Archive: November 2020

Scientific News

At this point, we have all been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another. Whether you were directly affected by the virus or your lifestyle has been altered to fit the “new normal,” it has taken a toll on us all. Physically, yes, but also mentally and emotionally. It has impacted our relationships, behaviours, the way we think, and how we approach situations. Our reliance on technology has increased tremendously, and platforms such as zoom and skype are used daily to maintain interpersonal connections. This article will discuss the many ways COVID-19 has impacted our behaviours, our interpersonal connections, and our overall mental health.

One unifying fact amongst the human population is that we all want an effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 as fast as possible. Scientists are racing to develop a vaccine that will allow us to regain a sense of normalcy. There are, however, many elements that must be considered when attempting to develop a vaccine. One of them being virus mutations- the fact that elements of SARS-CoV-2 are evolving.

Throughout the course of history, humans have devised a variety of techniques to treat and cure illnesses. From Ayurvedic medicine to chemical-based formulas. In our world today, we have access to an abundance of medication to treat many different ailments. When we feel sick, we simply take a specific medication depending on our symptoms, and within minutes, we begin to feel better. But have you ever wondered how these drugs work? How do our bodies interact with and process these substances so they perform proficiently? The answers to these questions are more simple than you might think, they are answered by the two major branches of pharmacology; pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Biomimicry is the adaptation of naturally occurring designs and processes into technological innovation and engineering. An eight-million dollar research study was conducted on this species regarding its uses for engineering. The beetle’s geometric configuration strengthens its armour, which is being imitated to develop a more durable aerospace fastener.

For ages, there have been questions regarding the past state of the moon: was there ever life there? Well now, that question may have been answered. Scientists from NASA have detected 12 ounces of water on the sun-facing side of the moon, therefore proving past life and opening up an entire new future of space research.

Cancer is a leading cause of deaths worldwide, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. For years, scientists have been conducting research, testing formulas, and developing new technologies to better combat this disease. Recently, they have discovered a new drug called Fadraciclib that inhibits two potent, cancer-driving proteins (CDK2 and CDK9), on top of suppressing a protein that aids cancer cell survival (MCL1). In the future, this drug could be used to treat cancers such as leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.

An important step towards the future of biology is genetic engineering, and although this field is in its early stages, there is still a lot to know about this potentially revolutionary device. This article is the perfect place to start if you’re wanting to learn more about gene editing. We’ve discussed the different technologies, such as CRISPR, that are used, how it is applied, and the types of gene therapies that currently exist. However, a topic that must be discussed when it comes to genetic engineering are the moral implications behind it. For instance, it’s important to consider the issue of consent ー is it enough to have the parents consent to an embryo’s genetic engineering? Many questions like these exist, making genetic engineering a promising field, but one that we must be cautious about in the future.

Social Initiatives

Social media influencers have gained an incredible amount of popularity in the last few years. They post personal updates on their lifestyle, spread positive messages, and occasionally partner with businesses to promote certain products. As we all know, COVID-19 has sent the global economy into a drastic downturn, so the role of social media influencers has become ever more prominent. Some have chosen to shift their focus from gym workouts to home workouts, while others have continued to partner with brands to sustain both their own income and that of the business. They reach an ever-growing audience that consumes their content on the daily.

During these trying times, people have been using social media platforms in order to stay connected. Social media serves as an effective method of communication among a multitude of people, resulting in its contribution to the campaigns of politicians. This is especially notable in the recent 2020 U.S. presidential election. In this article, read about how social media played a major role in voting this year. The topics discussed include how popular apps, such as TikTok and Instagram, contributed to increased voter turnout, the ability of social media to shed light on significant issues, how misinformation online is handled, and the importance of YOUR vote!

 
 

Advice/Tips

The 2020 holiday season is sure to look extremely different than any other year before. However, that doesn’t mean we have to give up the holiday spirit! After months of bleak isolation and strict safety measures, the holiday season is just what we need to uplift our mood and prepare for the new year, whatever that may look like. If you need a little help navigating the strange new world of virtual-gift giving, we’ve got you covered! From online gifting to DIY crafts, there are tons of ways to celebrate and make memories with friends and family, despite the situation we’re in.

How do you prepare for tests, summatives, quizzes, or exams? How should one study? In the popular “study with me” videos on YouTube, what exactly do people do? If you are wondering these same questions, you are in luck! In this article, the author outlines the best general studying tips and course-specific study tips to help you maximize academic success. Read about neuroscience research-proven study advice, methods that stimulate the brain and help you perform better, insight into how you can ace your math and science courses, and tips to master arts and humanities courses!

Dating Amidst COVID-19*

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe and many new rules limiting social interaction were implemented, we have truly realized the importance of social connection. Dating during the pandemic seems to be impossible, however, must we let the virus cancel romance? Of course not! So, how do you adapt to the new normal? In this article, the author provides a guide for couples in quarantine, covering topics including pandemic dating rules, virtual date ideas, and tips to safely meet or connect in-person. Whether you are seeking a relationship or in a temporary long-distance relationship under the current circumstances, you are guaranteed to keep romance alive with these great ideas and helpful tips!

Bedroom Organization*

Most of us are spending longer amounts of time in our bedrooms than ever before. Having an organized space is obviously beneficial to your mental health and improves your ability to concentrate, but did you know that customizing your space can help even more? Re-organizing, re-decorating, and fully customizing your bedroom to suit your needs and complement your personality can also be an amazing way to de-stress during this difficult time. We’ve gone through some simple and affordable ways to make your space a more enjoyable place to work in.

From the age of 16, youth in Ontario are able to choose the option to donate their organsーsomething that can save up to 8 lives, and enhance up to 75. In this article, we explain how organ donations work and are managed, how you can register, and the importance of organ donations. We’ve also included the various things that you can donate while alive, with explanations of how these donations work and why they are important.

 
 

Other News

We often go about life without acknowledging and being grateful for our own situation, and without recognizing that we are extremely privileged in what we do have. However, it is extremely important to check our privileges regularly, and to understand that privileges aren’t things that make your life easier, instead, they are simply aspects of your life that don’t make it more difficult. 

This article helps you do this by explaining some of the different types of privileges that exist, such as ability, class, and education, to name a few. We’ve also listed a few factors that are crucial to acknowledge about privileges, like the fact that there’s no need to feel guilty when discussing this topic.

Welcome back to our Student Success Box Series—where we will be answering questions submitted by YOU and share our knowledge and insights to help you succeed. This week we’ll be diving into businesses/nonprofits, important skills to develop as youth, and how we learn effectively.

Breastfeeding is always recommended by pediatricians and other healthcare professionals as a means to feed newborn babies due to the numerous benefits it offers. However, the ultimate decision of whether or not you choose to breastfeed is up to you. Every breastfeeding mother’s journey is different, but they all share one common experience: difficulty. Here are some of the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as some ideas to show support throughout a mother's breastfeeding journey.

We’ve all already, or will soon go through our one required French course, but some students don’t continue their French education throughout high school. In this article, we explain the benefits of Canadian students learning French during school, as well as those of learning a new language in general. Some of these benefits include being able to communicate in other Francophone countries, as well as areas of Canada like Quebec. In addition, being fluent in French is an advantage in many employment opportunities, and can even help with other skills. Learning French also helps you learn France’s rich culture full of music, food, literature, and more.