Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Giving Life to Synthetic Organs

features-giving-life-to-synthetic-organsThree short years ago, Andemariam Beyene was studying geology for his PhD in Iceland when his physicians found out he had a golfball sized tumor growing in his trachea (windpipe) which blocked his breathing. After going through aggressive rounds of surgery and radiation therapy, Beyene’s health continued to deteriorate, according to The New York Times, as the tumor still persisted.

It seemed as though all hope had been lost, for without a transplant, Beyene would almost certainly have died. Beyene soon thereafter enrolled in a revolutionary operation. Tissue engineers from London created an artificial windpipe of a special plastic and coated it with somatic stem cells from Beyene. According to BBC, an Italian physician, Paolo Macchiarini, at the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, led the pioneering surgery.

The technique is special in the regard that it does not require a donor. It uses the patient’s own somatic stem cells to vascularize and coat the artificial organ with “cells, blood vessels, and nerves to become a living functional part of the human body,” said Henry Fountain of The New York Times.

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Suicide Awareness Month Brings Hope to Troubled Minds

It’s 4 am and the phone is glued to my right ear. Leaning against the bed, with my legs splayed out across the floor, I am chatting with a life-long friend about our significant others.

At the age of 17, I found a guy I was completely in love with and devoted 14 months to our relationship. My friend was also in a longterm relationship. Our two boyfriends had one thing in common though: A dark side.

As much as we tried to talk to the guys about it, the conversation never really went anywhere. I had just spoken to my boyfriend Lee, two hours earlier and he sounded really depressed. After repeatedly asking him if he was alright, he didn’t tell me what was going on with him. Jenny and I were talking about it when the call waiting beeped in.

I put her on hold and heard the voice of Lee’s brother on the other end of the line.

“Lee hung himself,” he said. “What?” I did not believe what I was hearing. “Is he OK?”

“No Michelle,” he answered. “He’s dead.”

In that very second, my world was ripped away from me. All the air was sucked out of the room. I desperately held on to the idea that the paramedics could save him. I kept saying, “He’s going to be OK though, right?”

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Like Brother, Like Sister, Like Brother

Two Out of Three Triplets Discuss Life on Campus with Their Siblings

College is supposed to be the time when young adolescents branch out, find their independence, learn to do their own laundry and create a healthy distance between themselves and their families. This was not the case with triplets Danielle, Anthony and Michael Branco.

All three juniors study at the University, though that was not the initial plan. Danielle and Anthony explain how they ended up at the same institution.

“I was actually torn between The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and Monmouth University, and my one brother, Michael, attended Montclair University his first year,” said Danielle. “Knowing that my other brother was going to Monmouth University was a small safety net, but I do not think it truly influenced my decision because Monmouth was a lot closer to my house and it saved me the most money.”

“I did not plan on attending the same school as both my siblings,” remarked Anthony. “I knew Danielle was interested, but I always thought I would go somewhere far. My brother started at Montclair and transferred here, so I had no idea we would be at the same school together.”

Although the Branco siblings attend the same University, they all major in areas of their own, independent interests. Danielle is majoring in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and Journalism, while Anthony majors in Business Marketing and Michael in Computer Science. “We all have different majors and different interests, which is pretty cool because it sets each of us apart,” said Anthony.

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A Look Inside the Burning Bravery of a Fireman

For decades now, firefighters have been an instrumental part of our society. They are the ones who strap up in their turnout jacket, pants, boots, and hard helmet to go into burning buildings when everyone else is running out of them. The firefighters go in fearless and face the intense heat of the flames and the blinding, suffocating smoke. They do this because it is their job and is what they chose to do for a living. It’s a part of being in a special brotherhood.

On 9/11, their bravery made national headlines. Three-hundredforty- three firefighters gave their lives to try to save people from the World Trade Center. So many people across the country were grateful for their efforts, but as time went on it seemed to be forgotten that firefighters are still out there day in and day out giving their all and putting their lives on the line for their job.

Former Deputy Chief of the Linden Fire Department, Danny Gurrera, was a part of the firefighter brotherhood for 32 years before retiring in June 2011. For each and every one of those years, he gave the job his everything.

Danny, who is happily married and is the father of two sons, stands at 5’10 and is in great physical shape with a short military style haircut and a goatee that is now speckled with grey. His physique has been something that his fellow firefighters have joked with him about over the years. At his retirement dinner, when his name was called the entire room was flooded with the sounds of chirping. It turns out that many of his fellow firefighters said with his muscular upper body and skinny legs, he resembled a bird.

