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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


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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…)

Tail of Powers

By Selina Wu, VI Form

Tail of Powers


Spread No More: The Effect Global Aid Has on the Spread of Tuberculosis

By Reina Wang, Maya Scully, Michael Fisher, Arthur Gao, III Form and Grace Zawadzki, V Form

Spread No More: The Effect Global Aid Has on the Spread of Tuberculosis

Editor’s Note: The Global Seminar teaching team works with all III Formers on an infectious disease project. This is a complex project that involves group work with other members of the III Form and with V Form biology mentors. The final result is exhibited in a poster session, allowing for visitors to do a gallery walk and have questions answered by the poster’s creators. 

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ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that threatens health and life throughout the history, but with the help of global aid, there has been a solution to decrease the number of contagious people, especially in developing countries. It is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is a bacteria mainly attacking lung surfaces since it spreads through air. Latent and active tuberculosis are two types of the disease, in which latent tuberculosis does not show any symptoms while active tuberculosis does. The most common treatment is a prescribed combination of isoniazid and rifampin, but it only works if the patient completes the procedure and takes the medicine regularly. With the assistance of global aid, there have been many non-governmental organizations (NGO) dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis worldwide. They offer treatments and technologies to developing countries which does not have access to them. Even if the volunteers who work at the NGOs have the possibilities to carry the bacteria when traveling and spread it to other places, global aid has made huge progress in dealing with tuberculosis. Global aid will influence more and more countries so that tuberculosis will slowly be dissolved in the near future.

Click here to view the articles, images, and graphics in a Google Slide presentation. (more…)

Explaining Length Contraction

By Danny Ciccarello and Helen Huang, V Form

Explaining Length Contraction

Editor’s Note: In “Modern Topics Physics,” students created videos to explain different topics associated with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The aim of the assignment included explaining the chosen topic in simple terms while avoiding the use of complicated equations.



Annotated Diagram: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

By Clara Hua, IV Form

Annotated Diagram: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Editor’s Note: The “Biology 30” class zoomed in to examine the cellular (and sub-cellular) impacts and zoomed out to consider some of the economic, geo-political, environmental and cultural factors that have an influence on the spread of this disease. An Annotated Diagram is a formal sketchnote that aims to demonstrate understanding of the information by presenting how the information (the full story of HIV/AIDS) was processed.


Mitotic Cell Division Artifact of Learning

By Matt Walsh, VI Form, Laura Sabino, V Form, and Maddie Wass, V Form

Mitotic Cell Division Artifact of Learning

Editor’s Note: See the image below of the whiteboard artifact images for the description of the assignment in Advanced Biology.