From archive

Science Studies and its Mea Culpas

Note that this piece was written to accompany an excellent radio documentary series produced by the award winning Cited, and called “Technocracy and its Discontents.” Click here to catch the first episode, “The Science Wars”. * * * There has been something rather strange happening in a marginal corner of the humanities called science studies. Science studies is claiming itself responsible for creating our ‘post-truth’ political climate. These left-wing scholars are reckoning with the uncomfortable possibility that their sophisticated sociological investigations of science enabled climate denialism, Donald Trump, and the Brexit campaign (Fuller, 2018; Latour, 2004). What are we to make…

Ghosts Are Everywhere

Large, emerald mountains materialize through the haze as our ferry approaches Tokashiki. The landscape is a contrast to the flat terrain and the bustle of Okinawa. The ride becomes rough as we get closer, but the bumps are no problem. I’m on boats regularly for work. I can handle waves. Due to lack of sleep, I barely made the ferry on time, boarding at exactly nine in the morning. The boat departed seconds later. A similar event happened yesterday when I nearly missed my flight from Kyushu to the Ryukyu Islands. The doors of the plane closed two minutes after…

Expression Changes of Genes Associated With Structural Proteins May Be Related to Adaptive Skin Characteristics Specific to Metamorphmagi

(Click on the front page image to download the full article) Abstract: Metamorphmagi have the ability to change their physical characteristics at will, without requiring the use of potions or spells. As such, metamorphmagi skin contains morphologically and functionally distinct properties from non-metamorphmagi skin, providing metamorphagi with heightened skin flexibility and durability. However, previous studies that have examined metamorphmagi are largely qualitative or anecdotal. Thus, we aimed to quantitatively compare metamorphmagi skin to non-metamorphmagi skin and examine the genetic causes underlying metamorphmagi-specific skin characteristics.. We performed histology on cross-sections of skin and quantitatively demonstrated that the epidermis and dermis of…

Introducing the Phylo Trading Card Game DIY Home School Activity.

With the pandemic being part of our daily lives, school has had to make some adjustments. Because of this, the SCQ thought it would be cool to point out one of our sister projects: one that we’re certain would be a great way to learn some science, think about the environment, and all the while, have some fun by creating your own game. It’s called the Phylo project, and read on to hear more and see how you can participate! WHAT IS PHYLO? The Phylo Trading Card Game (TCG) is a project that began as a reaction to the following…

The Unicorn Microbiome: A proposed microbial mechanism for the rainbow pigments in unicorn poop.

(Click on the front page image to download the full article) Summary: Unicorns (Equus unicornis) are a rare terrestrial mammal, which have been noted to produce a variegated pigmented feces that is often referred to as “rainbow poop.” Despite considerable commercial interest in unicorn rainbow poop, the mechanism leading to this rainbow-pigmentation remains unknown. Microbial metabolism—including the production of pigments— can influence the perceived color of animal excreta. To determine if the rainbow pigments of unicorn feces could have a microbial origin, we used a bioinformatic and microbial cultivation-based approach. To establish what microorganisms could be producing such colored pigments,…

My Apologies for Predicting Our Current Dystopia

Dear Thesis Committee Members, Thank you for your feedback on my latest draft. I was a little confused by your criticism that my dystopian sci-fi screenplay read as too accurate and the subsequent questions insinuating my possible membership in a clandestine deep state conspiracy. When I started writing a satire of late-stage capitalism involving a global pandemic, it was with the honest intention of crafting a creative piece. I did not have insider information (no, I am not a secret epidemiologist), and I did not have a pipeline of information from any corporation that would benefit from our current crisis.…

The Journey of Kale: Why What We Eat Matters

ORIGIN STORY: MY FRIDGE This afternoon I opened my fridge, pulled out the crisper drawer, and grabbed a bundle of kale to add to my lunch. With this seemingly routine activity, I noticed for the first time that my kale bore a label for “Joe Heger Farms”. Who is Joe Heger? A quick google search revealed that Joe Heger, his farm, and my kale’s birthplace were over 2,500 km south of the border in El Centro, California. Somehow, they had found their way to my table in Vancouver, British Columbia. The marvel of being an eater in twenty-first century North…

Genetic Association between WZRD-1 Variants and the Variation in Magical Abilities in Canadians

(Click on the front page image to download the full article) Abstract: Current literature lacks a consensus on the mechanism of biological inheritance of magical abilities. Past findings have suggested that the presence of restriction enzyme digestion sites in WZRD-1 are associated with variations in human magical abilities. In this study, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) was performed to characterize the genetic sequence of WZRD-1 in 610 Canadian subjects. These individuals were divided into three cohorts as determined by their magical abilities and blood status. Four genetic variants within WZRD-1 were identified, and the genotypic and allelic frequencies were determined for…