Health and science clubs on campus

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’20 AND CHEYENNE ELLIS ’21

Do you want to get more involved at Mount Holyoke? Are you looking for ways to use your passion for science in a meaningful way? If so, one of the numerous health and science organizations on campus may be right for you. Below is a sampling of some of the clubs and orgs available to join on campus.

I got my flu shot — now what?

I got my flu shot — now what?

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’20

With a flu season this severe and risky, it is important for the Mount Holyoke community to prevent the flu from spreading and to treat any flu symptoms with caution. Besides getting vaccinated, there are other preventative measures the community can take to keep ourselves and our neighbors happy and healthy. 

Flu continues to affect the U.S. and the Pioneer Valley

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS ’21

This year’s flu season has reached a new high, surpassing records of every season since the 2009 swine flu outbreak. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes the flu is on track to match the magnitude of the swine flu, which was estimated to infect over 34 million Americans, hospitalizing 710,000 and ultimately killing 56,000 people, according to The New York Times.

Never Fear: Pubic Hair

BY TEAGAN WEBB '19

The first time anyone was going to see me naked, I was paralyzed with this decision. I was new to both feminism and porn so I couldn’t decide where my allegiance lay, how much to shave or how to feel about any of it. Am I compromising my beliefs? Will it give me pornstar confidence? But most importantly at the time: is a drug store razor going to do the trick? I shaved it and got as close to an instantaneous yeast infection as a person can get.

Sex ratio shifts among sea turtles as global temperatures increase

Sex ratio shifts among sea turtles as global temperatures increase

A new study published in Current Biology has found a major shift in the gender ratio of green sea turtles around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, according to VOA News. The results of this study indicate that 99 percent of sea turtles born in the northern part of the reef and 87 percent of adult sea turtles around the Great Barrier Reef are female, according to the New York Times. While this topic has been studied previously, the enormity of the situation, as well as the rapid progression, was unknown to researchers. 

SPOTLIGHT ON SUMMER RESEARCH

SPOTLIGHT ON SUMMER RESEARCH

BY ALEXANDRA SINGH ’18

I worked in Greenslade’s lab for about nine weeks full-time, using several different instruments such as differential mobility analyzer (DMA), condensation particle counter (CPC), cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRD) and BET methods to determine size distributions, surface areas and the effects of increased humidity on several different types of clay and mineral dusts.

Government website credibility called into question, data saved

Government website credibility called into question, data saved

BY SAVANNAH HARRIMAN-POTE ’20

Since the start of the digital age, the transition between presidential administrations has occurred not just in the physical space of the White House, but also throughout the digital landscapes of the federal government. Just as they did in 2008, government websites changed to reflect the platform of President Trump on the day of his inauguration according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, scientists across the country initiated efforts to preserve the government data of the Obama administration.

Never Fear: History Lessons

BY TEAGAN WEBB ’19

Contemporary conversations about birth control, inside and outside of Mount Holyoke, frequently sanitize or ignore its deeply racist history. It’s important to not just think of birth control as an abstract human right, but also as a contextualized practice which continues to be held in the forgotten history of people of color in this country. In order to advocate for access — here’s looking at you, other white democrats! — we blindly celebrate without consideration for the bodies of the past.

Three scientists removed from EPA conference

Three scientists removed from EPA conference

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS ’21

Early last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to pull two scientists and an agency consultant out of a Oct. 23 conference in Rhode Island. The conference was set to highlight the impact of climate change on the Narragansett Bay, according to USA Today. All three were expected to present reports on their studies detailing noticeable climate change impacts in the area. The data collected ranged from air and water temperature reports, sea level indications and the impact analysis on the local fish. 

SPOTLIGHT ON SUMMER RESEARCH

SPOTLIGHT ON SUMMER RESEARCH

BY EMILY GRAHAM '19

This summer I participated in a 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden Colorado. Funded by the National Science Foundation, REU programs provide opportunities for undergraduate researchers at universities across the world. The program I participated in focused on developing polymers in the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering. I was assigned to the Boyes laboratory where I worked closely with a graduate student to complete a project during my time there.

Never Fear: Talking Sex

BY TEAGAN WEBB '19

Q: “The sex I’ve been having with my boyfriend is bad, but I really love him and he’s very self-conscious. He’s not selfish just bumbling and awkward in the bedroom. I want to be honest about what I want but I’ve been faking it convincingly for so long I’m worried he will catch on to my lie and feel betrayed. What should I do?”

Wildfires continue to ravage California

Wildfires continue to ravage California

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS '21

Over the past week, wildfires have devastated the grounds of Northern California, leaving at least 40 people dead and over 5,700 properties in ruins according to the Associated Press. The largest of the wildfires, referred to as the Atlas fire, has destroyed 50,383 acres of land alone and collectively, the 15 or more fires in the region have ravaged 220,000 acres of land according to the Los Angeles Times. 

Pre-pear to eat healthy at Mount Holyoke

Pre-pear to eat healthy at Mount Holyoke

BY SABRINA EDWARDS '20

As the new school year begins to take shape on campus, fundamental concerns about existing and future dining options at Mount Holyoke College are taking form as well. The question for Mount Holyoke students and community members remains how to stay healthy while managing rigorous study and extracurricular schedules.

NEVER FEAR: NORMATIVITY

BY TEAGAN WEBB '18

Q: I’m queer and poly and I think the concept of marriage is problematic, but I can’t help but fantasize about wedding dresses and “eternal love.” How do I deal with these feelings? How do I talk to my partners about it?

ACA repeal fails, but attempts continue

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS '21

After previous attempts in July 2017 to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans attempted again on Monday, only to fail after three GOP Senators announced plans to vote against the “Graham-Cassidy” bill. However, plans to resurrect the repeal are already in motion, according to Politico. Although a deadline for reform has been set for Sept. 30, Republicans aim to avoid this by including health care reform and tax reform requirements in the 2018 fiscal year budget. As with past attempts at reform, the bill will most likely evenly distribute federal block grant funds and to transfer health care requirements from federal to state control.

SUMMER RESEARCHERS REPORT BACK: Victoria Yan ’19 shares experience at MD Anderson Cancer Center

SUMMER RESEARCHERS REPORT BACK: Victoria Yan ’19 shares experience at MD Anderson Cancer Center

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’18

Q: Where did you do research this summer?

A: I was in Houston this summer doing research at MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is affiliated with the University of Texas. 

Q: What specifically were you researching?

A: So MD Anderson is obviously focused on cancer and eliminating cancer, so I was working on more of the chemical synthesis lab and chemical biology side of that area. I actually had two projects because we were initially assigned mentors and we didn’t really have a choice over who we were being assigned to.

Summer researchers report back: Yewon Lee ’19 forges ahead with protein mutation research

Summer researchers report back: Yewon Lee ’19 forges ahead with protein mutation research

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’18

Q: Where did you do research this summer?

A: I was here at Mount Holyoke in Professor McMenimen’s lab.

Q: What was your project?

A: I was assigned a new project with my lab partner during the spring semester, but my lab partner had another internship so she wasn’t here for the summer, so I was alone in the lab. I created a TAG point mutation in the n-terminus region using PCR of a small heat shock protein, specifically HSP27. Traditionally, the translational machinery would stop translation at the stop codon, and produce a truncated version of the protein. In my research, I transformed an orthogonal translational machinery and with the addition of unnatural amino acids (UAA), we are hoping to see the machinery charge the UAA at the stop codon, and continue translating to produce a full length protein.