Wavelength - Spring 2020

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spring 2020

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(Burden, 2016)

Letter from the Editors Dear Reader,


Welcome to the first ever issue of Newark Academy’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics journal: Wavelength! Last year, we set out to create a publication with two goals in mind. First: to foster more collaboration within the school community by sharing accurate and up-to-date news about students’ research, interests and other related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics endeavors. Second: to inspire the student body to embrace their curious nature and pursue their own scientific knowledge. Take a quick glance at the wide scope of articles in the journal and you will see that science is found in nearly every aspect of our lives. Just looking at this year with the spread of the coronavirus, we saw how important it is to be scientifically informed. With various news sources reporting differing opinions on the coronavirus pandemic and rampant misinformation, science is the necessary backbone that we can, to a great degree, trust and rely on. Initially, we planned on organizing articles by category, with separate sections for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. However, we decided to scrap that plan after realizing that those fields are interdisciplinary at Newark Academy. We believe it is hard to call someone a “science kid,” for example, when that same person also has a passion for music. Therefore, Wavelength is not just a “science” journal; rather, it is space for writers to inform their peers and share their thoughts on a variety of topics across the STEM fields. What you are reading today is the culmination of months of research, writing and design since September. We would like to thank our editorial staff for the countless hours they have spent producing truly engaging articles. In addition, we would also like to thank our faculty advisor, Mrs. Celente, for her guidance and unwavering commitment to helping us get the journal off the ground. It is our hope that what we have started will continue as a permanent publication at NA in the years to come.





Sophia Chen ‘20 Spencer Linenberg ‘20 Dafne Hernandez ‘20 Emma Lu ‘22 Ethan Garcia ‘23 Julia Li ‘23 Micaela Alpert ‘21 Monica Zhang ‘21 Ruthie Gu ‘21 Samantha Parelli ‘21 Ben Chaddha ‘21 Jack Cleeve ‘21 Kaya Patel ‘22 Ryan Kim ‘22 Lauren Freed ‘22 Saif Prabhu ‘22 Siddharth Chalasani ‘22 Skywalker Li ‘22 Sophia Chen ‘22 Elaine Choy ‘21 Spencer Linenberg ‘20 Nancy Celente

Cover image: Illustration of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2), which causes the COVID-19 disease (Eckert & Higgins, 2020).

We hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as we did!

Sophia Chen

Spencer Linenberg

Spring 2020


science In This Issue

6 Why is Einstein's Work Considered So Groundbreaking? BEN CHADDHA ‘21

7 Fighting the 'Impossible'




8 Tardigrades: The Most Invincible Creatures on the Planet RUTHIE GU ‘21

10 Why Do We Dream? RYAN KIM ‘22

11 How Does Grey’s Anatomy Influence Perspectives of the Medical Field?



engineerin 12 What Shape is the Universe? JACK CLEEVE ‘21

13 Cornell VR Event


16 Epidemiology and the Coronavirus LAUREN FREED ‘22

19 Societal and Medical Struggles that Allow COVID-19 to Attack Us DAFNE HERNANDEZ ‘20

20 The Coronavirus in Our Bodies KAYA PATEL ‘22

21 Are We Making Any Progress in Combating COVID-19? ETHAN GARCIA ‘23

24 Dr. Erna Hoover: Female Inventor and Tech Pioneer






30 The Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life is

Closer Than We Think, and We're Not Ready JULIA LI ‘23


echnology 31 Coral Bleaching and the Coral Restoration Foundation KAYA PATEL ‘22

32 Internship at the Rutgers Public Health Research Institute LAUREN FREED ‘22

33 The Side Effects of Stress SAMANTHA PARELLI ‘21

34 TechShare Helps with Friendsgiving



35 The Marshmallow Experiment SAIF PRABHU ‘22

36 Stem Cells


38 What is Voice Recognition? SKYWALKER LI ‘22

40 Intervenção: How We’ve Influenced the Fate of the Ria Aveiro


athematics ETHAN GARCIA ‘23

43 Under The Radar: The Impact of the Microbiome on Human Health SIDDHARTH CHALASANI ‘22

44 How Solar Panels Work LAUREN FREED ‘22

Spring 2020


Why is Einstein's Work Considered So Groundbreaking? BY BEN CHADDHA ‘21

(Carreau, 2015)


n 1666, Sir Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell. At that moment, he came up with the idea for universal gravitation. Whether or not the popular story is true, Newton developed his theory of universal gravitation at some point during this year. Universal gravitation is the concept that every particle attracts every other particle in the universe with a force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers. Newton’s theory of universal gravitation served as the backbone for modern physics for centuries – that is, until Einstein proposed his theory of relativity in 1905, over 200 years later. For those reading who have taken a physics course, the equation for universal gravitation (shown below) will likely look familiar.

Between 1901 and 1954, Einstein published 300 scientific papers. His papers on the theory of relativity, arguably his most famous, were released over the course of seven articles. His last article was published in 1916, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that



his Theory of Relativity was truly accepted and became an integral part of modern science. Newton’s laws were good approximations, but they lacked something; Einstein’s equations were the missing piece (Einstein, 2015). Before Einstein, in the 1900s, scientists believed that it was possible to catch up to a speeding light beam. However, Einstein realized that light travels at a constant velocity in all inertial frames; simpler terms, this means that wherever you are in the universe—whether that be standing still, on a rocket ship, or speeding by earth on a comet at 99.99% the speed of light—you will always see a beam of light speeding ahead of you at the same speed: ~3 × 108 m/s. This led Einstein to theorize that time was not absolute or uniform throughout the universe, as Newton once believed. Imagine astronauts taking off from earth near the speed of light, and another bystander observing them from earth. If the astronauts took a flashlight out and turned it on, they would see the light moving away from them at the constant velocity of 3 × 108 m/s. The person on earth would see the astronaut and the light beam moving nearly side by side, but would also calculate the light beam to be moving at 3 × 108 m/s. This phenomenon means that astronauts would be experiencing time differently than the person on earth. This led Einstein to theorize that if time changed as a result of your velocity, then perhaps other values like length and mass could also change. Hence, Einstein discovered that the faster you travel, the heavier you become, leading him to develop the famous equation E=mc2. This idea that time is so malleable led to the notion of space and time as a unified entity (known as spacetime), where the three dimen-

sions of space and one dimension of time are intertwined rather than existing as separate concepts. Einstein used this concept of spacetime to answer the long-held question, how does gravity work? (Einstein, 2015). This is what Einstein came up with. Imagine a bowling ball placed on a bed. The bowling ball presses the mattress inwards, creating a concave, bowl-like structure. Now imagine taking a marble or smaller ball and launching it along the warped surface of the mattress; the marble will “orbit” the bowling ball. According to Einstein, this simple example is the essence of gravity. A Newtonian physicist would theorize that some mysterious unknown force was acting upon the marble. To a relativist like Einstein, it is obvious that no mysterious forces are acting on the marble at all; rather, it is only “orbiting” the bowling ball because the “spacetime,” or the bed, is bent. There is no pull–only the push exerted by the warped bed. When applying this example to our solar system, it is evident that there is no force exerted on earth–only the bending of the spacetime between earth and the sun, causing the earth to orbit the sun in an elliptical fashion. Spacetime and the general example being applied here can be seen in the above image. If the red or orange body entered the warped spacetime surrounding the yellow body, they would begin to orbit (Carroll, 2019). With these ideas, Einstein was able to create his general and special theories of relativity which changed how scientists thought about gravity, space, and time. Einstein’s contributions revolutionized physics and cosmology; in just a few equations, he was able to answer centuries-old questions about how the universe functions. ◆

Fighting the ‘Impossible’ BY DAFNE HERNANDEZ ‘20


e have all been touched by the emotional and physitime in the United States. They administered the treatment cal strain of cancer. We have either had family memto 3 patients– 2 with a blood cancer called multiple myelobers suffer from the disease, die from the disease, or know ma, and one with sarcoma, a connective-tissue cancer. Usof others who have experienced the disease. But recently, ing CRISPR technology, researchers removed specific genes scientists have generated hope that cancer could be cured from the patients’ T cells, a type of immune cell, and then through the use of CRISPR technology. inserted other genes to allow those T cells to target the pa Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells tients’ tumors when returned to the body. When the T-cells in the body. The disease develops when the body’s normal were infused back into the bodies of the patients, the T-cells control mechanism stops working, causing cells to undergo targeted the cancers without serious side effects. (Douglas, apoptosis, or cell death. Thus, instead of dying, these cells 2019) The researchers at UPenn proved that CRISPR techcontinue to live and grow to accumulate into groups known nology is safe to use on cancer patients and that gene-edas tumors. Tumors grow abnormally and become cancerous iting is indeed safe and possible. But more studies must be in the body, invading and destroying other nearby tissues, conducted in order to have CRISPR technology enter cancer further weakening the body. Cancer patients turn to antitreatments, because these 3 trials do not prove if the techbiotics and radiation therapies to relieve their pain created nology always works to treat, and if the technology can evby the disease. But until the reery specific cancer condition. cent CRISPR technology entered CRISPR technology serves the medical field, these counteras a simple and efficient way to measures could not give them Scientists are able to revolutionize the help treat patients suffering from what they truly wanted: to rid multiple diseases such as cancer their body of cancer. Researchers way in which science is studied and without succumbing to the pain learned that they can fight cancer developed through technology and of medication and radiation therthrough gene-editing technology bioengineering, but should there be a apies. However, there are also or CRISPR technology. limitations to that technology. It limit to these innovations? CRISPR technology stemmed can create off-target effects on the from the natural defense mechaDNA sequence, such as undesirnisms of bacteria and archaea, or single-celled microorganable mutations at random sites. (Vasiliou, Pepper & Nicholisms. These organisms use CRISPR-derived RNA and varison, 2016) Thus, CRISPR technology faces ethical dilemmas ous other Cas proteins to attack viruses or invading bodies in being able to change DNA, but also having the power to by splicing and destroying the DNA of the foreign invader. negatively impact the genetic makeup and health of the pa(Vidyasagar, 2018) This form of response can be transferred tient. Welcker & Flora (2017) also concluded that CRISPR to more complex organisms such as humans, leading to the technology could ruin human evolution, as this technology method of gene “editing,” or the manipulation of genes that grants the power to “design” babies, and could risk creating exists today. health issues for newborns. With these risks in mind, should CRISPR stands for “clusters of regularly interspaced CRISPR technology be used by doctors? short palindromic repeats,” meaning that the technology Scientists are able to revolutionize the way in which specializes in DNA with two distinct characteristics: the science is studied and developed through technology and presence of nucleotide repeats and spacers. CRISPR techbioengineering, but should there be a limit to these innovanology acts like a pair of molecular scissors, cutting strands tions? If these innovations continue, could the human race of DNA and creating different kinds of gene modifications. suffer from them? This technology can remove cells from the patient’s body, alIn order to make CRISPR technology safer, its accuter their DNA sequences to correct genetic defects, prevent racy must improve in order to ensure the safety of patients. the spread of diseases, and modify genes. (Vidyasagar, 2018) By doing so, we will move one step closer to curing cancer– These cells are then returned to the body and improve lives. but at what cost? Do the people fighting this disease make But the question arises: is this a safe way to fight diseases? the drawbacks worth it? We are constantly grappling with Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were able these questions as we pursue scientific innovation and unto test CRISPR technology on human beings for the first derstanding. ◆

Spring 2020


Tardigrades: The Most Invincible Creatures on the Planet BY RUTHIE GU ‘21 Looks like a Dr. J squishy.

(Tardigrade, 2020)


he life of a tardigrade is a rather unexciting affair. Their entire life consists of drifting around aimlessly in water, sucking juice from the likes of algae or moss (yum). You can’t even praise them for their rarity—these creatures are found all over the world (from the hot springs to the ice caps of Antarctica, from the bottom of the sea to your very own backyard) but despite being so widespread, few people even know of their existence. And yet tardigrades have become an object of utter fascination for scientists, being subject to a plethora of observations and experiments. They’ve enraptured people’s imaginations ever since their discovery. Why? For starters, here is a resumé listing a few of their modest accomplishments: - Tardigrades can survive years without water (despite being an aquatic creature) [Herkewitz & Hernandez, 2019]. - They have been exposed to extremely cold conditions and survived 20 hours at almost-absolute zero (i.e. 0.05 K, or -460 °F) and 20 months at -200 °C (-328 °F) [Miller, 2018]. - They have survived scorching hot temperatures of over 150 °C (302 °F) [Miller, 2018]. - Even after being subject to excess concentrations of suffocating gasses (i.e. carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulfur dioxide), they live on [Miller, 2018]. - Despite being bombarded with intense, high-energy radiation (5000-6000 grays), they have, yet again, survived (Gunther, 2011). (For comparison, 0.7 grays causes radiation sickness in humans, and just 10 grays will have a 100% human mortality rate [CDC, 2018]). - Tardigrades can survive pressures of up to 600 megapascals (about 87,000 lb per square inch for all us Americans,

which, for reference, is roughly 6 times the pressure at the bottom of the Mariana Trench) [Fox-Skelly, 2015]. - In a 2007 experiment, 68% of the tardigrade population survived after being shipped off into space (i.e. low-Earth orbit) for 10 days without any protection whatsoever (surviving a near-vacuum and ionizing radiation) [Herkewitz & Hernandez, 2019]. - Tardigrades, as a whole, have survived five mass extinctions; their species date back to the Cambrian Period (300 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared) [Bryce, 2018]. Also called water bears (because they move like a bear) and moss piglets (because pigs), tardigrades seem to have an abnormally strong commitment to survival. (Stronger than even Frane Selak, the human miracle who has escaped certain-death an astounding 7 times.1 But I digress.) Knowing this, how does a tardigrade live on? How does it prevent its protein and DNA from falling apart when its cell dries up? How does it survive such extreme temperatures? Under extreme crushing pressures, how does a tardigrade prevent its internal systems from being ripped apart? How does it survive the vacuum and intense radiation of space? How does it undergo the most extreme conditions and come out relatively unscathed? One of the tardigrade’s best defenses is to go into a self-induced coma of sorts. When environmental stresses are high, they curl up into a shriveled ball (like a microscopic armadillo) called a tun, and enter a death-like state known as cryptobiosis. Metabolism slows down to 0.01% of its normal function, and the water-loving tardigrade loses all but 1-3% of its body water content (Lindahl & Balser, 1999). Being in a tun state is what enables the tardigrade to survive extreme pressures, as well as other stressors. This formation typically occurs in 3 situations: (1) in conditions where water is scarce, (2) in environments with extremely high levels of salinity, or (3) in freezing conditions (Miller, 2018). The latter is especially fascinating: freezing causes water to expand rapidly, which causes instant cellular death for most animals (think frostbite). Cells are more than 95% water, and expanding water can cause living cells to rupture and explode. So how is it that tardigrades are able to survive near-absolute zero temperatures (-273 °C)? How can they combat the ice forming within their cells? Humans, by contrast, are already in danger anytime the temperature dips

He was in a train crash, plane crash, his bus fell into a river, his car caught fire and blew up (twice), he got hit by a bus, his car fell 300 feet into a gorge (he survived because he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt)...and he also won the lottery. 1



below 0 °C. There are several possibilities: tardigrades may release chemicals that encourage ice formation outside the shell rather than inside, or perhaps they employ the trehalose sugar they produce to prevent the formation of large ice crystals (Simon, 2017). However, the most viable explanation lies in the tardigrade’s protein production. In instances of extreme cold, proteins are scrambled out of formation, thus stopping them from working. A unique aspect of their genetic code: the production of “intrinsically disordered proteins” (Simon, 2017). Most protein structures are constructed of neat amino acid chains; however, in the case of the tardigrade, these amino acids are scrambled and loosely bound, allowing the proteins to behave in strange, unique ways. These proteins are what allows the tardigrade to protect its cells from being ruptured or perforated, as well as ensures no harm is done to the tardigrade while it is in the middle of its tun state. Another useful side effect of changing into the tun state is the production of antioxidants. These antioxidants greatly help tardigrades withstand high radiation doses, as they neutralize ionizing radiation that would otherwise tear through the body, causing severe damage to the DNA and other important molecules. The antioxidants also serve as an internal cleanse: they clean up harmful chemicals that may have been caused by radiation in the tardigrade’s cells (Bryce, 2018). When the tardigrade, after surviving this whole ordeal, is finally reintroduced to water and/or normal living conditions, it is revived from its tun state in just minutes to a few hours (Lindahl & Balser, 1999). (The whole process is not dissimilar to that of an Orbeez). Given enough food and water and optimal environmental conditions, tardigrades rarely live longer than a few months to 2.5 years. Yet at the same time, they also hold a key to the Fountain of Youth. When a tardigrade is in its tun state, it doesn’t age (Herkewitz & Hernandez, 2019)—thus it can extend its lifetime decades longer than it originally was, simply by curling up into a shriveled ball. Tardigrades are, no doubt, incredibly fascinating creatures. Their unparalleled adaptations for survival are simply astounding. Able to survive the heat, the cold, immense pressures, debilitating radiation—they are practically invincible, the epitome of endurance. However, despite the sheer number of studies conducted on the tardigrade, it seems that scientists have forgotten to take into consideration one prominent factor: Dr. Hobson’s tests. Whether the tardigrade is capable of withstanding such levels of stress and fear, remains a mystery. ◆

Illustration by Ruthie Gu.

