Your Toenail Clippings Can Predict Cancer

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Your Toenail Clippings Can Predict Cancer

Francis Collins, the leader of the Human Genome Project, called DNA “the language of God.” If DNA is a language, then one could consider epigenetics the use of that language. Epigenetics studies which genes are turned on or off in our body, and these genes could regulate anything from eye color to height to the ability of your cells to fight off cancer.

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Save Our Soul from Quicksand!

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Save Our Soul from Quicksand!

I have been watching adventure movies since I was little. My worst nightmare was always getting lost in a tropical forest and accidentally stepping inside a swamp. I would be drowning, screaming for help and crying until I woke up in cold sweat. The drowning swamp scenes were very common in movies. In the 1960s, one in every 35 films features death caused by drowning in the swamp. On the other hand, in reality, there are deaths caused by drowning in swamps all the time.

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Colorful World: How LSD Affects Our Brain’s Attribution of Meaning

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Colorful World: How LSD Affects Our Brain’s Attribution of Meaning

What makes your world colorful? Many people would think of experiences, music, people, or even objects that significantly impacted their lives. So why might an experience be meaningful to us, but not to others? According to Katrin Preller, a psychopharmacologist at the University Hospital for Psychiatry Zürich in Switzerland,1 certain neurochemicals and receptors in the brain are responsible for creating that sense of meaningfulness. But Preller’s research has a unique twist: some of her study participants have been given LSD (lysergic acid diethylamde), a highly potent synthetic hallucinogen2 that is known to stimulate dopamine receptors.

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3 Principles of Super-Lensing: Modulated Magnification

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3 Principles of Super-Lensing: Modulated Magnification

Last time we discussed the physics behind the polaritonic lensing mechanism that can be used to beat the diffraction limit. Hexagonal Boron Nitride crystals can use these polaritons to limit-destructive interference by linearly propagating polaritons along their positive permittivity axis. Boron Nitride is famous for having a birefringent crystal configuration: one axis of the crystal has a positive permittivity and easily conducts polaritons, while the orthogonal axis has a negative permittivity and reflects light away. The presence of both these permittivities in the same crystal allows Boron-Nitride to have superlensing applications by coupling decaying light rays into polaritons and retaining image information that is normally lost.

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Artificial Leaves Can Save the World?

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Artificial Leaves Can Save the World?

Plants undergo photosynthesis in order to produce food from carbon dioxide and water. Plants pull carbon dioxide from the air around us and internally convert carbon dioxide molecules and water molecules into sugars which are stored in the plant and oxygen which is released back into the air. In essence, plants take carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into carbon compounds. It is estimated that plants across the world consume around 350 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year [1]. While this biological process is already efficient and evidently capable of removing massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany have devised a new biochemical mechanism for converting carbon dioxide into other, larger carbon compounds [2].

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