Posts in May 2014

  1. Genome Sequencing

    [ May 23, 2014 ]

    In response to recent advances in genome sequencing, over 700,000 Americans have had their genomes sequenced. This technology allows people who have or will later develop life-threatening illnesses to receive the best treatment possible. Many people remain skeptical of this test even though it provides a multitude of health benefits and is increasingly affordable. Despite advances in technology and decreases in the cost, many are still hesitant to have their genome sequenced. This reluctance stems from an omission in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), a law created in 2008 that protects individuals’ right to conceal genetic information from employers and health insurers. The law omitted the right to confidentiality from life, disability, and long-term healthcare providers. This is an omission ...

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  2. Tigers

    [ May 23, 2014 ]

    The tiger, or Panthera tigris, is one of the hallmark “big cats”. It is seemingly an all-powerful force in its wild-habitat, fearless and dominant over most other species. However, we often forget that the human species has an enormous influence over its survival. Humans have played an integral role in the gradual extinction of the tiger. Tigers are disappearing at an alarming rate and in the last century alone, three subspecies of the tiger have gone extinct. Less than 3200 tigers are currently living in the wild, securing these cats a spot on the endangered species list. The monetary value of the tiger’s famous striped coat has made it a highly desired animal in the illicit wildlife trade. Additionally, medicinal repurposing ...

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  3. Weight of an Electron

    [ May 23, 2014 ]

    An electron is a negatively charged particle that has haunted us with careless errors on so many of our chemistry tests. All of the questions we have answered regarding this “weightless” particle with a “negligible” mass, however, seem to have met their match. Recently, a team led by Sven Sturm at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg was able to weigh an electron. At a miniscule 0.000548579909067 AMU, the newly found weight of the electron is 13 times more accurate than the previously acknowledged weight. This discovery has made great leaps in approaching an accurate measurement of a single electron’s weight. For the true scientists among you all, this discovery has much larger implications. Being able to factor in ...

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