The Quantum Tunnel

Author: William Black, Edited by Zena Lapp, Zuleirys Santana-Rodríguez, and Whit Froehlich

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Some say that studying a flower’s structure makes it less beautiful—that it’s best to appreciate the façade at face value, without details of underlying mechanisms. I wholly disagree. Knowledge of how a leaf photosynthesizes gives botanists greater awe for its elegance. Knowledge of how black holes tear at the fabric of spacetime gives physicists greater wonder for the universe. Knowledge of the quantum realm gave me a greater appreciation for Ant-Man and the Wasp. It can even give insights into where the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) may be headed with Avengers: Endgame. To better understand how the quantum realm works, I’ll expound on the powers of Ghost, the main antagonist of Ant-Man and the Wasp, and how they relate to probability clouds, Schrödinger’s cat, quantum tunneling, and the current state of the MCU. Continue reading “The Quantum Tunnel”

El cerebro que gema: La levadura como herramienta en el surgimiento de nuevos tratamientos para enfermedades neurodegenerativas

Autora: Sara Wong
Tradducción: Cristina Maria Rios, editado por Jean Rodriguez Diaz

¿Qué tienen en común los humanos con la levadura que utilizan los panaderos? Sorprendentemente, ambos comparten una gran cantidad de información genética y son gobernados por muchos de los mismos procesos celulares. Aunque la levadura carece de órganos y extremidades como los humanos, esta trabaja similarmente a las células humanas y puede ser utilizada para estudiar una gran variedad de enfermedades que padecen los humanos. La levadura es barata, crece rápido y es fácil de manipular. Estas cualidades han permitido que los científicos que estudian a la levadura descubran nuevos genes y mecanismos que son comparables con los de otros organismos modelos, como los ratones. Un área de la investigación con levadura se enfoca en entender enfermedades neurodegenerativas, tales como las enfermedades de Parkinson y Alzheimer. Continue reading “El cerebro que gema: La levadura como herramienta en el surgimiento de nuevos tratamientos para enfermedades neurodegenerativas”

So close, yet so far: Why “the pill” for men isn’t right around the corner

Author: Ashley Melnick
Editors: Stephanie Hamilton, Christina Vallianatos

Family planning is an important component in many relationships; this includes preparing for planned pregnancies and navigating ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Since prescription-based birth control hit the market, women have mainly been responsible for taking “the pill” and utilizing other methods of pregnancy prevention, such as cycle monitoring, rings, and patches. In December 2018, the CDC released data indicating the pill was the most commonly used form of birth control (12.6%) after sterilization (18.6%), with long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) like intrauterine devices (IUDs) trailing closely behind (10.3%), followed by male condoms (8.7%). With new advances in reproductive health research, a similar breadth of contraceptives is becoming available for men, which will soon give men more family-planning options. Western societies have recently pushed men to take larger roles in raising a family, ranging from paternity leave to being stay-at-home dads, and others beyond and in between. Developing additional options for male contraceptives will give men and women, both in relationships and as singles, more options when it comes to planning for children or preventing pregnancies. Continue reading “So close, yet so far: Why “the pill” for men isn’t right around the corner”

Girls Who Code Emprenden la Semana de Educación en Ciencias Computacionales

Autora: Brooke Wolford
Editores: Zena Lapp y Whit Froehlich
Traducción: Irene Vargas-Salazar, editado por Neykelin Burgos Tirado

Aunque no sea aparente, ¡Una gran parte de programación computacional está trabajando tras bastidores para ayudarte a leer este artículo! De hecho, este tipo de código ocurre frecuentemente en el mundo moderno. Los empleos en computación y matemáticas se encuentran en el número seis entre los 22 grupos ocupacionales de mayor crecimiento en E.U.A. Además, se han proyectado alrededor de 4.3 millones de trabajos para americanos en estas áreas para el 2020.

Continue reading “Girls Who Code Emprenden la Semana de Educación en Ciencias Computacionales”

Feminine, Masculine, or Androgynous: How Do We Characterize Science?

Author: Kristina Lenn
Editors: Isabel Colon-Bernal, Jessica Cote, and Whit Froehlich

Being confronted with our own biases is a humbling experience. I hate to admit it, but for most of my life, even when I was in college, the images I had of scientists and engineers were typically of men. Growing up, the parochial school I attended taught us that men are supposed to be providers and women are supposed to be nurturers. According to my teachers and pastors, men are more logical and women are more emotional; therefore, men are more reliable for leadership roles. Popular culture at that time, which is unfortunately not very different from today’s, was full of references to dumb blonde women, women’s “excuse to be crazy” once a month, and men’s mistrust of “anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn’t die.”

