Can Woolly Mammoths Recover from Extinction?

WoollyMammoth_1

Is it really possible to bring back a species that hasn’t been around for 4,500 years? I am here to talk about a relatively recent emergence in science – the ability to change genes. DNA editing is a more accurate description actually. And the science of it has been fine-tuned since 2012, when the CRISPR/Cas9 technique was first introduced. This technology, developed by Harvard professors here in America, is the best known way to edit DNA and makes the prospect of de-extincting woolly mammoths a very realistic goal. Scientists say this could be done within the next two years. Technology that was just 5 years ago being done in the most prestigious laboratories in the world can be done today in a high school biology classroom. Now that this technology is much better understood, the possibilities of genetic modification are endless.

What CRISPR does is find the undesirable gene strand in an organism’s DNA and can “cut and paste what we want the DNA to say. We know that modern elephants are close relatives to woolly mammoths, so scientists are just modifying an elephant embryo to change it into a mammoth.

CRISPR/Cas9 is already being used for medical purposes – it’s tech can be used on newborn babies to change a human’s DNA. It is now being used to fight cancer – some  say it is a promising cure – but it could also be used for a number of things. If you wanted your child to have perfect pitch, for example, or prevent them from premature balding, or want them to be tall, it can all be modified using this technique (mind you, it still is undergoing development). That’s right, it is now possible for us to create a genetically “perfect” person.

Another use for this technology would be for extinction prevention. If a species is endangered due to not enough gene diversity, we could add modified animals to their gene pool with some small modifications. Current elephants today could also benefit from this tech – integrating a trait that allows elephants to be more resistant to the cold (using a gene from a mammoth) could raise their chances of thriving in the wild. CRISPR is going to change the future as we know it – whether that is a good or a bad thing, we’ll have to find out.

College Highlight: University of Washington

Hey everybody! TheCollegiate here, and this week I am going to be featuring a college that I’m sure you have all heard of: the University of Washington, otherwise known as U-Dub.

The University of Washington was founded in 1861, which makes it one of the most historic schools on the west coast. It has a 53% acceptance rate, so you have a fairly good chance of getting accepted into this school. UW is unique in that it is actually made up of three different campuses- located in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma. UW Bothell focuses on cyber security, while UW Seattle and Tacoma offer a wider range of majors and course options, with the Seattle branch being the main campus of the three.

Being in Issaquah, the University of Washington seems to be a great choice for most students. Staying in Washington is more preferable for those who aren’t ready to move to another state for college. Not to mention, the in-state tuition of UW ranges from about $18-29k, while out-of-state tuition is anywhere from $42-53k- since we live in-state, going to UW is a better choice economically for students than going to a college out-of-state.Image result for university of washington logo

The University of Washington has a wide array of departments- a grand total of 140- ranging from astronautics to urology.

Overall, the University of Washington is a great school to apply to. Staying close to home allows for global academic outreach with a local feel, and with so many areas of study to choose from, you can customize your courses and overall college experience to fit your needs.

That’s all for this week’s blog post. I hope you all have a wonderful midwinter break, and get to spend quality time with family and friends!

TheCollegiate

Week Before MidWinter Break

IMG_1745Hello all, checking in again for my weekly blog. This is the week before midwinter break. As I type this it is the friday right before break so technically my first day of break if that makes sense. I will be hanging with my best buds from middle school so i am really looking forward to that, its been awhile since we had a kick back.

Tuesday was valentines day. Another year of having no valentine, to my defense I didn’t ask anyone so its not like I got rejected or anything. I worked that night too, and wow to say it was busy is an understatement. It was packed and I had to bus tables but i got through it because it is what i do best. Thursday i worked again with my friend and it was much easier. Like usual when we have two bussers it goes by much easier so that was not a surprise.

My online math class is going by very well and I am a major fan so far and am thinking this was the right move for me. My history class is super boring now that I transferred. We do not do any work with partners or anything so that sucks but it is what it is.

I am playing basketball with friends afterschool and a lot of them are talking trash so I really need to win and prove them all wrong. I will be playing at my local gyms court. Well thats all folks have a great break!

