By Sophie Haugen, VI Form
A New Reality for Cancer Patients
“No radiation. No Chemo. No Cancer.” These are the words on the sign hanging from the window of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Partway through my fifth form year in Advanced Biology, Jack Thalmann and I were fortunate enough to be selected for internship positions at a cutting-edge research lab for one month of the coming summer.
This past August, we traveled to Seattle and lived in Magnolia, an urban-residential neighborhood located a few miles north of downtown Seattle, with Max (‘72) and Marcia Witter. Each day we commuted to the Ben Towne Center and worked in the Jensen Lab, which focuses on immunotherapy as a treatment for pediatric cancer. Dr. Michael Jensen (‘82), the director of the Center, has made remarkable strides and has achieved some incredible success. Dr. Jensen and the staff at the Jensen Lab take an innovative approach to fighting cancer: they collect blood samples from pediatric cancer patients, genetically engineer the patient’s own T-cells to recognize cancer cells, and infuse the treatment back into the patient’s body. (more…)
By Chris Roche, STEM Faculty
The Circuit Engineering Stair Master
The students in my spring “Robotics and Circuits Engineering with Physical Computing” class did it. They pulled it off!! We now have the “Stair Master” currently installed and running in the stairwell off the first floor of the St. Mark’s STEM building. Students and faculty like the installation, and we are looking forward to a phase two expansion that has music!
The “Stair Master” is an installation that allows a flight of stairs to be interactive with the people walking on them. Here are videos showing the Stair Master in action:
Video 1: Click Here
Video 2: Click Here
Video 3: Click Here
When you step on one of the steps in the “Stair Master”, LED light strips light on the stair you are on. The system uses sensors to know which stair you are on, triggering the appropriate lights. There are versions of interactive stairs already existing, such as the musical staircase at the Museum of Science in Boston. However, the “Stair Master” at St. Mark’s was designed and prototyped exclusively by the “Robots and Circuits” class, using class-built knowhow and our prototyping process. (more…)
By Michelle Hung, VI Form et al
Encapsulating Antitumor Nanodrugs
Nano-particulate drugs hold great promise in improving drug efficacy because of their enhanced solubility, prolonged retention time, and higher bioavailability with tissues or cells. Generally, these nanoparticles are encapsulated to keep them well dispersed according to specific particle sizes in the manufacturing process. The additional advantage of encapsulation is that a rationally selected coating agent may tailor the pharmacokinetics and control the release of therapeutic nanoparticles in the targeted tissue, simultaneously reducing the toxicity and side effects of drugs. (more…)
By Frances Hornbostel, III Form
Much More Than Building a Classroom in Tanzania
This summer I traveled to Tanzania for two weeks with a group of nineteen other students. We primarily went to build a classroom in the Orbomba community near Arusha, but many reasons motivated me to go. I love to experience different cultures, and the community we visited welcomed our group with open arms as well as fun dances and songs by this community. One of the highlights of my trip was befriending students at the school we helped build. They taught me songs in Swahili, and I taught them hand games from America. The trip also exposed me to different lifestyles. Many in America can be materialistic, wanting the new iPhone or piece of plastic that everyone else owns. The people I met in Tanzania were grateful for even just our presence and passion to help. They were grateful for every new word they learned and every scrap of food they ate. (more…)
By Jenny Tang, IV Form
Meals On a Shoestring: A Study On Food Insecurity in the U.S.
Definition: Food insecurity is officially defined as a condition of a household where there arereports of change in quality or the desirability of diet or even reduced food intake during theyear because of the lack of resources.
You know, when people talk about food insecurity, they think of underdeveloped countries. They think of the “Third World”, overpopulated areas, filthy streets, and corrupted governments.
They don’t think of the U.S.
They don’t think of their very own local communities.
By KK Behan, Spanish Faculty
Returning with a Full Heart, a Master’s Degree, and a Fiancé!
This summer, I traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina to finish my master’s degree through Middlebury College. The program lasted for six weeks. I lived in Palermo, a trendy neighborhood with an array of awesome restaurants, art, and architecture. One of my favorite parts about the neighborhood was the colorful murals painted by artists involved in the city’s vibrant street-art scene.