Sunday, April 29, 2018

David Weild AP Bio, C-odd Current Event 23 4/30/18 “Why a Robot Can't Yet Outjump a Flea.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 26 Apr. 2018,

David Weild
AP Bio, C-odd
Current Event 23
“Why a Robot Can't Yet Outjump a Flea.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 26 Apr. 2018,

The article which I reviewed “Why a Robot Can't Yet Outjump a Flea.” by Science Daily was about creating a robot with the speed and power to possibly outjump a flea. The article starts off by saying “Take the smashing mantis shrimp, a small crustacean not much bigger than a thumb. Its hammer-like mouthparts can repeatedly deliver 69-mile-per-hour wallops more than 100 times faster than the blink of an eye to break open hard snail shells.” This sets the stage for science to raise the bar on mother nature. Before getting into the actual science, the article lists more animal features like “One of the fastest accelerations known on Earth is the hydra's sting. These soft-bodied aquatic creatures defend themselves with help from capsules along their tentacles that act like pressurized balloons. When triggered, they fire a barrage of microscopic poison spears that briefly accelerate 100 times faster than a bullet.” to build up suspense. A Umass scientist says “However, it's not clear how these mechanisms work together to enhance power.” To challenge mother nature the team "tries to develop a model that is equally generalizable to biological or engineered systems.” This team is doing trials to get closer and maybe actually completing their goal with different robots like the tested bugs. "If you have a particular size robot that you want to design, for example, it would allow you to better explore what kind of spring you want, what kind of motor you want, what kind of latch you need to get the best performance at that size scale, and understand the consequences of those design choices," Bergbreiter said. The article never concludes the experiment since it is ongoing but this is bound to be a big breakthrough for science once the team completes their goal.
This article was relevant because of the constant tests scientists are doing to be able to uncover the secrets of the animal kingdom. This will affect society by allowing us to use new and better technology for travel and just to plainly make life more simple. In addition, this will help scientists uncover new information by further exploration of this new technology.

This article was strong in the sense that it cited a lot of scientists doing the experiment. However, it was rather disappointing to not have a conclusion to the experiment. To improve this article, the author should update the article when the conclusion is found or should have just posted the article when the conclusion is found.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

AIDS Researcher Top Candidate to Lead the C.D.C.

David Weild
AP Biology- EF Even
March 18th,  2018

Kaplan, Sheila  “AIDS Researcher Top Candidate to Lead the C.D.C.The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Jan. 2018,

This week I decided to read the article, “AIDS Researcher Top Candidate to Lead the C.D.C.,” by New York Times writer, Sheila Kaplan. This article focused on an AIDS researcher to be the top candidate to lead the C.D.C.. Dr. Robert R. Redfield, a founder of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is the leading candidate to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has been cited to lead a “program providing H.I.V. care and treatment to more than 6,000 patients in the Baltimore-Washington area, according to the university’s website. The institute has received more than $138 million in C.D.C. grants to combat H.I.V./AIDS and other health issues in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.” The previous leader of the CDC was Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, who resigned in January after about six months following reports that she held investments in tobacco and health care companies that posed potential conflicts of interest. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend a Democrat and a former lieutenant governor of Maryland states that “I think he’s a superb candidate, first rate.” In an article like this about a strong candidate, it is essential to have professional opinions being cited as why or why not they think that this person is a good candidate.
This article is relevant in many ways. First, it gives us an insight on a strong candidate we may see running the CDC someday. This allows us to form somewhat of our own opinions on if we think he is well suited for the job. This article also informs us on as to why the former president of the CDC is not in that position anymore.  

I read this article because I have heard a lot about corruption in the government while I took APES and I figured this to be a reason why the president of the CDC is no longer the president.  The article did not go into depth on who the other candidates are for the job. I also wish that the author had given more information on Dr. Redfield. The author did a good with explaining why the former leader of the CDC resigned. This was an interesting article to learn more about who is behind leading the CDC formerly and who will be in the future.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

“Prospective birth control pill for men has its origin in an arrow poison”

David Weild
Mr. Ippolito

“Prospective birth control pill for men has its origin in an arrow poison”
Society, American Chemical. “Prospective Birth Control Pill for Men Has Its Origin in an Arrow Poison.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily,

This article is about a new pill which has not been released but is a possible future contraceptive for men. This option comes from ouabain. This is a drug that comes from two African plants “ that are thought to help control blood pressure; doctors sometimes prescribe small doses of the compound to treat heart attack patients.” In addition, “Ouabain disrupts the passage of sodium and calcium ions through the membrane protein Na,K-ATPases, which are are found in cell membranes and are made up of protein subunits.” Ouabain has proven to stop sperm by binding to Na,K-ATPase subunits. Unfortunately this causes a high risk of heart damage. The ouabain causes  stops the sperm “cells' ability to swim, which is essential to its role in fertilizing an egg, the scientists showed. The compound had no toxicity in rats. The researchers say that the contraceptive effect should be reversible because ?4 is only found on mature sperm cells.” This means that once this drug is no longer taken, sperm production will go back to normal.

