Despite billions of dollars, decades of research, and an unparalleled level of international cooperation between research scientists and clinicians, cancer remains a major cause of death worldwide. Therapies have improved and many forms of cancer are now treatable, but the disease still kills over six million people throughout the world each year (Globecan 2000). For this reason, cancer research funding through the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) represents one of the largest expenditures of the United States federal government. This focus on research has led to improved medical treatments for cancer as well as greater understanding of the molecular intricacies of the disease.
Two theories currently shape the world of physics: quantum mechanical theory, which involves small particles, and gravitational theory, which involves large particles. Physicists and mathematicians are currently trying to unify the two theories into an all-encompassing quantum theory, called string theory, that can account for the four main forces: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force.
Kara surfaced, kicked a few strokes to the waiting boat, and passed her scuba gear up on deck. Moments later, like a triumphant fisherman just returned to shore, she was giving her account of the dive when the divemaster, Mark, surfaced. "Kara, are you o.k.? You came up too fast," he hurriedly interrupted her stories as he was climbing aboard. "Do you feel any tingling? If you feel anything out of sorts, any pins and needles, or any pain tomorrow, tell me immediately."
I took a long gulp of fresh, cold water when I staggered into my apartment. It was one of those suffocating summer days in Washington D.C, when the heat blankets your body and only an ice-cold cup of water promises escape. I splashed some on my face, collapsed on the couch, and began thumbing through a pile of journal articles on disinfection of drinking water - homework for my job as an environmental health intern at Physicians for Social Responsibility.
In the wake of the October anthrax mailings, America has become attuned to the possibility of terrorists unleashing smallpox on the United States. Unlike anthrax, smallpox is highly contagious and difficult to contain. Although smallpox was eradicated from the United States in 1949 and officially eradicated worldwide in 1980, Americans are currently very vulnerable to the disease, which might spread rapidly throughout the United States - and to other countries - upon release.
n February 2001, the publicly-funded International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium and the privately-owned company Celera Genomics announced the completion of the sequencing of the human genome. To some, this might mean we now know the identity of every single base pair in our genetic material. Not exactly. Contrary to what many believe, the Human Genome Project is not yet over.
"I'd NEVER try to tell my mother what I do every day." That was the response Jennifer Boeth Donovan, a science writer, heard from a biochemist she once interviewed. Donovan was trying to get the scientist to explain her work in something approximating lay English, so she could understand it well enough to re-explain it in her article.
The hallmark of Western medicine appears in its astounding technology, scientific applications, medical tools, and emergency procedures. Nevertheless, the wonderful miracles rendered through western medicine - the artificial hearts, the iron lungs, the surgeries, and so forth - still cannot hide its drawbacks.
The lethal members of the various viral families seem to dominate public perceptions of the field of virology. Hepatitis is linked to liver cancer, and Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers have long been a favorite of novelists and screenwriters. Recent political events have shifted our attention to the specter of smallpox and other putative agents of biological warfare, and the human immunodeficiency virus is tragically reshaping communities in many parts of the world. In the midst of such weighty concerns, it is easy to ignore more innocuous viruses, particularly when they don't cause human suffering of any great magnitude.
All too frequently, people are discovering that a grandparent, parent, elderly relative, or friend can no longer remember names or faces, recognize common objects, or talk in coherent sentences. This person may be suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD). Alzheimer's disease is a growing medical and social concern. Zaven Khachaturian and Teresa Radebaugh, in their 1996 book Alzheimer's disease: Cause(s), Diagnosis, Treatment, and Care, state that AD strikes more than 4 million people in the United States alone and affects millions more who suffer from watching a loved one afflicted with the disease.
The developing world is in trouble. A staggering number of people worldwide - an estimated 800 million people - are undernourished because they lack the resources to obtain the food they need. This shortage of food contributes not just to starvation, but also to disease and malnutrition. Millions die annually from infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), just three diseases -- malaria, tuberculosis and HIV -- together cause some 300 million illnesses and 5 million deaths annually.
Saturday, April 6th, 10 p.m.: The six travelers check into an Orlando hotel. We're undergraduates from Northwestern University and we're here, not for Disney World, but to present posters on our research to the American Chemical Society. Our business attire contrasts sharply at breakfast with the Mickey Mouse ears of the other hotel guests. Today, we opt for the intellectual excitement of displaying our research work in front of a professional audience. We expect the poster presentations we will make in Orlando to affect our futures.
Imagine walking through a carnival. You hear laughing children, the bustle of the crowd, and a man shouting, "Witness the immeasurable strength of the ultimate attraction between matter and light! Behold the inescapable grip that pervades the Universe! Only a dollar a head!" Intrigued, you pay the small fee and enter a trailer. You find a table in the center of the room with a black opaque glass case. You stare baffled, waiting for something to happen, until you glance at the label and read in big black letters, "THE BLACK HOLE." You realize you've been had... or have you?
Camille Mojica Rey, like many of her colleagues, did not plan on being a science writer. As a minority and a woman who showed an interest in science, she was encouraged to pursue engineering. Nobody noticed that she was also acing her honors English courses. How did she go from an engineering track to a science writing one? Even more importantly, what has she learned that can be shared with a budding science writer?
"BOOM!" An unexpected explosion. darkness and a blood-chilling scream... then, red laser beams begin to dance around the room to an anxious, suspenseful theme.No, this is not an action movie, nor a play at a local theater. This is the Harvard ExperiMentors' Science Day, where more than 200 children are embarking on a daylong foray into forensic science. If you've ever wanted to feel like a Hollywood director while nurturing your love for science and serving your community, then read on!
My grandmother, a frail 78-year-old woman who has spent her whole life in China and Taiwan, recently came to stay with my family in the San Francisco Bay area. At her age, health is of great concern - she takes four pills every morning for various ailments (such as chronic bronchitis and osteoporosis), and often spends a large portion of her days sleeping. All of her pills were prescribed by her doctors in Taiwan. To supplement her medications, she drinks various concoctions made from Chinese herbs and animal parts, also brought over from Taiwan. She doesn't have any desire to see a Western doctor, and even left the United States so she could go back for a physical check-up in Taiwan.
Ten o'clock at night, bent over physics book, notes, and calculator, and trying like mad to visualize Gauss's Law, you're thinking: "When am I ever going to use this?" You wanted to study galaxy formation, search for life in the universe, and peek into the racy lives of binaries. Instead, you're writing out problems two through 98 (even) from the "Challenge" section of your physics textbook.
In ancient Greece, Helen of Troy, the instigator of the Trojan War, was the paragon of beauty, exuding a physical brilliance that would put Cindy Crawford to shame. Indeed, she was the toast of Athens, celebrated not for her kindness or her intellect, but for her physical perfection. But why did the Greek men find Helen, and other beautiful women, so intoxicating?