Science Forward Fall 2017

Dr. Edyta Greer, Macaulay Honors College, Fall 2017

Author: Robert Soffer

Blog 3- Review of Course

Coming into this IDC I was expecting a boring and dull class and curriculum. Many people I spoke to said that this IDC was one of their worst, so my standards were pretty low. However, after taking this class I can gladly say that it has been my favorite so far. Most of the things we covered were interesting and relevant and it was made enjoyable through fun activities like labs and 3D printing.


I really liked the poster presentations, steam festival and the 3d printing. I thing this part was my favorite part of the class. The 3d printing was something novel and intriguing that I may never be able to experience again. However, I do think we presented our posters in class way too many times. By the time we finished I was able to present every other groups poster. I felt as we wasted time presenting too many times. Sure it obviously helped when presenting at the festival but we could have prepared more on our own time. I do like that we were definitely the most prepared and well-presented groups at the festival. People were constantly amazed at how professional our poster looked, how well we presented and how cool our 3d printed objects were. The time consuming work definitely ended up paying off. I also liked the in class presentations we had to do on the plants and drugs. I felt as those taught us interesting and cool new information regarding scientific stuff. Presenting also helped improve our communication and public speaking skills which was also a plus.


One thing I disliked was Bioblitz. The concept seems cool, getting hands on experience and everything. But I feel as it was a mess, wasn’t relevant and didn’t really teach us anything. We just had a mush of data of organisms. I felt as it was very random to the coursework and it could have easily been avoided. Another thing that was a little confusing was the eportfolio website. There were so many assignments, things to complete and due dates that everything became confusing. I had to constantly check the syllabus and texts others to find out what we had to do. I felt it could have been more simplified.


Overall, I really did like this course and would recommend it to other students. The classes were captivating and the course was well structured.


Thank you Professor Greer and thank you Jake.

Blog Post 2 : Thinking About Lab

In high school I was never a big fan of labs. Currently I am still not a big fan of labs. Yes, I agree they are important but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. The purpose of doing labs are important because you get a hands on experience of what you are learning in class. It helps you get a better understanding of the material. But most times I find the labs a little routine and heavily controlled. If done correctly, we know the outcome and know everyone will have the same outcome. There’s no room for mystery or innovation. You know what you will put in and what you will get. However, I do realize that by controlling the experiment you are zoning in on the desired results so students can get a better understanding of what they did. I believe that a class like ours doesn’t really need a lab. We are not specializing in anything and the lab is just a fun learning experience for us. I at least hope to enjoy the lab as well as to walk away with the understanding of what I did. I want it to be interesting and intriguing. In different classes, like history, a lab can be any hands on experience with the material. It can be a play or act out of certain wars or events. This would engage the students, make them enjoy the subject and help them remember it better. The language of labs has to be very clear and specific so that if someone were to read it they can recreate and understand your lab done. There should be no vagueness or confusion. When writing a ab report you should be straightforward and clear.

Poster Draft Toe Splint

Download (PPTX, 4.92MB)

Annotated Bibliography – Toe Splint


Borke, Jesse . “Broken toe – self-care.” MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Accessed October 19, 2017.


The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia focuses mainly on broken toes. It goes into detail about the injury and what to expect and feel from the injury. They go on to tell you how long it will last and what are some symptom reliefs for it. One of the remedies provided is buddy wrapping. This is when you connect your inured toe to the adjacent toe using tape. This remedy gets annoying, unconfutable and doesn’t really prevent so much pain. This is why our group would like to use the toe splint. An easier and more convenient way.



Macmanus, Joseph E. “The use of a plaster slipper in the management of simple fractures of the toes.” The American Journal of Surgery 54, no. 3 (1941): 721-22.


Doctor Joseph Macmanus discusses a simple yet effective way to provide comfort and protection to a fractured toe. His remedy involves a plaster slipper. He describes how to wrap your foot and toe in plaster to keep it protected. It is like molding the plaster to your foot. This method while may be effective is also annoying to wear and hard to apply. The foot has to be bathed, dried and powdered. Measurements have to be taken and then plaster applied. The plaster is bulky and hard to wear with shoes. This is why our group would like to use the toe splint. An easier and more convenient way.



