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Building Better Cities, But for Whom?

Searching for the Realization of Our Fullest Potential: I envision a world where environmental sustainability, environmental justice, and social justice go hand in hand. In this world, green infrastructure projects directly benefit the people of a community instead of displacing them with rising costs of living and amenities that cater to wealthy outsiders. The deep and powerful sense of longing…

(Dis)Covering Routes

Podcast: An Inside Look at the Exodus of Some Black Teachers and Why They Choose to Leave the United States – It’s December 12, 2020 and I’m leaving Dubai to return home to Alton, Illinois. “I’m glad it wasn’t me this time.” I said to myself as I giggled about the intoxicated man asked to leave the plane. That’s when I…

The Heist

The first time I realized I was being underpaid, my shoulders crumpled as a trusted co-worker spoke softly with a grimace. I had just shared with her how excited I felt receiving my first raise at the medical equipment company I worked at since my freshman year of college. My co-worker’s face was distressed as she described how a new hire was earning several dollars more than my raise.    I considered myself supremely aware…

The Immortal Human Cell

Is it possible for a human cell to be immortal? The answer is yes. Unfortunately, the immortality of cells is intertwined with one of the leading causes of death: cancer. Cancer cells are functionally immortal via uncontrolled and uninhibited replication. Cancer is also the second leading cause of death, with approximately 600,000 deaths per year in the United States [1]. Chances are, you probably know or will know someone who will face cancer. The immortality…

Into the Depths: Microbial Menagerie

Have you ever wondered about that green layer of “slime” we see sometimes on lakes? Well, it’s not always algae. It can be a layer of cyanobacteria! We can study ancient metabolic processes without time travel by studying microbes in lakes that are analogs for a point in Earth’s history when where was no oxygen.