By Michelle Lu
Who doesn’t love burgers? The unique smell, taste, texture, and sizzle when flipping the beef patty on the grill all contribute to a perfect burger. Beyond their taste, however, beef burgers are far from perfect. While the health risks associated with high red meat consumption are widely known, many may not know that the amount of carbon dioxide that is given off from raising a pound of beef is, in fact, greater than that of burning a gallon of gasoline. Furthermore, cattle, pigs, and chickens are major incubators for dangerous viruses, and the clearing of forests to raise animals also drives habitat loss and the extinction of wild species.
By Eleanor Lin
The novel coronavirus has often been spoken of as if it were a living, breathing enemy. Yet SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is not considered fully "alive" by scientists, since (like all viruses) it cannot reproduce on its own. Instead, it must hijack human cells in order to produce copies of itself, damaging the host cells and causing illness in the process.
By Ethan Feng
Proteins are important: imagine any process in your body, from digestion to immune response, and proteins are likely involved. So, it’s no surprise that scientists have long been working to understand the properties of these biochemical machines. In particular, grasping their structural details is crucial—think of proteins as puzzle pieces: a protein’s shape determines whether it can fit together and thus interact with other molecules. Ultimately, knowledge of these properties can provide insight into a protein’s function in living cells, which can help us solve important real-world problems in science and medicine.