Spring 2020


Why Do We Dream? BY RYAN KIM ‘22


ou look over a cliff to see its unforgiving dropoff when all of a sudden you fall down. As you fall, you see the ground coming closer to you until you’re woken up, realizing that it was all just a dream. A dream is a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind when he or she sleeps. The science of dreaming, called oneirology, is a field that has recently become more popular. The reason why this field has been unpopular is due to how difficult it is to study a dream in the first place. There is no way to record, measure or capture a dream. One may be able to ask others about what their dream consisted of; however, this data is likely to be inaccurate because researchers predict that we forget 95% of the dreams that we have, especially within the first 10 minutes of having them (Roland, 2017). Now, thanks to modern technology, there are a few popular theories about the nature of our dreams and why our brain undergoes them. First, it is important to understand the nature of dreams and when during our sleep cycle we tend to dream. In 1952, researchers at the University of Chicago discovered a unique type of electrical activity that occurs in our brain during REM sleep, also known as Rapid Eye Movement sleep. When subjects were awakened during this stage of sleep, most of them reported that they were in the middle of a dream (Brown, 2003). The rapid and intense electrical activity that occurs while dreaming is similar to that of when your brain is awake. Though it is clear that the brain is active while dreaming, researchers still can’t agree on an indisputable purpose of these dreams. However, a few theories arise:

Fight or Flight Training The corpus amygdaloideum (also known as the amygdala) is an almond-shaped cluster of neurons located in the brain’s medial temporal lobe. The amygdala sends out electrical signals when the brain feels like it is being threatened. This is known as the “survival reflex” or the “flight or fight” response. During REM sleep, the amygdala fires at a more rapid pace than when you are awake. It fires in a way that replicates the way it would fire if you were to be threatened in real life. Fortunately, the brain stem sends out nerve signals during REM sleep that relax your muscles and causes you to remain still while your amygdala is firing (National Sleep Foundation, n.d.). However, the rapid-fire of the amygdala during REM sleep causes scientists to believe that humans



use dreams as a way of training their “fight or flight” response.

Helping Memory According to Michelle Drerup, a doctor of psychology at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most popular theories for why we dream is to aid in memory. It is theorized that dreams help you store important memories while getting rid of the unimportant ones. Dreams are also thought to help sort out and settle any complicated feelings or emotions that you experienced throughout the day. The US National Library of Medicine tested whether or not REM sleeps helps consolidate memory by testing out animals. They first introduced a number of rats, mice, and cats to a variety of mazes and puzzles. Then, they allowed a handful of their subjects to enter REM sleep while waking up the others right as they were about to enter REM sleep. After 4-6 days, the subjects who consistently entered REM sleep every night were able to remember the mazes and puzzles with more accuracy than the subjects who could not enter REM sleep consistently (Rasch & Born, 2013). These results further prove the theory that dreams aid in consolidating memory.

Nightmares Have you ever woken up sweating and completely out of breath? Chances are you experienced a nightmare. A nightmare is considered to be a dream that is more frightening and upsetting than pleasant. They are commonly caused by anxiety, stress, medications, or even overeating before going to sleep. Nightmares aren’t thought to have a specific purpose but are your brain’s reaction to the stresses of daily life. The American Sleep Association predicts that consistent nightmares are most likely a result of PTSD or a sleeping disorder. Consistent nightmares can lead to a lack of sleep, psychological problems, and anxiety (Roland, 2017). In order to avoid nightmares, aim to relieve stress during the day through exercise, participating in activities you want to do, and by setting aside time dedicated to relaxation. Dreams still remain mysterious and ambiguous in their purpose and nature. As technology continues to advance, more and more methods for analyzing dreams emerge. Hopefully, we are able to understand the true purpose of our dreams sometime soon. But until then, keep on dreaming. ◆

How Does Grey’s Anatomy Influence Perspectives of the Medical Field? BY EMMA LU ‘22


rey’s Anatomy is one of the longest running TV shows in the country, with 16 seasons starting from 2005. It has become a major influencer in pop culture and has shaped the minds of our generation. From passionate Grey’s Anatomy fans joking about becoming the “next Meredith Grey” to YouTuber

Watching Grey’s Anatomy sets an unrealistic expectation for real-life doctors. and physician “Doctor Mike” criticizing the errors of the TV drama, to what extent does the show change audiences’ perspectives on the medical field, and how is it misleading? The cultivation theory states that long-term television watching blurs the line between reality and the fictional dramatization of TV, causing viewers to associate one with the other. According to a study conducted at the University of Illinois, watching Grey’s Anatomy sets an unrealistic expectation for real-life doctors. Emily Sabando ‘22 stated that Grey’s Anatomy “made doctors seem like more of a family to patients, with a more loving and closer relationship.” While doctor-patient relationships on the show tend to be familial, in reality, surgeons emotionally detach themselves from their patients to provide the best preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care. Surgeons must contain their own emotions to give the best advice to patients on whether or not to

receive surgery, to prevent distractions and risks during the surgical procedure, and to act most efficiently in case of any postoperative complications. In addition, the show depicts the journey of inexperienced surgical interns growing into residents and world-class surgeons, making a doctor’s job and his or her path to success seem more relaxed and easily attainable. For example, the doctors on the show have made several mistakes that have been brushed off as minor and inconsequential. These mistakes include major legal violations–some of which, in reality, would result in the confiscation of the doctor’s medical license or even jail time. However, doctors on the show can usually escape punishment, resulting in Grey’s Anatomy’s misrepresentation of ethics and consequences in the medical field. According to wetpaint.com, Grey’s Anatomy is the second biggest ethics violator on TV, averaging seven ethic violations per episode (Mosthof, 2010). To make the show’s doctors seem more relatable to the average viewer, they constantly make major mistakes that affect patient care and/ or violate legal laws. The doctors regularly violate HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), a law protecting the privacy and medical information of patients. This law means that doctors, or any healthcare worker for that matter, are prohibited from sharing patient information unless it is crucial to treat the patient (HHS Office, 2015). One major “iconic” event in Grey’s Anatomy is the scene where Derek proposes to Meredith. He does this on an elevator, with patient scans hung up on the walls. While this romantic gesture seems harmless, to expose these scans so openly to the

public is actually a serious violation. As a medical drama centered around surgeons, Grey’s Anatomy glorifies the job of a doctor, making it seem like a more appealing profession that is diverse in responsibilities. At the same time, the show misrepresents other professions in the medical field, such as nurses and radiologists. The surgeons on the show complete many tasks outside the standards of their job, such as taking scans for the patient (a radiologist’s job), or taking over a nurse’s job by providing the majority of patient care, from administering medications to regularly checking up on patients. While the work of a surgeon is clearly demanding and difficult, the show portrays his or her job to be much more extensive than it is in reality. Overall, Grey’s Anatomy misrepresentation of life inside a hospital, from ethical issues and doctor-patient relationships, to the tasks within healthcare professions, results in the audience’s misled perspectives of the medical field. That being said, the medical drama was created to entertain, interest, and inspire viewers— not educate. Given the show’s massive popularity and success, one can only say they have done that well. ◆

Spring 2020


What Shape is the Universe? BY JACK CLEEVE ‘21


t seems like an odd and unnecessary question to ask, but it turns out that the shape of the universe could be the key to understanding how, and when, the universe will end. A paper recently published in Nature Journal (arguably one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world) claims that based on data from the Planck Satellite, the universe has a positive curvature and bends over itself like a sphere. This came as a rather shocking announcement from this group of researches as it was commonly thought that the universe’s curvature was either negative, thus giving the universe a sort of horseshoe esque shape, or zero, making the universe flat. The shape of the universe is entirely dependent upon its energy density. Most observations in the early to mid 2000’s have set this density at approximately 5.7 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter of space. This number is extremely close to the perfect density for the universe and should yield zero curvature and make the universe flat. However, due to the recent discovery of dark energy, a mysterious vacuum force that causes universal expansion, the common belief among scientists is that the universe has negative curvature, as the density would decrease due to everything being more spread out. The universe would continue to expand and become less dense as time progresses. Over the last five years there have largely been just those two trains of thought, and scientists have been making arguments for either a flat or negatively curved universe. Then came this paper in Nature. The team used old data from the Planck Satellite, a radio telescope that gathered data about the Cosmic Microwave Background, the earliest observable moment of the universe. All the time that came before the CMB couldn’t be viewed because the universe was still too hot and dense for light to escape. When the data was first analyzed in 2018 by the team that worked on the satellite, the evidence for a closed universe was dismissed as a statistical fluke. However, when the data was released publicly it caught the eye of Alessandro Melchiorri, Eleonora di Valentino and Joseph Silk, three cosmologists at different universities across Europe. But all three noticed a strange emergence in the data that was dismissed as a fluke earlier. When light travels through the universe, it always moves along what’s called a geodesic, the quickest way to get from point A to point B. Normally this is a straight line. But, thanks to General Relativity, scientists understand that gravity warps spacetime and the path along which objects travel. So if light travels along a warped path, the quickest way from A to B is no longer a straight line, but instead a curve. Working backwards, scientists can look at images where light bends and determine the amount of mass in the



image based on how much the light is bent. When looking at the Planck image for the CMB, Melchiorri, Valentino and Silk all noticed that the light in the image was warping more than it should have and there was more mass present than initially thought. There appeared to be more like 6 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter instead of the previously thought 5.7, meaning the universe would have a positive curvature and close in on itself like a sphere. The CMB is the closest thing scientists have to an image of the entire universe, so it is a strong support for scientists who believe in a spherical universe. So, what does any of this have to do with how the universe ends? Well, the universe’s shape and density show scientists how it will behave as unimaginable amounts of time elapse – like 10^120 years (for reference, a billion years is 10^9 years). If the universe is spherical and has a positive density value, then over time its expansion will slow to a halt, gravity will take over, and the universe will collapse back in on itself in what cosmologists call the big crunch. This would happen relatively soon in cosmic terms – only another 10-20 billion years. It wouldn’t be any better if the universe was negatively curved, as it would expand so fast and violently that eventually the entire universe will rip itself apart in the big rip (this also assumes that dark energy, that thing mentioned in paragraph two, continues to be very prominent in the universe). This would also happen in 1020 billion years. However, if the universe has a perfect density and is flat, then it will just gently drift apart for the next 10^120 years until everything has fallen into a black hole – a much longer lifespan for the universe. The new analysis of the Planck Satellite data is still surrounded in controversy, and it is more than possible that the team jumped to conclusions in their analysis. There will be more studies of the CMB to come, and only time will tell what the curvature of the universe is, and just how, and when, it is destined to end. ◆

Cornell VR Event BY MONICA ZHANG ‘21

Photo courtesy of Nancy Celente.


n Friday, November 1st, 2019, Newark Academy had the honor of hosting Dr. So Yeon Yoon and her team from Cornell University. At the university, Dr. So Yeon Yoon is an associate professor of Design and Environmental Analysis, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and leads the Design for User Experience with Technology research lab. On that Friday afternoon, she presented to students and faculty on virtual reality, STEM, and her research. She explained that Design and Environmental Analysis, or D+EA for short, explores the intersection between architecture and design

I never realized how VR headsets could be used in the professional fields to design and visualize built environments. with research on how our lives are impacted by our built environment; a built environment refers to human-made surroundings (like buildings). D+EA offers a flexible undergraduate curriculum that is centered around three main themes: Design Strategy and Innovation, Sustainable Futures, and Health and Well-Being. Design Strategy and Innovation focuses on the user experience by using digital media to design human-centered environments. Sustainable Futures involves using sustainable

materials and processes for sustainable building that will increase the productivity of the people surrounding the environment. Health and Well-Being includes healthcare design, inclusive design, and understanding environmental stressors. Dr. So Yeon Yoon also brought two Oculus Quest All-inone VR Headsets, with each including a headset and two remotes, for the attendees to try out. Attending the Cornell VR Event was exciting and inspiring. While I had never heard of D+EA prior to this event, Dr. So Yeon Yoon’s anecdotes and explanations were thorough and engaging. Additionally, I never realized how VR headsets could be used in the professional fields to design and visualize built environments. After her presentation, Dr. So Yeon Yoon asked volunteers to go up and try the Oculus Quest VR Headsets. I had never used a real VR headset before, so needless to say I was eager to test what the virtual reality experience was like. After putting the headset on and holding the two remotes in my hands, Dr. So Yeon Yoon and her team told me to choose a program that guided the user through a tutorial for using the Oculus Quest Headset. Among other things, I was able to virtually play ping pong, throw a paper airplane, and dance with a robot. The VR headset was extremely realistic, and I felt fully immersed in it.

Additionally, watching other students experience the VR was just as entertaining because of their actions with items we could not see, like playing ping pong, and their joyful reactions to new discoveries they made within the VR world. We were able to experience a fairly new and exciting aspect of the STEM field and discussed the future of possibilities that VR can aid in. ◆

Photo courtesy of Nancy Celente.

Spring 2020


Pictured: Empty shopping mall parking lot on March 17.



