Spiritual Science

Article by Brian Davis
In light of the recent debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on the origins of the universe, I thought it would be appropriate to address why I think science and spiritual practice are both vital in contemporary times. There is no doubting that the methods of empirical science have led to technological advancements that our ancestors would marvel at, and at the pace that technology is advancing, we can expect to stand in awe at our own innovations within our lifetime (some of us already do).

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Nanotechnology’s Place in Oncology: Because Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better

By: Brook Teffera

The American Cancer Society estimates that 1600 Americans will die every day in 2013 due to cancer, a condition characterized by the unregulated growth of cells. Only 5% of all cancers can be linked to heritable causes; the other 95% is caused by gene degradation over one’s lifetime. The five year survival rate of individuals living with cancer has significantly improved over the years, from a 49% survival rate from 1975-77 to 68% survival rate from 2002-08, indicating the medical advancements made over the year. These advancements include prevention, more localized surgical methods, and chemotherapy, which use powerful chemicals to purge the body of any mutated cells.

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Off With Your Head?

By: Anja Burcak 

While organ transplants are not uncommon, one scientist is pushing the transplant idea to a new extreme. Italian neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group is hoping to successfully perform a human head transplant. That’s right, an entire head! Since his paper detailing the proposed surgical procedure was released in Surgical Neurology International, many people in the medical community have been debating the possibility of such a surgery being successful and the ethical nature of the proposal. The project titled HEAVEN/GEMINI is planned to be performed in the next two years.

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The Newest Team in Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy and…Dog Food?

By: Lauren Westerhold

Chances are you know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. And even if you don’t, one of your friends knows someone with cancer. As many as 1.6 million new cases of cancer of any type have been diagnosed in the U.S. since the start of 2013, and about 500,000 have died from cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Among the most common of standard treatment options, along with surgery and radiation therapy, is chemotherapy, and the laundry list of side effects associated with this treatment are well-known. Fatigue, hair loss, and nausea are among the most generally recognized side effects, but there is another that is extremely debilitating and not nearly as widely recognized: “peripheral neuropathy.”

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Jack Andraka: Boy Wonder

By: Kristine Chambers

As a 15-year-old high school freshman, Jack Andraka has recently won the grand prize of $75,000 in the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Why you ask? It is because he figured out a test for detecting early stage pancreatic cancer that is thousands of times cheaper, hundreds of times more effective than the standard test.

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Nobel Prize 2013: Redefining Science

By: Anja Burcak

Musicians have the Grammys, television actors have the Emmy Awards, and motion pictures actors have the Academy Awards. For the academic world of science, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry seems to be the equivalent, if not more, of these awards for their field. This year’s winners may be redefining what it means to be a scientist. So long white lab coats, molecular kits, test tubes, and lab benches. The computer age is here to take the field of science to where it has never gone before.

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A New Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

By: Apoorva Gupta

Cancer is by far one of the most prominent health concerns that take center stage in today’s society, and doctors and researchers are continuously looking for new treatment options for patients. Now, a team of scientists has contributed to these efforts as they demonstrate the potential benefits of using a new combination of drugs in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

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It’s a Series of (Carbon) Tubes

By: William Howland

Computers have come a long way in the past few decades. I’m writing this post on a laptop that I carry around in a backpack while my father’s computer science courses revolved around sprawling punch-card behemoths, two phenomenally different levels of technology separated by scarcely three decades. And the climb continues: Moore’s Law, the prediction that every two years will bring a doubling in computer processing power, is still very much in effect.

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Killing Two Burdens with One Self-Sufficient Device

By: Pooja Ravindran, GreenBlogger

We all can elaborate in heavy detail that one dream job that we wish we could pursue, but know will not happen in this mortal life. For me, folks, it would be being paid lots of money to go around the world and talk to the scientists and researchers that are bringing my dream- sustainable global development and progress- to reality, and share it with the world. Essentially, being a Carolina Scientific blogger but with the money and traveling and perks of the job. Well, we can’t always get what we want (thanks, Rolling Stones) which is why I want to simulate my contributions to this blog on this idealistic model and give you a taste of the sustainability-related goings-on in the lab and the field. Today’s topic is fuel from waste- without the bad byproducts.

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New Hope Against Obesity

Obesity rates in the US

Americans today are faced with numerous health issues, but obesity is one of the most concerning diseases that is plaguing the country. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 60 million adults are obese, and this number is continuously rising at an alarming rate. By definition, a person is obese when their BMI is over 30, and though the causes can be hereditary or due to other disorders like diabetes, many times it is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle.

People who are obese or even overweight are usually encouraged to change their eating habits and improve their exercise regimen. Those who choose to follow a certain diet, whether it be reducing carbohydrate intake or following a program based on dieting foods, may see results. However, these diets can be hard to follow and it is not uncommon for dieters to succumb to their original habits and even end up with more weight than they began with. Since obesity not only affects one’s quality of life but is also linked with other illnesses like heart disease, it is important for us to tackle this growing problem. Fortunately, researchers have recently made a new discovery behind the biology of appetite which brings new hope for patients suffering from obesity and other eating disorders.

It was previously believed that the neurology behind appetite regulation was determined at embryo development and was fixed thereafter. Now, scientists at the University of East Anglia have found that there are in fact stem cells in the brain that are capable of deriving new neurons in rodents that can regulate appetite. Using a technique which involves the mapping of the genetic fate of cells, the researchers investigated nerve cells in the hypothalamus of the brain and found that certain cells called tanycytes can add on to the pathway involved in appetite.

The research is a step forward in improving treatment for eating disorders because its implementation would result in permanent solutions, as it directly affects the biological processes involved. However, there is still a lot of work to be done before it can be applied in humans. For example, according to the lead researcher Dr. Hajihosseini, the investigators would now have to study the genetics and cell mechanisms behind tanycytes. It may take up to a decade for humans to benefit from his work, but the research has great potential for tackling an ever-prevalent problem for a wide variety of patients.

 

For more information:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130405064253.htm

http://www.webmd.com/diet/what-is-obesity

http://www.cdc.gov/pdf/facts_about_obesity_in_the_united_states.pdf

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