Category: Research

Amherst College Science Center

Professor Alex Sushkov’s Odyssey Into Dark Matter and Precision Measurement

The Bullet Cluster. Splotches of blue and magenta against a black background.

Cover image courtesy of ESA: https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2007/07/The_Bullet_Cluster2 Article by Olivia Fann and Fernanda Sophia Morais Laroca On October 17, 2023, the bottom floor of the Science Center was filled with professors and students enjoying refreshments and conversation. It was time for the weekly Physics Colloquium, a public talk given by a visiting scholar on a topic…

Recent Research News and Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a prime topic for research due to its vast impact on memory and cognitive decline. In recent years, there has been a surge of information regarding AD research, including reports of fraud from highly cited studies and a new potential treatment. The following article will break down these aspects and offer…

Feeling Sluggish? Sea Slugs Might Have You Beat

Against a tan-colored floor that looks soft and coated in sand and other aquatic debris, a sea slug rests. It has two antennae-like structures. It's abdomen is like a squishy, oblong, yellow, and purple pinecone.

Cover image: Berghia stephanieae. Point of Fort Jeudy, Grenada. 14 feet deep, 24 August 1986. Photo by Hans Bertsch. Reprinted with permission from The Slug Site. Article by Nora Lowe This year’s finals had me feeling especially sluggish, so when I heard that there would be a Biology Seminar on sea slug brains, I thought,…

Below the SURFace: Amherst Students Present Their Research

A woman with long, curly hair wears light-washed jeans and a white button-up shirt. She smiles in front of a scientific-style poster. A staircase is behind her, and people mill about in the background.

By Nora Lowe On September 8, the Science Center was cleared of furniture and filled instead with student researchers. This year’s cohort of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) participants presented more than 80 posters as the culmination of their multiweek experience of rigorous scientific inquiry across nine departments, as well as in collaboration with parties…

Can Someone You’ve Never Met Be Your Friend? Sort Of.

Finishing Wednesday on Netflix felt kind of like losing a friend. After watching an episode per day for eight days, I had spent almost eight hours with the titular character, getting to know her macabre sense of humor. How is it possible that I can feel so close to someone that I’ve never even met,…

“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…

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…

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…