(Sullivan, 2020)






16 Epidemiology and the Coronavirus


19 Societal and Medical Struggles that Allow COVID-19 to Attack Us


20 The Coronavirus in our Bodies


21 Are We Making Any Progress in Combating COVID-19?


Spring 2020


Epidemiology and the Coronavirus BY LAUREN FREED ‘22


hile doctors and nurses serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, epidemiologists use data to inform and implement policies to prevent the disease from spreading. In other words, clinicians treat individuals and epidemiologists treat populations (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Epidemiologists analyze the causes of disease, who and how many people have a disease, if and how the number of people with a disease is changing, and how a disease will affect our society and economy (National Institutes of Health, 2011). Through surveillance and descriptive studies, epidemiologists understand the distribution of disease, and through analytical studies, they can understand its determinants (World Health Organization, n.d.). Disease is not randomly distributed, as it is often more prevalent among people and groups with certain characteristics (Emory University, n.d.). For example, young children, healthcare providers, the elderly, and the immunocompromised are the people most vulnerable to the coronavirus, as their weakened immune systems or increased exposure permit faster progression of viral infection (Rothan and Byrareddy, 2020). Epidemiologists consider the health status of a population, new available medical treatments, and healthcare policies to prevent the spread of disease (Emory University, n.d.). They have been shaping the policies implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus and to prevent our health systems from becoming overwhelmed, also known as “flattening the curve.” Using math and data, epidemiologists can understand how people interact and how disease is spread. Ultimately, they decide when we need to lock down and when we can loosen regulations (Begley, 2020). Encouraging people to wash their hands, promoting good respiratory etiquette, canceling large gatherings, and travel restrictions are all data-driven policies that are aimed at containing the coronavirus (Rothan and Byrareddy, 2020). Caitlin Rivers, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, speaks to the importance of containment: “Even if we are not headed to zero transmission, any cases that we can prevent and any transmission that we can avoid are going to have enormous impact. Not only on the individuals who end up not getting sick but all of the people that they would have ended up infecting. … And so the more that we can minimize it, the better” (Branswell, 2020). Coronavirus spreads through close contact between people (less than six feet) or exposure to respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Additionally, it can live on surfaces for several days. Social distancing is the best strategy we have to combat the spread of the coronavirus as of now, especially as there is



(Signer, 2020)

currently no vaccine to prevent it (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). The graphic above illustrates the effectiveness of social distancing, as decreased exposure to others has the potential to exponentially reduce cases. To inform their decisions, epidemiologists are working to understand if there are cases that have not been accounted for because of the lack of testing, or how many people have severe symptoms compared to the number of people who show no signs of illness (Rothan and Byrareddy, 2020). Coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses the processes that epidemiologists use to inform their policies: “You have to be very aggressive in identification, isolation, contact tracing. When people are infected, get them out of society, put them in a way where they’re isolated and trace others” (Central News Network, 2020). Once we can identify who has the virus, they must be isolated to prevent the virus from spreading to others. Theoretically, if we were to know with absolute certainty who had the virus and they were quarantined, all of those who were not infected would be able to go about their normal lives. However, that would be impossible considering the lack of testing and the fact that some people with the virus are asymptomatic. Therefore, all of the people on this planet share the respon-

health professionals to enforce travel bans and to encourage everyone to stay at home. The basic reproductive number of COVID-19 is 2.28, meaning that without preventative measures, every person with the coronavirus can give it to two to three other people (Zhang et al., 2020). Though that may not seem like a lot, a basic reproductive number of 2.28 means that the cases will grow exponentially, as they have. The graph below illustrates a model of exponential growth. This raises questions about whether cases will continue to grow at this rate, what the implications of this be, and finally, what policies we could implement to stop the number of cases from growing exponentially.

Global cases of COVID-19 over time (Johns Hopkins University, 2020)

sibility of isolation and containment to prevent the spread of the disease. Besides identification and isolation, contact tracing shapes the policies that epidemiologists put into place. COVID-19 has a zoonotic origin, meaning it comes from an animal (Rothan and Byrareddy, 2020). In her book Pandemic, health journalist Sonia Shah writes, “More than 60 percent of our newly emerged pathogens originate in the furred and winged creatures around us… Most-- over 70 percent-come from wild animals,” and COVID-19 is no different. The human population has contracted various viruses from animal populations throughout our history. Through ag-

riculture, wet markets (where live animals are bought and sold), and close contact with wildlife because of environmental destruction, the human population has close contact with other species required for zoonotic viruses to enter into our population (Shah, 2017). This has prompted the Chinese government to pass a law “Comprehensively Prohibiting the Illegal Trade of Wild Animals, Eliminating the Bad Habits of Wild Animal Consumption, and Protecting the Health and Safety of the People” (Gorman, 2020). However, Shah raises the point that “pathogens themselves are microscopic and immobile. They have no wings or legs or any other independent means of locomotion. On their own, they are as isolated as island castaways, marooned in their obscure birthplaces.” The spread of disease is entirely up to the human population, as we are in constant locomotion and contact with one another. Planes, boats, and trains that connect opposite ends of the world also spread disease and ultimately can cause a pandemic (Shah, 2017). This has prompted our

Though we do not know with absolute certainty the future of the virus’s progression, epidemiologists use data to predict its future outcomes . Using mathematical algorithms, medical and scientific knowledge, and history of past pandemics, epidemiologists constructed models to predict the future of the disease (Wan et al., 2020). According to a report by epidemiologists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “one-time interventions will be insufficient to maintain COVID-19.” The report warns that “Intermittent distancing measures can maintain control of the epidemic, but without other interventions, these measures may be necessary into 2022.” Preventative measures could be in place for at least another twelve to eighteen months, or until a vaccine is developed (Kissler et al., 2020). Additionally, epidemiologists predicted that there could be two or more outbreaks of COVID-19 in the coming months (Wan et al., 2020). Though the rate of infection might decrease during the summer months, it is predicted to resurge in the fall Spring 2020


(Kissler et al., 2020). We will need to change our lifestyles for more than a few weeks, as shown by the graph below, to flatten not only one curve, but multiple curves. America is currently on a trajectory towards 1.1 million deaths, and without preventative measures, British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson predicts that the U.S. could see 2.2 million deaths in the worst-case scenario. However, if we all make the lifestyle changes necessary to stop the spread of the virus, there is still hope. ◆

(Wan et al., 2020)



Societal and Medical Struggles that Allow COVID-19 to Attack Us BY DAFNE HERNANDEZ ‘20


ocial distancing is a preventive measure that deliberately increases the physical space between people to at least 6 feet to avoid spreading an illness. (Maragakis, 2020) But why 6 feet apart? Six feet is the average distance that respiratory droplets from a sneeze or cough travel before they settle and are no longer likely to be inhaled by other people, according to Krys Johnson, an epidemiologist at Temple University. (Letzter, LiveScience) Those 6 feet can make a difference between being healthy and falling sick from COVID-19. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 can be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby, can be inhaled into the lungs, or could spread through contaminated surfaces. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) The virus is more likely to spread in large gatherings or communities because people are in close contact with each other, within about 6 feet, hence the importance of social distancing and the ‘6-feet rule.’ But one of the greatest struggles in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is testing for the virus. In the United States, there continues to be shortages of swabs, reagents, and test kits. How are people being tested for the virus? People are tested for coronavirus through polymerase reaction testing, or PCR testing. These tests start with a nasopharyngeal swab, or a swab that goes up the nose and far back into the throat, which collects mucus, saliva, cells, and if present, viral RNA. These samples are then sent to a lab, where researchers apply chemicals to remove everything but the RNA, which they add enzymes to in order to transcribe it into DNA. This DNA and other chemicals are placed into a PCR machine, which creates thousands of copies of any genetic material in the samples. Scientists then use sets of DNA fragments that complement fragments found in the virus, and if any viral genetic material is present, these fragments will bind to it. Chemical markers attached to DNA release fluorescence when this DNA binding occurs. (Pappas, LiveScience) But PCR testing has shown to be unreliable. One of the chemicals used in the test also responded to non-coronavirus genetic material as if the virus were present – returning false positive results. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorizations for private labs, companies, and hospitals to develop their own coronavirus PCR tests and develop new tests that will be able to detect the virus without having to send samples to centralized laboratories. The latter would be more efficient than the testing that is being done today, as test results from PCR testing take about a week or more. Other companies are creating point-of-care tests, which are tests that can be done within clinics or doctors’ offices, or used in mobile-drive through testing sites. Compared to the coronavirus

PCR testing, the point-of-care tests allow people to quickly know if they have COVID-19, and allow valuable hospital spaces and personal protective equipment, or PPE, to be saved. The pointof-care testing can use PCR to quickly copy the genetic material in a sample, or swab, so viral genes can be detected. A person collects the sample, or swab, and inserts it into the cartridge, which contains all the chemicals needed for the procedure. The cartridge goes into the testing device, a proprietary piece of equipment, which heats and cools it to facilitate the proper chemical reactions, and yields results in less than an hour. (Pappas, LiveScience) Another struggle in decreasing the spread of COVID-19 is the fact that there are two kinds of people with the virus: those who are symptomatic and those who are asymptomatic for the virus. COVID-19 is, therefore, insidious, or a virus that develops gradually before becoming apparent. Symptomatic means showing symptoms associated with a disease or a condition, while asymptomatic means having a disease or a condition without showing symptoms associated with that disease or condition. (Eldridge, VeryWell Health) Thus, people who are symptomatic can know if they have COVID-19 and whether they are contagious to others. But those who are asymptomatic for the virus do not know that they carry it or that they are contagious until showing symptoms of the virus. Those who are asymptomatic for the virus could also later develop mild to severe symptoms, or, in other words, be classified as having pre-symptomatic transmission. (Woodward, Science Alert) But as of today, there are no tests to screen for asymptomatic infections. In order to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases, these tests, known as serological tests, must exist and successfully work to detect those who are asymptomatic, or those exposed to the virus in the past, even if they are not currently sick. Serological tests use convalescent plasma treatment to search the blood for antibodies or molecules made by the immune system, in response to a pathogen’s attack to the virus. Those who have fought the infection have antibodies in their blood that help the immune system against the COVID-19. These antibodies can be isolated from the blood of recovered patients and can then be injected into patients who are ill. The antibodies will then, hopefully, boost sick patients’ immune systems to better fight the virus. The convalescent plasma treatment is being tested in New York City and in some countries in Asia. (Pappas, LiveScience) There are multiple barriers that are preventing society from eliminating COVID-19, from social constraints that are either being followed or ignored by the general public to the lack of successful or quick tests by the medical community to detect and treat cases of COVID-19. This is a time when we must think beyond ourselves and work as one to prevail. ◆ Spring 2020


The Coronavirus in Our Bodies BY KAYA PATEL ‘22


hile the entire world is faced with its first pandemic in nearly 100 years, there are lots of questions and uncertainties about the coronavirus and how its course will impact our near future. Despite the uncertainty in our lives because of the virus, scientists have uncovered how it interacts with our bodies, giving us a better understanding of why certain groups of people are impacted more than others. COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, spreads through the air in small droplets through coughs and sneezes. Once a person is exposed to these droplets, the droplets travel to the back of the nasal passages and rest in the mucous membranes located in the back of the throat. In the mucous membranes, the virus is able to attach onto cell re-

(Corum & Zimmer, 2020) For more information on this process, visit How Coronavirus Hijacks Your Cells

ceptor by latching its spiked protein exterior onto cell membranes. With the virus hooked onto cells, it is able to insert its genetic material into the cell. Thus, like a parasite, the virus changes the cells’ agenda to benefit itself. Instead of performing its normal metabolic functions, the virus confuses the cell into multiplying itself (Belluck, 2020). Once the virus is able to spread its genetic material in the throat, the cells burst and infect their neighboring cells with the virus. The process of multiplying the virus in the mucous membrane causes the virus’s first symptom, which is typically a mixture of a sore throat and a dry cough. After it detects the virus, the immune system sends cytokines, cells that communicate with the immune system, which can typically fight off the virus within a week (Gallagher, 2020). However, as the virus continues to multiply, it travels from



the throat down the entirety of the bronchial tubes and then proceeds to the lungs. When the virus reaches the lungs, they become inflamed because the body attempts to fight the virus. With the inflammation of the lungs, the virus impedes the gas exchange which occurs in the alveoli, tiny air sacs in the lungs, and in some cases damages them. Without open alveoli, the oxygen struggles to travel through the lungs and causes another symptom, shortness of breath. In addition, the alveoli can fill with liquid, which can cause cases of pneumonia to arise. For people with preexisting conditions such as low lung capacity and asthma, this stage can worsen quickly and transition into severe cases of COVID-19 (Gallagher, 2020). While 80% of the people who get the virus only experience mild symptoms such as body aches, fever, and cough, the other 20% of patients encounter severe cases (Gallagher, 2020). When people do not recover from the virus within one week, their case is considered extreme. An extreme case arises when the body overreacts to the virus, causing the body to harm itself by severely inflaming the lungs and other parts of the body. This process can lead to worse conditions such as pneumonia, kidney failure, and inflammation in the liver. In addition, if the gastrointestinal system becomes inflamed, then a patient can experience symptoms such as diarrhea and indigestion. Because the elderly and people with preexisting conditions like diabetes and lung capacity issues are more susceptible to severe cases of the disease, they are also at a higher risk for death. When the body is no longer able to breathe, even with medical assistance and ventilators, patients experience what is called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The lungs of these patients are no longer able to fill with oxygen because of the amount of inflammation and liquid in them, causing death. While some treatments for severe cases exist such as Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation, this treatment is highly invasive and acts as a replacement for the patient’s lungs. This process entails removing blood from the body through thick tubes and oxygenating it before pumping the blood back into the body (Gallagher, 2020). As of now, around 3,900 people have died from the virus globally, and more continue to suffer from the disease each day (Worldometers, 2020). While all of us are in quarantine because of this virus, it is important to remember that most of us are not at risk for severe reactions. With proper social distancing and sanitation, we will continue to not only support our own health and wellbeing, but also support members of our community who may be at higher risk. ◆

Are We Making Any Progress in Combating COVID-19? BY ETHAN GARCIA ‘23


n the world of psychology, the human reaction to an imminent threat depends heavily on the situation and person involved. For example, someone with social anxiety may not perceive a physical threat to be as dangerous as a social threat, such as how our primate ancestors, the rhesus macaque, showcased in their cognitive bias to social threats. When presented with a dominant macaque (imminent threat), they immediately fled, but when presented with their scent (distant threat), they cautiously looked around for the source (Harrison, Ahn, Adolphs 2015). But what happens when this danger spans multiple categories of threats? The same research paper, published on the US National Institution of Health, says, “As a threatening situation becomes more imminent—immediate, close, and dangerous—attack responses are chosen; as the immediate threat wanes, avoidant behaviors, which are less costly to the organism, are adopted. Approaching actions (e.g., attack, negotiate) is only taken when an organism is pressed by an imminent threat, with the exception of imminent but escapable threats, which are avoided.” (Exploring the Structure of Human Defensive Responses from Judgments of Threat Scenarios, Laura A. Harrison, Curie Ahn, and Ralph Adolphs 2, US National Library of Medicine 2015) This manifests itself in today’s world with the ever-present coronavirus and the threat it poses to our social networks, the economy, and our own physical health. Our cognitive biases are working to both help us and hurt us (Lacey 2020) It is avoidable but inescapable until a vaccine comes out. For now, besides defensive measures such as social distancing and wearing facemasks, we are left with only one attack: to try out different forms of medicine. Coronavirus almost serves as a case study for human nature in troubling times, as it affects everyone equally, disregarding things we find to split us, such as class, race, and ethnicity. The problem is, mass panic from this threat is leaving people to look for solutions that won’t necessarily work, or even finding ways to profit off of false alternatives to treatment. However, we have found some ways to combat COVID-19. Here’s a look at some of the biggest medical breakthroughs we’ve found so far to combat this common viral enemy. Before we get into the individual cures, we must understand that these medical workers are working extremely hard in helping to combat coronavirus and are making great progress. Sometimes, bureaucracy hinders them, and if they succeed well enough, that bureaucracy will be lifted in the name of salvation. Big pharma also doesn’t have a track record of being very generous, but finding a cure at an acceptable price could be extremely lucrative. Things like compulsory licenses, the creation of an authorized generic, or even the bypassing of the intellectual property process could prevent the abuse of the monopoly granted by a patent and ensure the spread of a possible cure or treatment method (KEI contributor, 2019). 60 different existing and new

