Optogenetics: Illuminating the Inner Workings of the Brain

Optogenetics meets “Three Blind Mice” and the mice become blind no more. Researchers from various institutions, including the University of Southern California (USC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), have worked together and succeeded in restoring vision to blind mice [1]. In April of 2011, a paper channeling their breakthrough was published in the journal Molecular Therapy [2]. It …

Drug Delivery: A Targeted Attack on the Enemies of Life

In pharmacology, a substance used in the treatment of a disease is by definition called a drug [1]. Instead of treating a disease, a drug may in some cases be toxic due to numerous adverse effects. Some of them are side effects that occur when the chemical compound of the drug binds to its intended receptor though at an inappropriate …

3D Printing: The Past, Present and Future of Manufacturing and Consumer Products

3D printing technology has grown exponentially over the past 4 decades. The origins of 3D printing started in the early 1980s when the technology was exclusively for high end manufacturing processes. Today, 3D printing is both used for large scale consumer products and home use. Throughout the history of 3D printing, there have been many competing techniques that have been bought …

Cancer Treatment and Personalized Medicine: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Basket Studies

On January 30th 2015, President Barack Obama gave the State of the Union Address. He took this opportunity to announce the Precision Medicine Initiative. This revolutionary approach to medical treatment is based on the principle of human individuality – people have different genes, environments, and lifestyles. It only makes sense that people respond to disease differently as well. In order …

The Complications Facing Precision Medicine

Earlier this year, President Obama announced the $215 million Precision Medicine Initiative which will “provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients” [1]. Taking into account individual genetic, environmental, and lifestyle differences, precision medicine aims to create personalized solutions to diseases afflicting patients in the 21st century. The initiative funds …

Get Out of the Dark About Dark Matter!

Dark matter has been a source of intrigue for scientists long before it became exciting fodder for science fiction. Immortalized by popular shows such as Star Trek and Futurama as an efficient and powerful fuel source, the reality is much more rudimentary. Dark matter is essentially a component hypothesized to be a sort of “missing piece” giving galaxies more mass, …