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Bio-ink: Evaluation of Protein as Biomaterials for 3D Bioprinting

By Jiwon Choi, VI Form

Bio-ink: Evaluation of Protein as Biomaterials for 3D Bioprinting

Editor’s Note: This STEM Fellowship project by Jiwon won the Worcester Regional Science and Engineering Fair (1st out of 130+ students). She placed third out of all 200+ projects at the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair allowing her to compete at 2019 ISEF in Phoenix.

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is one of the most promising methods of tissue engineering as it provides unprecedented versatility and precision in delivering cells and biomaterials to desirable places. However, limitations still exist in the availability of bioinks with natural bio-macromolecular components. In this research, chicken albumin is evaluated as a potential bioink for direct extrusion bioprinting of hollow constructs through alginate-templated crosslinking. Channel diameter, wall thickness, and bioink feed rates are calculated to assess the printing performance of the alginate-based bioink. It is shown that an albumin-based bioink with as low as 1.33% of total alginate concentration can be employed to successfully print microfibrous hollow constructs with a uniform diameter.

Click on Image to View PDF of Jiwon’s Poster

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Read the First Season of a TV Series: 404

By Colin Capenito, Laura Drepanos, Will Figueroa, Katherine Gao, Nathan Laudani, Zoe Maddox, and Gunnar Vachris, VI Form

Read the First Season of a TV Series: 404

Editor’s Note: 404 is a six-episode television drama written in Getting LOST II: The Writers’ Room during the Spring Semester. This course examines the process that any network goes through to establish and produce a tv show. The class forms a “Writers’ Room,” in which all of the students collaborate on brainstorming ideas and writing episodes for a full premiere season of a show of the class’ design.  

Click here to read all six episodes, to view marketing posters, and to see other production elements.

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Weaving My Past to Grow My Present: VI Form Lion Term Letter to V Formers

By Thomas Scaringella, VI Form

Weaving My Past to Grow My Present: VI Form Lion Term Letter to V Formers

Dear Fifth Form Peers,

First, congratulations on your newly earned title as, Rising 6thFormers! It is a huge accomplishment with many prospects. Seek out all the opportunities you can. Although unrecognizable now, from this day until the end of next year, every experience is going to culminate together and lead you down paths to be explored. Lion Term was one example of this for me.

Since I was little, a fascination of formulas and numbers consumed my inner self. Immersed in the sports section of the Boston Globe invoked motivation, aspiration, and infatuation. The stats were the most intriguing.  Someday, I imagined, I would be like Tom Brady or Big Papi. Or not. There were no unexpected wins for me generating global crazes. However, my love of statistics and teamwork did drive me to the role of an athletic team manager multiple times since 7thgrade. Fast forward, ironically, I had a similar encounter with real estate; the area of focus for my Lion Term project.

Over a year ago, our family was inquiring about real estate in Southern Florida. Initially, the thought was dull. My head was into college visits, a summer job, and seeking out summer activities in the north. Driving around with my family to visit new, humid terrain was not ideal until I sucked it up and forced myself to get engaged. Quickly, I began performing my own research and evaluating stats. Grabbing real estate booklets, snatching the Sunday real estate section of the New York Times, and studying online searches became a pastime. Reviewing home days on market (DOM), analyzing price per square foot, identifying % of increase or decrease in previous selling price, comparing tax assessments and homeowners association fees among various communities, and grasping how much time realtors put into a sale (and at what cost) were among some of my interests. As such, selecting an assignment for Lion Term was a “cushy number.” Fortunately, I established a good relationship with the Florida agents, and they took note of my analysis and enthusiasm. After acquainting the Sister Listers Delray Beach Lang Realty team of Lion Term, they graciously extended an offer to work with Nolan Moore and me. (more…)

A Fourth Amendment Opinion

By Matthew Walsh, VI Form

A Fourth Amendment Opinion

An Eastborough College student, petitioner Mike Smith, was driving his car near campus when Officer Frank Jones recognized Smith’s car as one that he had stopped a few weeks prior. After following Smith for three blocks, Officer Jones observed Smith swerve past the median line—a traffic violation. He promptly pulled Smith over. While the car’s passenger, John Brown, was discernibly intoxicated, Smith exhibited no signs of drunkenness. However, when asked to walk in a straight line, Smith failed, and he refused to take a Breathalyzer test. In response, Officer Jones returned to his squad car, procured a “sniffer” device, and, without Smith’s consent, tested Smith’s blood alcohol content (BAC) using the device. The device showed that Smith’s BAC exceeded 0.08%, the legal limit for driving. 