drugs are already being tested, but there are two important ones to recognize at the time of writing (Arnold 2020). These drugs face one major problem: managing and meeting the supply and demand, and making sure greed doesn’t kill those in desperate need of these medicines. More recently, the Food and Drug Association granted “emergency use authorization” for two antimalaria drugs: hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, for treating COVID-19 (FDA EUA contributor, 2020). Hydroxychloroquine, with a chemical name C18H26ClN3O, is a less toxic version of chloroquine (which is the same thing minus the oxygen). 72% of physicians in Spain used the drug to treat COVID-19 (O’Neill 2020). Unfortunately, there is not enough data to truly deem it effective in the treatment of the novel virus. It has been used only on patients with compromised respiratory systems and progression of symptoms to monitor side effects and is said to cut time of recovery, with unknown possible side effects (McCauley 2020). But what exactly is hydroxychloroquine doing to help combat our microbial enemy? It treats autoimmune diseases, meaning that it attacks diseases that use the immune system against the body. It has a half-life of 3-4 hours after oral ingestion normally. Exact mechanisms of action are unknown for hydroxychloroquine; however, we do know that the drug raises the pH of lysosomes in human cells (Liu, J., Cao, R., Xu, M, 2020). Chloroquine does the same to combat malaria, going into the parasite’s food vacuole and preventing it from properly processing hemoglobin. It inhibits the conversion of heme to hemozoin, which leads the heme to lyse the cell of the malaria parasite by chemically binding the heme and makes it clog up, ultimately giving the equivalent of a toxic shock to the malaria cell (Wiser 2020). Hydroxychloroquine has a very similar mechanism of action, or way it cures what it’s intended to. It stops the coronavirus because it raises the pH of the vacuole in the cell which the virus uses to grow and replicate. When present in the cell, antigen processing and presentation can’t proceed (which means that the thing triggering an immune system response can’t be shown to the T cells that decide what to do). This is because of the MHC, or major histocompatibility complex. The complex consists of some proteins that make a curve for the coronavirus to attach to on the protein matrix that lies on the lipid bilayer. Coronavirus works by attaching onto these curves so that they could insert their DNA into the cells to be replicated and make more proteins as well as more copies of itself, which is how it reproduces. When it does this cells go rogue. They are influenced and send too high of a response, ultimately leading for corona in other parts of the body to take over other cells while the immune system is concentrating its efforts on one area, leading to death eventually. Because it doesn’t connect, the T cells cannot go rogue and initiSpring 2020


ate too high of a response that will let Coronavirus win because the antigens don’t have enough to present to the T cells. The pH is too high, so naturally, only high-affinity MHC is recycled to the top (DrugBank, 2020). Coronavirus can’t bind to the target cell easily, the T cells don’t get presented to the coronavirus, and the immune system doesn’t overreact and leave other virus microbes unwatched–which is where they cause serious damage. Hydroxychloroquine, on top of stopping the ACE2 receptor from efficiently chemically interacting with coronavirus, basically holds off the cells from doing too much and balances the immune system chemically for the human body (DrugBank 2020). But it can only do so much, so symptoms still pervade, but a minor battle has been won and the patient can expect a speedy recovery. However, these antimalarial drugs have a long history of side effects and the clinical data is sparse (Rowland 2020). Further work is being done quickly to see if these antimalarial drugs are safe and effective against COVID-19. Another drug may be getting a second chance. Remdesivir is the new hope in helping allay our worries that the virus is incurable at the moment. It fought off SARS and MERS very well and then was adapted to try and stop Ebola virus. Some of the downsides of remdesivir include its side effects, especially the possibility of liver injury from a spike in liver enzymes. The research data for remsdesivir is also sparse and weak (Silverman 2020). Remdesivir (C27H35N6O8P) is structurally similar to a nucleotide, being a nucleoside analog (similar in structure to adenosine but chemically mildly different, and it has only the analogous part and a sugar), so it blends in and disrupts the production of proteins through RNA transcriptions (because you can’t just add a nucleotide) (DrugBank Contributor, 2020). In doing so, a virus can’t replicate itself once it gets into the body because of a sneaky fake nucleotide, simulating the target amino acids that Sars-CoV hijacks the cell to make so it can replicate one of 29 of its proteins (Corum, Zimmerman 2020). It consequently creates a random benign protein, and the disease can’t progress as easily. It’s delivered by injection into the veins or by other methods that allow it to get into the bloodstream. A lot of data, including toxicity, is relatively obscure. All in all, Remdesivir is a medicine to keep track of in these tumultuous times. It’s advanced quickly into clinical trials because of its use in combating Ebola, and might see a future in combating COVID-19. At the right is a chart with all of the medical progress of treatment so far, including the two aforementioned drugs. Currently, Mount Sinai Hospital has been successful in using blood antibodies to attempt to clear the symptoms in a process called plasma transfusion. Additionally, 3D printing and computer technologies might be able to help satisfy our ever-growing need for ventilators and other medical equipment by those in need. One ex-



(Bailey & Guttendorf, n.d.)

ample includes the Indiana based manufacturer Mursix, who is using their technologies and resources to make equipment. In order to meet this need, they use a 3D scanner, a recent investment that saves time and therefore lives by allowing designers and engineers alike to create, design, and inspect parts before production so they don’t waste time in the idea-to-production process, but more importantly, prevent mistakes from happening that could inhibit functionality. Plastic injection with molding and machines, as well as other components necessary, are being manufactured by Mursix as well (Mursix 2020). 3D printing is proving to save lives, too. Formlabs, a 3D printing company, is working to catch the disease by using its 250 printers at its Ohio factory to make nasal swabs for testing, as well as testing split tubing for more than one person to be able to use a ventilator. 3D printing is one way to alleviate the pressure that comes with the time constraints and the demands of society. Guidelines and regulations on this technology to make the manufacturing concrete and efficient are being produced between multiple universities, to try and balance necessity and progress. They are using GitHub, which is also supplementing the growing need for telehealth, a technology that is booming in these times. Desktop Metal, another manufacturer, set up a donation page asking companies for extra metal to be able to print. The digital manufacturer Carbon and a branch of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, are collaborating on face shields that are being tested in San Francisco. Prisma Health, a healthcare non-profit, has already received emergency authorization from

the FDA to use 3D printers to manufacture splitter tubes, which can put 4 patients on a singular ventilator (Temple 2020). On that note, Tesla sent out 40 BPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) machines, similar to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines, which treat sleep apnea but with two settings, essentially acting as a noninvasive, FDA-approved ventilator (Financial Times 2020). The machines mechanically circulate air to constantly bring the user fresh, breathable air, and have a very complicated process for the release of air. Multiple companies have shifted their role to manufacturing these machines, including Protolabs, a manufacturer which is also working with the University of Minnesota to find a cheaper alternative that uses a motor to pump DIY ambu bags. MIT has also been working on this. Technology once futuristic and far-out is now starting to see widespread use, especially under the Defense Protection Act, and we’ll soon see how it all plays out. Finally, the development of vaccines is crucial as the medical world competes in race to find a cure. Vaccines for COVID-19 (and other viruses) contain copies of the genetic material of the virus or components of it, which allow the immune system to recognize these components to recognize the virus and efficiently attack the virus. The two become chemically acquainted, and a proper response is figured out during antigen processing and presentation without the virus hijacking the system and causing the symptoms of COVID-19, which are explained by the channel Vox on YouTube. These vaccines are divisible into different categories of vaccines based on what component of the virus is entering the body and being assessed by the immune system: its DNA, Live Attenuated Virus (virus with reduced power), Inactive, non-replicating viral vector (a tool that delivers the DNA without replicating itself), a protein subunit of the virus (parts of the virus that make up the complex and mark it to be marked by antibodies), replicating viral vector (a tool that delivers the DNA so it can replicate in the body), the virus’ RNA, and a VLP (a molecule that resembles the virus in question), along with 5 unknown vaccines (Routley 2020). All of these are in preclinical testing. Notably, Moderna Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that has the capability to ride out delays caused by the coronavirus (Taylor 2020), skipped the animal testing phase and has been cleared by the FDA to work on humans (Hahn 2020), using the RNA to create an immune response. It is also worth noting that the University of Pittsburgh used a lab-made spike protein (the structure that binds to receptors) to simulate the virus and provoke an immune response. This protein is a potential candidate for a vaccine as it is scalable and versatile because this protein technique is similar to the one used in flu vaccines. The industry is still evolving and adapting, and all of the medicine and tech covered in this article is preliminary or novel. Here’s a chart mapping out what’s been stated as well as introducing

other competitors in the race for the vaccine.

(Bailey & Guttendorf, n.d.)

This pandemic is an ever-shifting, constantly changing, and deadly obstacle that we as a human race must overcome. Collective individual efforts are the only way to avoid catastrophe and avoid having our names put in the history books as reckless people who poured gas on the flame and promoted a fast pandemic with many deaths by disregarding the cautions laid before us. In that sense, staying pessimistic is a desirable way to look at the future for the safety of others. If we can overcome this, we look ahead to a bright future where we could possibly tackle daunting issues such as climate change if we continue this trend of contribution to a collective effort. The medical industry is reacting fast. The best we can do to mirror their efforts and complement their hard work with doing what we’ve been told to. This pandemic might serve millions of case studies on medicine, biology, human history, psychology, and economics in the future with the way we’re reacting to this pandemic. Our absence outside lets nature recover, history is repeating, consequences of our interference with the environment are presenting themselves, and humans are reacting to the pandemic biologically and psychologically. Who knows? There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and some of it is coming from medicine that might develop in the future. ◆ Spring 2020


Pictured: Bell Labs' Campus in Holmdel, NJ, where Hoover worked.

Dr. Erna Ho Female Inv Tech Pione By Sophia Chen '20 and Spencer Linenberg '20

(Bell Labs Holmdel, 2008) 24



oover: ventor and eer W

e live in an age in which communication is effortless. With a tap of the finger, one can speak to anyone in the world on the phone. However, this technology would not have been possible without the work of the computer scientist and inventor Dr. Erna Hoover. Like most residents of Summit, New Jersey, Dr. Erna Hoover enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with friends. Unlike her neighbors, Dr. Hoover is an accomplished computer scientist, holder of one of the first software patents ever issued, and a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. During a time when the science and technology fields were almost exclusively male, Hoover overcame discrimination and participated in the development of a computerized system for phone call switching, which revolutionized the telecommunications industry. This system paved the way for America’s current phone infrastructure, which supports billions of phone calls. As an early pioneer in the science and technology fields, Hoover is an inspiration to a growing number of women interested in STEM.

Spring 2020


Several months ago, Dr. Hoover invited us to her home to share her story. We sat on the couch in her study, a tastefully decorated room lined with bookcases.

in high school. Since college teaching ultimately requires a Ph.D, I enrolled in the Yale Graduate School. By 1951 I had earned a Ph.D in philosophy, a discipline which included symbolic logic and foundations of mathematics. After finishing at Yale I joined the philosophy department at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. I taught there for three years. In 1950, when I was still at Yale, I met my husband, Charles Hoover Jr. Charlie had served as an officer in the US Navy during World War II. Now that the war was over he had come to Yale to obtain a Ph.D in physics. We started dating that summer, but in the fall I went down to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania to teach. Over the next three years we saw each other in the summer and on occasional weekends. By 1952 we became engaged, and we married in June 1953. A commuter marriage was highly unconventional at that time. Many men couldn’t even imagine how that would work. When Charlie finished his Ph.D at Yale in 1954, he was offered a job at Bell Laboratories in northern New Jersey. I tried to find a tenure track academic job in the New York Metropolitan area, but I wasn’t successful. Academic jobs which led to tenure and ultimately to a full professorship were scarce for women, and especially scarce for married women. I decided to leave the academic world and apply to Bell Laboratories on the strength of my knowledge of symbolic logic and the foundations of mathematics. I was hired, but on a sub-professional level, at a lower salary than my educational experience warranted.

Spencer: What education did you receive and how did that influence your career prospects? In high school, I took all the science courses that were available. At Wellesley College, I majored in medieval and classical history and philosophy. I also studied symbolic logic, some math, geology, ancient Greek and music. I did not study computers. In 1944-1948 there were no courses in computers. In fact, there were almost no computers. Certainly there were no more than a dozen in the whole country. From the time I was 13 years old, I wanted to have both a career and a family. So I decided that I would teach in a college because that profession permits more flexible hours than teaching

Sophia: Can you describe the work you performed at Bell Labs? At the Labs I started by helping to write a book about Systems Engineering. Systems Engineers study the marketability and technical feasibility of projects and describe the basic scheme the development will follow. In 1956, while I was working on the book, Charlie and I decided to start a family. Our first child was born that year. I took three month’s leave of absence and found a competent woman to take care of the baby while we were at work. But in those days I


Winter 2019

1ESS Control Center (Martin, 2010).

“In 1944-1948 there were no courses in computers. In fact, there were almost no computers. Certainly there were no more than a dozen in the whole country.” ◀

wasn’t paid while on leave and there was no guarantee that I would have my job back. Fortunately, my boss asked me to come back. I told him that I would do so only if he promoted me to the professional level, which he did. In 1956 the Labs were developing a special purpose electronic computer to connect telephone calls. The term for that is “switching.” The system was called the NO1 Electronic Switching System,” or “NO1 ESS.” This development was possible because Bell Labs had previously invented the transistor, a solid state electronic device that would do the job of vacuum tubes. Vacuum tubes were unreliable, and a computer made from large numbers of vacuum tubes was able to run only a few hours before a tube burned out and the system broke down. In order to meet the expectations of telephone users, a switching system had to meet tough requirements for re-

The 1ESS in Succasunna, NJ (AT&T Archives and History Center, n.d.).

liability. The ESS had to run reliably twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for years. Achieving this standard with new electronic devices and new ways for connecting them required the efforts of several hundred people over a number of years. When I learned about this project I decided that my education could be put to use there. So I went to the manager of the project and got myself transferred. I went to work on the ESS, joining a team of three hundred people. I started by studying what was known about computers. Then I wrote the spec, which detailed the order structure of the computer. Once that was finished, I wrote the spec describing the operation system. I worked continually with the development people to make sure the specifications were met. Finally, I described the algorithm the computer would use when it encountered more demand for service than it could process

Spring 2020


“Ultimately, I was the first woman to be promoted to department head, directing the work of several supervisors – always men.” ◀

Some of the circuit packs that performed the logical functions for the 1ESS central control (Keister, 1965).

efficiently. That algorithm was patented. As a result, I was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. During the 1950s and 1960s there were only a few female members of technical staff, perhaps two or three. And there were no women in management at any level. As a result of my work on ESS, I was the first woman promoted to be a first level supervisor. Ultimately, I was the first woman to be promoted to department head, directing the work of several supervisors – always men. So, my education prepared me for a career which did not exist when I graduated from college. Spencer: Going off what you said about being one of the few women employed at Bell Labs, could you elaborate a little bit on that and whether you encountered any obstacles along the way?


There was discrimination in hiring. For example, although I was hired below the professional level, a man with comparable education was hired directly as a professional. Typically, women were paid less than men. There were lots of men, both at the working level and in management, who didn't think a woman could do engineering work. When I persuaded the ESS management to transfer me, my original boss’s boss called me in and said, “Well, we're going to send you over there, but you're going to fall flat on your face.” I signed my memos “E S Hoover” so that the reader would not be prejudiced against the writing before it was even read. In order to become a department head I had to wait until one particular troglodyte who opposed the promotion of women was out of the way and could no longer block my path.

Spencer: Yeah, it's fascinating how much the landscape has shifted since then with regard to gender norms. Did your parents support your decision to pursue a career at Bell Labs? Well, I was brought up by a mother and father who believed girls and boys should be raised pretty much in the same way. That is probably why I was confident that I could raise a family AND tackle a career in a highly male-dominated workplace like Bell Labs. After I got there I learned how many subtle kinds of discrimination, and not-so-subtle kinds of discrimination, existed. Sophia: Did you work on any other projects while at Bell Labs? Yes. In addition to working on the electronic switching system, I worked on a number of other projects – a principal one was the intercontinental missile defense system, referred to as the Safeguard system. Western Electric, the manufacturing branch of the Bell System, held the basic contract and the Labs held a subcontract for programming both the radar that would acquire the missiles and the Sprint missile that would shoot them down.The program for the Sprint missile involved a million lines of code. I supervised a group of programmers working on that project. We all hoped that this defense system would never have to be used. The possibility of a warhead getting through the defense was too devastating to contemplate. We tested the system by firing our own unarmed missile from the California coast into Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific. The Russians sent out ships bristling with radars to observe the tests. In turn the Russians reported back home, causing their military to spend more money on their offense. Finally, in the 1970s the US and the USSR signed the SALT treaties which limited the number and kind of missiles each side could have. In the end, the Soviets were spending about 15% of their gross national product on the military, while the US was spending about 6% of an economy twice the size. The USSR finally fell apart.

