Saturday, July 30, 2016

I Honestly Can't Think of a Clever Title for This so...CRISPR

     So I can't really start this one with "the article I selected was..." because, yknow, we only has one option. But even if we had other options, I probably would have chosen this one. I found it incredibly interesting because it seems like we use "finding a cure for cancer" as a fill in for when we want an example of something great to happen, and now it's incredible to think that that's actually happening. The timing on this is pretty weirdly coincidental for me too, because this summer I started working with the American Cancer Society to help out with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. I went to the season kickoff last Thursday and people were sharing their stories. One in particular said that when she asked people for donations five years ago, people who often donated said they'd lost someone to cancer. But now, they more often hear that they know a survivor. That just goes to show yet again that a huge change has come around in the world of curing cancer. We've come so much closer to doing exactly that.
     When reading this article it reminded me of the video we watched in bio freshmen year about how humans were starting to build immunity to many of the medications we currently have, which was making me extremely nervous because my anxious little freshmen self assumed that because of this we were all going to die in some horrible zombie apocalypse. If  I could show my past self this article, maybe she would feel a bit more reassured, because if they could cure cancer, what else could they cure?
     I had a few more questions while I was reading this. Firstly, how much would this procedure cost? Surely, having it be so new, it wouldn't be cheap. Second, what are the side effects? They mentioned that bad things could happen if the procedure goes wrong, but what are the side effects (if any) after it goes right? And finally, who were they doing these tests on? Was it people who were infected and willing to risk their lives (because that's pretty BA), or was it all done in a lab?  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

EASH #1 - (3+4/10)

In these two weeks I read two very interesting news stories. The first of these was about the Westboro Baptist Church being a point of interest in the augmented reality game "Pokemon Go" (, and the second is about the controversy of Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention (

Sunday, July 10, 2016

EASH - #1 (2/10)

A lot of the stories I read about this week covered things from the Internet, which were little things that didn't catch my eye. However, one story that was not like the others, that most certainly jumped out at me was the article about Hilary Clinton not being penalized for her actions in the email scandal.
Week of July 4, 2016

They Really Couldn't Think of a Better Name Than "Grolar Bears"?

     The first article that I chose to read this summer was the one talking about the future of hybrid crossing among similar species of animals. I chose this article because it seemed the most interesting to me out of the three options. I also clearly remember doing hybrid crosses and punnet squares back in biology, and I think in all honesty, doing punnet squares, and just the genetics unit in general, was my favorite part of the whole year.
     Something I found particularly interesting about this article was the example of the "grolar bear", or the hybrid cross between a grizzly bear and a polar bear. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but don't those two species live in completely different environments? The chances of encountering one of those bad boys must be incredibly low because of this. I was also curious, because what cause an animal to want to breed with a different species? Will a bird one day look at a different bird and think "hmm...close enough?" and just go for it? Also, what qualifies a species to be a similar species? I mean, obviously we won't see any grizzly bear/bird hybrids, but where is the line drawn between being similar and being different? (I'm not actually sure if my questions are all common knowledge with really easy answers, I'm just curious.)
     But I also feel like this could be a tactic to keep the traits of an animal (ie the polar bear) alive in a scenario where their current environment is rapidly changing for the worst. The idea of mating with a different species in this scenario makes sense, since if the offspring carry traits of the other species, maybe one that isn't on the brink of extinction, their chance of survival will be greater, because they'll be able to adapt to the environment of the other species. However, they would still be the minority in that community, and even though grolar bears may have the potential to out live the polar bears, the chance of them living longer than the fittest, most adapt species to the environment, the grizzly bear, is nearly impossible. And since the environments are (I think) very different, one of these species would have to do quite a bit of traveling around. Wouldn't they die in the process of travel?  Because of this, my opinion still remains that it's very improbable that we'll see any grolar bears chilling any time soon.
     However, it is a lot more probable that we could see hybrid crosses in animals like birds, because their flying abilities allow them access to different places, and unlike the polar bears, there can be all sorts of species of bears in the same place.

Friday, July 1, 2016

EASH - #11

I was driving yesterday when I saw this fox in someone's yard! The picture is a little far away because A. I didn't want to go into this random person's yard and B. I didn't want to risk scaring the fox away. But fun fact: this is my first time ever seeing a fox in person. Nice.
June 30, 2016

EASH - #2

My mom, grandma, and sister all went to see Finding Dory in theaters today! I'm not quite sure what I expected from the movie, but all in all, very cute and very good!
June 28, 2016