimate the time it would take to complete a task, whereas people in a room lled with green or blue light tended to underestimate the time it would take. London’s Blackfriars Bridge, a gloomy black structure throughout the Middle Ages, was infamous for its record number of suicides until it was painted bright green

Although attempts to scientically establish how color aects the mind and body have not been conclusive, the possibilities seem to be endless!


The Hidden Benefits of Saliva

At rst glance, saliva might seem to be just some strange liquid you always have in your mouth. In reality, it serves various important functions, from helping you digest food to removing harmful bacteria from your mouth. To understand the importance of saliva, we must rst understand what saliva is and how it’s produced.

All humans and other vertebrates have saliva, with the average person producing 0 5 to 1 5 liters of saliva, or spit, per day Saliva is produced from small glands in your mouth, called salivary glands Special nerves in your mouth send a signal to salivary glands to produce saliva. The three major salivary glands (the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands) produce around 90% of your total saliva. These glands are found in the region of your mouth by your ears, below your jawbone, and under your tongue, respectively. Minor glands, located by your tongue, voice box, sinuses, and lips, produce the remaining 10% of your saliva.

Spit is 99% water Water helps keep your mouth clean and regulates hydration The remaining 1% is a mix of mucins, glycoproteins, mineral salts, and amylase Salivary mucins are key to protecting your mouth from bacterial infections. Mucins gather bacteria together so that when you swallow your saliva, you remove bacteria from your mouth. Mucins can choose which bacteria to target, with glycans on the mucus bonding with specic bacteria strains Together with immunoglobulins (molecules produced by white blood cells) and other glycoproteins, mucins also keep bacteria from adhering to the surface of your teeth and prevent dental erosion. Mineral salts help maintain the strength of the outer coating of your teeth. Additionally, they prevent cavities by removing certain minerals in your teeth that could cause harmful acids to be produced through chemical reactions between bacteria and the food you consume. Finally, amylase, an enzyme located in your salivary glands, reacts with starch molecules you eat and breaks them down, allowing you to digest more complex carbohydrates that can provide you with energy for longer amounts of time.

So, there’s no denying the importance of saliva! This strange liquid in your mouth contributes to your health in many dierent ways, from keeping it clean to fueling your body. Don’t take it for granted!


Aerospace Engineering: Powering the Skies

Aerospace engineering is a captivating multidisciplinary eld that involves designing, developing, and operating remarkable aircraft and spacecraft. At its core lies thermodynamics, a branch of physics that delves into the dynamic interplay of heat, work, and energy. Mastering thermodynamics is crucial to maximizing the performance and eciency of propulsion systems, like jet and rocket engines.

The brayton cycle is a vital concept for understanding how engines work. The cycle consists of four thermodynamic processes: compression, heating, expansion, and cooling. The cycle starts with air being compressed in a compressor Then, the air is mixed with fuel in a mixing chamber Finally, the air is ignited, which causes the air to expand and thus powering the engine.

The Brayton cycle is used in gas turbines and airplane jet engines. While it does not directly propel space rockets, it has inspired a new generation of propulsion systems For instance, the SABRE engine, developed for use in the Skylon spaceplane, uses a closed Brayton cycle engine. It also includes a heat exchanger that increases eciency by transferring thermal energy from the exhaust to the compressed air before it enters the combustion chamber.

It is exciting to look back and see how far we ’ ve come NASA’s Saturn V remained the tallest and most powerful rocket for a long time, and the only one to help carry humans to the moon in the Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 spacecraft. It used a Rocketdyne F1, a gas-generator cycle engine Saturn V used 5 of these F1 engines, generating an enormous thrust of 6.77 MN. The F-1 still remains the most potent, single-combustion, liquid-propellant rocket engine ever developed.

In 2023, SpaceX's Starship became the world's largest rocket. It is designed to be fully reusable and uses the Raptor SpaceX, a methane-oxygen-staged combustion engine. The Starship uses 33 Raptor engines, each generating a thrust of 2.45 MN.

These achievements show that the eld of aerospace engineering is dynamic and has the potential for even more amazing advancements in the future that awe us all!


Mosquitoes: Our Deadliest Enemy

Mosquitoes are our species’ largest historical killer. Some estimate they may have killed half of all humans who ever lived. Today, they infect hundreds of millions of people every year and kill someone every twelve seconds. Malaria stands out in the crowded eld of mosquito-borne illnesses: it collectively takes 45 million years o human lives per year, while most other mosquito-borne diseases barely cross a million. It’s no wonder, then, that countless technologies have been developed to combat malaria. Among the most promising: gene drives.

