Catherine Caruso

Step Right Up to See the Incredible, Unbelievable Neutron Star


If a black hole is the senior starting quarterback on your high school football team—dark, handsome, well-known, and admired by everyone—then a neutron star is the starting quarterback’s kid brother, a gangly freshman who marches to the beat of his own drummer and can’t help being overshadowed by the sheer magnitude of his older sibling. Full Article »

Have You Considered the Possibility of Becoming a Woman Engineer?


In a recent Barbie ad, young girls step into professional roles such as neuroscience professor, veterinarian, and businesswoman. Titled “Imagine the Possibilities,” the commercial ends by telling girls “You Can Be Anything.” This may be a novel concept for Barbie, but it’s a decades-old message for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded more than sixty years ago. Full Article »

Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: Food Poisoning That Can Last for Years


You wake up one morning with stomach pain and chills and assume you have food poisoning from some bad fish. However, over the next few days your symptoms take a turn for the weird. You are still nauseous, but now hot showers feel freezing cold, and your teeth feel loose. You finally drag yourself to the doctor, and after a battery of tests you are diagnosed with ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP). Wait, what? Full Article »

3D Woven Synthetic Cartilage Could Help Your Knees Replace Themselves


Arthritis plagued, achy joints may soon be a thing of the past thanks to ongoing research on cartilage replacement. Articular cartilage that coats the ends of bones in large joints like hips or knees absorbs impact and reduces friction, but it can wear out over time. Researchers are developing a technique to harvest stem cells from the bone marrow or liposuction waste of a patient, and convert them into cartilage cells that are then implanted back into that same patient. The goal is to resurface entire joints where deteriorated cartilage is causing pain. Large animal testing is currently occurring, and if all goes well, human trials could begin in four to five years. Read more at NOVA Next.

Water on Mars: Major Breakthrough or Another Day at the Office?


It’s as if salty tears of joy are streaking Mars’ dusty face while the planet struggles to contain its emotion. A bit melodramatic? Perhaps, but news of water on Mars has recently grabbed the red planet an impressive amount of fanfare.

For a team of scientists, their finding was simply an incremental step in research confirming what they considered to be a forgone conclusion. But it quickly ballooned into a massive story that captured the public’s imagination. Full Article »