Elemental damage: When oxygen makes you short of breath

Written by: Jennifer Baker

Edited by: Christina Del Greco, Jessica Li, and Andrew Alvarez

Illustrated by: Katie Bonefas

Take a deep breath in … (it’s okay, I’ll wait) … aaaannnnndddd release. Feel better? While breathing deeply is relaxing and has psychological benefits, it also has a fundamental physiological function.

Unless you are reading this atop Mount Everest where gas concentrations deviate from those at sea level (congrats on your successful ascent!), about 21% of the air you just inhaled is oxygen, a vital resource your cells need to survive. This oxygen is used by cells all over your body for chemical processes such as generating energy for cellular functions like building proteins, fixing cell membranes, and repairing DNA.

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Dr. Jack Szostak: The emergence of RNA from heterogenous prebiotic chemistry

Live Blogger: Jennifer Baker

Editor: Madeline Barron

This piece was written live during the 6th annual RNA Symposium: Towards our Future of RNA Therapeutics, hosted by the University of Michigan’s Center for RNA Biomedicine. Follow MiSciWriter’s coverage of this event on Twitter with the hashtag #umichrna. 

When Dr. Jack Szostak is asked to start at the beginning, he takes that request seriously. In the first keynote address of the 6th annual RNA Symposium, Dr. Szostak took attendees back to the beginning of RNA itself. While this may seem like a strange decision to people attending a symposium centered around the future of RNA therapeutics, Dr. Szostak knows the wisdom of this approach well. 

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