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Creative Learning in the Art and Design Department

Creative LearningIt has been said that the two sides of the brain are composed of completely separate traits and operations; the left side being the logical perspective and the right being the creative outlook. Both are facets that are divided down the middle, yet they merge together to form the mind as a whole. It’s a yin and yang kind of relationship, one that is said to be necessary for the mind to operate and function. Here at the University, such psychological divisions are being fused together by those involved in the arts.

Whether it is studio or graphic, art students on campus are displaying masterful understandings of the teachings in their particular area of interest.

Through such courses as Basic Design Comprehension, Art History and Graphic Design, students are not only taking in their lessons but going the extra step in the terms of exercising their creativity in the area.

Crowds of freshmen are drawn in every year because of current students’ great talents here. First year student Tyler Aberdeen, a studio and fine arts major, is one of these individuals. “I chose Monmouth because of the fine arts program. I remember looking through other colleges and the student works there, but the stuff being done here just caught my eye,” says Aberdeen. He goes on to mention visiting the Ice House Gallery and the gallery in Pollak Theater while on a tour on campus last fall. “I was just amazed by both the student and faculty works and knew that’s what I wanted to do and this is where I wanted it to be done,” said Aberdeen.

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Researchers’ Guide to the Galaxy

Guggenheim Library Offers Resources Accessible to Students Anywhere

features_libraryresourcesMany students have heard about the wealth of history behind the University’s Guggenheim Library, but how many are aware of the wealth inside of it? Plenty of students have taken advantage of the free computer and printing and copying access that the library offers, as well they should. However, the University strives to educate its students about the resources offered to assist students in their academic careers.

“We have almost 300,000 books,” said Assistant Librarian and Coordinator of Reference Services and Special Collections, George Germek, “and we have thousands and thousands of online databases, limitless really, too many to mention because they grow every day.” These hundreds of thousands of online resources are products of the technological advances made in the 21st century. However, other old fashioned resources have not become outdated, and are not suspected to in the near future.

“We also have printed periodicals, too,” said Germek. “Certain people in the humanities—English, history, people of that background—will still use print extensively.”

Though printed resources are still widely used among students and faculty, certain areas of study are really benefitting from the online research aids available to them, according to Germek.

“Social studies and some of the maths in this world, they use a lot of digital depositories, but not everyone.”

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Junk DNA Recycled From the Attic

features_scienceWith respect to the unprecedented advancements seen in genetics in the past few decades such as the Human Genome Project, the advent of gene therapy, and recently, the Human Epigenome Project, we are better able to begin traversing through the vast ocean of uncertainty that circumscribes our ancestry and our individuality. Through this journey, we are now beginning to understand the genetic basis for disease on a whole new level that is allowing us to treat patients on an increasingly personalized basis, one down to the very building blocks that makes up their genomes.

The genome, which consists of the aggregate sum of all the genetic information in our bodies, is composed of a tightly packed molecule known as DNA, a very small fraction of which we have known to actually code for protein. Until recently, its larger counterpart laid dormant as a gray area as we did not fully understand its function and, consequently, was labeled as “Junk” DNA.

30 research papers published last week in major peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, and The Journal of Biological Chemistry, among others, contend that the vast majority of our genome, this so-called “Junk” DNA, does, in fact, have some biochemical purpose, according to the New York Times.

The papers represent a decade’s worth of work by an international collaboration of 440 scientists from 32 laboratories in the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project. ENCODE was launched by the National Human Genome Research Institute, according to the National Institutes of Health, back in September 2003 with the intention of identifying all functional elements of the human genome.

Daniel Goldenberg, senior psychology major at the University, thinks that the discovery of the function of such “junk” components of DNA is a significant and worthwhile asset to the journey of human development. “Furthermore, it is a stepping stone from which we can be able to unlock the mystery behind it all.”

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Realizations of an Addict

Former Addicts Explain Rock Bottom and Their Road to Recovery

The disease of addiction is a vampire. It sucks the life out of every aspect of a person’s existence. Addiction takes over the body, the mind, and destroys the soul. Age, race, gender or occupation makes no difference to the disease. Its ultimate goal is to take your life, unless you make the decision to save it.

“The moment I realized I was an addict was actually when I had the spiritual awakening,” Michele I. said, requesting her last name be withheld. “I was at a New Year’s Eve party and I got this overwhelming feeling like if I took one more hit, one more sip, or one more bump of anything, I was not going to wake up the next morning.” She heard the crowd countdown to midnight from her bed in another room.

“The next morning I had to figure out how to get help,” Michele said. She had just finished her undergraduate studies in criminal justice at a university in New York state six months prior. She returned home to her parents’ house immediately after the holiday and endured a painful detox on the couch from alcohol, cocaine and prescription pills. Now, ten years later, Michele has not touched a drink or drug since that night.