Branches of Sociology

Hello everybody. I hope everyone is keeping up well and enjoying today’s sunny weather in Issaquah. Since the weather is in a good mood, I think I’ll go running after this post with my brother around our neighborhood. I plan on running every day of my mid-winter break next week since I’m not going anywhere special. I just plan on relaxing at home after runs and possibly do some college work ewww. Gotta prepare somehow though. Anyways, I thought today we could just learn more about the different branches of sociology. Nothing big and amazing but this is, let me remind you, a sociology blog.

Sociology is a fairly broad subject of scientific study and is divided into several different types of sociology, or branches of sociology. When you choose to pursue a sociology degree, you can minor in a particular type of sociology or take a series of elective courses in various branches of sociology. Some types of sociology focus more on environmental influences while others are on groups and how people and organizations tend to self-organize. Learning about the different branches of sociology can help you decide what type of specializations you want to focus on throughout your career. Of course, this all applies if you plan on being a sociologist. If you don’t plan on being one, this information you might find boring and useless. According to Emile Durkheim, sociology is made of three main branches and then breaks down further into different types of sociology. The three main branches of sociology are:

  1. Social Morphology – a study of geographical data and settings.
  2. Social Physiology – the study of religion, law, economics, politics and other influences of society.
  3. General Sociology – the study of how different social laws are derived from various processes.

There are also several different areas of sociology, or types of sociology to consider when you are deciding what field you want to specialize in and what type of work you want to do.

  1. Social Organization – this is the study of different institutions, such as educational institutions, the institution of marriage, social stratification and the economy.
  2. Social Psychology – study of human nature, traits, belief systems, attitudes and morals. Social psychologists play close attention to individual groups and what drives people to do certain things. I think by far this one interests me the most.
  3. Social Disorganization and Social Change – looks into irregular behavior in society and sociologists in this field try to make sense of why some people are involved with crime, drug addiction and other problems. This type of sociology also sounds cool to me.
  4. Population or Demographic Sociology – is the study of the population and changes in the population. Sociologists in this field review statistics and data to look at population growth and trace its root causes.

Thanks everyone for reading. I’ll share next week a little about my adventures over mid-winter break!

Still more conference reviews!

Hi all, Cougar Fan here. Since so many exciting things happened in every conference this past season, we have even more conferences to cover!

Conference USA

The Conference USA had a pretty solid year for their standards, landing 7 teams in bowl games. No team in the conference was ranked. Western Kentucky won the conference championship, and was a good team, finishing with 11 wins. Look out for the Hill Toppers to be strong again next season. Old Dominion also reached double digit wins in a historic season, which included the school’s first bowl appearance and win. Louisiana Tech had a solid year, and provided one of the most exciting bowl games with their win over Navy, which ended on a last second, game-winning field goal. These three teams could continue to climb next season, and perhaps one will make a leap into the national spotlight.

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Western Kentucky won the Conference USA championship this year

Independents:

The Independents are not a conference (which is the whole point of them being independent) but they are still worth talking about. BYU ended up having the best season of all the independents, finishing with 9 wins after playing a very challenging schedule. Army recorded 8 wins, including a win over ranked Navy and a bowl win. Notre Dame had a surprisingly poor season after starting off the year ranked very highly. The Fighting Irish only managed to achieve 4 wins and didn’t make a bowl. (So much for week 1’s game against Texas being a difference making game this season…Notre Dame was ranked in the top ten, and despite the exciting finish to the match up, both ND and Texas fail to reach bowl eligibility after they started off the season with extremely high expectations.)

More to come in the future!

Natural & Eco-Friendly Products

Hi Everyone,
Today I thought it would be interesting to talk about some environmentally friendly beauty and self-care options. Not only are these products better for the environment, they are also more gentle and safer than average eco-friendly-beauty-findscare products. Although there are DIY options like coconut oil, avocado, and other natural remedies, today I will be focusing on products that are manufactured strictly for beauty use.

LUSH Cosmetics
LUSH Cosmetics brands itself as a company that is against animal testing and strives for their ingredients to be primarily organic. The company makes it a priority to support ethical shopping as well as manufacture natural, handmade goods.

2. The Honest Company
Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan started The Honest Company out of their own experience as parents who wanted the best eco-friendly, yet affordable products for their family. The company’s main values include non-BPA products as well as rainforest friendly ingredients.

