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CAR T Cell–Giving Cancer Patients New Hope

By Grant Gattuso and Frank Hua, VI Form

CAR T Cell–Giving Cancer Patients New Hope

This past summer we had the opportunity to work in a cancer research lab in Seattle for four weeks— a very unique experience, especially for high schoolers.  We worked in Dr. Michael Jensen’s ‘82 lab in the Ben Towne Center For Childhood Cancer Research, which is affiliated with Seattle Children’s Hospital. The lab focuses on CAR T Cell, a immunotherapy that gives cancer patients a new hope. (more…)

Treating AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms)

By Megan Christy, VI Form

Treating AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms)

I am captivated by one particularly compelling question: how can we manipulate the body so it fixes itself? Could a combination of biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering be the answer?

I began exploring this question in the summer of 2017 while participating in a biomedical engineering program at Boston Leadership Institute. There, I applied this question to the way in which we treat aneurysms. Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are a “silent killer.” They form when the walls of a blood vessel weaken and are difficult to diagnose due to the lack of symptoms prior to rupture.[1] Once ruptured, AAAs have a mortality rate of 90%.[2] When an unruptured AAA is diagnosed, it is vitally important to treat it in a minimally invasive and lasting manner. (more…)

Autism-Vaccine Controversy: Video

By Izzy Kim & Riya Shankar, VI Form and Haley Dion & Laura Drepanos, V Form

Autism-Vaccine Controversy: Video

Editors’ Note: In Advanced Biology, students were encouraged to tell the story that they felt compelled to relate about their Public Health issue (click here for assignment).  In this video, the students integrated a given Case Study with relevant information gathered through independent research. Their integration of the Case Study with additional research reflects an advanced understanding of, and ability to convey, scientific content.

Click on Image for Video

 

Diminishing the Diversity of Devastating Diarrhea

By Geetika Surapaneni, Frances Hornbostel, & Graham Butterfield, III Form with Will Figueroa, V Form

Diminishing the Diversity of Devastating Diarrhea

Please click the image to download/see the poster. Scroll below to see each individual piece.

CLICK ON EACH IMAGE BELOW TO ZOOM TO EACH PIECE OF PROJECT. (more…)

Melatonin’s Effect on Learning and Memory in a Tauopathy Model of Alzheimer’s Disease in Drosophila melanogaster

By Sophie Haugen and Sada Nichols-Worley, VI Form

Melatonin’s Effect on Learning and Memory in a Tauopathy Model of Alzheimer’s Disease in Drosophila melanogaster

Abstract

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes devastating memory loss and cognitive decline in humans. There is no current cure for AD. Research studies show that oxidative stress is correlated to and possibly a cause of this neurodegeneration. Because antioxidants such as melatonin have been found to reduce oxidative stress, melatonin could alleviate neurodegeneration and serve as an effective dietary supplement for people with with AD. In this experiment, a tauopathy Drosophila melanogaster group

Please click on the image to download/see the poster. Zoom in to read specifics.

that express human tau (MAPT) under gal4in neurons were used to model AD in humans. This study measured learning and memory of the Drosophila through an olfactory vortex learning assay in a t-maze. Groups of flies with and without melatonin supplementation were tested in the t-maze. Following experimentation and data collection, preliminary results from this study suggest, but do not confirm, that melatonin reduces memory loss and improves cognitive function in a Drosophila AD model. Further trials are needed to confirm the suggested results.

Click here for full LAB REPORT. (more…)

Biology: Membrane Structure and Function

By Alex Cardonick, V Form

 

Biology: Membrane Structure and Function

Editors’ Note: In Advanced Biology, students are often evaluated on the reflection of their learning process. They constantly ask themselves questions that demonstrate advanced scholarship such as “How am I connecting each part of my learning into a flowing story?” and “What do I still not understand?” This form of deep reflection is summarized in each student’s ePortfolio at the end of a unit, which includes several different Learning Outcomes ranging from “Dynamic Homeostasis” to “The Central Dogma of Biology.” These Learning Outcomes are often present throughout multiple units, and therefore challenges the students to synthesize information across different areas of focus.

Linked here is Alex Cardonick’s ePortfolio on Learning Outcome 6: Membrane Structure and Function, including four Artifacts of Learning, including text, video, and images.

Introductory Narrative:

Cell membranes act as the “guards” of the cell. Membranes’ structure consists of phospholipids tightly knitted together by their hydrophobic tails, with the hydrophilic heads sticking out on either side. This phospholipid bilayer structure makes membranes semi-permeable; they let small, non-polar molecules such as water and carbon dioxide in, while keeping out large and polar substances such as starch and Iodide anions. In addition, cell membranes can be modified to help cells perform specific functions. Proteins added into the phospholipid structure can create transport channels for molecules that cannot travel through the membrane itself, such as Na+ ions in the nerve impulse. These ions allow a neuron to send a signal in the form of an action potential. Furthermore, molecules and ions can even move against the concentration gradient by active transport when a transport protein and outside energy are provided. This type of movement across a membrane allows essential functions such as the repolarization of the nerve impulse to occur when Sodium-Potassium pumps “reset” the nerve impulse to its resting membrane potential by moving the ions against the concentration gradient. (more…)