• Science,  This Week's Paper,  World News

    Gene Therapy: Healing remedy or harmful hoax?

    Perhaps some of the most important contributions to science is the ability to manipulate DNA. A notable discovery is humulin, the genetically modified insulin. By reducing the cost and increasing the safety, the treatment improved the quality of life for millions of patients. Since humulin’s approval in 1978, hundreds of gene therapy treatments have been approved. Scientists can insert a normal gene to compensate for the defective one an individual was born with.  Over the past few decades, all the developments in gene therapy are countered by religious, ethical, and socioeconomic concerns over its misuse. The most prominent argument against gene therapy is whether we should edit the genes to…

  • News,  Science,  This Week's Paper

    The CUNY Biology Graduate Program: How to Get in

    Amid the pandemic, the future of graduate studies is blurry for most undergraduate students. The abrupt shift from in-person learning to online education has caused many to consider pausing their education as long as schools are strictly virtual. Professors are sympathetic to this fact, but are still trying to ignite a spark of light in this dark time. Recently, The Knight News sat down with John Dennehy, Deputy Executive Officer for PhD program admissions at QC, and asked him about the state of Queens College biology admissions, and how it will function for the time being.  To get into the QC biology graduate program, the prerequisites are as follows: a…

  • News,  Racial Justice Guide,  Science,  This Week's Paper

    Gender and racial disparities in COVID-19

    Certain groups of people are predisposed to having a severe infection. Children and the elderly come to mind, as both populations have immune systems that are not as developed. Those with preexisting conditions like asthma, diabetes, and hypertension are also at higher risk. Looking at the mortality data, there is evidence to suggest that minorities are disproportionately affected by severe COVID-19.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) readily addresses disparities in those affected by COVID-19, specifically when it comes to race and socioeconomic circumstances of patients. According to the CDC’s public report, “a total of 205 counties in 33 states were identified as hotspots. These counties have a combined total…

  • News,  Science,  This Week's Paper,  World News

    Operation Warp Speed: The Race for a Vaccine Candidate

    With the coronavirus pandemic at its peak in the United States, the Trump Administration announced, “Operation Warp Speed.” Its goal is to produce 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by January 2021. According to Health and Human Services, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and AstraZeneca have already received multi-billion dollar investments in their manufacturing capabilities.  One may begin to  wonder, how is the coronavirus vaccine being made? The answer lies behind the science of it all. Viruses are some of the simplest organisms known to man. They lack basic machinery to replicate themselves. For this reason, they use a host, like a human cell. The lack of essential cellular processes…

  • News,  Science,  This Week's Paper,  World News

    Coronavirus: debunking the rumors

     To a normal citizen, the scientific method of trial, error, and repeat can be overwhelming. To some, it might be easier to reject new information that becomes available. The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably forced the American public to confront the scientific process. Recently, The United States reached a new peak in coronavirus cases during July. Caseloads were exacerbated early reopenings in the sunnier states – Arizona, Florida, and Texas. In times like these, it’s important more than ever to debunk some of the commonly spread myths about COVID-19. To recap, public health agencies have constantly shifted course with their recommendations to stay safe, explaining why many are confused about the…