Singh, H.p., and N.d. Downing. “An “empty” toe.” The Foot 15, no. 2 (2005): 114-16.


Hp singh describes how a freak accident caused a patient to break her toe. Not only did it brake but it “went missing”. As to say the bone of the toe cam out of the toe skin socket and into a different skin socket. So one of the patients toe sockets was just empty skin without a bone. They did surgery on her and fixed her toe. She was then put in a plaster slipper. This is why our group would like to use the toe splint. An easier and more convenient way.

Catharanthus roseus


Catharanthus roseus is a plant used mostly for medicinal use and sometimes ornamental use. Vincristine and vinblastine, both which treat cancer, are found in this plant. It is commonly known as periwinkle, Madagascar periwinkle or annual vinca. It is originally from Madagascar but it is now grown in other places as well.


Healthcare Innovation – Mobilizing an Immobile Arm

When I was a kid I used to love playing sports with my grandpa, he was very athletic. Then one day I wake up and find out that he had a stroke and is paralyzed in one side of his body. He can no longer move his left arm and his left leg. He did therapy for a long time and tried to get feeling back but nothing worked.


This is where my innovation comes to play. I want to create a device that connects to the brain and the arm of a paralyzed person. They would wear some sort of device on their arm and either have a chip implanted in their brain or wear some sort of device on their head. I am hoping to link the chip to the device and when you think of moving your arm the device will react and lift up your arm. This would help paralyzed people move what they couldn’t move before.


Other healthcare services have been testing something similar to this but not exact. They are linking up minds to a third party robotic arm. So a paralyzed person will think and the robotic arm will do, it’s just not the person’s arm. I want to incorporate the robotic arm into the actual person’s arm.

Blog Entry 1

So I was reading the article and I was delightfully surprised to see it was about abortion, contraception and the drugs associated with it. The topic of abortion always interested me and frustrated me at the same time. To keep from causing any political insults I will keep my opinion on the matter disclosed. However, what I thought was pretty crazy was that I was watching a tv show right before reading this article. In the show a teenage girl got pregnant and the topic of abortion came up. The girl opted to have an abortion but by the time she went to the clinic the baby was too far along to be legally allowed to abort. So back to the article. I was wondering if this new drug would be able to help in a scenario like this. Per say if a woman was too far along would this technique and drug be allowed to abort the baby or is it still considered illegal. The article didn’t address a scenario like that where a woman was pregnant for a while.

Also in class we spoke a lot about molecular structures and drawings. After reading this article, in my opinion, the molecular structure pictures provide in the article were unnecessary. They didn’t help me understand or visualize the article better. I felt as if they were just there. Like cool that’s what it looks like but it doesn’t help. I would have understood the article the same with or without the structures. Another thing is that the article didn’t really provide a conclusion. They kind of hopped around the idea of the potential of this drug but didn’t come to an exact and concrete conclusion.

But anyways I usually dislike science articles and the like as they confuse me. But this on the other hand was an interesting article on an interesting topic. The only thing is this article was written in 1971 so I don’t know about any of the updates they had in this study. If the article was written today there probably would have been different results and studies. I’m going to look into it a little further.

EpiPen Paraphrased

School nurses have a dilemma. When a student has an allergic reaction they can treat them with an EpiPen, but by doing so they are going against the regulations set in place for them. Nurses have methods that they believe are much more efficient and effective than the ones set in place. By carrying out their own method they are in “conflict with their current school district and the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology guidelines.” Due to these guidelines recent studies carried out show “undertreatment of severe reactions with epinephrine”, and for this reason this dilemma needs to be solved. (Wahl et al. 2015, 97).

Using a New Drug To Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

Popular Article:

Drug Aimed at Inflammation May Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

Grady, Denise. 2017. Drug Aimed at Inflammation May Lower Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer. The New York Times.(August 27). Accessed September 03, 2017

Primary Source:

Antiinflammatory Therapy with Canakinumab for Atherosclerotic Disease

Ridker M Paul., and Brendan M. Everett. 2017. Antiinflammatory Therapy with Canakinumab for Atherosclerotic Disease .” New England Journal of Medicine. 377. 12. 1119- 1131. Accessed September 08, 2017.