Genetics

SEE THE RAINBOW?

Feb 01, 2018 https://www.flickr.com/photos/kristinaschiller/14055117809/

By Jennifer Schiller When I was young, there was this one kid in my class who had all the colors of crayons. The rest of us would have the basics, but she had a pack of 256, with colors like “burnt umber” and “razzmatazz”. The rest of us would ooh and aah and beg to […]

How to Copy DNA: The Invention of the Polymerase Chain Reaction

Jan 11, 2018 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grand_Prismatic_Spring,_Yellowstone_National_Park_(3646969937).jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Thermus_aquaticus

By Matt Niederhuber There’s a good chance you’ve heard about DNA testing before, probably on a crime TV show or on the news. Sometimes, DNA testing is how the police identify suspects, but it has also helped prove the innocence of many people who have been falsely imprisoned. I bring up DNA testing because I […]

Synesthesia: Taste the Rainbow

Jan 04, 2018 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia#/media/File:Synesthesia.svg

By Jennifer Schiller Close your eyes and remember your breakfast. How did it feel? Was it slimy scrambled eggs? Was it crunchy cereal? Or, like the man after which Richard E. Cytowic’s non-fiction book The Man Who Tasted Shapes is titled, did it feel pointy in your hands from the pepper? Was this last question […]

The Secrets of Our DNA

Oct 19, 2017 https://www.flickr.com/photos/mitopencourseware/4814933459

By Eva Vitucci The human body is composed of trillions of cells – these cells make up your skin, hair, lungs, and even your toenails. Inside each of these cells are specialized instructions that are essential for life, otherwise known as deoxyribonucleic acid, or your DNA. But what exactly is DNA? Quite simply, your DNA […]

Thank Mom for Your Mitochondria

May 27, 2017 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrion

By Michelle Engle We inherit ½ of our DNA from our mothers, but that’s not the only thing we inherit from them. Mitochondria are organelles in the cell that are responsible for making energy used to create proteins and respond to the environment. Mitochondria are passed from mother to baby upon fertilization of the egg. […]

Your ancestors had better teeth than you do, so go brush your teeth

Mar 15, 2017

By Lauriel Earley If you’ve ever been to the dentist, you’ll know that most of your time there is spent having plaque cleaned off your teeth. Have you ever given much thought as to what plaque is? If not, then be prepared to be a little grossed out. Plaque is a ‘biofilm’, which means it’s […]

From the Heart

Feb 16, 2017 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Diagram_of_the_human_heart_(cropped).svg

By Kelsey Gray Hearts have long been associated with the month of February. Hallmark Cards began producing Valentine’s Day cards featuring the heart in the early 1900s. The first American Heart Month was declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson and took place in February 1964. In 2003, the first National Wear Red Day was held […]

AUTISM- Always Unique Totally Interesting Sometimes Mysterious

Jan 17, 2017 https://pwcs.ss9.sharpschool.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=340225&pageId=755529

By Yitong Li When it comes to autism, many people tend to picture a somewhat non-responsive kid absorbed in arranging puzzles in a particular way. However, autism is far more than that. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the name assigned to a group of complex disorders that affect brain development. Some common symptoms […]

How Did Rudolph Get His Red Nose?: A Scientific Investigation

Dec 15, 2016

By Michelle Engle Some non-believers among you may say that Rudolph is nothing more than a fairy tale, that it’s impossible for a reindeer to have a glowing red nose. To those of you, I have this to say: it’s not magic, it’s science! Allow me to present evidence to support my hypothesis. Fluorescent, or […]

Ancient virus genes make male mice extra muscular

Dec 05, 2016

By Lauriel Earley You’ve probably already heard that you may have more bacterial cells than human cells in your body*, but did you know that you’re also part virus? About 5-8% of your genome is from viruses that integrated into the DNA of your ancestors. These pieces of virus that are in your genome are called […]

Genes and Giants in Ireland

Oct 27, 2016

By Michelle Engle Genetics is usually advertised as a science that impacts the future – the future of healthcare, the future of cancer therapy, etc. But it’s also the biological science that most closely links us to the past, through the DNA passed down from our ancestors. In Ireland, where the past is filled with […]