Category: Science

The Legacy of COVID-19

Claire D., journalist

The COVID-19 pandemic has dragged on for nearly a year now, and as we quickly approach the mid-March marker, the world seems to be holding its breath, waiting to see when life can return to the normal we once knew. Unfortunately, with the U.S. reaching over 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19, we will have to find a new normal to abide by, one with smiles missing from our dinner tables. Herd immunity through vaccination is an ongoing, long process, from actually creating the vaccine to then transporting it, and to then getting it into people’s arms, and is not expected to be achieved until the fall of this year. As a nation, it is time to recognize that coronavirus will not simply go away as we had once hoped but will remain part of this world even after the majority of the U.S. has been vaccinated. 

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The Discovery of Gleis 486b and Why It Matters In The Search For Life, Habitability, and Understanding In Space

Valene M., journalist

Last week on March 4th, astronomers at the CARMENES consortium announced the discovery of the exoplanet Gleis 486b, a rocky and sweltering super-Earth. It closely orbits the red dwarf star Gleis 486 at 24 light-years from Earth, making it relatively close in the grand scheme of space. Although it is 30% larger than Earth and boasts about 2.8 times more mass, it is assumed to be relatively similar to familiar rocky planets like Earth and Venus in its makeup. It is even believed to have a metallic core. In fact, with a projected surface temperature of 430 degrees Celsius, Gleis 486b bears a notable resemblance to the searing Venus, albeit with a thin and insubstantial atmosphere. 

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How Friendships Have Changed During the Pandemic

Paige P., journalist

It has become clear by now that many aspects of life have changed pre-pandemic to the present. With lockdowns, social restrictions, and the rush of everyday life, many people have found it more challenging to maintain or make new friendships in the traditional sense. Now that much more socializing is done through the internet, many people realize differences in opinions, often political, amongst their friends, colleagues, and family. This has made people really think about the people in their lives they want to spend time and energy on. Throughout the pandemic, there has been plenty of time for self-reflection and contemplation on the people you choose to surround yourself with- do they build you up or tear you down? How do they make you feel about yourself? The answer to these questions should point you in the direction of your true friends.

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The Toddlers & Tablets Epidemic

Giuliana C., US News Department Co-Editor

Gen Alpha. The first generation to be born into a completely digitized world in which they are handed an iPad immediately after they emerge from the womb. They bring the devices to the grocery store, restaurants, and even the dinner table, glued to the screen and unable to look away as if the thousands of pixels set them into a deep hypnotic state. But this excess time spent attached to a screen comes with a price and even some side effects we aren’t fully aware of yet.

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A Murky Future: COVID-19’s Effects on College Admissions and Post-Secondary Plans

Nastia G., Arts Department Co-Editor

As college decision season rolls around, the full effects of the coronavirus on the college admissions process are becoming brazenly clear. Along with claiming the lives of over 500,000 U.S. residents alone, COVID-19 also affects the futures of over 20 million teenagers (ages 15-19) across the country. Graduation and what used to be prom season is just around the corner, and many communities are acknowledging the unfortunate cancellations of these in-person high school events with sympathy. Some schools are even working on creative ways to allow these cherished teenage milestones to persist even under stringent safety protocols. There is no doubt about it- high school juniors and seniors are not having the high school experience they waited for, and it is unfair. But the sad truth is that not even a magical prom or in-person graduation ceremony will amend the anger and disappointment high schoolers nationwide feel. The real brunt of coronavirus on teenagers is not that it forces high school experiences to look different but that it seriously impacts life beyond graduation and makes the future even murkier.

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Satellite Mega-Constellations, Hampered Science, and a Cluttered Orbit

Valene McInerney, journalist

Long ago, people would look to the night sky and observe only natural celestial bodies. Artificial lights did not blot and blur their sights, and human-made satellites did not crowd their horizons. Both of these phenomena factor into modern astronomy, but it has only been in the past 19 months that satellites have become a threat to astronomical observation. With the recent surge in satellite launches and the construction of satellite mega-constellations, hobbyists and professional astronomers alike are witnessing what can be a dangerous disruption and distortion of their cosmic viewing. 

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Influential Women in STEM

Jillian Haskin, Science Department Co-Editor

Historically considered as male-dominated, the STEM field has received more popularity recently due to the recognition of more women who have pioneered the way for a diverse community of women nationwide and promoted encouragement through scientific engagement. More women have been highlighted for their intricate work and persistence in the revolutionizing of science, crushing the stigma that surrounds the history of the STEM field. This has led to the emergence of the term ‘women in STEM.’ From unveiling the structure of DNA to finding a cure for seemingly unpreventable illnesses despite minimum recognition, women have shared many complex discoveries that prove the scientific community is one anyone can enter.

Breaking gender stereotypes and transforming the birth of innovation nationwide, the accomplishments of these women are one of the main reasons we can coexist today with the help of technology.

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Meet the Uterus: A Conversation About Childbirth and Female Reproduction

Nastia G., Arts Department Co-Editor

The female body is a taboo topic. In ancient times, women’s bodies symbolized the purest of entities. The female anatomy was supposed to be mysterious, sophisticated, and beautiful. Men and women knew little of reproductive anatomy, and most early diagrams of these systems were abstract. Until the 1960s, most men and women were not educated in schools about the construct of their own bodies, and many never received proper sexual education at all. In the present day, more than half of the United States, including the District of Columbia, do not require sexual education to be taught in public schools. Despite the lack of proper anatomical education, there are dozens of slang words for different female body parts, most of them used as insults against men as a means of degrading them.

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Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics

Diane K., journalist

 It is estimated that people have trillions of microbes externally and internally. Though it might not seem so, these microbes are a very essential part of everyone’s health. Good microorganisms such as probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics can confer many health benefits, making it a popular topic among many. Research has shown that foods containing probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics are beneficial to health in several ways.

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Cabin Fever: What it is, and How You Can Avoid It

Beatrice L., Journalist

As millions of Americans stay at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, you might have noticed that you’ve developed feelings of isolation, whether the longing for interaction, feeling bored or unmotivated, or even feeling yourself losing touch with reality. What you might not realize is that these feelings have a name. What you’re experiencing is an age-old phenomenon known as cabin fever.  

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