Science and Journalism in Society

Brandeis University JOUR 130B

Author: noa

The War on Drugs in Sports Continues

On March 21, 2016 yet another professional athlete was caught using drugs. Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was suspended for usage of the banned drug meldonium, or called mildronate. This drug is not approved by the FDA but is used for heart tissue protection and regulates one’s metabolism. This drug is normally used by the elderly and prescribed for  no more then a couple weeks at a time. Meldonium gives athletes an advantage because it endurances performance by improving rehabilitation after exercise and can protect against stress. This allows athletes to not struggle as greatly after an injury or a match. Sharapova started taking this drug in 2006 due to her “immune deficiency, abnormal EKG results, diabetes indicators, low magnesium and asthenia.” She claims to get the flu very frequently and meldonium was the only way to continue her career. Ivar Kalvins, the inventor of the drug, states, “most athletes should be on this drug…it protects the heart.” Before the drug was banned, in The European Games 66 out of 762 athletes used this drug. Sharapova failed a drug test in January and hid the results until March when the truth came out.



The Drink of Choice: Tea or Coffee?

When you walk into a cafe, should you order a cup of coffee or a cup of tea? Both beverages have health benefits.

Coffee: Research has shown though many studies, that coffee may reduce dementia or Alzheimer’s. The benefits of coffee may help type 2 diabetes also. Due to the higher caffeine content in coffee, it has the ability to relax the lung’s airways in individuals with asthma. The caffeine can also help contracting blood vessels in the brain and reduce migraines. The Harvard School of Public Health did research in over drinking coffee and no effects were seen in drinking up to 6 cups of coffee in one day.

Tea: Tea is filled with antioxidants and potential cancer-fighting properties. The National Cancer Institute at NIH claims tea reduces the rick of cancer and is a therapeutic drink that relaxes oneself.  Since tea is made from leaves of the Camellia sinensi, benefits from this plant are seen in all teas. The polyphenols, or a group of plant chemicals, are believed to be involved heavily in health benefits including protecting cells from DNA damage. Tea also hydrates one’s body and is better for your teeth then coffee.




10 Benefits of Drinking Tea Over Coffee




The Death of Marine Life

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) released a shocking study stating that over the past 40 years, marine life has hit a devastating low. Around 50-74% of the marine population, including tuna and mackerel, have disappeared. Human-caused-activities is a major contributor to theses killings. Pollution and climate change add to this saddening reality along with smaller factors like “sea standing” or artificial lands in oceans like the islands off the coast of Dubai.

Overfishing is another main cause for the killing of marine life. “Overfishing not only affects the balance and interaction of life in the ocean, but also… the fish…way of life,” WWF states in their report. The report also released evidence about the pH levels changing, resulting in the destruction of many coral reefs. Coral reefs are biologically rich and home to 25% of all marine species. This change of pH threatens ¾ of the world’s coral reefs. The combination of the climate warming and acid pH, if not prevented, will kill off all the reefs by 2050.

Do you think we can change save the marine life in time?





Genetically Engineered Babies, taking it too far? The Positive and Negatives of Genetically Engineering Babies

The Positive and Negatives of Genetically Engineering Babies:


  1. Has the ability to alter  human DNA can correct for disease genes and stop future generations from suffering from conditions like cystic fibrosis.
  2. Has the ability to install gene protection against infections, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease, and aging effects.
  3. Has the ability to create fertile sperm from repaid DNA of infertile men, allowing men to produce babies.
  4. Has the ability to improve the human species by increasing life span, intelligence, and economic output.


  1. Inputting several genetic diseases at once may cause complications in the embryo.
  2. Usage of the technology could get out of hand, for example changing eye color of babies born.
  3. Discriminating against families without proper income to use the technology.
  4. Ethical questions arise.



Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering

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