For some addicts, it is not always a realization that leads directly to seeking help.

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Skills That Will Score the Coveted Job

features-jobWith graduation impending for many in a matter of weeks, soon-to-be graduates are busy putting the finishing touches on their resumes in order to impress and hopefully get that sought-after yet very mythical callback. If one is lucky, they will be called for an interview.

What happens, though, as one is waiting in the office, sweating through the expensive suit or name-brand blouse waiting for their chance to astound? In today’s market, it helps to be different than the rest of the candidates in the pool and to be able to stand out among the rest. It benefits to know and possess some unconventional job skills in today’s working world.

So the day of the interview has finally arrived. Now what? Person after person, parent after parent, all have their two cents to put in when it comes to making an impression on the hiring employer. Many more people have seen the countless pages of news articles regarding what to say and what not to say at a job interview. Majority of the skills mentioned in said articles are generic and most often come across the minds of most people as common sense.

For example, in today’s technology-driven society and work force, it pays to know and be able to work with computers and the ever-growing social media movement. “Many employers today are using social media in the workplace, so a knowledge of how to use social media in a professional setting is helpful,” William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services said.

Beyond social media and other technology-savvy innovations, it’s important to be aware of skills that are not as common and tapped-in yet. Something as simple as being polite and grateful to superiors and fellow employees goes a long way when it comes to being considered for a position. Some people forget the thought and meaning behind a simple thank-you or an e-mail that was returned in an orderly time frame. “Common courtesy, while not often considered a ‘skill,’ is nonetheless critical to new employees. For example, not returning calls or e-mails promptly, not turning off cell phones in meetings, showing up late, or texting while in a meeting all contribute to a negative impression in the workplace,” Hill said.

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The Evolution of Supercomputers

features-super-computerIf you bought a computer within the last few years, you probably realize that it can run circles around the old desktop you had lying around your house from a decade ago. The speed in loading webpages, playing games, editing media,and processing information has appeared to have exponentially increased compared to the ancient former.

Who doesn’t remember the days of using dial-up internet and hoping that no one would call home as the phone line was occupied by the modem? Then came DSL and fiber optics and our freedom of using the phone while surfing the web was established as a new norm. A few years down the road, the majority of advances of desktop computers, mainly processing power, had begun to migrate to laptops and recently, to smartphones.

This trend is the result of an observation made in 1965 by the cofounder of Intel, Gordon Moore, which is known as Moore’s Law. It states that the number of transistors per square inch on an integrated circuit will double every two years, according to

Transistors are semiconductors which are the fundamental components of most electronic devices. They can act as amplifiers by controlling a large electrical output signal with changes to a small input signal (much the same way as a small amount of effort is used to allow a faucet to release a large volume of water). Transistors can also act as switches that can open and close very quickly to regulate the current flowing through an electrical circuit.

The evolution of supercomputers is no exception to Moore’s Law. The modern Cray XT5 Jaguar supercomputer performed 1.4 petaflops in 2008, whereby processing almost nine million times more flops than the famous Cray-1 supercomputer from 1976, according to cray. com. A “flop” is an acronym for a floating point operation per second which is a way to measure a computer’s performance, generally in processing power.

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How to Not be Treated Like a "Winter Rental"

features-winter-rentalIMAGE TAKEN from lovestorywedding.comSummer is almost here and “single” is in the air. All year long from the first week of September until Memorial Day weekend, we sit around pining for “the one.” But something about summer triggers a sense of freedom in the blood. Your friends are all coming home from school, you’re starting that new lifeguarding job, classes are over and any type of responsibility sounds like torture.

Those of us that are in rela­tionships suddenly feel trapped and those of us that are already single feel like we’ve hit the lot­tery. There’s no better time to be single than D’Jais opening week­end. “Last year, my boyfriend and I broke up in the beginning of May. It wasn’t the greatest relationship and I knew the summer was going to have much more to offer,” said Samantha LaRocca, senior.

So the real question here is: If you are one of those unlucky suck­ers who find themselves stuck in a relationship, how do you hold onto the love until September is in sight again? Chances are, at least one of the two people in every relation­ship is looking for an easy way out before June 1 hits. “Everybody breaks up in April or May. Most people don’t want to be held back over the summer,” said Dimitri Di­Marco, student at the University.

If fate has it that you are not looking to dance half-naked on the bar at Bar Anticipation every “Sun­day Funday” this summer and you actually like your significant other, I am here to teach you how to hold onto your beloved.

First, if you are in any way clingy, lay off immediately. No­body wants a needy partner calling them every five minutes while they are getting their tan on at 16th Av­enue in Belmar. Realize that you too need to enjoy your summer.

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Contact Information

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

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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151