Officer Jones then arrested Smith for drunk driving, handcuffed him, and searched him. He found a pack of rolling papers, which Officer Jones interpreted as drug paraphernalia for marijuana cigarettes. Thus, Jones secured Smith in a police cruiser and subsequently searched his car. Upon finding a small, locked container, Jones broke the lock and discovered heroin. The State of X has charged Smith with drunk driving and possession with intent to distribute heroin, but Smith has moved to suppress all evidence obtained during the traffic stop, arguing that the searches and seizures that occurred violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. (more…)

The Picnic: An Original Short Story

By Daniela Martinez, VI Form

The Picnic: An Original Short Story

Editor’s Note: In the elective Rise of the Short Story, Ms. McCann presented these parameters for this assignment–“Write an atypical scary story.  It should be existentially scary, not something about ghosts or vampires. Whatever scares you is fair game for this story, a scary story with truth and heart. Since your subject matter is atypical, the way you tell this story should be, too. How can you push beyond the typical plot line that goes: exposition, building tension, climax, falling tension, resolution?”

Rey was born coated in honey. Bees flew out of his mother’s open womb, and saw themselves out the window. The doctor shuddered but did not scream. His wrinkled fingers simply scraped the nectar from the soft folds in the baby’s skin.

Carmen, drowsy on the chloroform, was too exhausted to mind the bevy of bees. During her pregnancy, she’d had the most desperate of cravings for honey. How many times had she jammed the overflowing spoon into her mouth when no one was looking? Or sucked on honeycombs during afternoon tea? She dismissed her folly and kissed the honey dripping from her son’s eyelids.

“A totem child,” was all the doctor said, his eyes welled with worry.

It is Rey’s eighth spring. He and Carmen are on a picnic in the Botanical Gardens. The bright blue sky is brilliant against the multicolored flowers. There is no one around but he and his mother. It’s the perfectday, Rey smirks. He takes off into the open field. Carmen watches him run around barefoot. When he’s had enough, he falls next to his mother onto the picnic rug. Grass blades press into Rey’s back. He watches the clouds drift overhead. His chest rises and falls quickly. His heartbeat drums in his ears. (more…)

The Effects of the Ketogenic Diet’s Effect in a Drosophila Melanogaster Model of Parkinson’s Disease

By Grant Gattuso, VI Form

The Effects of the Ketogenic Diet’s Effect in a Drosophila Melanogaster Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Abstract

Click on Image to View PDF of Poster

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. This disease is chronic and causes tremors, muscle rigidity, difficulty speaking, and many other symptoms that debilitate the individual and deteriorate their quality of life significantly.  Currently, there is no cure for PD.  Previous research shows that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a significant role in the death of the dopaminergic neurons in PD.  Since the ketogenic diet – a four to one ratio of lipids to carbohydrates – has been shown to improve mitochondrial function in diseases like Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s,  the ketogenic diet could delay or improve the onset of Parkinsonian symptoms.  This study measured the effects of the ketogenic diet in a PINK1Drosophila melanogaster model of PD through a mobility test. Preliminary data found that the ketogenic diet can increase the mobility of PINK1 Drosophila melanogaster for at least four days and potentially even up to eight days, confirming the hypothesis.  Four to eight days could correspond to many human years if the same beneficial effects were found in humans.

To read Grant’s full STEM Fellowship paper, click here. (more…)

Q: What advice will you give students who are interested in STEM Fellowship?

Grant Gattuso ’19: For students who are interested in the STEM Fellowship, I would suggest brainstorming plausible, practical, experiment-based ideas. Then, find a way to show authentic interest in that topic to ensure that you will stay motivated throughout the entire year.  Strong interest and practicality are the two most important parts of the STEM Fellowship.

 

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