I just have to do some orgo final grading tomorrow and my summer begins. No classes, no TAing, just research (and the occasional friend and family visits)
I'm in a hurry so I'll be more succinct that usual:
Caffeine has medicinal properties that were previously unknown! This information was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Some of the new actions of caffeine include prevention against neurodegeneration, improvement of memory, reduction in amyloid-beta protein production, among others.
Recently published in BMC Immunology was a paper that demonstrated a link between HIV-1 infection rates and small pox vaccination. Apparently, individuals who receive the smallpox (vaccinia) vaccination are more resistant to HIV-1 viral replication than those that did not receive the vaccination. Not sure what this will mean in how we design new HIV prophylactics and combat the disease, but it certainly is an interesting find!
A new paper in Nature uses some very interesting statistics to test the theory of the Universal Common Ancestor. Here's a quotation from that paper: "These results provide powerful statistical evidence corroborating the monophyly of all known life."
Below is a picture I took of some tulips on Cornell's campus: