Category: Articles

Amherst College Science Center

“Bringing Science to Light” to Light

Science and art, commonly considered distant disciplines, actually go hand in hand. In fact, they complement each other and propel one another forward. Science illustrators, therefore, play a very valuable role in bridging the gap between these subject areas. A recent New York Times article explains an environmental science-related example of this phenomenon: “Pairing illustrations…

Exploring PAR-1 in Neuromuscular Junctions—An Interview With SURF Participant Zakaria Shenwari

Could you briefly describe your research? “Of course! Our lab research is concerned with Drosophila—a fancy name for house flies. We are using the JR neuromuscular junction of Drosophila as a model system. Every student’s research is different, [but] I was assigned to research one of the proteins called PAR-1 within the presynaptic region of…

Spilling the Peas on STEMsibs

This piece was co-authored by Amy Zheng. STEMsibs, derived from “STEM siblings,” is a student group with a mission to guide new and undeclared students throughout their STEM journey at Amherst College. The STEMsibs offer monthly informational panels hosted by upperclassmen to form a tight-knit STEM community.  Tavus Atajanova, one of the group’s organizers, describes…

Development of Luminescent Small Molecules for Cancer Imaging and Therapy

On October 21, 2022, Dr. Sierra Marker King, a candidate for the biochemistry professor position at Amherst College, led this week’s Cheminar. She presented her doctoral and postdoctoral research. She began her higher education at SUNY Broome Community College and obtained an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. From there, she graduated from SUNY…

Positive Psychology: A Q&A with Professor Sanderson

This year, the Amherst DeMott reading and lecture were centered around Poler Family Professor of Psychology Catherine Sanderson’s book, The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity. I sat down with her to ask a few questions inspired by the reading. Could you start by describing what your book, The Positive Shift…

The Science of Stereotypes

They say that first impressions are everything – but did you know that assumptions are made about you as soon as the first seven seconds? It only takes one-tenth of a second for someone to decide if you’re trustworthy (Willis & Todorov, 2006). It similarly takes just fractions of a second for them to draw…

URPs together strong: My summer at CSHL in summary

I really enjoyed my time with the CSHL URP (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Undergraduate Research Program) this summer! I learned a lot and had a lot of fun with my cohort. Honestly, this may have been my favorite summer ever and if not, it’s certainly way up there. Let me elaborate. I feel like the…

The End of the Beginning: Thesis Progress, Applications, and Gnomes

A small garden gnome stands in short green grass. He has a red pointy hat, white beard and mustache, a green shirt, and blue pants. He holds a lantern up in his right hand.

Long time no see, everybody! It has definitely been a productive and exciting summer, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it! As I mentioned in my introductory post, this summer I worked on my psychology thesis. This project explores the emotions, threats, and prejudices that underlie evaluations of people who engage in…

Patterning the planarian head with nr4A

This article is a summary of this video: “Nuclear receptor NR4A is required for patterning at the ends of the planarian anterior-posterior axis”. https://jrnlclub.org/research-films/planarian-regeneration-patterning Regeneration is a fundamental process in biology that allows animals to “bounce back” from injury by synthesizing new tissue. While regeneration is an essential process for the maintenance of homeostasis in…