3. Burt’s Bees
This all-natural company is arguably the first of its kind on the market. Founded in the 1980’s, Burt’s Bees sources organic products and supports ethical sourcing of their ingredients. Not only are they conscious of the environment Burt’s cares for the animals too. Ever since their company was founded almost 40 years ago, Burt’s Bees has never produced any products tested on animals.

All in all, these companies make it more than easy to find beauty and skin care products that support ethical environmental practices. Whether it’s using natural remedies at home or investing in these products, it can be easy and affordable to go green.

Blog post for the week of 2/13/2017

WHOA what a week. There was some big news this week. The biggest and most obvious news to cover this week revolved around Michael Flynn. For those of you who don’t know who Michael Flynn is, Michael Flynn was a Lieutenant General in the Army and former Defense Intelligence Agency Director, before he retired. Trump nominated Flynn to become his national security adviser, a close aide to the President. Flynn got in trouble over the weekend when transcripts were leaked detailing calls that Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador to the United States. The conversation, which occurred on December 29th, Flynn and the Ambassador discussed the sanctions that the Obama Administration had put onto Russia for annexing Crimea in 2014. After the transcript was released Flynn resigned from his post sowing further Chaos in the young Administration of President Trump.

There are two reasons why this call that Flynn had with the Ambassador is important. First off, several intelligence agencies including the CIA and FBI concluded that the Russian Government interfered in the US election to get Trump elected over Hillary Clinton. There are several reasons why this possible could have happened, but Flynn’s call, in addition to those reports and also Trump’s extreme and usual friendliness to Russia and Vladimir Putin point to the Russian government colluding with Trump to get him elected in exchange for the sanctions being lifted. Those sanctions have also had a severe impact on the Russian economy, in addition to hurting close friends of Putin’s, with large shares of money. The second reason why the Flynn phone call is important is the fact that at the time Flynn was a private citizen, and his actions might have violated an old law called the Logan Act. The Logan Act looks to prevent private citizens from conducting diplomacy.

So far Flynn has resigned from his post, but beyond that, there isn’t anything certain as of what could happen to Flynn. Chances are is he could be prosecuted, or just continue being a private citizen. Who knows?

Top 5 Haunted Places in Washington

Hey Guys,

Today I will be writing about haunted places in Washington. Hope you enjoy..

1. Northern State Mental Hospital, Sedro-Woolley

2,000 people were killed at this mental hospital. Some were killed naturally some were killed from surgeries, lobotomies, etc. Some said they saw a man in wheelchair that mysteriously disappeared.

2. Meeker Mansion, Puyallup

Eliza and Ezra Miller were pioneers and they are supposedly haunting the place. Some people has seen Ezra’s ghost and smelled Eliza’s perfume.

3. Rucker Mansion, Everett 

The Rucker Family helped establish Everett, and gained their fortune from that and built this mansion. Mrs. Rucker is believed to haunt the home since she jumped from the balcony, and everyone said they heard her playing the piano.

4.  Tacoma Old City Hall

This old city hall was around for a long time. In 1974, Tacoma News Tribune reported that the police were called several times because of the alarms going off but no one was there. There has also been reports of lights flickering on and off but no one was found in the rooms or around the area.

5.  Campbell House, Spokane

Apparently in this house the 3 children that lived there in the early 1900’s were murdered and the fourth child was missing (This is kind of like the plot of Sinister, kind of) but the Campbell family only had one child who lived to adulthood. In this house apparently there was a report of the eyes of a person in a portrait were following them.

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I might be able to go to Northern State Hospital during break so in my next blog, I will write about my experience.

Bainbridge Island 2.0

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Hey everyone!

I went to Bainbridge Island this weekend as a pleasant Valentine’s Day date. We drove to the ferry docking station but got lost on our way and missed the ferry we were suppose to go on. If you plan on going to the island I suggest you give yourself plenty of time to get to the station, especially if you suck at navigating like me. We made it to the ferry after that one though. It was really easy to get my car loaded onto the ferry! We drove through a ticket booth, which cost $14.60 for me and my car. Once boarded, you are able to step off your car and onto the deck so of course went to the very top outside, and looked at the city get smaller and smaller as we set sail.

