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It Takes a Special Person to Become a Marine

Lea Lomas

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There are a lot of challenging jobs in the world; however, one of the toughest comes in the form of a marine in the United States Military. This is a story about a marine who joined the service at just 19 years old. She grew up in a small town in Ohio, often referred to as the heartland of the United States, just as the Vietnam War was drawing to a close. At the time, there were a lot of young men joining the military. Some of them were even drafted. This young woman knew that she was bored at home in her small Ohio town. She yearned for a life of adventure and gave strong thought to joining the marines, just like a lot of the young men who grew up in her town. 

When she started to check out the various branches of the military, she realized that women in other branches of the service went by a variety of named; however, in the marines, women are simply called marines. Therefore, she was sold on becoming a marine. Two weeks after going through the thought process, she enlisted in the marines. A week after that, she decided to break the news to her parents. She stated that her father had spent time in the navy. He was concerned about what would happen to her in the military. He asked her why she wanted to enlist and she informed him that she had been raised to be patriotic. She had been raised to love her country. Therefore, she decided to show this love by serving her country.

She headed off to boot camp with several other female marine counterparts. Once there, she was separated from her male counterparts. They underwent different training. They had a different program. They wore different uniforms. There was a different set of jobs that they could perform from the men. While they went through a slightly different program, they are still held to exceptional standards and their physical training programs are extremely rigorous. 

Eventually, she realized that she wanted to get married. At the time, female Marines were not allowed to get pregnant, as this might hinder their ability to serve their country; however, she was surprised when she got a phone call from the military. An officer from the reserve section of the Marine Forces asked if she would be willing to serve. She was surprised. She said that her obligations were going to be one weekend per month; however, these responsibilities could be adjusted were she to get pregnant. He talked her into it. 

Eventually, she was called up to serve in an active combat role. That took place during Desert Storm when the United States went overseas to liberate Kuwait after it had been invaded by Sadam Hussein and Iraq. The United States Military led a coalition of NATO forces and deployed to the Persian Gulf. This young woman’s battalion the fight in February of 1991, starting in the Persian Gulf. They participated in a series of training exercises that involved sleeping in cold weather, working in snow caves, and bunking in 10-person tents from lugging around an 80-pound pack. She had only one shower during a period of 30 days. She says that she simply made it work. Without a doubt, the story of what this woman has gone through with the marines is nothing short of exceptional. It is proof of the extreme strength that is required to serve in the marines and evidence that women can do this as well.

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Life

Could There Be Answers to the Famed Peanut Allergy on the Horizon?

Mackenzie Freeman

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Peanuts are incredibly delicious as they permeate candy, condiments, snacks, and numerous other parts of the food industry. At the same time, peanuts also contribute to one of the most common food allergies on the face of the Earth. Those who are allergic to peanuts often have deadly allergies, known as anaphylaxis. This reaction can cause someone to stop breathing if they even simply inhale some of the dust associated with peanuts. As a result, many kids have to carry around an EpiPen that might be needed to save their life. Therefore, peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, peanut chocolate, and more can pose a serious health risk. Indeed, some kids will never know the delicious taste of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some people might even be shocked to hear that peanuts can be found in potato chips, icing, and more! It is hard for people who have severe food allergies to have a normal life. Furthermore, peanut allergies have actually been becoming more common. Many schools have even banned peanuts to protect their students from harm. This is a drastic, but necessary, measure in the eyes of many people.

Now, there might be an answer for those who have been waiting for what seems like forever. Scientists from Australia have recently announced that they might have found an answer to this common problem. A team of researchers have been using a novel treatment method called immunotherapy to help children get over their allergies to peanuts. In this treatment option, patients are intentionally exposed to something that they have a serious reaction to. In this case, that item would be peanuts. Of course, this exposure takes place in a controlled setting to minimize the potential health risks that might come with an intentional allergic reaction.

When children in this experiment are exposed to peanuts, the immune system reacts. After all, this is the basis of an allergic reaction. Over time, the body is exposed to doses in higher and higher amounts. With the right treatment, the body learns to handle the reaction and the allergic reaction gradually subsides. This is called tolerance. Essentially, the body “gets used” to the peanuts. In this clinical trial, which lasted for 18 months, about four out of every five children who were involved in the trial had developed a tolerance to peanuts. Now, five years later, most of the kids who devleoped a tolerance are still eating peanuts to this day. This represents a breakthrough in the field of medicine that has the potential to help children all over the world who suffer from severe peanut allergies.

It can be exhausting for parents and children to go around constantly wondering if they are going to be exposed to peanuts that might lead to an allergic reaction. It can be hard to carry around an EpiPen every day. Now, there might be a way to get around this problem. At the same time, this is only one study. There is still a long way to go and parents should not go around giving their peanut-allergic children allergens to force a reaction. The next step is to try to replicate the results of this study on a larger scale. Then, this therapy needs to reach the open market to be distributed. At the same time, this study still represents a tremendous hope for those who suffer from allergies. If the results of this study can be replicated on a larger scale, it might provide a way to help people who suffer from food allergies.