Continue reading “Feminine, Masculine, or Androgynous: How Do We Characterize Science?”

 Who owns cells and DNA?  Property rights get messy in biology

Author: Sarah Kearns
Editors: Genesis Rodriguez, Zena Lapp, and Whit Froehlich

Scattered around your house or apartment, lightly coating the surface of your coffee table and lurking in the nooks and crannies of each room, discarded layers of yourself can be found in the form of skin and hair cells. Regardless of how much of clean-freak you are, it’s unlikely you miss the over one million cells you shed per day. One might go so far as to say that they aren’t even yours in the first place as you sweep them up during a spring cleaning before irreverently dumping them in the waste bin. But what if someone came into your house and took them? Continue reading ” Who owns cells and DNA?  Property rights get messy in biology”

Girls Who Code take on Computer Science Education Week

Author: Brooke Wolford. Editors: Zena Lapp and Whit Froehlich

It is not directly apparent, but a lot of computer code is working behind the scenes to allow you to read this article! In fact, computer code runs a lot of the modern world. Computer and mathematical occupations are the sixth-fastest-growing of 22 major occupational groups in the U.S., and are projected to account for 4.3 million American jobs in 2020.

This week (December 3-9 in 2018) is Computer Science Education Week, an effort to encourage K-12 students to take interest in computer science, frequently observed with Hour of Code events. Unfortunately, only 35% of high schools teach computer science. Furthermore, fewer than one-fifth of Computer Science graduates are women, and the gender gap is getting worse. To try to bridge this gender gap, a University of Michigan graduate-student led organization, Girls Who Code at University of Michigan Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics (UM DCMB), pursues computer science education year-long through K-12 educational outreach efforts primarily serving young women. GWC at UM DCMB is a recognized Voluntary Student Organization (VSO) founded by doctoral students in the Bioinformatics graduate program in 2017. The organization, led by an eight-woman Executive Committee, coordinates a weekly Girls Who Code (GWC) Club as well as extensive K-12 educational outreach efforts. Continue reading “Girls Who Code take on Computer Science Education Week”

Las Historias de Ciencia que Nunca Consideramos

Autora: Kristina Lenn

Editores: Christina Vallianatos y Whit Froehlich

Traducido al español por Irene Vargas-Salazar, editado por Paloma Contreras

La primera vez que leí “La Cuchara Desaparecida” fue en el 2012, mientras estaba de regreso a casa durante las vacaciones de mis estudios de doctorado. Como estudiante de ingeniería química, nada me atraía más que un libro sobre la tabla periódica. Y no me refiero a un típico libro de química que discute las diferentes características de los elementos de la tabla, recorriendo sus líneas horizontales y verticales. Éste es un libro que conecta la ciencia, la historia y el impacto que los elementos de Mendeleev tienen no solamente en el mundo, sino también en sus descubridores.

Continue reading “Las Historias de Ciencia que Nunca Consideramos”

El Dilema Cuántico

Autora: Kristina Lenn
Editores: Alex Taylor, Zuleirys Santana-Rodríguez, and Whit Froehlich
Traducido al español por Irene Vargas-Salazar

Mi película favorita es El Código Enigma con Benedict Cumberbatch y Kiera Knightley. Me fascina esta película por las siguientes razones:

  1. En toda la película se demuestra que uno no se puede rendir ante las personas pesimistas.
  2. Como química computacional, siento orgullo al ver como mi campo obtuvo mayor visibilidad ante el público.
  3. Y, por supuesto, ¡Benedict Cumberbatch!

Continue reading “El Dilema Cuántico”

The Mental Health Toll of Graduate Education: How Lack of Support and Work-Life Balance Affect Graduate Students

Author: Isabel D. Colón-Bernal; Editors: Callie Corsa, Zena Lapp and Irene Park

When I first came to the University of Michigan for recruitment weekend back in March of 2015, I was shocked to hear other recruits commenting on how Michigan graduate students seemed more cheery than graduate students at other institutions. I was even more shocked to learn students at other institutions have died by suicide recently; these include but are not limited to Anna Owensby from Scripps Research Institute, Jason Altom from Harvard University, and Han Nguyen from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Continue reading “The Mental Health Toll of Graduate Education: How Lack of Support and Work-Life Balance Affect Graduate Students”