What did Rev-Erbβ say to heme? ‘Never let go. Your chemistry drives my biology.’

Written by: Anindita Sarkar

Edited by: Isabel Colon-Bernal, Christina Del Greco, & Alyse Krausz


My pet dog would be scratching and pawing me at roughly the same time every day without fail. My mother believes that he had a better sense of time than me and my sister. I would always convince my mom that the credit for his sense of time should be given to his internal biological clock. This internal biological clock, better known as the circadian rhythm, tunes different physiological processes in not just my dog but also other living beings, to a 24-hour cycle. That is why we tend to feel sleepy or hungry at almost the same time every day. Needless to say, this biological time-tracking system functions as a result of an intricate interplay of several genes and proteins. In fact, I work on one important member of this family of proteins, Rev-Erbβ, which is responsible for the proper upkeep of the circadian rhythm.

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With experiments, comes waste: Scientific waste and where it ends up

Written by: Lirong Shi and Manaswini Sarangi

Editor: Sarah Kearns and Alyse Krausz

Introduction

As a scientist working around scientists, we may not realize how much scientific waste we and our colleagues produce every day, just like everyone else who may not pay attention to how much household waste we produce in our kitchen. We are so used to the waste in the lab, and compared to the large garbage bin outside, we might think the small plastic bucket in the lab should be negligible. But that is not true. Accounting for only 0.1% of the population, scientists create approximately 5.5 million tons of plastic waste annually in life science alone, which accounts for approximately 2% of the plastic waste produced worldwide [1]. The large amount of plastic waste wandering around the oceans can disrupt carbon balance, poison fish, and end up on humans’ tables. Through experiments, scientists are attempting to improve everyone’s life while also literally contributing to the detriment of the world.

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