Biological Sciences

Environment, More than Genetics, Shapes Immune System

The immune system works to destroy pathogens and ensure future immunity through an intricate cascade of biological reactions. Each reaction involves a separate class of white blood cell that possesses a unique function (4).

Based on a recent study of twins led by Stanford University immunologist Mark Davis, the environment may play a larger role than genetics in shaping an individual’s immune system (1). The immune system primarily fights foreign agents such as bacteria or viruses that enter the body. These agents, also known...


New Method for Detecting Cocaine Use

Large parts of the medical community believe that discreet cocaine use causes the prolongation of the QRS peak and QT interval.

The Yale Department of Psychiatry (in conjunction with Dr. Benjamin Marlin, an assistant computer science professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst) is currently researching methods of detecting cocaine use using wireless on-body sensors. There are five parts to the heartbeat, P, Q, R, S, and T with each letter representing...


E-Cigarette Regulation Requested

An example of an electronic cigarette.

On Thursday, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) joined forces to issue a recommendation for the regulation of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). These two organizations are often at the forefront of cancer research and treatment, and, combined, have over 65,000 members (1)....


Spatiotemporal Control of Fly Morphogenesis

A Fly embryo just after lengthening, before the onset of cell division. Copyright: Keller Lab/Janelia Farm Research Campus/HHMI

The process of morphogenesis, by which an organism develops its shape, is one of the least well understood pillars of developmental biology (1). Research on model organisms has emphasized the importance of particular genes and molecular pathways. However, current models of how these directly relate to growth on the macroscopic...


Cancer: A Manifestation of “Bad Luck”?

A linear correlation equal to 0.804 suggests that 65% of the differences in cancer risk among different tissues can be explained by the total number of stem cell divisions in those tissues.  Thus, the stochastic effects of DNA replication appear to be the major contributor to cancer in humans. (Tomasetti & Vogelstein, 2015)

A positive correlation between random mutations in replicating cells and the onset of adult cancer was found at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer by Cristian Tomasetti and Bert Vogelstein. That “bad luck”—that is, random mutations during DNA replication, environmental factors, and genetic disposition–contributes to cancer incidence is a well-known fact...


Mission Statement

Founded in 1998, the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science aims to increase scientific awareness within the Dartmouth community by providing an interdisciplinary forum for sharing undergraduate research and enriching scientific knowledge.

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