This article is very relevant to society for many reasons. First of all, currently the only birth control drugs are for females. Having a birth control option for men would allow men to make the same choices women have while considering a child.In addition, this would not put all of the pressure on women to take birth control if men had a safe option to do so as well.

This article had strengths and weaknesses. A strength of the article was citing that the drug was not safe but possibly will be in the future. This was important to tell people if they were wondering when the drug would be available. However, some of the article lacked information about how this drug would work in some places filling some spots of the article with only “?4.” I suggest to improve, the author should do more research on this topic and edit the current article once there is more information discovered.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

“Girls Will Be Boys: Sex Reversal in Dragon Lizards.”

David Weild
AP-Bio, C-Odd
Current Event 10

Professor Georges, Arthur. “Girls Will Be Boys: Sex Reversal in Dragon Lizards.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily,

For this week’s current event, I decided to review Professor Arthur George's article titled “Girls Will Be Boys: Sex Reversal in Dragon Lizards,” I chose this article because we have been learning about species changing their sex in class so I wanted to learn more about it and I saw this article. This article was about an Australian lizard species which can grow the lizard equivalent of a penis during development if need be. This was discovered when  the University of Canberra and CSIRO found this happening to the body and genitalia of male dragons which reverse their sex at high temperature treatment. The study was done with “female dragons at normal and high temperatures," Dr Weisbecker said. Then "Our team incubated 265 bearded dragon eggs at two temperatures -- either at 28 or 36 degrees Celsius, the latter of which causes genetically male dragons to reverse their sex.” In addition the team cited that "I noticed that female embryos first grew a pair of hemipenes, just like male embryos, and only lost them closer to hatching," said Ms Whiteley. Based on temperature development in snakes and lizards’ genitalia will vary. This article also states how there is not much knowledge regarding this phenomenon but there will be more research done in the future.

This article is important for a number of reasons. In society today we are dealing with lots of XY chromosome and other chromosome problems. Also there are many hermaphroditic animals and finding out the conditions that they turn genders is important because if they have to reproduce we as humans want to be able to help them continue their species to keep them alive

This article was very strong but the author still could have done some things better. For example, the article did a great job describing the study. Also, he described certain parts using quotes from the research team. As well as this he describes the lizard’s origins and tells the reader what the article will be about in the first two sentences and the title. One thing the author can do better is tell the reader where he will go from having this data and what he plans to do with it and plan further experiments. I felt like I was left hanging at the end of the article because there was not really a proper ending.

Friday, October 20, 2017

F.D.A. Approves Second Gene-Altering Treatment for Cancer

F.D.A. Approves Second Gene-Altering Treatment for Cancer

David Weild
AP-Bio C-Odd
Current Event 5

I read the New York Times article “F.D.A. Approves Second Gene-Altering Treatment for Cancer,” by Denise Grady about a new drug called “Yescarta.” This drug is an  “F.D.A. Approve[ed] Second Gene-Altering Treatment for Cancer.” Kite Pharma is the company behind this new and impressive drug. Yescarta is eligible for adults with non-hodgkin's lymphoma to use.  Specifically, Yescarta turns cells into a drugs.  This branch of treatment is called Immunotherapy and Gene therapy is a sub-category.
This drug is only available to a specific group of people. Patients must fail at least two rounds of chemotherapy.  In most cases, Yescarta allows for a longer remission for most people.  Yescarta originated by injection through a vein by creator, Dr. Steven Rosenberg.  Doctors have described the results of Yescarta as remarkable.

