Blog Post

COVID Vaccines: The How, What, & Why of Production

By Rowan Obach, C2ST Intern, Loyola University

As the US continues to offer vaccinations across the country, many people remain skeptical. But why? According to the American Psychiatric Association, many individuals want to get the vaccine but are bombarded by misinformation and complicated science articles. This is being combatted by the VACCINES Act; a federally funded national messaging campaign to improve vaccination rates. Vaccines are a complicated mechanism, but by breaking them down and explaining them, we can all help remove the fear from COVID vaccinations.  Continue reading “COVID Vaccines: The How, What, & Why of Production”

Blog Post

Lightning Strikes: Nature’s Air Purifier?

By Elizabeth Hallissey, C2ST Intern, Loyola University

Many people see lightning as scary and threatening, but recent data may improve lightning’s reputation.

Lightning strikes produce nitric oxide, which leads to the formation of other oxidants, all of which have the potential to increase the atmosphere’s ability to cleanse itself. While researchers originally thought that the oxidant production effects of lightning strikes were not significant enough to bring about meaningful atmosphere cleansing power, a recent analysis of a 2012 study has revealed that the opposite may be true. As we contend with the worsening effects of pollution on our atmosphere and other parts of the environment, a reversal in thinking like this brings with it a newfound sense of optimism in the scientific community.

Continue reading “Lightning Strikes: Nature’s Air Purifier?”

Blog Post

Guyana Pt. 1: Unspoiled Rainforest

By C2ST Staff

Guyana is a country that is mostly rainforest–87%, to be exact. It is bordered by Venezuela to the west, Suriname to the east, Brazil to the south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. Those countries all comprise part of the Guiana Shield, which houses one of the world’s last major frontier forests. Frontier forests are intact, uncompromised swaths of land that are large enough to withstand natural disasters, and healthy enough to support all of the animals and plants that reside there. These characteristics make the forest, and the country as a whole, a biodiversity hotspot worthy of international recognition and protection. Continue reading “Guyana Pt. 1: Unspoiled Rainforest”

Blog Post

Quarantining Outdoors: The Case for Nature During (and After) a Pandemic

By C2ST Staff

An afternoon picnic in a park, a morning walk to hear the birds chirping, a fresh breeze coming off the lakefront. What do these three things have in common? Besides being quite pleasant, they all take place outside. Outdoor activities have been anxiety-inducing for some in the past year but are considered by health care professionals to be immensely important for our well-being. Continue reading “Quarantining Outdoors: The Case for Nature During (and After) a Pandemic”

Blog Post

Cow Brains: Does Size Matter?

By Laura Tran, C2ST Intern, Rush University

Does size matter? In a sense, the answer is yes.

Domestication is an age-old process in which wild plants and animals are adapted for human use. We raise domestic animals (e.g, horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, dogs, and cats) for food, work, clothing, and companionship. Over time, domesticated animals exhibit a number of behavioral, physiological, and morphological traits¹ that differ from their wild counterparts. This is referred to as the “domestication syndrome” and this process is what led to our cute and cuddly pets today! Animals become friendlier, have smaller jaws and teeth, and even have smaller brains. 

Continue reading “Cow Brains: Does Size Matter?”