Association of Music With Stress, Test Anxiety, and Test Grades Among High School Students

Authors:  Radhika Rastogi, Ellen Silver

Music is an integral part of many adolescents’ lives and has been shown to have anxiety-relieving effects in high-stress settings, such as hospitals. Adolescents also face high levels of stress in academic environments, which have been correlated with poor academic performance, particularly test grades. However, the relationship between stress, academic performance, and music listening among adolescents has not been studied. We hypothesized that students who spent more time listening to music while studying would report lower levels of stress and receive higher test grades.

Mirror Effects on Feeding Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

Author:  Maki Sumitani

Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) are a social species that travel in flocks and have a strict dominance hierarchy. Feeding sites enable researchers to explore their intraspecific behaviors as they engage in contests over food. This study investigated whether the presence of a mirror at a feeder would alter the length of time and frequency of feeding by Black-capped chickadees. With the mirror image as a proxy for another bird, the study also tested whether the chickadees will interact with their mirror images with aggressive or exploratory behaviors.

Prenatal Ethanol Exposure Affects Calbindin Expression in an FASD Mouse Model

Authors:  Diana Finesmith & Carlita Favero

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy produces a wide range of birth defects classified as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), including motor defects. Motor functions are regulated in part by Purkinje cells in the cerebellum, which are particularly susceptible to ethanol exposure and contain high levels of calbindin, a calcium-binding protein essential to their function and survival. Previous research has demonstrated that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can produce motor defects in a newborn, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of low dose prenatal ethanol exposure on calbindin expression in the cerebellum by examining the number and relative optical density of cells expressing calbindin in the cerebella of mouse offspring exposed to ethanol from gestational day 7.5 until birth.

Forensic Anthropologists Have a Bone to Pick With TV Crime Shows

Author:  Belinda Ongaro

If they aren’t out investigating gruesome murders as depicted in popular crime shows, what exactly do forensic anthropologists do? Generally speaking, a forensic anthropologist is responsible for deciphering details such as age, height, gender, ethnicity, time and cause of death, and other characteristics of skeletal remains associated with a legal case.

Careers in Environmental Consulting

Author:  Emma Loewe

Increasingly stringent legislation on chemical releases is forcing businesses to become more environmentally aware. EPA regulations concerning lead, mercury and greenhouse gas emissions have increased demand for environmental consultants. These specialists test various aspects of a company’s environmental impact in order to identify potential problems or breaches in government regulations.

Assisting in the Field: A True Research Adventure

Author:  Yeva Ragauskayte

Snorkeling and scuba diving in coral reefs, trekking through the jungle, climbing icy slopes—do you see yourself partaking in any of these adventures in pursuit of knowledge? This is exactly what field assistants do when they help conduct research in the field. Many research studies do not just take place in a laboratory, but also in outside natural environments.

Taking Down Type 2 Diabetes: A Defective Gene Reveals Protective Potential

Author:  Belinda Ongaro

Affecting over 300 million lives across the globe, type 2 diabetes is a condition whose prevalence is daunting and incessantly on the rise. Lifestyle changes are unfortunately only effective at slowing the progress of the disease, but not at eliminating its symptoms entirely. However, thanks to the efforts of an international research team comprised of Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers, a therapeutic solution involving drug mimicry may be on the horizon.