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Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 1pm

Features

The Dropping Cost of Gene Sequencing

A Subsequent Rise in Medicine Personalization


As the lines separating biology, chemistry and computer science have yet again been blurred, new roads have been paved for the scientific advancements of tomorrow to begin today.

Genes are the units of heredity in living organisms. They are composed of stretches of DNA and RNA that code for other RNA chains and proteins, one of the chief building blocks of life. A decade ago, an international collaboration of scientists in the Human Genome Project successfully mapped and identified all of the genes that make up the human genome, the aggregate sum of all our genetic makeup – the cost of doing so, however, ran in the billions of dollars.

Recently, Bill Banyai, an optical physicist at Complete Genomics, designed a factory that, according to the New York Times,“automated and greatly lowered the cost of mapping the three billion base pairs that form the human genome.” His company is pushing to reduce that cost to under $1000, the applications of which are simply jaw dropping.

Young fields such as personalized medicine, gene therapy and genetic counseling will mature into integral parts of tomorrow’s medicine, branching out new lines of careers in bioinformatics, applied computing and molecular genetics, to name a few.

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Guiding Students to a Healthy College Experience

Meet Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services at the University


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For Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services, it has been 11 years of transforming students from adolescence to adulthood in terms of their health.

She’s cared for patients withdrawing from heroin, struggling from rape, sick with the stomach bug, and facing a variety of physical and mental health problems. She says, “We have had it all. We never really know what comes through the door.”

However, there is one event that Maloney said absolutely takes the cake.

She describes it as the “Pinewood Illness.” “A few years back, two girls [residents of Pinewood Hall at the time] came into the office with the most horrible looking throats. Red, swollen, horrible looking. Then, they started to break out in rashes all over. Itchy, itchy, itchy rashes. We could not figure out what it was. Then all of a sudden, other people on the same floor of Pinewood started having similar symptoms. And before you know it, it was almost the entire floor. We didn’t know if it was something in the floors, or something in the vents. The Department of Health was here and Facilities Management did testing of the vents.”

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Celebrity Culture: The Worldwide Obsession

What Fuels Our Fascination With Celebrities?


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What do you see when you walk through the checkout aisle at any grocery store? You are bombarded with tabloid magazine upon tabloid magazine with the face of a Kardashian plastered on the front cover. Although we would like to think that we have the willpower to turn our heads as we impatiently wait for the cashier to finally reach us in line, the truth of the matter is that some people give in to their curiosity and pick up the occasional Us Weekly or People magazine. What is it that draws us to celebrities and makes us incapable of completely ignoring them?

“Many members of the general American public are intrigued by the lives of celebrities for a variety of reasons,” said Mary Harris, public relations professor. “The media, at times, glorifies the rise and fall of famous individuals, including actors, singers, reality television personalities, athletes, politicians, and talk show hosts. Average citizens may be intrigued by the idea of the unique and almost unrealistic lifestyles of some of these celebrities.”

 Oftentimes, people look to celebrities to be the trendsetters. Although the Oscars are meant to be an evening to honor the great works in the film industry, most of us only watch the red carpet to see what Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Lopez is wearing.

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You Could Lose More Than Just Weight With Diet Pills

It’s that time of year again: Spring Break has ended and summer is around the corner. The birds are chirping, the trees are green and little string bikinis are scattered in the display windows once more. At this point in the year, one might think it is time to hit the gym, but no; students are heading to CVS to pick up the latest and greatest diet pill to hit the market, such as Hydroxycut and Trimspa.

Mary Lou Dalessandro, a Nurse Practitioner at the University, said, “Because obesity is an important health problem in this country, the desire to become thin is often a primary goal of college students. However, being thin and being healthy are not often the same. Many students turn to over-the-counter diet pills to achieve quick results.”

In some cases, diet pills are just the trick to lose that extra winter weight students are carrying around. Alex Cohen, a graduate student at the University, has taken diet pills and supplements for several years now. “I started taking Xenadrine to lose the small percentage of body fat that I had left. As a result I am now a personal trainer at the New York Sports Club. Without Xenadrine, I’m not sure I could have sculpted my abs enough. It was worth the risk of experiencing side effects,” said Cohen.

However, these little caffeine capsules do not always work so well. Kayla Nennecke, senior at Seton Hall University, knows all about the diet pill hype. “Last year I wasn’t quite ready for the summer so I decided to take Hydroxycut, which my friend had recommended,” she said.

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Ink: A Lifetime Relationship

A Bond With the Artist is Just as Important as the Tattoo


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Tommy Hare lies on the bench while tattoo artist Jason McGrady shades dimension into an angel’s wings. The ink on his skin is a reminder of his source of strength during his son’s battle with cancer. His entire left forearm, covered in shades of black and grey, represent’s Saint Michael and the word “Believe.”

Hare’s son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer mostly found in infants and young children, when he was just six-anda- half-years-old. Hare explained that prayer helped his family endure the difficulty of dealing with his son’s illness. “We always believed that he would make it,” he said. Now, his boy is a cancer-free nine-year-old.

Getting such a large tattoo is not a one-time sitting and it requires hours in the chair. The meaning of tattoos penetrates more than skin deep. People often get tattoos that represent or express something of significance in their life, but the ink is not the only thing that is meaningful. The tattoo artist behind the art can be just as important to the customer. Artists and their regular customers build a relationship in and out of the shop that keeps the tattooed coming back and the artists earning a living. Artists work hard to make their customers happy and take special care of the familiar faces.

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Are You Falling Asleep in Class?