Well, you have to be dedicated. You really have to like science. If you intend to get married it's critical for your spouse to be comfortable with your choice of a career. If you intend to have a family it’s critical to have excellent, dependable care for your chiIdren. If you're a woman – and a lot of women are employed in science fields today – I think you'll still find folks who don't think women can do science as well as men. You need a lot of determination and self confidence. If you are a woman, it is necessary to be assertive. Some women think “If I do the work, they’ll reward me.” That isn’t necessarily true. There are ways to ask for a raise and ways to ask for challenging assignments. Sophia: What is a significant issue facing the scientific field that you believe should be fixed? Companies need to make it possible for men and women to balance work and family life. If people must respond to emails 24/7, they really can’t have much of a life away from work. Eventually they won’t be able to do their best work either. It is important to create a fair workplace. Conditions for women have improved. Companies usually pay for maternity leaves. Some provide a room where nursing mothers can pump breast milk. Some companies monitor actual pay and promotion practices in addition to claiming that they comply. But if parents are tied to their companies’ cell phones day and night, a balanced life is impossible. ◆

Diagram of the algorithm that Hoover received a patent for (Eckhart & Hoover, 1971).

Sophia: Do you have any advice for aspiring scientists or students who want to pursue a science-related career? What sort of things were necessary for your success?

Spring 2020


The Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life is Closer Than We Think, and We're Not Ready BY JULIA LI ‘23


t is no secret that our planet is imperfect. Earth has always had gaping faults –faults that only seem to grow as humankind continues to advance. But one area that unites us all is an intense drive to comprehend the universe, and with that, a passionate search for extraterrestrial life - and this search could end much sooner than we think. Answers lie on Mars, which is by far the most habitable planet besides the Earth. NASA has continually launched rovers such as Curiosity and Opportunity to Mars and is now working on a new design to be released in 2020. NASA’s 2020 rover will be instrumental to finding traces of alien life; NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and Russia’s Roscosmos will be sending rovers to investigate the surface of Mars. These rovers will be the first to extract samples in

If we cannot cooperate over the growing threat of global warming, how can we face an exterrestrial threat?

hopes of finding organic matter by drilling into the planet deeper than ever before (CNN, 2019). NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is being sent to the Jezero Crater delta, a 30-mile crater rich of clay, which suggests that it was once flooded by water. Dr. Jim Green, head of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, believes that the mission shows promise, as “where there is water there is life” - but he also believes that if the search for extraterrestrial life succeeds, it will be completely revolutionary (Williams, 2019). “What happens next is a whole new set of scientific questions,” Green muses in an interview with The Telegraph (Knapton, 2019). “Is that life like us? How are we related? Can life move from planet-to-planet, or do we have a spark and just the right environment, and that spark generates life?” In any case, if NASA’s search for alien life succeeds, it would widen our boundaries and lead us to extend our



search for extraterrestrial life across the universe, attracting much public attention - and unwanted conspiracies. Civilians are no stranger to rumors of Area 51 or UFO sightings, which have gone viral over social media. But conspiracies cause tension between Earthrens, and some hypothesize the search for extraterrestrial life could draw boundaries between the government and the public. “There’s this feeling amongst the public - a very large fraction of the public - that the discovery of intelligent life at least would be kept secret by the government,” says Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the SETI Institute (Saplakoglu, 2018). The line between the government and people is not just the only obstacle of pursuing our search for extraterrestrial life; different countries would have multiple approaches to tackling the possible threat of another race. After all, the world cannot even fully agree on the rising threat of global warming, a crisis that has recently been receiving a huge amount of publicity. Worldwide activists have been clamoring for more climate-friendly initiatives that could save our lives and our planet, but there are still quite a few people who declare climate change as a hoax - even though climate change has plenty of scientific evidence backing it up. If we cannot cooperate over the growing threat of global warming, how can we face an extraterrestrial threat? Facing such a peril would be the largest test of unification for mankind, something we are nowhere near ready for. ◆

Coral Bleaching and the Coral Restoration Foundation BY KAYA PATEL ‘22


limate change is impacting our planet at a rate that is healthy coral reef can absorb up to 97% of a wave’s energy, almost irreversible, and despite what we see on land, its which does not prevent all damage, but a significant part of impact on coral reefs is something that is often overlooked. it. Furthermore, the economic value of coral reefs is much Before I began scuba diving, I was unaware that human achigher than one would anticipate. Coral reefs provide the tivity has had such a devastating impact on our coral reefs. world with $3.4 billion through tourism, fisheries, and pro Coral and zooxanthellae algae are part of a mutualistection each year. In addition, 500 million people depend on tic relationship where the coral hosts the zooxanthellae and them for income. Not only do coral reefs protect us, but they allows it to photosynthesize. In exchange, the coral obtains also provide food and shelter for 25% of the world’s marine energy that the algae produces. The algae absorbs nitrogen species (NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2020). and carbon that are expelled from the coral during metabol In the summer of 2018, I worked with the Coral Resic functions. This mutualistic relationship is crucial to the toration Foundation, where I learned about coral bleaching health of the coral, and when it is stressed, the zooxanthellae and how detrimental climate change is to reefs. I worked algae are forced to leave the coral. Without algae, the coral with the Florida Keys site of the organization, which fobecomes white and vulnerable in a stage called bleaching. cuses on educating people about the importance of corAlthough the coral al reefs while helping to has the opportunity rebuild them. They do to return to a healthy this by growing coral on state while bleached, PVC “trees” and attachit no longer has a ing them with wire until food source for enthey are large enough to ergy or protection be “planted” onto the reef. against disease. If This process creates coral this condition is prothat are less susceptible to longed by a stressful bleaching. After growing environment, the to the right size, the coral coral dies. are planted onto the reef Mass coral using an epoxy mixture bleaching events are to secure them into nooks caused by warmer on a preexisting dead reef. Kaya Patel water temperatures During my time in Florida, Cleaning the PVC trees in the Coral Nursery that are proven to I obtained my certification stress coral. In addition to warmer waters, pollution, runoff, in coral restoration and completed 8 dives with the Coral and even sunscreen can cause major damage to coral. The Restoration Foundation team. I visited their coral nursery combination of low tides and increased sun exposure of the and helped maintain its cleanliness by cleaning algae and corals have also contributed to the coral bleaching epidemic fire coral off the trees on several dives. The other dives conaround the world. According to the Office for Coastal Mansisted of planting coral and monitoring them based on tags agement, 75% of corals in the world were bleached from attached during planting. To do this, I used a hammer to 2014 to 2017, and 27% of the world’s coral has died in the clear away debris, created an epoxy mixture, and secured the last 30 years (NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2020). coral with its tag facing up in the epoxy mixture. Monitoring The rate at which the coral reefs are dying is alarming, but its the coral was really important because it helped the organiimpact cannot be fully understood without acknowledging zation see what their success rate looked like and how they what coral does for the planet. could improve their model. I am so grateful for this experi The first important reason for preserving coral is for ence because it not only developed my interest in the impact coastal protection. Coral reefs act as a natural barrier beof coral on our world, but also sparked my love for undertween the coast and storm damage. In addition to prewater community service, which I continued to do this past venting damage during hurricanes and other storms, coral summer in Belize. ◆ reefs constantly protect the shores from extreme erosion. A Spring 2020


Internship at the Rutgers Public Health Research Institute BY LAUREN FREED ‘22


his past summer I interned in the lab of Principle Investigator Dr. Theresa Chang at the Rutgers Public Health Research Institute. Dr. Chang’s research focuses on the role that the cytokine interferon epsilon (INFε) plays in the body’s immune response to infectious diseases, such as HIV and Zika. Cytokines are proteins that play a crucial role in the body’s immune response by signaling to macrophages to fight invading pathogens. I began this internship with no significant lab experience, although after the three weeks that I interned in Dr. Chang’s lab, I learned an incredible amount about experimentation, techniques, and laboratory protocol. For the first few days of the internship, I performed immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining on microscope slides with mouse intestines. IHC staining involves a series of antibodies that attach to a specific component of a tissue. In my case, I stained the slides to show either vitamin D receptors (VDR) or INFε. A primary antibody either attaches to VDR or INFε, depending on the experiment, and a secondary antibody, which is stained orange, attaches to the primary antibody. The rest of the tissue is counterstained blue. Under a microscope, the VDR or the INFε will appear orange and the rest of the tissue will appear blue. I compared the presence of VDR or INFε in wild type mice and Tg26 (HIV infected) mice. This data helped prove Dr. Chang’s hypothesis that HIV leads to a significant decrease in VDR. The lab had an advanced light microscope which enabled me to look at the slides from an iPad and to take pictures. Under the microscope, the intestines of wild type mice had more orange areas than the Tg26 mice, indi-



cating the greater presence of VDR. Along with doing my own experiments, I also had the opportunity to shadow the experiments of other lab members. Lab members worked to culture the macrophages of both wild type and Zika infected mice for future experimentation. I saw the mouse lab and the procedure for extracting bone marrow from mice. Additionally, I learned the fundamentals of cell culture. Cell culture is the process by which cells are treated and incubated to encourage further cell growth. I observed how the tissue was processed and chemically treated to encourage cell growth once in an incubator. Along with culturing the mouse macrophages, lab members also cultured human cervical tissue to eventually study the role of INFε in the cervix. Dr. Chang believes INFε plays a crucial role in the female body’s immune response to sexually transmitted infections. I went to the New Jersey Medical School and University Hospital, where I picked up cervical tissue from a hysterectomy and listened to two Ph.D. students give presentations on their graduate projects. I also went to a mouse lab and pathology lab at the medical school and hospital. During my internship, I learned about the Luminex, a machine that analyzes the cytokines in blood samples, to observe how the cytokines in Tg26 and INFε knockout mice differ from the cytokines in wild type mice. Along with learning about complicated procedures, I also learned the basics of laboratory protocol. I learned how to check an eyewash station, use a pipette, refill a liquid nitrogen tank, and properly mix chemicals. Overall, this experience served

as an incredible introduction to working in a lab while allowing me to learn about cytokines and HIV in great detail. ◆

The Side Effects of Stress BY SAMANTHA PARELLI ‘21


s teenagers currently enrolled in high school, we’re no strangers to experiencing stress. To some extent, we even seem to put ourselves into situations that maximize panic. There is nothing Newark Academy students do better than writing essays thirty minutes before they’re due, even if they had all weekend to complete the task. Although stress can occasionally be necessary to motivate us, there’s a fine line between the stress that’s healthy and the stress that has significant negative implications. As stress levels skyrocket and young adults feel increased pressure, it’s important to question what stress really does to our brains and bodies. How does stress impact our bodies? If you’ve ever experienced a nasty headache while cramming for a test, your symptoms may be the result of something other than simply staring at the computer screen for too long. Headaches, which occur when the neck and scalp muscles contract, can also be caused by stress or anxiety. In addition to a painful headache, prolonged stress can contribute to chronic fatigue, or extreme

These behavioral consequences lend themselves to a vicious cycle.

tiredness that persists for an extended period of time. While it may seem counterintuitive that sleepiness is a side effect of high-powered stress, studies continue to demonstrate a strong correlation between the two ("How Stress Affects Your Body and Behavior," 2019). However bad chronic fatigue or headaches might seem, they are nothing compared to another, truly horrendous consequence of stress: acne. Stressed out people tend to touch their faces more often, which then spreads bacteria and contributes to the development of acne. In addition to this, the cells that produce sebum (the oily substance that clogs pores) have receptors for stress hormones. It is believed that increased stress correlates to increased sebum production, thus making it easier for acne to form. A 2003 Stanford University study affirms these conclusions, finding that college students experience significantly more breakouts during exams than they do during periods without testing (Katherine Kam, 2011).

As well as affecting our bodies, stress negatively impacts our brains and behavior. While this seems somewhat obvious, stress gets inside of our heads more than you’d imagine. For one, stress makes it hard for us to learn new information. Instead of helping you effectively study, stress actually makes comprehension more difficult. In addition to this, stress can take away one’s motivation, zapping them of the will to do that tasks that were causing stress in the first place. As you can see, these behavioral consequences lend themselves to a vicious cycle. Deep inside of our heads, stress has serious implications for the function and structure of the human brain. The brain contains “white matter,” which consists of neural axons and is responsible for communicating information from one region of the brain to another. White matter contains myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds the axons to speed up their communication. However, chronic stress can result in the overproduction of myelin, and while more rapid communication within the brain may seem like a good thing, this can increase one’s chance of developing mental illness and lead to an array of other problems. In certain cases, a single stress event can even result in the death of your brain cells, specifically the ones located in the hippocampus. Over time, this will cause your brain to physically shrink in size, impairing cognitive functions (Booth, n.d.). None of us want to suffer these negative consequences, and the point of this article is not to stress you out about stress! In order to avoid the aforementioned side effects, we must work to confront the present stress epidemic. For NA students, this means less procrastination. It’s easy to not start your homework until after 9:00 P.M., but it’s time you actually took action to avoid that panic. If you develop time-management skills that work for you and find ways to relax in the face of academic pressure, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much better you feel. ◆

Spring 2020


TechShare Helps with Friendsgiving BY SOPHIA CHEN ‘22

Photo courtesy of Lola Cantillon.


n Wednesday, November 20th, the Community Service Council partnered with Techshare – a nonprofit organization founded by Molly Cantillon ‘21 – to create a STEM service opportunity at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark for “Friendsgiving.” Volunteers were able to both celebrate Thanksgiving with students at the Club and also engage in STEM activities with them. In one room, the elementary school students split into teams of five and built a robot using Lego Mindstorm NXT pieces. After customizing their robots with colorful lego pieces and coming up with a creative name, the teams raced each other to win the Friendsgiving Cup. In addition, the volunteers used playdough to build simple circuits in order to demonstrate the flow of electricity. Kylie Bill ‘21, one of the volunteers who helped out, observed that “the kids were all really excited about engineering and [the] level of interest at such a young age was really cool.” Overall, the “Friendsgiving” service event was a great opportunity for volunteers to spread their passion for STEM with a younger generation. “Watching the expressions on the kids’ faces when they see their creations coming to life” was Molly Cantillon’s favorite part of the event. “Not only [do events like these] empower the kids to dig more into their STEM passions, but [they’re] also incredibly self-rewarding for us as volunteers, as [they] allows us to share our joy of exploring and discovering technology with others.” In the past, Techshare has travelled to China and has also partnered with the Batey Foundation to spread STEM to students in the Dominican Republic. On the impact of Techshare, Leyri Garcia, the Program Director of Batey Foundation in the Dominican Republic, commented, “I think these kids will never forget this experience; it was an enjoyable and eye opening event, because now these kids



know that there is a world of possibilities out there with technology and that they are capable of archiving a lot more of what they think they can.” Molly and Tiffany Agkpo ‘21, the leaders of the Techshare Project Team, will continue to organize similar STEM events in the future, continuing their goal of spreading STEM to the younger generation, especially those who are less fortunate. The “Friendsgiving” event is not Techshare’s first collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, and it won’t be its last. “Knowing that our activities made the students so happy, only encourages the team to organize even better activities in [the future],” says Tiffany, “our partnership with the Girls and Boys Club is also particularly meaningful to me because during this event, I was able to reconnect with so many kids that I had met previously and start new friendships with others.” The “Friendsgiving” event was a great way to reach out and create strong friendships through a common passion for STEM. ◆

Photo courtesy of Lola Cantillon.

The Marshmallow Experiment BY SAIF PRABHU ‘22


round eight years ago, the marshmallow experiment was introduced. It rapidly gained popularity and is now commonly used as a team building exercise in both schools and workplaces. Two years ago it was an activity in Newark Academy’s Stemtastic June Term course! The marshmallow experiment is simple - it organizes four people per team, and each team has twenty minutes to build the tallest stable tower with a limited number of resources: 20 sticks of spaghetti, 1 roll of tape, 1 marshmallow, and some string. While this appears to be a simple task, it requires all team members to work together quickly in a collaborative way. Given the time constraints, the experiment reveals a lot about behavioral strengths, and alternatively, weaknesses in people. It is as much a human experiment as it is a scientific one. The experiment has been tested on people of all ages, ranging from students in elementary school to business owners and architects, and it has led to some pretty intriguing results.