Cleary, there are side effects to every drug. Yescarta’s include, “high fevers, crashing blood pressure, lung congestion, and neurological problems.” Side effects of this drug can be so serious they have been known to kill some people. Lately, doctors are finding out new ways to counter side effects and help their patients live. The author cited information Kite Pharma and the uses of Yescarta. The author gave background information on Immunotherapy which I had never heard of before which was very helpful to me. Maybe this strong drug could actually reach more patients of lymphoma. Cancer drugs like chemotherapy can usually be used in multiple types of cancer. If Yescarta can expand, it’s use would be vital to lots of people. As well as this, background was given about the use of the drug -- T-cells are removed and then freezed which are then engineered to kill other cancer cells.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mark Sears   11-11-15 C Block Odd Current Event

Intuitive control of robotic arm using thoughts alone
By University of Southern California - Health Sciences

A paralyzed man with the help of Caltech and Keck Medicine of USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center got a robotic arm. The man has a neural prosthetic implant in a section in the brain that creates intentions. The robotic arm can perform basic motor skills like shaking a hand and drink a beverage.

The scientists implanted the device into Erik G. Sorto’s brain. Sorto is the first ever paralyzed patient to ever control a robotic arm with his mind. The device was not attached to his motor cortex but the his posterior parietal cortex (PPC) which is the part of the brain that creates intent to move, this lead to a faster and more fluent reaction time between his thoughts and the arm.
In animal tests it was found that the PCC that creates the intent to move. The patient has to imagine the task or goal and the brain activity was decoded by the scientists and the information sent to the robotic arm to follow out. The first day Sorto tried to control the arm it worked, and after a few weeks he refined his skills and completed the task at hand.  I think this is enough information and evidence to prove that this surgery will be successful again and advance the life of many people with paralysis.

The author did a very good job writing this article. The article is very well written and is very factual about the whole process of the surgery and the controlling of the arm.  I think this is a very successful trial and process, but I still have more questions about making more parts of the body and if they could be connected. The author did an exquisite job getting research about how it was done, how it works, and how it was possible. The author is slanted towards the side of the scientist, but I do not think that deeply affected the article and it’s content.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gabe Morato
Earth Science- D odd
Mrs McClellan
November 6, 2015

Asteroid impact, volcanism were one-two punch for dinosaurs

Richards, Mark. "Asteroid Impact, Volcanism Were One-two Punch for Dinosaurs."
ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

The article I read was called, Asteroid impact, volcanism were one-two punch for dinosaurs, which was a very interesting article written by Mark Richards. The article begins by explaining that many scientists pick one of the two disasters to account for the extinction of dinosaurs, but there is now evidence that proves that both the asteroid and the volcanoes led to the extinction of dinosaurs. It says that, “Both the impact and the volcanism would have blanketed the planet with dust and noxious fumes, drastically changing the climate and sending many species to an early grave” (Richards). The article also states that many geologists believe that the asteroid impact caused the volcanoes to become more active, which eventually led to the extinction of dinosaurs. Richards also goes on to say that ever since the discovery of evidence of an asteroid strike, scientists have been split in blaming the asteroid, or the Deccan Traps, which are huge volcanic eruptions in India. But, they did find evidence that tied both of the disasters together. Before the asteroid strike, the volcanos were much more inactive, and they didn’t spew out as much lava. “After the impact, the eruption rate more than doubled and the volcanism became more punctuated, with more voluminous lava flows interspersed with long periods of quiet. This is consistent with a change in the underground plumbing feeding the flows, he said: Smaller magma chambers before the impact became larger, which means they took longer to fill but spewed more lava when they did erupt” (Richards). The article ends by explaining that they are still trying to answer questions that they still have on the correlation between the asteroid and the volcanos.

This article is very important still today. If they find a lot of evidence that these two disasters, it completely changes people’s views on what ended life so many years ago. It would bring a new explanation for the extinction of dinosaurs, which would change the world. Many people only believed that the asteroid killed all the dinosaurs, but this article shows that there were massive volcanic eruptions that aided in killing the dinosaurs.

This was a very good article, and I do not have many suggestions for the author. First of all, I really liked how it showed both sides of the argument, but then he explained that there was evidence that tied moth sides together. I also really liked how the article was split into two big parts, and those parts were split into small and concise paragraphs. Finally, I liked how the author used a lot of facts and quotations. This really left an impact on me, and it showed that the author was very dedicated, and it really helped me comprehend the information in the article. But, I do have one suggestion for the author. I think something that could have helped him prove his point would be to put other ideas about the extinction of dinosaurs, and then proving them wrong, which would make his idea even more appealing and impactful. Overall, this was a very well-crafted article with very few mistakes or problems.