Category: Bench Press

What’s new in the news?

At Bench Press, we aim to highlight current and important events in the world of science and research. We seek to cover anything from medical breakthroughs to new discoveries and analyze the science behind it all. Why is it important? Why is it such a big deal? How does this affect the world? Tune in here to stay current on major events in science!

Most Americans are worried about using technology to ‘Enhance’ our abilities

A recent study from the Pew Research Center examined how the U.S. public feels about using biomedical technology to “enhance” human abilities1. Enhancement is defined as making biochemical, surgical or other changes to improve cognitive, psychological or physical capacity. Under such a liberal definition, humanity has already been practicing self-enhancement for some time. Enhancements already commonly practiced today include illegal anabolic steroid use by athletes, elective reproductive surgeries like vasectomies, and even purely cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation or nose jobs. In a phone and web survey involving 4,726 U.S. adults, Pew examined the response to 3 currently-hypothetical technologies that...

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5 on Friday

1.Viral infection in the marine environment may be having a bigger effect on the recycling of CO2 than we previously realized. Researchers at the University of Warwick published data this week suggesting viruses that infect marine cyanobacteria hijack the energy produced by photosynthesis in these cyanobateria so that it can no longer be used to capture CO2. Normally, photosynthesis uses light and water to make energy, which is used to capture CO2 and make sugar and O2. When the viruses infect these cyanobacteria, they hijack the energy so that it can’t capture the CO2. Because these viruses infect a lot...

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Science in Pop Culture – John Oliver probably has a lot more fans that are scientists after a recent segment on his show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. This particular segment hilariously draws attention to how the news media often incorrectly reports scientific studies and how detrimental that can be for our society. If you haven’t watched the video, check it out here! Science Research – It’s been pretty well established that antibiotic use, espeically in children, can have long-term effects, such as increasing the risk of obesity or promoting antibiotic resistant bacterial species.  It’s also been well established that...

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“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” – Edward Teller 1. Advance In Human Embryo Research Rekindles Ethical Debate Scientists have recently discovered a new way of keeping human embryos alive in a laboratory. Normally when it came to human embryos, researchers were unable to keep them alive for anything longer than a week once removed from the womb. This has significantly hindered human embryonic research for decades. But now, researchers have extended the lifespan of embryos in the laboratory by another week, encompassing a critical point in the development of organs and tissues. This advancement is a...

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5 on Friday

Friday already?! Check out some of this week’s science stories to finish out the work week! A literal brain map. In a recent study published in Nature, computational neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley strive to “map” regions of the brain that respond to words with similar meanings. Using functional MRI, they were able to catalog where over 900 concepts were processed in the brain. Read more about it here! Probiotics for your anaphylaxis. From 1997-2007, the number of children with food allergies increased by over 15%. For this reason, researchers at Korea’s Institute for Basic Science and the National Institute of Animal Science are working to...

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5 on Friday

Hello friends and fellow science enthusiasts! Join us for 5 of the most interesting and quirky events in science this week! Could you explain complex science to an 11 year old? If you attack DNA, you can treat a snakebite! What does your office microbiome look like? Zombie crabs! and… Time magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People. Could you explain complex science to an 11 year old? Alan Alda’s Flame Challenge asks 11 year old students to submit science questions, and this year’s question is: “What is sound?” Scientists from all over the world send in their answers and the kids vote...

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1)Parasitic Worms – A treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases? Research was published this week showing that infection with a parasitic worm reduces inflammation and restores the mucus-secreting ability of intestinal cells in mice with a genetic defect that is also present in some who suffer from Crohn’s disease. This mucus secretion is key for health because it protects the gut from harmful bacteria. The researchers concluded that the worms actually help by influencing the microbiome in the intestine of the mice. The interest in this area of research stems from the Hygiene Hypothesis, which I previously blogged about. While controversial,...

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“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” – Albert Einstein 1. Your birth season is stamped on your DNA and can affect your risk of allergies Allergies. If you live in the western world, you’re probably no stranger to them. And if you’re somehow lucky enough to not have any allergies, then you probably know someone who does. How allergies first arose and why they’re even a thing has long been a question that immunologists have pondered. Allergies are essentially an aberrant immune response:...

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5 on Friday

Thanks to everyone who stopped by at the Umaryland Bioresco Vendor’s show yesterday! If you didn’t get a chance to before, sign up for our mailing list today! Now, to end your week right, we bring you 5 on Friday! LOCAL EVENT: Project Bridge is hosting another Science Cafe this coming Monday (April 4th) at the Baltimore Underground Science Space! This time, come listen to Dr. Claire Fraser (former president and director of The Institute for Genomic Research, and current director of the Umaryland Institute for Genome Sciences) lead a discussion about the human gut microbiome. Stay afterwards to check out a science themed art...

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