Success of different groups of people in the experiment (Wujec, 2010)

In creating a structure in a time-squeezed 20 minutes, one would expect the breakdown of time utilization to follow a typical pattern---the first couple of minutes are for developing ideas followed by the planning phase. Then, as one would expect, most of the remaining time is designated for building the tallest structure possible. While engineers and architects, on average, consistently build the tallest structures, kindergarteners were very close behind, in third place, ahead of the lawyers and recent business school graduates (Wujec, 2010). In a challenge that requires both decision making and an understanding of shapes, it is fascinating that younger kids are able to work together more efficiently and effectively. There are primarily two reasons why business school students do so poorly in this experiment. First, they try to establish dominance while brainstorming ideas and, in the

process, get less time to build their tower. They also attempt to build one correct structure, rather than continually modifying their tower. Kindergartners, on the other hand, came out relatively more successful and built taller than average structures. This is because kids don’t have clearly established ideas of what a successful structure needs to look like, and interestingly ended up building the most innovative and complex towers compared to other teams (Hedrich, 2016). They are also inserted into a situation where they do not have the specific skills required to solve the problem. However, having young, curious minds that are still learning, they don’t overthink the challenge. Instead, they choose to try something new, rather than arguing about the correct idea. They just “go with the flow.” Another interesting result is that business CEOs, when paired with their executive administrators, perform significantly better in the experiment than without them. This is most likely due to the fact that administrators and CEOs have different skill sets, which yields more creativity and leads to better results (Furr, 2011). From the Marshmallow Experiment, we can learn the importance of evaluating the progress as you execute a problem. This can be seen through the kindergartners, who continually inspected their structure to check its stability throughout the process. They continually refined it, rather than building one tower and checking its integrity at the end. The test also underscores the importance of collaboration. The teams that wasted time jockeying for power ended up worse than the teams that got straight to brainstorming and then building. The experiment appears to suggest that success requires both curiosity and problem solving in a collaborative environment. So, the next time you are in a group project, make sure you remember that collaboration with group members helps as much as creativity! ◆ An example of a structure (Katz, 2014)

Spring 2020




hat is a stem cell? You may have heard of it before, but do you know what it is? Why is it so important? A stem cell is a type of undifferentiated cell, meaning it has the capability to differentiate (or turn into) a specific cell type. For example, a human totipotent stem cell has the capability to differentiate into any type of cell (including extra-embryonic membranes, such as the placenta). Another common example is the embryonic stem cell (ESC), which has the capability of differentiating into every type of cell except for the placenta (making it a pluripotent stem cell, which will be discussed later). Right now, the field of stem cell engineering is advancing rapidly, creating many more opportunities for research scientists, doctors, and even patients. Having the ability to engineer stem cells gives us a lot of power, yet it also gives us a lot of responsibility and ethical issues to consider. If we could, for example, take a patient’s own stem cells (from cord blood or perhaps bone marrow) and differentiate them outside of the body into a specialized (specific) type of cell that is needed by the patient (maybe to cure a disease or relieve symptoms), we could change the entire field of medicine and make lives better for so many people. Last summer, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a 2-week stem cell engineering program at Johns Hopkins University. Although it was mostly based in a dry lab setting (where computational, applied mathematical analyses, and simulations are carried out on a computer), the program went in-depth into stem cell engineering topics, ground-breaking discoveries, and specific details of certain wet lab processes, some of which included the following: • • • • •

Standard Molecular Cloning Stem Cells & Potency GRN (Gene Regulatory Network) Reconstruction Experimental Techniques Direct Conversion of Differentiated Cells

My classmates and I concluded the program by finding and selecting a published paper, analyzing it, determining the experimental techniques, and presenting its findings. We began the first week by covering the basics: the central dogma of molecular biology, the process by which DNA is copied to RNA through transcription, and that RNA is used to produce proteins through translation. Understanding the central dogma is critical to understanding stem cell engineering because the proteins that are produced by the 1

cell essentially determine the type of cell it is, or the cell identity (although the strict criteria for classifying a cell into a certain identity group is debated by scientists). Because so much of stem cell engineering is about the ability to artificially differentiate (or directly convert) one type of cell into another specific type of cell, it is important to recognize how it occurs naturally. One of the first things we learned about was molecular cloning. In order to study stem cells easily and efficiently, we need to replicate them. There are five basic steps to cloning in the wet lab: 1. Isolate the target gene: Pick the gene that you want to change, add, or remove. Then, choose a specific restriction enzyme to cleave nitrogen bases (A, T, C, and G) at a specific point on the DNA sequence, allowing the isolation of that gene. Use polymerase chain reaction (PCR, a method of amplifying and copying DNA), to create multiple copies of that gene. 2. Ligate1 the target gene into a vector: In order to study and see the effects of the specific gene that was isolated and replicated, it is important to form what is known as recombinant DNA. This is done by ligating the gene to other DNA, forming a plasmid, a small, circular structure consisting of DNA, which is separated from chromosomal DNA and can replicate on its own. 3. Transform the construct (the plasmid) into a host (typically bacteria): After forming recombinant DNA in a plasmid, that newly formed DNA “circle” is inserted, or rather uptaken, by bacteria through heat shock. 4. Select the right clones in a host cell: Some bacteria might take up recombinant DNA, or the plasmid, and some might not. Typically, the plasmid that is uptaken by the bacterium contains an antibiotic-resistant gene, making the bacterium cell resistant. In order to identify and select the bacteria colonies that have uptaken the plasmid during the heat shock, the bacteria is cultured in what is known as X-gal (a type of organic compound). The colonies containing the insert (recombinant DNA) will appear to be white, while the colonies containing only the vector (without the isolated DNA), will appear to be blue, in what is known as a blue-white screen. The white colonies are then selected from the screen. 5. Propagate: In order to study the effects of the isolated DNA, the selected colonies are then propagated to allow for further study and research.

Join two DNA fragments together (through a phosphodiester bond)



Another important aspect of learning about stem cells is understanding potency. Potency is essentially the degree to which a cell can differentiate into other cell types. For example, while a totipotent stem cell can differentiate into all cell types, including extra-embryonic membranes, a satellite cell is a type of multipotent stem cell that can only differentiate into skeletal muscle cells. Understanding potency is important to stem cell research, in that, if a scientist is attempting to differentiate a stem cell into a specific cell type, it is important to know which stem cells have the ability to undergo that specific transformation, or differentiation. The following are types of potency, ranging from most to least potent: • Totipotent (ability to differentiate into all cell types including the placenta and extraembryonic membranes) • Pluripotent (ability to differentiate into all cell types except for extra-embryonic membranes) • Multipotent • Unipotent (ability to differentiate into one cell type) • Nullipotent (cannot differentiate into anything) Typically, nullipotent cells are terminally differentiated, such as erythrocytes, or red blood cells. Damage to a cell may also cause nullipotency. Following our lectures on stem cells and potency, we covered gene regulatory network (GRN) reconstruction. A gene regulatory network is a connection between molecular regulators that interact with each other in certain ways to govern the gene expression of DNA, and how that affects the output of proteins. These outputs, as some say, define the purpose and the identity of the cell. By reconstructing those networks, we can see how each regulator affects the expression of a certain gene, which in turn, affects the proteins that are produced by the cell. By doing this, scientists are able to understand which genes affect the protein output (and, in turn, the identity and function) of the cell, which is crucial to developing an understanding of stem cell science. Typically, GRN reconstruction is done in the dry lab setting, and it usually looks a little bit like the picture at the right. Following our introduction to GRN reconstruction, we covered different types of experimental techniques quite extensively. Experimental techniques help scientists detect/ quantify, visualize, and manipulate the following three components found in the central dogma of molecular biology: DNA, RNA, and proteins. We spent a week on this topic, but here are a few important ones:

• • • • • • • •

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Genomic Sequencing Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) CRISPR Microarray siRNA Western Blot Immunofluorescence (IF)

Essentially, these types of techniques allow scientists to obtain, process, and analyze results, as well as confirm that the results they have obtained are accurately read. Finally, we discussed direct conversion of differentiated cells. I picked a research paper to analyze: Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Functional Cardiomyocytes by Defined Factors (Ieda et al., 2011). The paper explored the ability to convert (dermal) fibroblasts2 directly into cardiomyocytes, or heart cells. This discovery, along with others involving direct conversion in the field of stem cell engineering, is vital to helping people around the world in need of long-term treatment for any type of disease. The findings of this specific research paper contribute to possible cures of cardiac diseases, including myocardial infarctions (MI, or heart attack), congestive heart failure (CHF), and others. The field of stem cell engineering is relatively young, but it is growing rapidly each and every day. As we continue to learn more about it, we also expand areas of science, math, computing, engineering, medicine, and many others. Today, stem cell research is helping so many people, and could, one day, help so many more. ◆

An E. Coli Transcriptional Regulatory Network (Freyre-Gonzalez, 2010).

A type of cell found throughout the body in large quantities. Secretes fibers and other collagen, creating the structural framework for animal tissues. 2

Spring 2020


What is Voice Recognition? BY SKYWALKER LI ‘22

(Favpng, n.d.)

(Cloudtalk, n.d.)


ow do we perceive speech? It’s a simple question, but the answer is quite complex. Our throat produces vibrations that we hear as sound. Those sound waves form words and sentences, which we process and respond to. All of this happens in milliseconds, and we hardly ever pay attention when it’s happening. Recently, computer scientists have been striving to create programs that can do the same thing. However, what is natural for us is difficult for computers. Computers do not know what a word or a vowel means; they have to recreate the rules and meanings that we humans understand intuitively. The path towards lifelike voice recognition is challenging, but we have already made great strides forward.

There are a lot of voice recognition software that increase productivity by allowing you to speak instead of typing. People using this software can take notes quickly and efficiently, while still being able to be engaged in the conversation. Dragon Naturally Speaking is the most famous kind of productivity voice recognition software.

(Nuance, n.d.)

(Wedekind, 2018) The most powerful voice recognition applications, like Siri and Alexa, can have real-time conversations with you. These are general-use voice recognition software that are able to call your parents, make a reservation, and tell you the news all from your voice. If you get the chance, here are some fun things you can ask Siri. I won’t post the responses, so see what you get!

The Development of Voice Recognition

Applications for Voice Recognition Voice recognition is a new, exciting field of computer programming and machine learning, and its applications are endless. Some sources value the voice recognition market at over 9 billion dollars! ("Speech and Voice Recognition Market Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast to 2025," 2019). The most utilized applications for voice recognition are call centers, productivity, and general use. Many call centers use a type of voice recognition called IVR, or interactive voice recognition. IVR typically only has a certain amount of words or phrases it can detect. This is not a high-quality voice recognition software. It is very limited in its possible answers and responses, and it usually sounds very robotic.



• Hey Siri, I see a little silhouetto of a man. • Hey Siri, Can you rap? • Hey Siri, What is zero divided by zero? (Apple, n.d.)

How to Make Your Own Voice Recognition Software Making the voice recognition program was pretty hard, but luckily there were a lot of online resources that guided me through the process. Here are some of the websites that I used in my quest for voice recognition! (Amazon Alexa, n.d.)

My Voice Recognition Project As a fun side project, I decided to create a voice recognition software. I enjoy cooking, so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. One of the biggest annoyances with cooking is that I have a lot of different spice bottles. Every bottle is arranged so that I can only see the tops of each container, which causes me to search for them while I am cooking. I have to lift every spice container to determine the label, which forces me to spend a lot of time searching for the correct spice, while making sure that the food I’m cooking is not burning up in the pan. To solve this problem, I designed a voice-activated spice container that will dispense the correct container whenever someone calls for a specific spice. The most challenging part of the build was that I wanted to only use a Raspberry Pi, a miniature computer to control the spice container and run voice recognition. This forced me to use my voice recognition software. The software contains a vocabulary, which is a list of words it can recognize, and a hidden model, which parses the audio that the machine receives and turns it into phonemes, or the building blocks that make up a word. Most hidden models, like the one I used, are called a hidden Markov model, which uses a statistical modeling system that guesses what word you are speaking. I then wrote a program in Python that uses the voice recognition software to control the movement of the spice container.

Side note: Some of these are only for Raspberry Pi, as that was what I used. If you want to make your own voice recognition software on a different platform, I suggest this website. Beginner: DevTeam: A basic introduction to what voice recognition is and what it offers from free, open source voice recognition software. Maker: This website is the perfect starting point for anyone trying to learn about voice recognition for Raspberry Pi. It goes step by step through the installation process for three different voice recognition software and it is very easy to understand. Intermediate: JasperProject: This website is for people who already have a good understanding of how Raspberry Pi’s work. The documentation is well written and it gives you several options for the type of voice recognition software you can use. Advanced (You should look at the first two websites before trying these out): VoxForge: This website is a database of VoxForge Acoustic Models. You can use those Acoustic Models to train your own voice recognition software. Julius: This is an open source, high performance voice recognition software. You need to create your own vocabulary and Acoustic Models in order for the software to work. Thank you for reading my article! I hope it inspires you to learn more about the incredible world of voice recognition software! ◆

Here is some code from my program:

(Lewis, 2016)

Spring 2020


Intervenção: How We’ve Influenced the Fate of the Ria Aveiro BY ETHAN GARCIA ‘23


y grandparents lived in a small rural town of Portugal called Murtosa, located in the District of Aveiro. Murtosa consists of 4 divisions: Bunheiro, Torreira, Murtosa, and Estarreja. The lagoon, the Ria Aveiro, passes through all 4 divisions, uniting them and other towns–one of which is Ovar. It used to be the sole basis of all walks of life in the region, where fishermen raked the floor for clams, fish were caught and sold, and where a special type of algae that grows alongside sargassum seaweed, called moliçe, was used for fertilizer throughout Northern Portugal. The aforementioned seaweed is pictured below alongside the boat that gets it. In addition, the lagoon is a major contributor to the Portuguese industry of salt since the discovery of salt cultivation methods, shown on the far right (Day Trips From Porto: Aveiro, 2019), courtesy of a tourism website of a nearby city. Hidden between municipal roads and corn stalks lies a beautiful path that no tire can tread on – a path laden with Lusitanian scenery of the highest grade, unaffected by car or motorcycle, home to animals native only to this region, such as the flamingos that filter the water for the same prawn we use as a delicacy, or the crabs that roam the rocks. When I rode my bike along a gravel path spanning the lagoon’s length, an inter-town bridge, and the ocean for the first time in a year, I noticed loud machinery and piles upon piles of a greyish sludge. It didn’t take me long to find out what was happening.

(García, 2018)

Ethan Garcia

(Lifecooler, n.d.)

The river’s importance dates back to prehistoric civilizations that are now submerged deep under the river. During the reign of the Romans, citizens left behind archaeological evidence of their life along the lagoon, leaving behind architectural evidence of their time here . During medieval times, it was of great importance to the feudal leaders that they had access to the lagoon so that they could feed their villages and trade with others. Industry based off of salt and fishing is said to have first started in the 1600s–or even earlier if one takes into consideration mythology about the river. Many aspects of the Aveiro region’s art and architecture



originate from the materials the lagoon brought, like the clay/terracotta that makes up the traditional and widespread blue-and-white ornate tile, azulejo, and rooftops, which are depicted in the common house in the bottom right picture. Industry continued on when my grandmother was a child. Her grandfather, like many others in the district, worked in the booming industry that the lagoon provided in earlier times. The lagoon was central to the town’s economy and that of the region around it. Her grandfather designed the boats that were often used to fish and cultivate salt and seaweed from the lagoon. The products of the river trickled into everyday life in the region, always present at the open markets that provided a source of income for many families. Eels that were fished from the river became an important aspect of the gastronomy of the region, along with the salt and other types of seafood, although people were poor and couldn’t afford the higher-end seafood, leading to dishes such as eelstew and canned eels feeding many. The climate is perfect for corn, so naturally, a type of cornbread called broa is a staple of the region, present as a side of most plates. Laborers, usually the head of the household, often worked on the lagoon to keep it in check and make sure that we hadn’t overfished or overworked the lagoon. By doing so, they allowed for the industry to continue to boom. The people lived in response to what the river provided them with–whether it be flooding or bountiful resources, living in houses like the one below. The picture of the two people standing along a canal from the river shows how everything looked back then. My grandmother and her mother would wash clothes in the river, while her little sister played around it. With so much going on around the river, most childhood stories of the townspeople center on the lagoon. On hot days, the lagoon was bustling with people taking a swim while boats came up and down from the mouth at the beach to the city of Aveiro. Today, a museum is dedicated to the river as a testament to its longstanding importance in the community.

