Midwifery as a Means to Bridge Global Health’s Gender Gap

By Alison Herman

On June 17, midwives from 113 countries could be found parading through the streets of Toronto, marshalling in the annual International Confederation of Midwives congress. These essential practitioners do much to lead the march forward toward global development goals, providing life-saving care to mothers and infants. The investment and attention paid to these healthcare workers is not always commensurate with their value.

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Are Video Games Really… “Mindless?”

By Ameyavikram Pathak

Hopewell Valley Central High School

We’ve all heard from, well, about everyone, that video games rot your brain. People often tell their kids to turn off their devices because they want their kids to have healthy eyes in this new era of technological advancements. Some can even argue that violence in certain video games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Fallout, is causing many people to commit acts of violence, like Columbine. But, very few have come to think that maybe Pac-Man or Galaga actually can improve your senses and capabilities that no one has ever thought would do. These “mindless” video games that we assume are just entertainment today can actually help us tomorrow by improving our cognitive abilities, which will help everyone, even adults, complete everyday tasks more efficiently than before.

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Untreated Mental Illnesses: The Causes and Effects

By Milena Bimpong

Lawrence High School

People view taking time off from school or work because of the flu or a broken bone as perfectly acceptable, but taking time off because of stress from a mental illness such as anxiety or depression, unfortunately, is not. People usually believe that someone who takes time off from school or work because of a physical illness needs the time to recover quickly. However, when someone does the same for a mental illness, they are usually told that they are “lazy” or that the problem is “all inside their head.” Why is this the case?

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National Autism Awareness Month

By Nicholas Persaud

The month of April is National Autism Awareness Month. As suggested by the name, the purpose of this month is to educate and inform others about autism. This includes defining the disease, learning what it means to have autism, learning the difficulties that someone with autism faces, and of course learning how to accept and appreciate those living with autism. Considering that over 3.5 million Americans are currently living with autism, it is important that we are educated on this topic.

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April: Parkinson’s Awareness Month

By Barbara Gruszka

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder. While there are many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Huntington’s, Parkinson’s is characterized by the development of tremors, impaired movement, and even trouble controlling emotions.[1]

Why does this occur? Current research points to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Neurotransmitters allow for the brain to send signals through neurons, known as “brain cells.” In Parkinson’s disease, the brain slowly stops producing dopamine and is unable to relay signals towards the parts of the brain that help us move. These signals typically stem from the substantia nigra, where the neurons that produce dopamine are heavily concentrated. In a Parkinson’s patient this area is inactive and dopamine is not produced.

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Development of Novel Flow Cytometry Technique to Study Yellow Fever Virus

By Devorah Saffern

Researchers in the Ploss lab of the Molecular Biology department at Princeton University have utilized a new technology to analyze the pathogenesis of the yellow fever virus (YFV), which can be applied to other viruses and lead to significant progress in understanding disease mechanisms. Published in Nature Communications on March 14, their study discusses the ways in which viruses interact with host cells, in an effort to discover more effective vaccines. Currently, there is a lack of scientific knowledge on how viruses interact with the host cells and cause illness or proper immune response, and their research begins to uncover these behaviors.

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Combating Blood Shortage: In vitro Red Blood Cells

By Sharon Washio

At any given time, or more exactly every 2 seconds, blood transfusions are needed for complicated surgeries, treatments, accident victims, sickle patients, pregnancy complications, severely anemic children, and more. While blood can be donated even concurrently with the use of medications like aspirin, and in the U.S. approximately 38% of the population is able to donate, less than 10% do, according to the Red Cross. Even donated blood does not last forever and there is a constant shortage problem that, unless donors increase, is projected to rise due to longer lifespans, the limited shelf life of blood, blood requirements, and the specificity of blood types. The scarcity of blood supplies often prevents necessary surgeries and treatments from reaching a loved one.

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Emergence of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis holds unsettling consequences

By Ava Torjani

A recent study found that a rare form of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB), called extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB), has been spreading across regions of South Africa and currently has no effective treatment for or prevention against it. Although in much smaller numbers, cases of XDR TB have also been reported in countries including the U.S., Russia, and Brazil.

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