After being on the ferry for about half a hour or so, we had to get back into the car, and when the ferry docked we could drive off the boat and just like that, we were on Bainbridge Island! Right off the bat we entered the downtown Winslow area which was full of restaurants, bars, cute shops, an art museum, movie theater, and loads of other fun things to do. If you do not bring a car to the island all is well, because there was plenty to do within walking distance of the unloading area, but we wanted to explore the entire island so we made sure to bring our vehicle.

After staying on the island for several hours we decided to sail back, which was just as easy of a process as it was heading to the island.

See ya next week, tune in to hear about some interesting things to do on Bainbridge Island!

(Ultra) Low Cost Carriers (2/17)

Hi all! Iranoutofpuns here…

When wearing a watch on an airplane, time flies…

As time on has gone, people have looked for cheaper and cheaper ways to travel. This has led to the creation of so called Low Cost Carriers (LCC) and Ultra Low Cost Carriers (ULCC).

This cheap travel revolution started and was help driven by the creation of the world’s largest LCC, Southwest Airlines. The Houston based airline started in 1971, but really started the change the aviation game in the 1990s and 2000s. They started the so called “Southwest Effect” which inspired many Low Cost Carriers to get their start. This occurred not only in the United States but around the world, especially in Europe.

The European Low Cost Carrier model, completely changed aviation travel in what is a competitive market, due to the use of high speed rail. This competition created what are now known as ULCCs. There are three major ULCCs and LCCs in Europe, most notably Ryanair, easyJet, and WizzAir. These airlines started charging for every aspect of the trip, but kept ticket prices extremely low. This idea and business model started working so well in Europe that it made its way back to the United States.

Once the ULCC model reached America, things really took off (pardon the pun). Airlines such as Spirit really started to gain ground and LCCs such as Frontier devolved into a ULCC. This model hasn’t caught on as quickly in parts of the United States due to a different economic climate. In certain areas of the country, the LCCs and ULCCs are very popular and used a lot, but that is not so true for areas like Seattle, which are a little more economically well off.

See ya next week!

Arsenal and Barcelona get Blown out

Hello everyone,

The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 began on Tuesday and going into it there looked to be some great contests. The one I was excited to see was Barcelona and Paris St Germain (PSG) as both sides have many superstars. However, the match turned out to be heavily one sided and surprisingly not in Barcelona’s favor. PSG ended up defeating Barcelona 4-0. PSG completely out played Barcelona and were able to score some great goals. PSG seemed to be the much more athletic and energetic team and Bareclona had no success in going forward. It has been 10 years since Barcelona has lost in the Round of 16 and no team has ever come back from a 4-0 deficit in the second match.

The other game I was excited for was Bayern Munich against Arsenal. Arsenal have lost in the Round of 16 for six years straight now and they got a very unlucky draw to play the German champions. It was close in the first half as both teams scored and the game was pretty even. However, in the second half, Bayern scored three goals within ten minutes to take a 4-1 lead. They then scored one more in the closing minutes to make it 5-1. It looks like it will be seven straight for Arsenal and there are now talks of their coach being on the hot seat.

Blog Photo 17

There were two other games that were played. Benfica from Portugal was able to upset Dortmund from Germany 1-0 and Real Madrid got the job done against Napoli as they won 3-1.

Full 90 Reporter

Post for the week of 2/6/17

Hello everybody, hows it going? Well for President Trump, not to well. This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Trump’s travel ban appeal after a Seattle judge had blocked it. Also Jeff Sessions, and Betsy DeVos both got confirmed into their respective positions of Attorney General and Secretary of Education.

The big news for this week is mainly revolving around Trump’s travel ban. Like mentioned above, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals uphold a decision by a Seattle Judge which effectively rendered the travel ban useless. From here the President has two options. Either he can appeal the decision of the appeals court to where it would go to the Supreme Court. Since the court is still missing a judge, if a decision is unable to be made due to a lack of a majority, then the decision of the lower court will be upheld. So this route is a bad one for Trump, because it is unlikely that any of the liberal judges would support the travel ban, and who knows what the conservative judges would do. Trump’s other option is to write up another travel ban, which he has threatened to do. Depending on how it is worded it might be able to be implemented, but if it is anything like the last one then it would probably be affected by a court order very soon after it is announced.