A mosquito, like a human, inherits two copies of each gene, one from each parent Both copies may have the same or dierent ‘alleles,’ or versions of, the gene. If one of its parents has been genetically modied with a gene drive, the mosquito will inherit one modied allele, while the other copy of the gene will be the ‘wild-type’ allele found in the general population. The altered allele cleverly encodes not just for a dierent version of the gene but also pieces of molecular machinery (guide RNA, Cas9, etc.) that snip out the wild-type allele. The modied cell then xes the gap by copying the modied allele to replace the lost wild-type one, giving the mosquito two copies of the modied characteristic which it can then pass onto its ospring Here are three ways that gene drives can ght malaria:

1. Since only female mosquitoes transmit malaria, skewing the sex ratio of ospring from roughly equal to almost 95% male can result in an entirely unisex population in as few as ten generations, resulting in a decrease in transmission of malaria and, in general, rapid population collapse.

2 Female mosquitoes can also be targeted by inserting female-sterility genes that, say, eliminate their ability to lay eggs or prevent those eggs from hatching. As these genes proliferate, female fertility will reduce and the number of mosquitoes available to spread disease will decrease.

3 Another option is making mosquitoes resistant to Plasmodium, the parasites that cause malaria A promising study from last September found that modifying the gut genes of mosquitoes to promote secretion of antimicrobial amino acids stopped them from carrying and transmitting Plasmodium.

In sum, gene drives are a possible solution to eliminating malaria. The tightly-controlled yet rigorous tests occurring in labs and eld locations around the world today will lead to the rst informed, large-scale use of this powerful technology tomorrow!


The Secret Dance of Electricity

Every day, we rely on electrical devices like lights, computers, and T Vs. But have you ever wondered where that electricity comes from? The answer lies in a remarkable invention called a generator, a machine that produces electricity.

Generators work on a principle called electromagnetic induction, which was discovered in 1831 by an English scientist named Michael Faraday, who found that when you move a conductor, like a wire, in a magnetic eld, it can create an electrical current.

Inside a generator, there's a big magnet. There's also a copper coil that looks like a spring made of wire. When the generator turns, it spins the copper coil around the magnet. In this dance, the spinning coil cuts through the unseen magnetic eld, prompting electrons in the copper wire to move from one place to another and creating an electrical current

But here's the thing about generators: they don't really create electricity from scratch. Instead, they convert one form of energy into another. So the energy in a generator comes from something else, like the wind or water or steam For example, a wind turbine works by harnessing kinetic energy from the wind to spin the copper coil inside its generator, creating electrical energy Similarly, when you use electricity from a generator to power something, like a lightbulb or a computer, you ' re converting the electrical energy into something else. When you turn on a light, for instance, and it makes the room brighter, you ' re changing the electrical energy into electromagnetic energy

In short, generators are really useful machines that can take kinetic energy from the environment and turn it into electricity They do this by using the power of magnets and motion. So next time you plug in your laptop or turn on the lights, just know that there is a copper coil spinning around a magnet somewhere close by, making it all possible!


Is Generational Trauma Hardwired in Our DN A?

Generational trauma is spread through stories, shared memories and behavior. But is it also in our genes? I propose an experiment that tests whether communication between generations is necessary to pass down trauma, and whether the answer may lie in tactile genetic memory.

Tactile memory refers to memories related to touch. For example, the memory of how your childhood blanket felt or knowing how yarn feels without touching it Are these memories transferable between generations?

To test this, I would take four adult rats of both sexes that had grown up in captivity with exactly the same upbringing. I would then split them into two groups: Group A (containing one male and one female) and Group C (also containing one male and one female)

The two A rats would be placed in a room half covered by an electric carpet and would be conditioned to fear the carpet through electric shocks. Once this conditioning is complete, the A rats would be introduced to each other and allowed to breed.

The C rats would live the same lives as the A rats, just without the electric carpet. The A and C rats must never meet Then, once the A rats and C rats have had a litter (A1 and C1, respectively), half the young mice would be switched from one group to the other. That is, half of the A1 rats would be given to the C rats to raise, and half of the C1 rats would be given to the A rats to raise. After some time, the A1 and C1 rats would be placed in separate rooms with a non-electric carpet, where they would be carefully observed The room must retain no pheromones or nail marks left by the A rats that could compromise the experiment. If the A1 rats avoid the carpet, that is proof of tactile genetic memory being a possible explanation for generational trauma.

I predict that both groups of the A1 rats will avoid the carpet, and the children of the C1 rats raised by the A rats will be suspicious of the carpet at rst, but not to the degree that the A1 rats will be. But am I right? Only one way to nd out, I suppose…


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