Female reproductive rights are currently blazing across headlines and demanding your attention. Between Planned Parenthood being targeted by Republicans, access to safe abortions dwindling, and medical reasons to take oral contraceptives being swept under the rug in favour of political agendas, it kinda feels like the discussions surrounding our uteruses are stuck in the medieval era. Gynaecology, the medical field surrounding the female reproductive system and diseases that are unique to those with female anatomy, seems unassuming when it comes to fields that are saturated with controversy and scandal. Put into the context of those with uteruses fighting desperately to…

Human immunodeficiency virus. This is arguably the most feared virus on the planet, even with the advanced management techniques we have today. It has led to the deaths of millions of people worldwide, particularly Black men belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. Scientists have been trying to work on a cure for decades since the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, when HIV/AIDS came to America and killed thousands of people while spreading fear and stigma. Nobody knew what it was back then. That was forty years ago, but HIV/AIDS continues to loom over our heads as we enter the 2020’s. …

Like you, I am many things. I am a science student in university. I am a teacher in primary school classrooms. I am the daughter of two Canadian parents who raised me to think for myself and develop my own opinions. I was a student of Tim Lingor, may he rest in peace, who guided countless students in our individual missions to discover how the world really works outside of the sheltered walls of our high school. I am a writer.

In my short twenty years I have developed my own brand of thought, influenced by everyone I have interacted…

Hello everyone, and welcome to part two of my series titled ‘Anyone Can Understand Quantum Physics’. If you missed part one, ‘Wave-Particle Duality’, you can find it here. Not to plug myself, but I’d recommend reading it first before continuing here as this post will build on and expand on the topics discussed in part one (experiments and calculations by Thomas Young, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and Louis de Broglie, which opened the doors to our current understanding of waves and particles, and their intertwined nature). As I said in part one, it is my strong belief that science should…

On Tuesday, April 11, a baby was born to three parents.

I’m sorry, pardon?

It’s true. Scientists went there. Actually, this wasn’t even the first time. However, it was the first time that this particular technique was used for a new application — treating infertility. What happened?

A mitochondrion, the organelle that led scientists to a method that involves birthing a child with genetic material from three parents.

The story starts in the mitochondria, the organelle responsible for cellular respiration in Eukaryotic cells (not Bacteria or Archaea). Eukaryotic cells have very specific traits; importantly, they contain a nucleus within which resides the linear DNA of the cell. Bacteria, on the other hand, have no nucleus. Rather, their circular DNA floats freely…

I think that pop culture has led a lot of us to believe that quantum physics is the stuff of geniuses: how could I, a normal person with an average IQ, begin to comprehend it? Isn’t that the “big ball of wibbley-wobbley-timey-wimey stuff” that the Tenth Doctor notoriously described in that episode (my favourite episode, BTW) of Doctor Who? To be honest, I don’t think quantum physics has had a very fair chance. Of course, my hat goes off to those who can study it in depth — it is complicated and difficult, and you have to be very dedicated…

Esketamine, the newest drug for treating depression, has captured headlines since it was approved by US’s Food and Drug Administration last week. Esketamine is particularly notable due to its close similarity to ketamine, an anesthetic and popular street drug also known as ‘Special K’. Today, I’m going to address some questions about esketamine. What is this antidepressant, how does it work, and how is it different from ketamine?

What is esketamine?

Esketamine, which will be sold as Spravato, was produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Johnson & Johnson. It was developed as an option for treatment-resistant patients suffering from clinical depression; it stands out…

The phrase ‘gene editing’ is saturated with controversy. The theme of genetic engineering is present throughout modern science fiction, from Jurassic Park to Brave New World, Wolverine to Captain America. Discussing its ethics is complicated, and there may be no right answer. Either way, the technology is advancing — fast. To keep up with new developments, it is critical to understand the basics: what, exactly, is genetic engineering?

The answer actually begins with bacteria. Oftentimes, scientists build ideas for new innovations based on observations of what other organisms have developed in nature. This is one such example. Bacteriophage are a…

Kate Bernier

Canadian scientist-in-training, learning cool stuff and writing about it

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