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The Chemistry of Catnip–Intoxicating & Effective Bug Repellant

By Laura Tran, C2ST Intern, Rush University

Cats and catnip have a strange, age-old relationship. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a plant from the mint family and roughly two-thirds of catsٰٰٰ¹ are intensely attracted to this seemingly innocuous plant. Just the smell of it makes them go paw-sitively wild! They start rubbing against everything, rolling and flipping around, and even zooming around the house before it wears off within a half-hour. On the other hand, ingesting catnip seems to have the opposite effect and mellows out cats. So what gives? What kind of power does chemistry have on our feline friends?

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Why We Need Immediate Climate Change Regulations

By Rowan Obach, C2ST Intern, Loyola University

In April 2022, scientists from all over the world put themselves at risk of being arrested. While the issue of climate change and climate change regulation has been a heated topic for years, a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sounded the alarm for many researchers as it warns we only have until 2025 to make significant changes to our consumption behaviors. After the report was published, an international community of scientists went to the streets to protest the lack of action by local governments and to draw attention to the dire results outlined in the new report. Peter Kalmus, of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was one such scientist. “It’s now the eleventh hour and I feel terrified for my kids and terrified for humanity,” he said

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Solving The Unsolvable With Supercomputers–An Interview With Dr. Sam Foreman

By Laura Tran, C2ST Intern, Rush University

Argonne National Laboratory is home to several supercomputers with impressive computational power. These computers have aided research efforts in fields such as energy, climate, health, cosmology, computing, and more. The next level of the evolution in supercomputers will continue to help scientists address national problems in science and technology. Processing data faster and more efficiently will lead to faster solutions and pivotal discoveries to improve our daily lives. Therefore, with supercomputing on the rise, there is a great need for continued performance capability and efficiency. One of these scientists that works toward this goal is Dr. Sam Foreman.

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Night of the Living Dead: Viral & Parasitic Zombies

People have been fascinated by zombies for over a century. The modern zombie concept emerged in the 1920s thanks to literature, but it soon shambled toward greater popularity with the advent of cinema, television, comics, and eventually video games. Over the years, the zombie craze has refused to die (pun intended)! When most people hear “zombie,” they think of undead humans but biologists have connected the term to several real-life viruses, parasites, and bacteria. 

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Composting 101

By Summer Seligmann, C2ST Intern, Loyola University

If you feel like you waste a lot of food, you’re not alone. In the United States, 30-40% of the food supply goes to waste. We can reduce our waste by consuming less, but some food inevitably goes bad before we can use it. If you want to divert some of that food from the landfill and give your garden some extra love, composting is the way to go.

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