On to the more “minor” news of the week, both Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions were both confirmed by the senate to their posts. DeVos, who has been the subject of intense scrutiny barely made it passed the Senate. For the first time in history, a cabinet secretary was confirmed using the Vice President’s vote as President of the Senate to break the tie in favor of DeVos. Sessions on the other hand also had a bumpy road. In the 1980s he was nominated by Reagan to be a Federal judge and was denied by the Senate due to racist comments and remarks that he has made in the past. But for Sessions, not enough Republican Senators defected to call his confirmation into question.

anyways, that’s the news.

Crazy for Cordyceps!

Cordyceps is a fascinating genus of fungi that contains about 400 species which are mainly found growing in the humid rain forests all over Asia. A large portion of these species are known for being parasites hosted by many types of insects and other arthropods. A well known species of cordyceps known as Cordyceps unilateralis has evolved to utilize living ants as an aggressive way to reproduce; the fungus germinates in the head of the victim ant and eventually infects the nervous system of the ant; literally taking control of the ant and its body. The fungi controlled ant is then told to climb to a high elevation on a tree so it can reach its preferred fruiting condition from which a fruit body/mushroom grows from the head and releases spores. Sometime the fungi has been found to take the host ant back to its nest/mound so the fungus can fruit there and infect the whole ant colony.

But other than being an aggressive reproducer, cordycep mushrooms are extremely valuable and are considered delicacies and potent medicines in many cultures. Certain cordyceps species have been used as a medicine dating back to the 15th century in Tibet, and was/is used as a powerful aphrodisiac. Anti-cancer polysaccharides have been isolated from the mushrooms as well.

The reputation of cordyceps has grown massively in the past century, as more western cultures are learning about it. The cost of commercial cordyceps has risen more than 900% since 1998.

If you want to try an exotic fungus in your next dish, or want an organic and potent

Cordyceps U. fruiting from a host ant head

Cordyceps U. fruiting from a host ant head

Commercial jar cultivation of a Cordycep species

Commercial jar cultivation of a Cordycep species

supplement or general remedy for any illness, many cordyceps are great options and are becoming more and more available here in the states.

Plant and Prosper!

Exploring Treehouse

"Together, we can give youth in foster care a childhood and a future."

“Together, we can give
youth in foster care a
childhood and a future.”

Hello everyone! I thought today we could discover more about an organization that helps foster children and has a lot to offer for our community. Here’s a little information about Treehouse and a community service experience I have shared with them!

Treehouse shares on their website that their mission is to strive to create a world where every child that has experienced foster care has the opportunities and support they need to pursue their dreams and become productive members of the community. A goal they have is for the foster youth in King County to graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers with a plan for their future by 2017. There are challenges foster children all over the world. “Each morning, nearly 10,000 children in foster care in Washington State wake up to unfamiliar surroundings. In foster care, they are safe from physical harm and dangerous neglect, but they are far from out of the woods socially, emotionally and academically. Trauma and loss, changes in homes and schools, and emotional upheaval cause them to perform worse than their peers on every academic measure.” The average youth in foster care experiences three placement changes and six months of lost academic progress per move. 50% of youth in foster care graduate from high school. Treehouse is taking on these challenges with optimism by providing youth in foster care with access to the services they equally deserve to be successful in school and in life. Treehouse has some amazing impacts on foster children today. With Treehouse support, foster youth are much more likely to graduate. At a four-year graduation rate, Washington State youth is at 82% and so is Treehouse youth. Most Treehouse graduates plan to enroll in college. 89% of youth have graduation plans for the future. Treehouse provides many services such as academic support, clothing through their wearhouse store, little wishes, and holiday gifts.

Last year in the summer I was looking for some community service hours. I heard about this company through my big sisters church in Renton. As a church community they wanted to help out this organization for the day and I decided to come along. The Treehouse organization was located in Seattle. In their building they had the Treehouse Wearhouse clothing store. As a large group we took donated clothing from bins and sorted them into jackets, pants, etc. We also got to use pin guns to punch the clothing with tags. This was a long process that took a few hours but we were working hard to help out. I had fun with my sisters friends while contributing to a good cause. I know foster children will have fun picking out clothes they enjoy. Thanks bloggers for reading my experience with this amazing non-profit organization. If you’re looking for some hours, I’m sure they would love some help. See you all next week!