Students pursue health and science-related internships and research

BY TESS REMICK ’21

As summer approaches, many Mount Holyoke students already have internships and research opportunities lined up. The following are profiles of a couple of students and their health and science - related plans. 

One-third of the Great Barrier Reef has died due to coral bleaching

One-third of the Great Barrier Reef has died due to coral bleaching

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS ’21

A new study discovered that an underwater heat wave two years ago resulted in the death of one-third of the Great Barrier Reef, according to The New York Times. Though the Reef is a physical and sedentary piece of the Australian underwater landscape, it is a living and vibrant collection of coral and other organisms. 

Senior Symposium showcased projects

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’20

On Friday, April 13, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends convened in Kendade, Cleveland, Dwight and Reese to hear presentations on a variety of topics at the Senior Symposium. Held annually on campus, the Senior Symposium is a chance for seniors to share their academic interests and work in a panel-setting to the Mount Holyoke community. 

Physics professor awarded for research, to establish pre-college STEM program

Physics professor awarded for research, to establish pre-college STEM program

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’20

Physics professor Kerstin Nordstrom was recently awarded a Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement to further her educational and lab-based goals, specifically her work on granular flows.

Cosmetics are full of unlabeled dangerous toxins

Cosmetics are full of unlabeled dangerous toxins

BY TESS REMICK ’21

While many college students rush to get ready in the morning, chances are the ingredients in their cosmetic products are the last thing on their minds — they’re concerned about putting it on their faces and making it to class on time. Paying attention to ingredient lists may seem like an unnecessary and tedious task, but ignoring it could have repercussions. Earlier this month, CNN reported that animal waste was one of the many toxins found in counterfeit makeup, or makeup produced to imitate brand name products.

Self-compassion is as important as self-care for finals stress relief

Self-compassion is as important as self-care for finals stress relief

BY TESS REMICK ’21

College students can easily feel anxious balancing school, work, friends and family while also trying to figure out the rest of their lives. For many, being on their own, maybe for the first time in their life, is difficult. Mix that with rigorous academic workloads and unhealthy sleeping habits and it can leave one’s mental health in a disastrous state. 

Judge rules that coffee should be labelled as a carcinogen

Judge rules that coffee should be labelled as a carcinogen

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’20

In California, on March 28, Judge Elihu Berle ruled that coffee contains enough carcinogenic chemicals to merit labelling the drink itself as a carcinogen, much the way cigarettes are labelled. In the case, the judge ruled that the coffee retailer defendants, which included 7-Eleven and Starbucks, did not fully explain how the claimed health benefits of coffee outweighed the potential risks.

Flint, MI water crisis being addressed by federal spending by 2020

BY TESS REMICK ’21

On Feb. 25, 2015, Flint, Michigan resident Lee Anne Walters’ home’s water was tested for lead. The water’s lead content was almost seven times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s limit for lead in drinking water according to Michigan Radio.

Pacific Garbage Patch is larger than initially thought

Pacific Garbage Patch is larger than initially thought

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS ’21

A new study published in the Scientific Journal estimates that the total area of the so-called “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is anywhere from four to 16 times as large as originally thought, according to The New York Times. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world’s largest floating “junkyard” of trash, where plastics and other objects accumulate in mass quantities.

The national opioid epidemic spreads west, claiming lives in Pioneer Valley

The national opioid epidemic spreads west, claiming lives in Pioneer Valley

BY TESS REMICK ’21

The U.S. is facing the most lethal opioid crisis in its history. Between 2002 and 2016, the number of deadly overdoses related to heroin increased by 533 percent nationwide, according to CNN.

Women’s History Month: Dorothy Hansine Andersen (1901-1963)

Women’s History Month: Dorothy Hansine Andersen (1901-1963)

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS ’21

For National Women’s History Month, the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections are showing an exhibit on female faculty in the sciences, from Lydia Shattuck, class of 1851, to Cornelia Clapp, class of 1871.

Dr. Dorothy Hansine Andersen (1901-1963), class of 1922, was an accomplished American pathologist, known for first recognizing cystic fibrosis as a disease and creating a test to help diagnose it.

Bitcoin: What is it and why should we care?

Bitcoin: What is it and why should we care?

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’20

Today’s internet and financial news outlets are awash with speculation and perspectives on bitcoin, the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency. But what is bitcoin and why do college students and recent college graduates care?

Women’s History Month: Virginia Apgar (1909-1974)

BY SABRINA EDWARDS ’20

For National Women’s History Month, the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections are showing an exhibit on female faculty in the sciences, from Lydia Shattuck, class of 1851, to Cornelia Clapp, class of 1871.

The Apgar test, developed by Virginia Apgar ’29, remains the standard test for the health of a newborn in maternity wards and postnatal clinics around the world.

Sleep deprivation is detrimental to student health and happiness

Sleep deprivation is detrimental to student health and happiness

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS ’21

College students today are struggling to maintain good grades, social lives and jobs, as well as a healthy sleep schedule. This has resulted in many college students being sleep deprived, especially around midterms and finals, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Interviews with the bird fans of the Pioneer Valley

BY CHEYENNE ELLIS ’21

At Mount Holyoke College, there are a plethora of different bird species, ranging from finches to woodpeckers to the infamous domestic goose, Jorge. Many walk by these creatures without giving them a second thought, but a few stop and take notice. Sarah Cosmedy ’20 and Ted Gilliland, an assistant professor of Economics, are among those few.

Patricia Brennan wants you to consider the duck penis

Patricia Brennan wants you to consider the duck penis

BY ANN BAAKO ’18

Duck penises are explosive. The corkscrew-shaped organs, which are normally hidden beneath a cavity at the end of a duck’s digestive tract, shoot out to as long as eight inches; within a third of a second, the male duck ejaculates its sperm into the female to complete what is usually a forced sexual encounter. Ninety-seven percent of male birds do not have penises at all (usually, the penis-less male mushes its genital opening with the female’s and transfers sperm into the female’s vagina in a maneuver known as the “cloacal kiss”). Because of how rare penises are in the bird world, duck penises have captured bird lovers’ attention. When the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is funded by American tax dollars, handed out a $384,949 grant to Patricia Brennan and her supervisor at Yale University to explore “plasticity in duck penis length,” online conservative news agencies exploded. 

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.