A mathematical model of cancer networks with radiation therapy

Author:  Olivia Manley

A theory of mutated developmental control networks has been developed by Oxford scientist Eric Werner and proposed as an alternative to the traditional explanation of cancer as the result of mutated genes that cause uncontrolled cell growth. This research examined one such control network and proposed a mathematical model that depicts the behavior described by this new paradigm of cancer growth. Treatment in the form of radiation therapy was introduced, and the resulting effects on each cell population were explored. Proton therapy was also considered as an alternative to traditional radiation therapy. This research will aid in the understanding of cancer, its growth, and how treatment may interact with it. 

Endocannabinoids modulate mood

Author:  Roberto U. Cofresí 

Mood disorders, depressive episodes, and other negative mood disturbances are highly prevalent forms of mental illness that can lead to suicide, especially in the absence of psychotherapy and/or pharmacotherapy. Current pharmacotherapeutic options for mood disorders are unimpressive in clinical practice, promoting only minor improvement in affective symptoms while resulting in often intolerable cognitive and somatic side effects, leading to poor patient adherence to drug regimens. Currently, commonly-prescribed antidepressants manipulate the same neurotransmitter systems (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) targeted by earlier generations of these drugs (e.g., monoamine oxidase inhibitors, monoamine and indoleamine reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants) only with improved system specificity. However, there exists a clear need to explore alternative neurochemical systems for use in the pharmacotherapy of mood disorders. One such system is the endogenous cannabinoid system, whose role in mood modulation is explored in this review.

The Dark Side of the Moon: Paradox of Light and Dark at the Lunar Surface

Author:  Anastasiya Maryukova Pankin

Iwas walking home late one night, and as I looked up at the sky I felt surrounded by moonlight. The stark beauty of the glowing light took me by surprise and left me in awe. I don’t think much about the moon unless it is in the fall and spring when the moon is rumored to be a cause of madness. For thousands of years, the moon has been associated with mania. Certain folktales claimed that the full moon changes human behavior — causing insomnia, increased anxiety and aggression. According to this superstition, people can become highly disturbed and restless during this lunar phase. In fact, the term ‘lunacy’ comes from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who rode her chariot across the sky at night. As I gazed up at the sky in Toronto, surrounded by the moonlight, I knew that somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, other moon enthusiasts were witnessing a full lunar eclipse. I experienced a momentous discovery: I wanted to know more about the moon. I wanted to learn what made it so compelling and unique.