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Life

Does Freezing the Earth Lead to the First Animals?

Mackenzie Freeman

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The Earth is the only planet we have. While we think of this blue giant as our home, life is actually challenging. For example, descending too far into the ocean can expose the body to pressures that it can’t possibly resist. On the other hand, travel too high and oxygen runs out. People essentially suffocate. Don’t forget about the boiling waters found in some parts of the Earth along with the arctic temperatures found in some corners of the globe. 

On the other hand, despite all of these hazards, life finds a way to persist. In some ways, that defines who we are as Earthlings. We have the ability to resist all of these things and survive. In order to understand just how this is done, people need to turn back the clock to when Earth was just another snowball hurtling around the sun at lightning speeds.

This time period was referred to as the Cryogenian period. Earth, at this time, was a solid ball of ice. Living on Earth at this time would have been challenging. For tens of millions of years, Earth was undergoing a cycle of freezing and thawing. Simply wash, rinse, and repeat. This is far from the ski resort that most people associate with cold temperatures. During this time, there were even glaciers at the equator. This is very different from the Greenhouse gas conditions during other time periods of prehistoric Earth that led to tremendous volcanic eruptions. 

This time period would have been tough for anyone to survive. Yet, during this time, life didn’t simply survive. It actually thrived. There were some great moments during this time. Life made the jump from simple, single cells to the organs, tissues, and multicellular organisms that we see today. Every living thing that people encounter today can be traced back to the dark days of the prehistoric period. That makes this time period one of the most miraculous on Earth. At the same time, in a letter that was published in a well-respected scientific journal, this is not a coincidence. To triumph in the face of adversity is something that defines Earth as a planet. 

Indeed, life might have actually required these conditions in order to grow and develop into the beauty that people see today. To back up this statement, the authors of the letter have pointed to algae. While some people might associate this word with the slippery substance found on rocks, life billions of years ago needed to find nutrients wherever it could. As glaciers continued to travel across the planet’s surface, they ground the mountains into a fine powder. This powder was filled with plenty of minerals such as phosphates. Eventually, the cycle of cooling started to flip. The glaciers then melted and released all of these minerals into the Earth’s water supplies. 

This made these minerals accessible to plants such as algae. The algae were able to absorb these minerals and put them to use. Then, algae started to grow and develop. They spread across the entire planet. This provided food for everything else that needed nutrients to survive. In the end, this led to the evolution of multicellular life. Therefore, every living thing has algae to thank for its growth and development. Algae, in turn, needs to thank the rough conditions that were around during this time period. It turns out that living things on Earth are incredibly resilient. We will find a way to survive and thrive in the future as well. We always have and we always will, as people.

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Life

Shoppers in the Midwest can now enjoy non-browning apples

Mackenzie Freeman

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Apples make for a convenient and healthy snack. However, some consumers are put off consuming apples once they have turned brown. It doesn’t take very long for sliced apples to start turning brown. It can be hard for consumers to finish snacking on apples before they start to lose their fresh appearance. 

Most consumers agree that apples don’t look quite as appetizing when they’ve started to brown. In fact, a lot of consumers throw apples away when they start to go brown even though the apple flesh is still edible. A company that distributes apples in the Midwest has addressed this issue by recently developing an apple variety that is genetically modified so that it doesn’t go brown as quickly when exposed to oxygen. This was done using a gene editing tool known as CRISPR. The tool has modified apples by reducing the effectiveness of an enzyme in apples that’s responsible for the tendency in apples to go brown. 

The new apples were developed from regular Golden Delicious apples. They are set to hit the selves at around 400 stores located in different parts of the Midwest. The produce will be made available in bags offering 10 ounces of the new apple variety . This is a big event in the world of genetically modified foods. While genetic modification has frequently been used on crops such as soybeans and corn, using the technology to manipulate the genetic makeup of fruits is relatively new.

In fact, there had previously been only one other genetically modified fruit commonly sold on shelves in the United States. This was a papaya that was genetically modified to resist viruses. The company that has produced this new non-browning apple is hoping to encourage consumers to eat more healthy fruit by making fruit more appealing.

The president of this company was recently interviewed by the Chicago Tribune. In this interview, he expressed that this new apple variety- named the Arctic apple- could help to increase healthy eating while also minimizing the waste of good food.

While this may be the first time that such a product is available on such a large scale, it is not the first time that genetically modified apples have been sold. There were previously apples modified to show reduced browning tendencies that were sold in the United States. These were Opal apples that were modified to show reduced browning. In fact, these apples are still available for sale in some parts of the country and are still available for Americans to eat.  

To some consumers, the issue of genetically modified food is controversial. There has been an effort to protest the increased development, production, and sale of genetically modified foods all across the company. However, scientists have yet to find any evidence that genetically modified foods pose any risk to human health. 

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