OSIRIS–REx: A New Frontier after New Horizons

By: Alex Zapién It has been over a year since the New Horizons spacecraft approached Pluto in July 2015. Now, New Horizons continues its path into space much like New Frontier, the project responsible for New Horizons, continues its progress. New Frontier is also responsible for Juno, the space probe that successfully entered Jupiter’s orbitContinue reading “OSIRIS–REx: A New Frontier after New Horizons”

The Falcon 9 Fireball Investigation

By: Alex Zapién On September 1, 2016, the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (better known as SpaceX) lost one of its 70-meter (229-foot-tall) Falcon 9 rockets when it unexpectedly exploded during a simulated countdown on a launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida (1). The incident occurred two days before its intended launch, and eyewitness testimonies describedContinue reading “The Falcon 9 Fireball Investigation”

Choosing The Right Reality

By: William Bryk The average teen in the United States spends 9 hours a day using technological media (1). That statistic might have been shocking 10 years ago, but nowadays we skim it and then quickly move on to the next trending article on BuzzFeed. The onslaught typically begins in the morning. You open yourContinue reading “Choosing The Right Reality”

Waving Goodbye to the World’s Water and Energy Woes with Tidal Power and Desalination

By: Kristine Falck The state of the globe today puts the world’s future in question. We have a burgeoning population heading on 7.4 billion people, an 80% reliance on fossil fuels, and an imminent fresh-water shortage. By 2035, current estimates predict world energy consumption to increase by 50% as well as world water consumption by overContinue reading “Waving Goodbye to the World’s Water and Energy Woes with Tidal Power and Desalination”

Perspectives On Artificial Intelligence

By: Eric Sun Artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot commodity in the modern world. Machines are now capable of reading and transcribing books, recognizing speech, analyzing big data, playing chess and Go at superhuman levels, and identifying objects through computer vision. Corporate giants like Google, Intel, and Amazon have poured hundreds of millions of dollarsContinue reading “Perspectives On Artificial Intelligence”

Hyperthermophiles and Cryophiles: The World’s Most Extreme Organisms

By: Priya Amin Imagine diving into the Gulf of California and reaching a 120 °C hydrothermal vent located deep on the seafloor. Rich in hot hydrogen and carbon dioxide gas, these vents seem to spell death for any creature that dares to swim by. But if you look closely, you’ll notice an organism that notContinue reading “Hyperthermophiles and Cryophiles: The World’s Most Extreme Organisms”

Engineering Cellular Memory

By: Una Choi NATURAL CELLULAR MEMORY – PHAGE Λ We often think of memory as tied innately to the brain. Humans can perceive, encode, and consolidate an event through activation of brain components like the hippocampus (1). Memory allows us to record finite events into lasting impressions, and past memories can affect our future perceptionsContinue reading “Engineering Cellular Memory”

The Climate Of Zika

By: Michael Xie Though this year’s Olympic Games were filled with record-breaking athletes, it seems as if another name took the spotlight in Rio: Zika. The Zika virus caused health and safety concerns around the world as spectators and athletes prepared to head to Brazil in the midst of an epidemic. But was the ZikaContinue reading “The Climate Of Zika”

Our Neighbor, Earth

By: Ian Santana Moore Last August, a team of astronomers at the European Southern Observatory announced a discovery that forever changed how we view our place in the Universe. On nearby Proxima Centauri–a red dwarf star found within a ternary star system containing two much larger blue giant stars–scientists discovered an exoplanet in the habitable zone,Continue reading “Our Neighbor, Earth”

Climate Change Skeptics: Their Arguments, Their Motivations, and How to Critically Evaluate the Knowledge at Hand

By: Jacqueline Epstein Climate change: it’s happening, regardless of how inconvenient it may be to any personal or political agenda. It is not only happening; it is progressively getting worse. To rehash just a few of the many statistics that support these actualities, nine of our planet’s ten warmest years on record have occurred sinceContinue reading “Climate Change Skeptics: Their Arguments, Their Motivations, and How to Critically Evaluate the Knowledge at Hand”

Channeling Out The Heat

By: Hanson Tam Stand under the sun on a sweltering summer day, and your skin becomes sticky with sweat. We take perspiration for granted, often dismissing it as an annoying bodily function. Yet it is profoundly important for mammalian thermoregulation. Sweating allows you to evaporate off excess heat and maintain a steady temperature in theContinue reading “Channeling Out The Heat”

Fighting Smarter Against Cancer

By: Jimmy Thai In 1912, Scientific American stated, “The beginning of the end of the cancer problem is in sight.” This bold claim was based on the work of Nobel laureate Paul Ehrlich, who reasoned in the early 1900s that the synthesis of compounds toxic only to diseased cells would yield the creation of newContinue reading “Fighting Smarter Against Cancer”

A Plan to Eradicate the Zika Virus

By: Jeongmin Lee Over this past summer, the Zika virus infected not only unborn children but also the news, directing the public’s attention towards the medical community. Health segments were filled with descriptions of the Zika virus, research updates, and the quickly rising number of cases. In a consultation of the World Hunger Organization, oneContinue reading “A Plan to Eradicate the Zika Virus”

Why Should We Care About Climate Change?

By: Arjun Mirani On February 14th, 1990, the spacecraft Voyager 1 took an iconic photograph of the Earth from over 4 billion miles away, as it zoomed towards the edge of our Solar System. From this humbling vantage point, our planet appears to be no more than a speck – 0.12 pixels in size –Continue reading “Why Should We Care About Climate Change?”

The Ethics of Self-Driving Cars

By: Caroline Wechsler Nearly anyone in an intro philosophy class, and indeed most people who have some degree of mainstream intellectual knowledge, will recognize the beginnings of the infamous trolley problem: you are the driver of a speeding trolley, and ahead of you on the track are five people. You try to stop the trolleyContinue reading “The Ethics of Self-Driving Cars”

Tackling the Replication Crisis

By: Felipe Flores ‘19 We are in the midst of what has been dubbed the “replication crisis” of science. Recent retrospective analyses reveal the results of several important experiments are inconclusive. We expect research results to be consistent. For this to occur, they must be unbiased and unaffected by conflicts of interest, as well as timelessContinue reading “Tackling the Replication Crisis”

Fall 2016: Hot and Cold

Behold our Fall 2016 issue: Hot and Cold! Articles are posted individually as blog posts (we have linked them below). We also have a PDF version available on our Archives page. Print issues will be available around Harvard’s campus starting early Spring 2017! A big thank you to our fantastic staff—and Happy Holidays! NEWS BRIEFS OSIRIS-REx: A New Frontier afterContinue reading “Fall 2016: Hot and Cold”