Articles by Contributor

Using Quantum Processes in Our Brains to Crack Computer Encryptions

The goal of a quantum computer is to perform computations that would be too intensive and impractically long for a classical computer to compute. One such computation where it is often cited that a quantum computer will be able to do much more efficiently than standard classical computers (that’s the typical computer that is ubiquitous today) is the factorization of very large numbers. Multiplying two large numbers is easy for any computer. But calculating the factors of a very large number, on the other hand, is no easy feat. In fact, the challenge of factoring large numbers after encryption is [...]

By |February 5, 2021|Categories: Everyday Science|Tags: , , , |

Why We Love Sweet Foods but Hate Vegetables

Throughout our evolutionary history, our ancestors faced numerous challenges that impeded their survival, such as hostile climates and potential predators. In terms of food, they also faced two distinct types of dangers. On one hand, food is essential to sustain basic functions, providing energy for running away from predators and finding suitable mates to reproduce with. On the other, indiscriminate feeding increases the risk of ingesting toxins, which can be harmful or even lethal. In order to survive and thrive in the wild, evolution has bestowed upon us a taste system for quickly evaluating our food. This article will briefly [...]

By |January 22, 2021|Categories: Everyday Science|Tags: , , , |

Drosophila: The Little Fruit Fly with a Big Role in Science

From every day air travel to the awe-inspiring launch of space shuttles and satellites, we know that science is more than capable of taking us to the skies. But there is another, equally important field of research that flies under the radar, taking the form of Drosophila—the simple yet elegant fruit fly.  […]

By |September 10, 2020|Categories: Everyday Science|Tags: , , , , |

The Quantum Computer Lurking Inside Your Brain

When a particle gets small enough, it starts to behave strangely, like having the ability to be in two places at once. Protons, electrons and even whole atoms can exhibit these quantum effects and perform logic-defying acts. By studying these particles in the human brain, researchers are trying to see if processes like information storage and even decision-making are influenced by quantum effects. Is there the equivalent of a quantum computer lurking inside our brains? […]

By |September 3, 2020|Categories: Everyday Science|Tags: , , |

Xeno Nucleic Acids: Research into Modified DNA

Many of us would have heard about DNA and RNA, the two naturally occurring nucleic acid polymers that store genetic material. But we may not be quite as familiar with xeno nucleic acids (XNAs). The word is derived from the Greek ‘xenos’, meaning ‘stranger’ or ‘alien’. As one might infer, XNAs are a class of synthetic nucleic acids that aren’t found in nature. These structural analogs of DNA and RNA have many practical and theoretical uses, from helping scientists discover new drugs to providing insights into the origin of life. […]

By |August 21, 2020|Categories: Structure-Based Design|Tags: , , , |
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