from the world's big
The Wonder of Science
Rhodes scholar Pardis Sabeti graduated with her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 2006, earning the school's highest honor - the third woman ever to do so. She's also the lead singer and songwriter of the band, Thousand Days, who uses her music to make science appealing to children, especially, girls. As a graduate student at Oxford University in England, Sabeti developed a way to detect natural selection at the level of individual genes. In Eric Lander's lab at the Broad Institute, she scanned the entire human genome to figure out which genes have changed within the last 10,000 years and which have spread rapidly in the human gene pool due to natural selection. With these tools, geneticists can study how cultural and environmental changes have affected the evolution of the human genome. Now Sabeti is applying this technique to her true passion: understanding the interplay between humans and the pathogens that cause diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and leprosy. Her work - published in December 2007 - revealed genes involved in drug resistance and in evading the immune system, giving researchers potential targets for new therapies and vaccines.
Pardis Sabeti: Probably the public doesn’t see enough how fantastic science is. I talk about it sometimes where I think the public often sees the things that are on the surface, right, so they don’t see the director who found that perfect shot and saw the angle and the light came through and the moment. And those are the moments that are the most spectacular, right, where you’re just tweaking something and- but it’s very difficult to portray that to other people is that experience that you have and you have to sort of have it yourself. And I think a lot of these kinds of programs like, like I said, Rock Band, or-- where people are doing it themselves they can get a sense of oh, how awesome it must be to write a song or develop something.
It’s just difficult to see that so people want to be like the actors and the performers and the politicians who are- who they see all the time but the people that are probably having the most fun are the writers and the directors and the producers and the scientists, right, the people in the back that are getting to do the creative process. So I think that it’s the creative process that’s just so tremendous. I don’t really love to perform in music. Some people like it more but it’s not my thing so much but just the writing, when you get the lyric and the lyric just goes just the right way or you find the right bridge that takes you to the solo, and those moments are tremendous and it’s difficult to portray. I think the more kids get engaged in science and then have those moments for themselves the more they’ll appreciate it.
Question: What is your creative scientific process?
Pardis Sabeti: The creative scientific process is-- It’s kind of-- It’s a windy road that has a trajectory but it’s a slow trajectory. You may feel like you’re-- Your PhD-- People talk about it and you’re just going around and around and you feel like you’re going nowhere and you basically kind of keep going until at some point you’re just going to hit the other side just by a stochastic process but the longer you go and the more you- and sometimes you can get yourself on a trajectory but you’re moving. It’s a difficult process.
It’s a lot of exploration of the terrain. Right. Look at the topology of everything and then every once in a while you hit something but it’s not always a clear path. Sometimes it is and nowadays actually a lot of it is actually just technical achievements. So for that at least you kind of see well, we’re just getting past this technology and then we can do- take sequencing to a much higher level and things like that, but a lot of it is an exploration so, yeah, hard to describe.
Recorded on: June 29, 2008
Many people don't see how fantastic science is, and that's unfortunate, says Pardis.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.