(Aveiro - Pair of Rancho das Salineiras, n.d.)

Ethan Garcia

But when the new age dawned upon this quiet old town and many left to chase opportunities in the land of the free, farming, fishing, and maritime work consequently saw a decrease. With it, many traditions once passed down generationally, such as our specific type of folkloric dances, also dwindled in their frequency and in how well-known they are. This is because modern culture also saw a decline in tradition, as people immigrated to lands of opportunity like the U.S. and France and looked for employment in the urban landscape. Many of the community’s youth have sought and continue to seek a better life in a better area, and a better job than lowly farmers. In the process, entire areas have been left abandoned, like the remnants of a dock shown down below or some housing areas and old restaurants. Similarly, whole businesses that were major components of the industry based solely on water-related activities were abandoned or declined. One of these major businesses in particular involves acquiring the aforementioned fertilization seaweed, moliçe, through the use of a boat called a moliceiro, accumulating it and scraping it from the seafloor. These same moliceiro boats today are mainly used for exposition and tourism, with the occasional one being used the way it was meant to be: for fishing, other nautical purposes, and grabbing the moliçe. The remnants of the dock as well as an older one of these boats are pictured below. Now that the boat’s traditional use is so infrequent, there has been a buildup of mud and silt at the bottom of the lagoon. In the past, this buildup would be raked away by the moliceiro boats of those previously mentioned businesses . The accumulation of mud also has to do with the demand for fertilizer–a cheaper, faster, and easier to use alternative to seaweed. As a more attractive farming material, an increase in demand for fertilizer has hurt the seaweed industry, which

Ethan Garcia

Ethan Garcia

further bolsters the buildup of sediment on the river floor. This demand for fertilizer has basically eliminated the market for the seaweed, resulting in a mud buildup. Not only does the buildup affect the biodiversity of the region, but it has also caused the lagoon to look completely different from how it looked in the town of Murtosa’s heydey. The lagoon used to be sandy, deep, and had clear water. Now, businesses that once operated solely on the river have shut down. Now that mud and silt has accumulated on the lagoon’s floor, certain species of fish have fled from the region to swim and breed with more space. Fishing isn’t as fruitful, nor is it as frequent. River workers are few and far between, and as many boat craftsmen are dying from old age, those that remain lack interest in pursuing a career in the declining market. In an attempt to try and reverse some of the effects, the town has invested in dredging the lagoon since 2018 (Figueiredo, 2019). The dredging and the mud buildup is becoming a contributor to the ever-more-prone effects of climate change on the region–so noticeable that recently, temperatures peaked at the coastal sector of Murtosa. The clams, or berbigao, pictured on the next page at the right, might be thriving, but they’re very different in terms of size, abundance, biological markers, and ease of retrieval. These differences have primarily arisen from the need for clams to adapt to a changing habitat–different from the one in which my great-great-grandfather used to fish in his handmade boat. The last time one source in Murtosa witnessed a certain type of saltwater-tolerant herb was in 1997, which was removed accidentally along with the harmful plants that the lagoon did not need as revealed by new data from J. Figueiredo Da Silva (2019). The dredging has caused a new water system to emerge–one that is more open and saline, which is allowing for the plant to reappear, providing both food and shelter for some wildlife while allowing us to record the success of our dredging. Murtosa’s farmland is mostly infertile for many types of produce, but the corn that feeds the town’s multiple cow farms, lining entire acres worth of area, have begun to be grown with fertilizer unfamiliar to the terrain, which changes the way plants grow throughout, with plants like anise sprouting rampantly while others struggle, noticeable even as a passing cyclist. The corn lines the lagoon, resulting in a state where if one changes the other changes with it, making fertilizer less effective. We’ve witnessed the birth of a different environment in our small town, and it is all our own consequence–for we have used the river but Spring 2020


Ethan Garcia

Ethan Garcia

failed to recognize these problems early on. If we had been better stewards of the environment and supported our maritime industries, we could have saved the lagoon and continued to thrive on it. This is not to say that things aren’t looking positive for Ria Aveiro. It is a landmark tourism site in the capital of the region, Aveiro. Many of the tourists are descendants of the people of this region, so the heritage is coming full circle. As people return to the motherland, the home of their ancestors, their patronage spurs economic development as they support local businesses as claimed by the official tourism website of the region. According to the Portuguese news website Publico, despite the negative effects caused that are being addressed, the dredging of the river is leading to archaeological finds consisting of Ancient Roman artifacts and architecture that date back to 3000-4000 BC, which help us unravel more about the story of our people on the lagoon. In the past few months, Santana (2019) says that 100,000 m2 of mud has been dredged using heavy machinery and some very cool engineering that speeds up the process, with larger tubing and a more powerful machine. The town as a whole is very concerned about the whole operation but seemingly have been reassured as opposition against the dredging has decreased over the seemingly interminable two years it’s taken so far.

Ethan Garcia

Ethan Garcia

harming the wildlife. The widening and dredging of the river has seen an increase in the region’s biodiversity, allowing fish to swim freely in it and breed, causing new habitats to emerge, as stated by J. Dasilva and others (2019). Flamingos are common now in the river, as pictured below on the left (Flamingos: The loveliest residents of Aveiro Lagoon, 2020). The government is also cracking down on illegal fishing, recently having seized 400 m of illegal netting and 37 kilos of illegally caught seafood in a zone that is illegal to trespass, in an effort to try and stop the growth of toxic algae that harms the river life (“Rede de pesca, robalos e berbigão apreendidos na Ria de Aveiro,” 2019). Many scientific societies have set up workshops to inform the populace of the river’s importance and why communal collaboration is needed to protect it. The grasslands surrounding the river are in recovery, and carbon emissions being lowered has contributed, as shown in the map below on the right (Blue Carbon stock in Zostera noltei meadows at Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal) over a decade, 2020). A lot of funding is going into the preservation of this land and its culture, even in the studies of the stocks of the popular mollusk berbigao. Things continue to look positive for many species of fish and plant as trends continue to show an increase in their abundance and their health, as reported by the very

(Costa, 2020)

(Benjamin, 2006)

(Dragagens na Ria de Aveiro, 2019)

The reason why the work is taking so long is due to the need to manage wildlife and the tide of the river. As a site that is protected by the government and praised by the environmental minister as “one of the largest interventions in recent years on the coast,” the lagoon is being dredged carefully, which means that the work will take an extra 15 months to complete (“Ria de Aveiro hosts ‘one of the largest archaeological interventions in Portugal in the last decade’,” 2019). New legislation disallows building on the lagoon as well as housing on it to prevent undoing this work and



fishermen that continue to use the river. The Ria is a lagoon brimming with culture, history, and important wildlife. We as a community are doing as much (Costa, 2020) as we can to bring it back to its former glory and the beautiful state of wildlife we once had. It is up to us to do so, and the people of this humble area have accepted the challenge. ◆

Under The Radar: The Impact of the Microbiome on Human Health BY SIDDHARTH CHALASANI ‘22


nly recently making its way onto the world science stage, the relationship between the microbiome and human health and disease has more or less been ignored. Communities of microorganisms thrive around and inside the human body, making up the microbiome. These bacteria and fungi can either help, harm, or keep to themselves, depending on their species and location. When meeting with Sean Eddy, a field leader in genetics and a member of the team that sequenced the first human genome, I asked him about his take on the nature of microorganisms and their relationship with the human body. He responded by explaining that the wide range of microorganisms and the complexity of their relationship with us will take a long time to understand. However, as DNA sequencing power progresses, research into the microbiome is growing and progress is quickly being made. More and more attention is being brought to the integral relationship between the microbiome and human health. In certain instances, the microbiome can be detrimental to human health. Pancreatic cancer and its relationship with the microbiome has recently become a large focus in the cancer community. This lethal disease often isn’t diagnosed until it has reached a very advanced stage, and the prognosis is usually very poor. Recently, scientists have discovered that a very common fungal group known as Malessezia promotes tumour growth (Prasad, 2019). Making up 80-90% of the skin’s commensal microbiome, Malassezia is something that human beings are constantly exposed to. Overgrowth of Malassezia in the pancreas leads to the release of a protein called mannose-binding lectin (Aykut, 2019). This soluble protein is produced in the liver and binds carbohydrates on the surface of microorganisms, subsequently activating

a protein system called the “complement cascade” in the blood. The complement cascade has been linked to tumour growth; its proinflammatory pathways stimulate the growth, survival, and motility of all cells, including cancerous ones. As a result, the presence of Malassezia in the gut accelerates Pancreatic Cancer progression by around 20%. Thus, Malassezia, a significant part of the body’s microbiome, actually exacerbates pancreatic cancer by triggering pancreatic inflammation via the complement cascade (Dambuza, 2019). As promising as this discovery is, there are still many questions left unanswered. For one, MBL proteins are not the only proteins linked to the progression of pancreatic cancer: Dectin-1 can detect tumours and modulate the activity of tumour-killing cells, however they too are linked to PDA progression (Dambuza, 2019). As Sean Eddy had suggested, “the microbiome’s role within the immune system is complicated”. In an ironic twist of events, it seems as if the immune system itself is actually an accomplice to the promotion of pancreatic cancer. These flaws in the human body not only show the constant need for evolution, but also that there is still much more to learn about the microbiome. The microbiome plays a larger role in our health than previously thought, and this realization paves the path for many more people to take the leap and dive into the unknown. Without a doubt, we will be looking at thousands of more discoveries like this in the near future. There is so much to be learned about the living things living inside of you. ◆

How Malassezia promotes tumour growth (Aykut, 2019). Spring 2020


How Solar Panels Work BY LAUREN FREED ‘22


ith the threat of climate change on the horizon, people globally have been shifting from nonrenewable to renewable energy sources. Solar energy is one of the many renewable alternatives to nonrenewable energy, currently producing approximately 11% of the nation’s energy. Solar energy production is expected to grow to produce 48% of the nation’s energy by 2050, making it the fastest-growing electricity source (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, 2018). Most people know that solar panels convert energy from the sun into electrical energy, but how does that happen? The answer lies in the element silicon and the negatively charged subatomic particles, electrons. The structure of a solar panel is key to its effectiveness in collecting energy. Once silicon is produced from sand, it is combined with hydrogen gas to create polycrystalline silicon. The silicon is cut into thin slices called silicon wafers, which are sandwiched between two conductive layers. Solar panels have two different types of silicon: N-type and P-type. The N side is on top of the P side with a P-N junction in the middle. Because silicon has four valence, or outer electrons, phosphorus (five valence electrons) is injected into the N-type silicon to create extra electrons, and boron (three valence electrons) is injected into the P-side to create spaces for electrons, or holes (See Figure 1) [Mathew, 2018].

Burning fossil fuels can no longer be a viable solution for generating our world's energy.

When silicon atoms are bonded together, their electrons are not free to move. However, when the sun’s light hits the solar panel, the photons of light knock some of these electrons out of place and then they are able to move (see Figure 2). Even though the electrons are free, they still need to be collected all in one place in order to generate electrical energy. The excess electrons in the N side migrate to the electron depletion in the P-side, making the N-side positive because of its lack of electrons and the P-side negative because of the electron migration (Komp, 2016). After the electron migration, a depletion region is formed in the P-N



junction because this region has no free electrons or holes. The opposite charges of the P and N sides of the solar panel creates an electric field, providing the driving force to gather electrons. Electron-hole pairs gather in the depletion region (see Figure 3) and the electric field forces the electrons into the positively charged N-region and into a transistor, which can now provide electrical energy from the electrons (see Figure 4) [Mathew, 2018]. Solar energy is renewable for two reasons. First, as long as the sun exists, there will be the energy needed to knock the electrons out of place in the solar cell. Secondly, after the electrons go through the transistor, they return to the hole from which they came so the process can be repeated all over again (Komp, 2016). Currently, the most efficient solar panels can only convert 46% of the sun’s light into electrical energy. Sunlight is sometimes reflected off the solar panel, and at other times dislodged electrons fall back into the hole from which they came, rather than migrating to the holes on the P-side (Komp, 2016). However, knowing the inner workings of solar panels can give insight into how they can be improved in the future. Solar energy serves as a far more reliable and environmentally friendly alternative to oil or natural gas. Considering the harm that carbon emissions have on our climate, burning fossil fuels can no longer be a viable solution for generating our world’s energy. New innovations in solar technology have been making solar panels increasingly efficient and cost-effective, providing hope for combating the climate crisis. ◆

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Solar panel diagrams by Lauren Freed.

Spring 2020


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Page 10: Why Do We Dream? Brown, C. (2003, October 1). The Stubborn Scientist Who Unraveled A Mystery of the Night. Retrieved February 13, 2020, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-stubborn-scientist-who-unraveled-a-mystery-of- the-night-91514538/ Rasch, B., & Born, J. (2013, April). About sleep's role in memory. Retrieved February 13, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm. nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768102/



Roland, J. (2017, August 22). Why Do We Dream? The Role of Dreams and Nightmares. Retrieved February 13, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-we-dream Why Do We Dream: Sleep.org by the National Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2020, from https://www. sleep.org/articles/dream/

Page 11: How Does Grey’s Anatomy Influence Perspectives of the Medical Field? Cultivation Theory. (2015, March 27). Retrieved from http://www.communicationtheory.org/cultivation-theory/ HHS Office of the Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, & Ocr. (2015, April 16). The HIPAA Privacy Rule. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/index.html Mosthof, M. (2010, December 31). Grey's Anatomy Named Second Biggest Ethics Violator on TV. Retrieved from http://wetpaint.com/greys-anatomy-named-second-biggest-ethics-violator-on-tv-641517/

Page 12: What Shape is the Universe? Di Valentino, E., Melchiorri, A. & Silk, J. Planck evidence for a closed Universe and a possible crisis for cosmology. Nat Astron 4, 196–203 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-019-0906-9 The Curvature of the Universe Background. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.astro.princeton.edu/~dns/teachersguide/CurveUBkgd.html Wolchover, N. (2019, November 4). What Shape Is the Universe? .Retrieved from https://www.quantamagazine.org/what-shape-is-the-universe-closed-or-flat-20191104/

Page 14: Coronavirus Section Divider Sullivan, J. (2020, March 17). Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America. Getty Images.

