The Light in The Dark: Bioluminescence

Imagine standing on the deck of a ship out in the open ocean at night, in wonder at the twinkling stars. In the inky black water below you may also notice blinking, flashing lights, but it is not a reflection of the stars above. These bright displays are made by marine organisms via bioluminescence, a biological reaction that releases light. Researchers have found that as many as 3 out of every 4 species in the open ocean are capable of bioluminescence. It turns out that bioluminescence is a crucial communication tool for the majority of marine organisms, big or small.

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Hey Doc, U up?

Ever since the new iPhones were announced, millions of people have been pondering one of life’s most important questions: to upgrade or not to upgrade? For me, the newly improved camera could take my Instagram game to a whole new level. For others, retinal scanning could help secure important business emails. Whether you use your phone to post pictures of your vacation, respond to important emails, or stalk an ex-boyfriend, there’s no denying that phones have become integral parts of our lives. For people without access to healthcare, cell phones can help save their lives. Even in Africa, 93% of people have access to cell phone service. This has spurred scientists to find ways to make diagnosing, treating, or tracking diseases as easy as using an app on your phone.

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Designer Babies: Science Fiction or Reality?

What if you could design your future baby? They could be free of genetic disorders, predisposition to future disease, or even have a longer life span. In 1997, the movie GATTACA introduced us to this world of  “designer babies”, where genetic manipulation allowed for the creation of the “perfect” human. But what if this science fiction is not so far-fetched?  In the past three years, we have seen the genetic manipulation of human embryos, termed germline engineering, become a reality.

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