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An ambitious 16-year-old looking to impact the world through emerging biotech.
Image Source: 123RF

Increased medical waste poses a threat to public health & the future of our planet

When we think of climate change, we often point to industries such as energy, transportation, and agriculture as big contributors to global emissions. However, there is one player that is often overlooked: healthcare.

If healthcare were a country, it would be the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet. That’s a carbon footprint the same as the emissions of 514 coal-fired power plants, equivalent to 4.4% of global net emissions.

When looking specifically at the US, the healthcare industry accounts for 10% of our carbon emissions and 9% of harmful non-greenhouse air pollutants. …


Returning to an ‘old school’ model of computation is the future

Image Source: BBC

This is a review article that briefly goes over different aspects of this topic. Just a couple of quick points:
— circuits // when I refer to circuits, it’s based on the analogy of comparing cellular pathways to electronic circuits. These ‘circuits’ create a chain reaction of events that lead to the ‘programmed’ biological response to occur.
— computation // even though I explain computation as the ability to perform calculations, cells perform computation that goes outside the conventional view (i.e. deciding on whether to divide or not)

An Overview of Synthetic Biology

In the past decades, synthetic biology has made incredible leaps forward with…


An Overview of B-cells & Immunological Memory

Image Source: Brunei University London

With the pandemic getting under control and people getting vaccinated, we are building up herd immunity and getting one step closer to returning to normal. As a result, it is just as timely to talk about the amazing power of immunological memory which allows for vaccines to be successful in the first place!

To start off, humoral immunity is an aspect of the immune system where the production of antibodies/immunoglobulins is used to fight off antigens. This process is regulated by B-cells. B-cells are the components that produce large batches of antibodies when the body is fighting off an infection.


Creating a future where people can get 1/6 of their life back…

Over 65% of people across the United States wake up in the morning feeling tired and sleep-deprived. Whether you’re a student who has to study for finals, a new parent who needs to take care of a newborn baby, or you have trouble falling asleep due to stress, sleep is vital for your health. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 8 hours, meaning that we spend around 1/3 of our lives asleep. Even with a full 7–8 hours of sleep, it doesn’t guarantee that you feel well-rested and refreshed for the next day.

Current sleep solutions such as…


Completing my first biocomputing project

Photo by Michael Schiffer on Unsplash

A while back, I wrote an article titled, The Future of Biology: Biocomputing. For those of you who are new, biocomputing is the idea of using biological parts (i.e. DNA, RNA, proteins) to create biological computers. When I say computer, we’re not talking about the physical device that you are using to read this, but the fact that cells can receive inputs, process them, and create outputs the way that computers can.

As a result, one of the applications that this can be used for is kill switches. Kill switches are biological safety mechanisms that cause a bacteria to die…


Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Note: This was written for the EduPolicy Hackathon event hosted by Harvard. Following this project, we felt like this is such an important issue to discuss and to try our hand at an op-ed. Special shoutout to Amanda Sherman & Moniola Odunsi for being amazing teammates throughout the process!

There was a feeling of excitement that I felt in my stomach, mixed in with trepidation and curiosity. It wasn’t just the excitement and nervousness that came from being an incoming freshman, but also for the first time, I had the opportunity to take a world history class.

As someone who…


Photo by Harlie Raethel on Unsplash

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women, making up about 25% of all deaths caused by cancer. Every year, more people die of lung cancer than colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer combined.

Cancer is a disease where mutated cells divide uncontrollably and start to destroy healthy cells. For lung cancer, that means that these tumors form in the lungs and if left untreated, can spread throughout the body in a process called metastasis.

If lung cancers were detected early, we could keep cancer localized, preventing metastasis and increasing the patient’s chance for…


image from Entrepreneur.com

Throughout history, mankind has continued to usher in new inventions and technologies that led to radical changes in the way people lived their lives and viewed the world. The ever-universal question of “Who am I?” has remained just as elusive on both a literal and internal level. There are countless things in biology we don’t understand or don’t even know exist. Even if it may seem that we are on our way ‘to play God’ with gene-editing, we are still a long way off from fully utilizing and manipulating biology to solve some of our greatest problems. …


Carbon Engineering Plant in British Columbia, Canada

7 years.

That’s all the time we have left before climate change becomes irreversible. Let me repeat that: 7 years. No matter who you are, this affects everyone and continues to be a global challenge. Currently, there are several solutions out there including renewables and nuclear energy, but there is a dark horse solution that could change things: Direct Carbon Capture.

The Greatest Challenge of the 21st Century

The transition from fossil fuels to green energy continues to be a political, economic, and social issue on multiple fronts. Despite the fact that the consequences of our consumption have long begun to show itself, not enough action is…


Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

We’ve all been there. That prickling sensation of fear subsiding into relief as you ease back into the comfortable little bubble called your comfort zone. It could be refusing to raise your hand in class for fear of getting the answer wrong, shying away from new topics you never learned before with the mindset that ‘you are too old’ to learn it, or even repressing your true personality because you believe that no one will be able to accept you. A comfort zone is a comfortable place where you are in control; where there are no challenges, no fears, no…

Maggie Chua

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