Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #1 2020 (published on May 27, 2020)
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Comparative Morphology Of Ground Spiders

a review article by Prof. Boris Zakharov

Prof. Boris Zakharov began to study spiders in 1995 in AMNH, his PhD thesis was on orb-weaving spiders of USSR South Far East. He began to teach in 2005 at Hostos Community College/CUNY. Boris joined the Natural Sciences department at LaGuardia in 2009.

If you are looking for research opportunities and like spiders please free to contact Prof. Zakharov at bzakharov@lagcc.cuny.edu

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #2 2020 (published on Jul 23, 2020)
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Information on SARS-2 CoV, the virus causing COVID-19

Available in Spanish, Chinese, Romanian, and English, the public health brochure is the work of LaGuardia students Felipe Perez, Shaopeng Ma, Victor Pleacoff, and Claire Sansaricq.

Designed and supervised by Dr. A. Lucia Fuentes.

The authors are grateful to Dr. Na Xu and Anastasia Aponte for their help with the translations.

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #3 2020 (published on Dec 07, 2020)
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In Search of Life in Universe

by Dr. Boris Zakharov

“Are we the only living organisms in a cold lifeless cosmos, or there are another organisms somewhere else? This question has not only a theoretical interest, but also a practical importance. In proposed article, the author discusses what the major properties of Life are and how these properties are generated.”

Cover Images © NASA: 2M1207b - First image of an exoplanet

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #3 2020 (published on Dec 07, 2020)
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11 Questions for Dr. Sarah Durand

by Lucia Fuentes and Roman Senkov

Our guest today is a biologist, eco-activist and LaGuardia professor Dr. Sarah Durand. In this one-hour long interview Dr. Durand speaks about her undergraduate years, her passion for biology and theatre, and her path as a scientist. She describes her role in establishing the Environmental Science program at the Natural Sciences department and her work at Newtown creek. A part of the conversation touches on the importance of education; Dr. Durand shares some thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of online learning. At the end of the interview Sarah answers several personal questions inspired by Marcel Proust.

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #1 2021 (published on Feb 25, 2021)

Information Brochure #2: All About COVID-19 Vaccines

designed and supervised by Dr. Lucia Fuentes

This brochure is a follow up to our first brochure with information about the virus causing COVID-19. Here we go over the general principles of how vaccines work and the biology of the mRNA vaccine production. The brochures were written and translated into four different languages by Honors biology students and scholars from the NIH-Bridges and CRSP programs.

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #1 2021 (published on Feb 25, 2021)

The Magic of Microbes behind Sourdough Bread

by LaGuardia Health Sciences Professor, Dr. Nicolle Fernandes

This is the first in a series of articles discussing the Science of Food Production. This article focuses on the history and science behind Sourdough Bread Baking.

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #2 2021 (published on May 26, 2021)
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Isolation and characterization of Newtown Creek’s Tardigrades

by Michael Betancourt and Dr. Charles Keller

Professor Charles Keller and former LaGuardia student and current doctoral student Michael Betancourt discuss their efforts to isolate and characterize tardigrades found in Newtown Creek. A fascinating phylum of micro-animals capable of surviving crushingly harsh environments, the microscopic, eight-legged tardigrades are considered to be among nature’s most resilient species.

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #2 2021 (published on May 26, 2021)
An image of a humpback whale

How marine deep diving mammals prevent decompression sickness?

by Dr. Boris Zakharov

Decompression sickness, commonly known as “the bends” is a life threatening condition that occurs among deep divers if they experience too rapid of a depressurization on ascent. For some time, it was believed that whales, dolphins, and seals didn’t experience decompression sickness. This article observes morphological and functional adaptations of marine mammals that prevent decompression sickness.

Cover photo: Humpback whale by Ellen Raimo

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #3 2021 (published on Dec 06, 2021)
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“A novel method for analyzing responses of microglia to a compromised state: an in-vitro model of the Blood-Brain-Barrier” by Gisela Ismaili and Dr. Lucia Fuentes

The article investigates a novel set up that provides an in-vitro alternative for the examination of the effects of changes in the Blood Brain Barrier. The results of this research will contribute to a deeper understanding of the role of the BBB in the pathogenesis of AD.

Ad Astra Newsletter, issue #3 2021 (published on Dec 06, 2021)
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“Disappearing Art of Science” by Dr. Boris Zakharov

Will Science survive in absence of such important for human understanding processes like drawing and writing? Scientific illustrations are indispensable part of research process and presentation of knowledge to broad public. Special importance scientific illustration plays in biological sciences. Presented article proposes a view on role of drawing in Biology and Science.

Cover Image: drawing by Boris Zakharov. Spider male genitalia from three sides.