Mixing Holiday Traditions With Science

Putting up the Christmas tree is one of my beloved holiday traditions. For many years, I went to a tree farm a couple of weeks before Christmas. We’d cut down a tree, bring it home, and decorate it. I wasn’t mixing holiday traditions with science back then. But the science of Christmas trees is fascinating.  The Traditions The Romans decorated their temples with fir trees for the festival of Saturnalia. Christians used fir trees as a sign of everlasting life with God. Many people credit the Germans with bringing the Christmas tree into their homes.  Records show that Martin Luther, a 16th century preacher, was one of the first to bring a Christmas tree into his house and put lights on it. Read more about the first Christmas trees. Oh Christmas Tree When shopping for a Christmas tree, we want the right shape, the right height, and color. We want the tree to hold on to its needles as long as possible. And we want the tree to look fresh for weeks. These are the traits Christmas tree growers want to foster in their trees. Fraser and noble firs are the most popular species for Christmas trees. Christmas trees are […]

A Team of Awesome Women & the Nobel Prize

Strong women come in all sizes, colors, religions, and abilities. Today we celebrate two women who discovered one of the greatest breakthroughs in the biological sciences. Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry this week for their development of a groundbreaking method for editing DNA. They discovered the genetic scissors called CRISPR/Cas9. It’s a tool that allows scientists to “snip” the DNA of organisms, “allowing for easy and precise genetic modifications.” https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=31760 They are the sixth and seventh women in history to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the first pair of women to win the chemistry prize. This team of awesome women teamed up for a common goal, and the results are world changing. Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives—choice, not chance, and determines your destiny. Aristotle (384-322 BC) Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier Emmanuelle Charpentier was born on December 11, 1968 in Juvisy-sur-Orge, a commune in northern France, 18km south-east of Paris.  Charpentier studied biochemistry, microbiology and genetics at the Pierre and Marie Curie University. She received a research doctorate from […]

Should You Worry About Saboteur Genetics?

Most of us are familiar with the discomfort of a mosquito bite. And unfortunately, many of us have acquired a disease from a mosquito bite. In January 2021, the eggs of more than 750 million genetically modified male mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys. Their modifications create a form of genetic sabotage. Should you worry about saboteur genetics? In today’s article, we’ll discuss the mosquito, the diseases carried by this species of mosquito, and what we know about this test.  The Mosquito Life Cycle There are 3,500-4,000 species of mosquitoes. Their life cycle from birth to larva takes from five to forty days, depending upon ambient temperatures, density of larval population, and food supply. Most mosquito lay their eggs on the surface of stagnant water. Clutches of eggs of hatch as soon as possible, and all the eggs in the clutch hatch into larvae at much the same time. As larvae, they are mobile and feed on algae and organic material. Larvae develop through four stages, then they metamorphose into pupae. Pupae typically hang from the surface of the water by their respiratory trumpets. Depending on temperature and other circumstances, in a few days the adult mosquito emerges. Adult Mosquitoes Within […]