Skyrmions: the next step for quantum computing?

by Meera Aravinth   Quantum computing and ‘spin-tronics’ have been increasingly viewed as the next step in the world of computing, as the need for memory storage and computational power is limited by space constraints. A magnetic phenomenon known as a skyrmion is a potential path forward to devices that store information bits on electron …

The powerhouse of Alzheimer’s

by Anjali Sadarangani   Heart health. Exercise. Inflammation. All of these research areas have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and claim to lead to the cure for this devastating disease, yet there is still no feasible treatment option for patients. In fact, Alzheimer’s numbers have been continuously increasing. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, currently 5.8 …

The price of discovery

by Ethan Ward   Hawaii is almost universally seen as a tropical paradise, but it has much more than its natural beauty to offer. Native Hawaiians who continue to follow the traditional religion see their islands as a manifestation of divinity on Earth. Astronomers, on the other hand, see it as the gateway to the …

Biodegradable plastic…promising, but not yet a solution for plastic pollution

by Tiffany Liang Plastics are undeniably useful…and undeniably bad for the environment. While many environmentally-conscious people have made the switch to cotton bags and metal straws, other substances have a difficult time competing with the convenience, cost-effectiveness, and versatility of plastics.  Biodegradable plastics offer a promising compromise⁠: they have all the useful characteristics of plastics …

Mind-reading: a superhero power potentially unlocked by neuroscience

by Stephanie Jue   We live in a world where only fiction encapsulates the wonders of mind-reading, but now that prospect seems more feasible than ever –– that is, if mind-reading is the comprehension of the human brain on a neural or otherwise quantifiable level. Indeed, studies have shown that it is possible to roughly …

Are you stressed out? Try reminiscing about happy times!

by Sharon Binoy Stress is not a rare occurrence on a college campus, but it has the potential to affect the mental and physical health of even the most resilient among us. Whether it’s an upcoming deadline or a bad encounter, periodic stressors can haunt us all.  Three out of four college students are stressed, …

The inflammatory response in overdrive

by Nicole Xu   The immune system is often referred to as the body’s defense system, but what happens when the defense system itself turns lethal? Swelling around a simple cut, a sore throat, and arthritis can all be linked back to one root cause: inflammation. Originally evolved as a short-term defense response to abnormal …

Can we make a glitch in the human genome?

by Natasha Raut   Our ability to control DNA, the very foundation of the biological world, remains astonishing, even among the plethora of advances made by humankind. In today’s laboratories, scientists are using microscopic bacteria to restitch the sequence of genes in organisms, and are seeing a  possibility of designing genetically desirable human babies, or …

How artificial neural networks work, from the math up

by Arjun Chandran   Neural networks are often associated with some of the remarkable things that artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of doing today, ranging from face and voice recognition to tumor detection. But how do neural networks actually work? Modeled after the brain’s biological networks, neural networks are a class of algorithms designed to …

Revolutionizing healthcare: one block at a time

by Liane Albarghouthi Disruption is in the DNA of technological revolutions.  Today, the dominating disruptive force in question is blockchain technology. Blockchain is a decentralized, ever-growing, time-stamped list of immutable data. Conceived by a group under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, blockchain originally served as the transaction database for one of the most notorious cryptocurrencies currently …