The Student News Site of Ithaca College

The Ithacan

The Student News Site of Ithaca College

The Ithacan

The Student News Site of Ithaca College

The Ithacan

Archaeologists make great finds in Great Britain and Mexico

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 27, 2013
When people hear the world “archaeologist,” the image of a pith-helmeted historian tiring under the desert sun with a brush to uncover a perfect and complete T. rex skeleton. While full skeletons are a rarity, these scientists have found some neat collections, including the grave of what might have been an ancient queen, and they’ve…

Celebrating the master recipe book of life

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 25, 2013
DNA is some pretty cool stuff. If you think about it, it’s something as simple as some sugar, some phosphates, and a few different rings made of carbon and nitrogen. Sounds pretty elementary, but consider that this combination creates what is essentially the family heirloom cookbook that contains all the recipes to produce, say, a…

White House hosts third annual Science Fair

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 23, 2013
Kids today have so many more opportunities than I did in school. I never got to bring my science fair projects down to DC to present to the president. Then again, my projects were pretty terrible: one involved slamming Lego boxes together in the tub to mimic plate tectonics and tsunamis, and the other involved…

Prehistoric fish’s genome may show how fins turned to feet

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 18, 2013
Dinosaurs themselves may no longer roam the earth, but many of their relatives are still around today as birds, including birds and members of the Crocodilia family. Fish from the order Coelacanthiformes were thought to have gone extinct during the mass event that wiped out the dinosaurs until one was caught in the 1930s. Since…

Supreme Court to decide on gene patenting

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 14, 2013
After reviewing the DOMA and Proposition 8 cases this spring, the Supreme Court will begin looking into a case regarding whether human DNA can be patented by the research laboratories or universities that have discovered and sequenced them. Myriad Genetics, based out of Salt Lake City, patented the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which have been…

Nonprofit proposes extensive science ed reform plan

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 11, 2013
Several studies by the US Department of Education show that American students are academically behind on STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – subjects as compared to their peers in Europe and Asia. Personal struggles with the subject become more pronounced when students specialize in college: I have friends in the humanities who loathe…

They’re coming: Eastern seaboard preparing for cicadas

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 8, 2013
While it’s not quite the swarm of locusts of Biblical lore, this year’s appearance of the Brood II periodical cicada is sure to be a big one. From Connecticut to Virginia, these bugs will be out and about, covering any vertical surface they can find and filling the air with their distinctive chorus. Periodical cicadas…

NASA unveils new planet hunt, accelerates asteroid landing plans

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 7, 2013
Despite the drop in federal funding this year, NASA has some upcoming programming that will give life to the administration and American space exploration. Curiosity, Opportunity, and the Voyager spacecrafts are alive and well, but NASA announced plans for a planet-searching satellite and an ISS experiment to study neutron stars this weekend. Earlier this week,…

Breath tests show unique patterns among different people

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 4, 2013
As technology advances, so does medicine, especially when it comes to genetic conditions and treatments. Before the development of the polymerase chain reaction 30 years ago, for example, scientists would need a large sample of DNA to run tests on; today, PCR allows testing to be done from a small sample of DNA by replicating…

Genetic disorder may hold clue to cancer immunity

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer April 2, 2013
Rising obesity levels are leading to an increase in cases of cancer, diabetes, and other health issues. However, a study that has continued over several decades has shown that individuals with a certain type of genetic dwarfism may be immune to these illnesses. Cancer is caused by uncontrolled cell division, and an overabundance of growth…

Violins engineered to imitate human voice, studies show

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer March 31, 2013
As a member of IC’s Gamer Symphony Orchestra, I hear the conductors referring to instruments “singing” pretty frequently. A lot of our music is written for instruments to substitute for vocals, so breathing patterns and articulations have to be tweaked to produce a sound that’s less like a machine and more like a voice. Recent…

Entomophobes, steer clear: millipedes now come in glow-in-the-dark

By Amanda Hutchinson, Contributing Writer March 28, 2013
The phylum Arthropoda makes up more than 80% of the known animal species on Earth today, so even though there are a lot of pretty butterflies to look at, there are also a lot of creepy crawlies and otherwise scary creatures that many people are afraid of. I’m personally not a fan of centipedes, and…
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