The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Science Savvy: The Retinal Ganglion Cell’s Journey

A full-color illustrated trip through the visual system.

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Synaptic Candy: Interview with a Neuroscientist

By Terra Vleeshouwer-Neumann and Elise Dent Reading a scientific paper gives an in-depth but very narrow view of what’s going on in a field, but conversing with one of the scientists who actually did the work gives a more complete picture. Last Monday we got to talk with Dr. Rachel Wong, a pre-eminent neuroscientist who […]

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Science Savvy: A Day in the Life of a Müller Glial Cell

As told to Miranda Lyons-Cohen and Rachel Yahn. Dear Diary, Today was tough. I feel so much pressure to be perfect. My parents are always going on about our cousins (the radial glia) up in the hippocampus and superior colliculus in the brain, telling stories about how researchers discovered their crucial role in the formation […]

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Science Savvy: The Science Behind the Sides

By Emily Crotteau and Kara Cerveny This week, in honor of the holidays, we’ve cooked up a column about some of the delicious foods that grace the Thanksgiving dinner table. We hope you enjoy these ala carte servings of science. Cranberry (Oxycoccus vaccinium) — As you’re biting into a delicious mouthful of turkey slathered with […]

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Science Savvy: Stem Cells: They’ve Got the Power

By Mica Peacock The mere mention of “stem cells” can trigger heated arguments about when life begins and whether stem cell research is moral. Stem cells have the power to regenerate damaged tissue, but they also have the power to form an entire organism. With several cases that could restrict biomedical use of stem cells […]

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Science Savvy: An Eye-Opening Discussion

This is a story of two scientists, Vincent and Samantha, who were wrapped up in controversy over whether stem cells exist in adult human eyes. In 2000, a high profile paper identified stem cells in a specific part of the eye called the pigmented ciliary margin (PCM), which encircles the outermost edge of the retina.

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Science Savvy: They Once Were Blind, But Now They See

By Anna Henkin  Nearly 10% of United States citizens over the age of 65 are legally blind. They suffer from a disease called age-related macular degeneration. This debilitating disease is caused when the light sensing cells (photoreceptors) in the center of the retina die. At first only mild vision loss occurs, eventually replaced by total […]

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Science Savvy: From Green to All Grown Up

How does a cell decide what it’s going to be when it “grows up”? Just like when you choose your major or thesis topic, your cells make decisions that impact their futures. Each immature cell in a developing brain is full of unlimited possibilities. Over time, the cell hears particular signals and makes specific choices, all of which combine to influences its ultimate “career choice”.

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Science Savvy: Experimental Hiccups

Science often appears to be a singular entity, united by a methodological paradigm and totally consistent in its depiction of reality. But science is an active process, full of hiccups.

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Science Savvy: Eye’ll Be Back

In Luc Besson’s 1997 cult film, The Fifth Element, scientists recreate the perfect human from just a few cells. Though we’re far from being able to grow an entire Milla Jovovitch in an incubator, we are closer than ever to growing replacement body parts.

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Science Savvy: How Cellular Conversations Shape Embryonic Development

Have you ever wondered why you don’t have more than two eyes or why they’re on your face instead of the top of your head? During early embryonic development, the cells destined to be your eyes are indistinguishable from other cells in the developing brain. Then, in response to specific changes in their environment, the future eye cells start to express different genes than their neighbors and even start to move differently.

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Science Savvy: Fish Eyes, Stem Cells, and Cancer

A tug-of-war between nature and nurture is alive and well inside each of us.

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