If you’ve recently been to the zoo, you might have noticed a few seasonal changes, like otters playing with popsicles or pumas clawing at cardboard. Don’t worry, zookeepers haven't gone mad from the winter blues - animals receive tricks and treats all year round in the form of environmental enrichment.
By Amy Massack
In an age when the destruction of our natural world has become commonplace, it’s not surprising that organizations have risen in hopes of changing our environment for the better. With mass pollution, such as litter scattering the coastlines, many would view this goliathan task of undoing years of damage impossible. However, one particular organization, Planet Love Life, is taking the oceans by storm.
By Shivani Gupta
Summer is in full swing, which means spending lazy days at the beach, trying quirky ice cream flavors with your friends, and absorbing that sunshine. I’m sure during all this time, sunscreen is being thoroughly reapplied every 2 hours to protect against those ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause skin cancer. Sunscreen is that product we know we should use, but seems so trivial that it is typically forgotten until we get a blistering sunburn. When we finally end up buying sunscreen, there are so many options to consider, such as whether the sunscreen is a spray or lotion, is safe for use with sensitive skin, or is damaging to coral reefs. To maximize human and environmental safety, let’s discuss the science of sunscreen.
The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks Sheds Light on Schizophrenia and the Struggle of Treating Mental Health Disorders
By Natalya Ortolano
I could almost hear the words ringing through my head as I quickly ducked into the back row of the auditorium for my first “Fundamentals of Neuroscience” class. “I’ll do a project on anything except neuroscience,” I had said to my thesis mentor before rotating in her lab. However, the ubiquitin ligase I had set out to characterize was indifferent to my opposition to studying the brain. Rather than being involved in cell cycle regulation as I had hypothesized (and secretly hoped), the protein seemed relevant to neurogenesis. Over time, I warmed up to the idea, but as my background was a mix of cell biology and microbiology, I had hoped to get a formal introduction to neuroscience by auditing the course where I now sat in the back row.
Ultimately, this course not only helped me develop a stronger foundation in neuroscience, but also introduced me to a topic I had become increasingly exposed to through my own personal experiences during graduate school: mental health disorders.
By Sirine Taleb
Graduate school is not an easy journey and can often take a toll on students' emotional health. Graduate students can spend upwards of 60 hours per week researching and publishing their work. Whether they are earning a Master's or a Doctorate (Ph.D.), many suffer emotionally during their years of study and concerns about their emotional health have been highlighted in several articles and studies. One such study found that graduate students are six times more likely to experience anxiety and depression than the general population. This same study also found that female graduate students are more likely to experience depression than their male counterparts. Additionally, the Graduate Assembly at UC Berkeley found that Ph.D. students in particular have low life satisfaction and almost 47% of Ph.D. candidates were depressed. From my personal experience as a graduate student, I believe that overall emotional health can be affected by one’s living, social and financial situations. Although several institutions have raised the alarm concerning the emotional health of graduate students, concrete solutions and actions have yet to be implemented.
By Poornima Peiris
The annual scientista symposium was held at Harvard Medical School this past April with more than 600 scientistas in attendance. The symposium was a huge success with several new workshops, a novice and professional pitch competition and a Perricone MD scholarship added to the schedule. We managed to catch up with two scientistas in attendance to get their thoughts on this year’s symposium and hope to see you all next year as well.
Sister Survivors of Sexual Abuse at Michigan State University Tell Their Story Through Groundbreaking Museum Exhibit
By Olivia Spagnuolo
Walking across Michigan State University (MSU) campus in spring of 2018, students bore witness to 221 teal bows adorning trees and the bridge between the Hannah Administration Building and Wells Hall. Looking closer at each bow, one could notice a small ribbon bearing the name or case number of a sister survivor of the monstrous, decades-long sexual abuse perpetrated by Larry Nassar, a former trusted physician for MSU and USA Gymnastics. These bows withstood snow, sun, and rain, serving as a reminder of the suffering and resiliency of the survivors. Over the past year, this quiet gesture has grown into a ground-breaking, controversial, and powerful exhibit at the MSU Museum, entitled, “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak.” The sister survivors are refusing to be silenced any longer, and the world is finally listening.
By Robbin Koenig
Each spring, Macy’s Herald Square in New York City, Macy’s State Street in Chicago, and Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco welcome the season with an extravagant flower show. The theme this year is called Journey to Paradisios, Operation: Inspiration.
By Savvas Constantinou
The life of an academic, or anyone who associates themselves with science, is a busy one. Scientists are constantly researching background material, writing proposals for research, conducting research, analyzing data, writing up and presenting the data, and making meaningful conclusions… tasks which quickly spill outside the standard “40 hour week” schedule that has been adopted in most professional settings. Having the time to do anything outside of work can be challenging; however, there is mounting evidence that hobbies have a positive influence on researchers’ overall health and wellbeing (Rosen, 2018)
By Robbin Koenig
Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018 is an exhibit of tech-inspired art at the Whitney Museum in New York City. Created through code, sets of instruction, and algorithms, the artwork is conceptual and computational. The pieces reflect the evolution of technology from the mid-20th century to the present day.
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