Page 16: Epidemiology and the Coronavirus Abedi, M. (2020, March 20). A look at the math behind social distancing amid coronavirus. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/6709071/coronavirus-social-distancing-math/ Begley, S. (2020, March). When can we let up? Health experts craft strategies to safely relax coronavirus lockdowns. Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/25/coronavirus-experts-craft-strategies-to-relax-lockdowns/ Branswell, H. (2020, March). Why 'flattening the curve' may be the world's best bet to slow the coronavirus. Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/11/flattening-curve-coronavirus/ Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. (2020, March). Retrieved from https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 Epidemiology. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.who.int/topics/epidemiology/en/ Gorman, J. (2020, February). China's ban on wildlife trade a big step, but has loopholes, conservationists say. Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/science/coronavirus-pangolin-wildlife-ban-china.html How coronavirus spreads. (2020, March). Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/pre vent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html Kissler, S. M., Tedijanto, C., Lipsitch, M., & Grad, Y. (2020, March). Social distancing strategies for curbing the COVID-19 epidemic. Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.22.20041079v1 Part 2: Entire CNN coronavirus town hall (March 26). (2020, March). Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.cnn.com/ videos/health/2020/03/27/entire-march-26-coronavirus-town-hall-part-2-sot-vpx.cnn/video/playlists/entire-cnn-face book-march-26-coronavirus-town-hall/ Rothan, H. A., & Byrareddy, S. N. (2020). The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Journal of Autoimmunity. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102433 Shah, S. (2017). Pandemic: Tracking contagions, from cholera to ebola and beyond. Wan, W., Achenbach, J., Johnson, C. Y., & Guarino, B. (2020, March). Coronavirus will radically alter the U.S. Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/19/coronavirus-projections-us/ What is epidemiology? (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.sph.emory.edu/departments/epi/overview/ what-is-epidemiology/index.html

Spring 2020


What is epidemiology? (2011, September). Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/ what-epidemiology What is epidemiology? (2016, June). Retrieved March 29, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/careerpaths/k12teacherroadmap/ epidemiology.html Zhang, S., Diao, M., Yu, W., Pei, L., Lin, Z., & Chen, D. (2020). Estimation of the reproductive number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the probable outbreak size on the Diamond Princess cruise ship: A data-driven analysis. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2020.02.033

Page 19: Societal and Medical Struggles that Allow COVID-19 to Attack Us Maragakis, L. (2020) Coronavirus, Social and Physical Distancing and Self-Quarantine, Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Johns Hopkins, John Hopkins Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/ health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-social-distancing-and-self-quarantine Letzter, R. (2020, April 1). Is 6 feet enough space for social distancing?, Staff Writer, LiveScience: https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-six-feet-enough-social-distancing.html Center for Disease Control (2020): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html Pappas, S. (2020, April 1). Coronavirus Testing is Ramping Up. Here are the new tests and how they work., Live Science Contributor, LiveScience: https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-tests-available.html Eldridge, L. (2020, January 28). What is Asymptomatic?, VeryWell Health: https://www.verywellhealth.com/asymptomatic-definition-importance-and-controversy-2249055 Woodward, A. (2020, April 3). It’s Estimated 1 in 4 Coronavirus Carriers Could be Asymptomatic. Here’s What We Know., Science Alert: https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-we-know-so-far-about-those-who-can-pass-corona-without- symptoms

Page 20: The Coronavirus in Our Bodies Belluck, P. (2020, March 11). What Does the Coronavirus Do to the Body? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/article/ coronavirus-body-symptoms.html Coronavirus Cases:. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ Corum, J., & Zimmer, C. (2020, March 13). How the Coronavirus Hijacks Your Cells. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/11/science/how-coronavirus-hijacks-your-cells.html Gallagher, J. (2020, March 14). Coronavirus: What it does to the body. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51214864

Page 21: Are We Making Any Progress in Combating COVID-19? Arnold, C. (2020, April 1). Coronavirus treatment: What drugs could work and when can we get them? New Scientist. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24532760-900-coronavirus-treatment-what-drugs-could-work-and-when-can- we-get-them/ Background FAQ on Glivec (imatinib) compulsory license in Colombia. (2016, May 19). Knowledge Ecology International. https://www.keionline.org/book/background-faq-on-glivec-imatinib-compulsory-license-in-colombia Bailey, V., & Guttendorf, Z. (n.d.). [Treatments]. VisualCapitalist. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/every-vaccine-treatment-covid-19-so-far/ Bailey, V., & Guttendorf, Z. (n.d.). [Vaccines]. VisualCapitalist. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/every-vaccine-treatment-covid-19-so-far/ DrugBank Contributor. (2020, March 13). Remdesivir. DrugBank. https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB14761#BE0003801 DrugBank Contributors. (2020, April 9). Hydroxychloroquine. DrugBank. Retrieved March 31, 2020, from https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01611#reference-A192546 Elon Musk promised ventilators. These are BPAP machines. (2020, April 1). Financial Times. https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2020/04/01/1585782924000/Elon-Musk-promised-ventilators--These-are-BPAP-machines-/ FDA. (2020). Emergency use authorization. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved April 10, 2020, from https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/ emergency-use-authorization Hahn, S. (2020, March 31). What we at the FDA are doing to fight COVID-19. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/opinions/fda-coronavirus-vaccine-testing-hahn/



Harrison, L., Ahn, C., & Adolphs, R. (2015, August 21). Exploring the structure of human defensive responses from judgments of threat scenarios. PubMed Central (PMC), US Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4546605/ Corum, J., & Zimmer, C. (2020, April 3). Bad news wrapped in protein: Inside the coronavirus genome. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/03/science/coronavirus-genome-bad-news-wrapped-in-protein.html Lacey, A. (2020, March 27). Can the public be trusted in a pandemic? Wired. https://www.wired.com/story/hed-can-the-public-be-trusted-in-a-pandemic/ Liu, J., Cao, R., Xu, M. et al. Hydroxychloroquine, a less toxic derivative of chloroquine, is effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Cell Discov 6, 16 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41421-020-0156-0 McCauley, T. (2020, March 31). Michigan doctors see success in COVID-19 treatment but say more clinical trials are needed. WWMT. https://wwmt.com/news/local/michigan-doctors-see-success-in-covid-19-treatment-but-say-more-clinical- trials-are-needed Mursix. (2020, March 24). Muncie's Mursix corporation ramps up to assist medical industry for COVID-19 — Muncie journal. Muncie Journal. https://www.munciejournal.com/2020/03/muncies-mursix-corporation-ramps-up-to-assist- medical-industry-for-covid-19/ O'Neill, N. (2020, April 7). Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective’ coronavirus treatment, poll of doctors finds. Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/hydroxychloroquine-most-effective-coronavirus-treatment-poll/ Routley, N. (2020, April 1). Every vaccine and treatment in development for COVID-19, so far. Visual Capitalist. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/every-vaccine-treatment-covid-19-so-far/ Rowland, C. (2020, March 30). FDA authorizes widespread use of unproven drugs to treat coronavirus, saying possible bene fit outweighs risk. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/30/coronavirus-drugs-hy droxychloroquin-chloroquine/ Silverman, E. (2020, March 25). New paper about a Gilead drug to combat coronavirus has analysts skittish. STAT. https://www.statnews.com/pharmalot/2020/03/13/gilead-coronavirus-covid19-clinical-trials/ Taylor, N. P. (2020, March 30). COVID-19 causes Moderna to pause a clutch of clinical trials. FierceBiotech. https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/covid-19-causes-moderna-to-pause-a-clutch-clinical-trials Temple, J. (2020, March 27). How 3D printing could save lives in the coronavirus outbreak. MIT Technology Review. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615420/3d-printing-coronavirus-covid-19-medical-supplies-devices/ Wiser, M. (2019, October 21). Mechanisms of drug action and resistance. Tulane University. https://www.tulane.edu/~wiser/protozoology/notes/drugs.html

Page 24: Dr. Erna Hoover: Female Inventor and Tech Pioneer AT&T Archives and History Center. (n.d.). The original 1ESS in Succasunna, NJ. https://about.att.com/innovationblog/1aess Bell Labs Holmdel. (2008, October 16). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bell_Labs_Holmdel.jpg Eckhart, B. J., & Hoover, E. S. (1971). United States Patent 3,623,007. https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=03623007 Keister, W. (1965, June). The evolution of telephone switching. Bell Laboratories Record, 203. https://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php/browse/bc-switching-library/western-electric/weco-switching-docu ments/electronic-switching-system-ess/1ess/5338-no-1-ess-section-i-ocr-r/file Martin, K. (2010, January 4). 1ESS Master Control Center. https://www.flickr.com/photos/9479603@N02/4246080628/in/album-72157602824222688/

Page 30: The Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life is Closer Than We Think, and We're Not Ready Knapton, S. (2019, September 28). Nasa chief scientist: 'We're close to finding and announcing alien life on Mars....but is the world ready?'. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/09/28/nasa-chief-scientist-close-find ing-alien-life-making-announcementsbut/. NASA Chief Scientist: We Might Find Life on Mars Within 2 Years. (2019, October 9). Retrieved from https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/24012/20191009/nasa-to-look-for-life-on-mars-2021.htm. World may not be ready for discovery of life on Mars, NASA agency chief says. (2019, October 1). Retrieved from https://fox59.com/2019/09/30/world-may-not-be-ready-for-discovery-of-life-on-mars-nasa-agency-chief-says/. Saplakoglu, Y. (2018, February 16). Is Humanity Ready for the Discovery of Alien Life? Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-humanity-ready-for-the-discovery-of-alien-life/. Spring 2020


Shostak, S. (n.d.). Are We Ready for the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life? Retrieved from https://www.seti.org/are-we-ready-discovery-extraterrestrial-life.

Page 31: Coral Bleaching and the Coral Restoration Foundation Coral Reefs. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://coast.noaa.gov/states/fast-facts/coral-reefs.html US Department of Commerce, & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2010, March 15). What is coral bleaching? Retrieved from https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html What is Coral Bleaching and What Causes It - Fight For Our Reef. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.marineconservation.org.au/coral-bleaching/

Page 33: The Side Effects of Stress Booth, S. (n.d.). Stress Can Shrink Your Brain. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-stress-can-shrink-your-brain Kam, K. (2011, March 31). How Stress Affects Acne. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/stress-and-acne How stress affects your body and behavior. (2019, April 4). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987

Page 35: The Marshmallow Experiment Furr, N. (2011, August 9). Why Kindergartners Make Better Entrepreneurs than MBAs: And How to Fix It. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanfurr/2011/04/27/why-kindergartners-make-better-entrepreneurs-than-mbas-and- how-to-fix-it/#70a96a431394 Hedrich, M. (2016, May 6). What 20 sticks of spaghetti and one single marshmallow taught us about innovation. Retrieved from https://www.proxyclick.com/blog/marshmallow-challenge-innovation Katz, L. N. (2014, June 27). Lessons from the marshmallow challenge [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://theturnaroundauthority.com/2014/06/27/lessons-from-the-marshmallow-challenge/ Wujec, T. (2010, April). Are you more creative than a five year old? [Photograph]. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2014/12/innovation-leadership-lessons-from-the-marshmallow-challenge

Page 36: Stem Cells

Ieda, M., Fu, J.-D., Delgado-Olguin, P., Vedantham, V., Hayashi, Y., Bruneau, B. G., & Srivastava, D. (2011, August 6). Direct reprogramming of fibroblasts into functional cardiomyocytes by defined factors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2919844/

Page 38: What is Voice Recognition? Amazon Alexa. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/all-new-Echo/dp/B07NFTVP7P Apple. (n.d.). IOS 13. Retrieved from https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-13/features/ Cloudtalk. (n.d.). Call Center IVR. Retrieved from https://www.cloudtalk.io/ivr Favpng. (n.d.). Speech Recognition. Retrieved from https://favpng.com/png_search/speech-recognition Kikel, C. (n.d.). Difference Between Voice Recognition and Speech Recognition. Retrieved from https://www.totalvoicetech.com/difference-between-voice-recognition-and-speech-recognition/ Lewis, D. (2016, August 1). Retrieved from https://s27389.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/AdobeStock_79969378-1024x440.jpeg Nuance. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nuance.com/dragon.html Speech and Voice Recognition Market Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast to 2025. (2019, November 4). Retrieved from https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/speech-and-voice-recognition-market-size-growth-opportunity-and-fore cast-to-2025-2019-11-04 Wedekind, K. (2018, July 26). HTML5 Speech Recognition API. Retrieved from https://codeburst.io/html5-speech-recognition-api-670846a50e92

Page 40: Intervenção: How We’ve Influenced the Fate of the Ria Aveiro [Aveiro - Pair of Rancho das Salineiras]. http://aveiroempostalpintomonteiro.blogspot.com/2009/04/n.html Benjamin, F. (2006, July 30). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coque_blanche_(Cerastoderma_edule).jpg



Costa, N. (2020, February 17). Flamingos: the loveliest residents of Aveiro Lagoon. Retrieved from https://www.itinari.com/flamingos-the-loveliest-residents-of-aveiro-lagoon-cm32 Da Silva, J. F. (2019, October 7). Blue Carbon stock in Zostera noltei meadows at Ria de Aveiro coastal lagoon (Portugal) over a decade. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-50425-4 Dragagens na Ria de Aveiro. (2019, November 22). Retrieved from https://www.noticiasdeaveiro.pt/ria-de-aveiro-acol he-uma-das-maiores-intervencoes-arqueologicas-em-portugal-na-ultima-decada/ Festival Gastronomia de Bordo na Murtosa de 27 de novembro a 1 de dezembro. (2019, November 21). Retrieved from https://www.noticiasdeaveiro.pt/festival-gastronomia-de-bordo-na-murtosa-de-27-de-novembro-a-1-de-dezembro/ Figueiredo da Silva, J. (2019, October 28). Moliço e dragagens na Ria de Aveiro. Retrieved from https://www.noticiasdeaveiro.pt/molico-e-dragagens-na-ria-de-aveiro/ Fundo para a conservação premeia estudo sobre o berbigão na Ria de Aveiro. (2019, November 14). Retrieved from https://www.noticiasdeaveiro.pt/fundo-para-a-conservacao-premeia-estudo-sobre-o-berbigao-na-ria-de-aveiro/ García, M. (2018, August 7). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/geral-45096161 História da Ria de Aveiro (Última Parte). (2008, April 23). Retrieved from https://riadeaveirohc.blogs.sapo.pt/5375.html Moliço. (2006, May 31). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moli%C3%A7o Pradarias marinhas da Ria de Aveiro com tendência de recuperação. (2019, October 25). Retrieved from https://www.noticiasdeaveiro.pt/pradarias-marinhas-da-ria-de-aveiro-com-tendencia-de-recuperacao/ Rede de pesca, robalos e berbigão apreendidos na Ria de Aveiro. (2019, November 22). Retrieved from https://www.noticiasdeaveiro.pt/rede-de-pesca-robalos-e-berbigao-apreendidos-na-ria-de-aveiro/ Ria de Aveiro acolhe "uma das maiores intervenções arqueológicas em Portugal na última década". (2019, November 22). Retrieved from https://www.noticiasdeaveiro.pt/ria-de-aveiro-acolhe-uma-das-maiores-intervencoes-arqueologicas- em-portugal-na-ultima-decada/ Ria de Aveiro. (n.d.). Official touristic website. Retrieved from https://www.riadeaveiro.pt/ria/ria-com-historia/ [Salt fields near Aveiro]. (n.d.). Lifecooler. https://lifecooler.com/artigo/atividades/ecomuseu-marinha-da-troncalhada/394352/ Santana, M. J. (2019, October 25). Em poucos meses, já foram dragados 100 mil metros cúbicos de areia da ria de Aveiro. Retrieved from https://www.publico.pt/2019/10/25/local/noticia/meses-ja-dragados-100-mil-metros-cubicos-areia-ria- aveiro-1891398 Visit Aveiro on a wonderful day trip from Porto. (2019, February 2). Retrieved from https://www.tasteporto.com/day-trips-from-porto-aveiro/

Page 43: Under The Radar: The Impact of the Microbiome on Human Health Aykut, B., Pushalkar, S., Chen, R., Li, Q., Abengozar, R., Kim, J. I., … Miller, G. (2019, October). The fungal mycobiome pro motes pancreatic oncogenesis via activation of MBL. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31578522 Dambuza, I. M., & Brown, G. D. (2019, October 2). Fungi accelerate pancreatic cancer. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02892-y Prasad, S. (2019, October 25). Can Fungi In The Gut Cause Pancreatic Cancer? Retrieved from https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/can-fungi-in-the-gut-cause-pancreatic-cancer/ar-AAJjZIo Aykut, B. (2019). Fungi called Malassezia promote pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma [Online image]. Nature Magazine. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02892-y

Page 44: How Solar Panels Work Komp, R. (2016, January 5). How do solar panels work? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKxrkht7CpY Mathew, S. (2018, November 28). How do solar cells work? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_q6LRgKpTw Renewable energy. (2018). Retrieved February 14, 2020, from Center for Climate and Energy Solutions website: https://www.c2es.org/content/renewable-energy/

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Burden, A. (2016, August 13). Fountain pen and a notebook. https://unsplash.com/photos/xG8IQMqMITM

Spring 2020


Thank you to everyone who made this publication possible.

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