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Students


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They are everywhere: walking zombies roaming the halls on their way to class in a trance-like haze. They are easy to spot, sporting heavy bags under their eyes, hair askew and wardrobe disheveled as if they got dressed with the leftover clothes scattered across their bedroom floor. Many can relate to this feeling, or appearance, because lack of sleep can affect anyone. Cramming for exams, staying up late to finish a paper due the next morning, or just having too much on the mind can affect sleep. If not kept in check, sleep deprivation can lead to many effects that can harm you in the long run if not taken care of when they first appear.

Sleep deprivation can be brought on by many differing factors. Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services, said that some of the contributing factors are overuse of stimulants (caffeine-related drinks especially taken late in the day/night) anxiety and depression, and stress. Many of these indicators are evident in students’ lives. It is easy to point out the victims of lack of sleep in many classes as well. Maloney said that some other effects of sleep deprivation are falling asleep in class, irritability, bloodshot eyes, bags under the eyes, and inability to focus.

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Einstein is Proven Right

Experiment Shows the Speed of Light Cannot Be Exceeded


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Last September, an international collaboration of 160 physicists from eleven countries at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, reported to have clocked subatomic particles known as neutrinos break the universally ubiquitous threshold of the speed of light, which is approximately 300 million meters per second.

In this experiment, known collectively as the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus (Opera), the particles were fired a distance of 454 miles from an underground research laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland to another in Gran Sasso, Italy at a reported 60 nanoseconds faster than the cosmic speed limit postulated by Albert Einstein in 1905.

This miniscule result had inundated seas of skepticism among the world’s scientific community. For if these results had held true, Einstein’s theory of relativity would have been directly contradicted, bellowing pretty much a Hurricane Katrina at the entire foundation the house of modern physics is built upon.

To the delight of the aforementioned skeptics, a research team led by Nobel Laureate physicist Carlo Rubbia reported recently that neutrinos do not, in fact, travel faster than the speed of light, reassuring Einstein’s theory that nothing in the universe can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, according to the New York Times.

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Living With a Severe Food Allergy

An Inside Look from a Student Who is Allergic to Peanuts


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Imagine having to walk through each day of your life worrying that anything you eat could end your life. Every time you go food shopping, you have to read the ingredients and make sure whatever it is you are allergic to is not found in that product. Imagine going out on a first date and you have to have the waiter check with the chef to make sure the food they are cooking does not contain the allergen as well. This is a small example of what it is like to live your life with a food allergy.

According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), 15 million people across the country have food allergies. Some of these allergies people are born with, but they can outgrow them. However for others, there are certain food allergies that are so severe that they are often lifelong. The one that I fall victim too is a peanut allergy, which according to the FAAN is one of the allergies known for being lifelong.

I became aware I had this allergy when I was just ninemonths- old. My mother gave me peanut butter on a Ritz cracker, but instead of eating it I thought it would be a great idea to rub the contents of the cracker all over my face. When I did this, I broke out in hives. My mother called the doctor and gave me Benadryl and the reaction subsided. Had I eaten that cracker I most likely would have died.

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Exoskeleton Gives Paraplegics a Chance to Walk

Ekso-Bionics Brings Freedom to Wheelchair-Bound


Most of us took our first steps as toddlers as we were watched excitedly by our parents in the comfort of our homes. As the days passed, we gained experience and walked upright, pushed our chests out and marveled at our own accomplishment.

As the days turned to years, some lost that privilege and were told by the doctor that we could not walk again. Car accidents, construction accidents surfing accidents, and skiing accidents among a myriad of others have robbed them of the freedom of walking free.

Recently, that freedom has not only been restored, but has been revamped like never before.

A collaboration of professionals in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, programming and medicine in the Californiabased

Ekso Bionics, has given people in wheelchairs a second opportunity at taking their first steps. Ekso is a bionic exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to stand up from their wheelchairs and walk upright. Armed with four motors and fifteen electrical sensors, the battery powered and ready-to-wear device allows the patient, according to eksobionics.com, to walk over ground with a natural gait, assisted by advanced balance and positioning systems. In only five minutes, the patient can transfer from his or her wheelchair to the device with minimal assistance, and on their own with experience.

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Our Neighbors in Sandy Hook

The Harbor Seals of Point Pleasant


The mackerels were flying back and forth, bubbles were being blown and fins were flapping. Then, I got a kiss from a harbor seal; a soft, moist velvet kiss on my forehead. So excuse me if I seem like a sucker for these guys, because I am.

But my story doesn’t start with the kiss. It starts at Sandy Hook on a January morning during low tide. A warm day for that time of year, the sun seemed to rise just for me, following my footsteps as I walked towards the sand bar on the bay side of Sandy Hook. T he sunbeams warmed me and I left my jacket unbuttoned.

New Jersey’s beaches in the winter are beautiful, unbeknownst to most local residents or seasonal tourists. Sandy Hook is no exception. While the “bennies” are back home in the north, hundreds of seals take to the sandbars and seas. The most common species is the Western Atlantic Harbor seal, but grey, harp, and hooded seals are also seen. All of these are categorized under the mammal subheading known as pinniped, which means “fin-footed” in Latin.

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What to Know About Living Off-Campus

As students move up in their college careers, many develop a desire to live off-campus. While many look forward to making the transition from on-campus to off, there are responsibilities and things to keep in mind that go into living on your own.

Finding a Rental

There are multiple things to consider when looking for a rental. Numerous and varied housing options are offered to students and those should determine what type of housing they want before contacting landlords and realtors.

One of the options is to live in an apartment building; which there are many large and small apartment buildings in the Monmouth University area. Apartment buildings generally contain studio to two bedroom units. Houses are another option where you can find single, two, and three bedroom houses in areas surrounding the University.

“I like living in a house because there is more space to move around,” said junior David DeSimone.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu