General Interest

Youth Medical Association and its Services Supports Future Medical Professionals

By Jenny Wang

     The Youth Medical Association or YMA is a nonprofit organization founded by Rayhan Mehal, a sophomore at Bronx Science High School. The organization is driven and led by members who are passionate about medicine and work “to support the future medical professionals of America.” It welcomes students across all high schools, not limited to Bronx Science High School. Those who apply for a position are able to become part of one of YMA’s teams where they assist with publishing articles/news on social platforms.

          YMA not only inspires individuals passionate about medicine but also teaches and guides them in pursuing it. Rayhan Mehal, the president of YMA, shares how he has always wanted to “establish a sense of community,” and to do that he decided to create a space for individuals with similar interests as him. Additionally, the organization offers a plethora of opportunities such as internships, shadowing sessions, research, volunteering, advice, articles, etc.  

YMA started off with a small group of 30 members and is now growing to have over 500 sign-ups throughout the city. As the staff teams and members expanded, YMA has been able to coordinate events with NYU and FDNY. According to the President Rayhan Mehal, “YMA is working on advocacy panels throughout the city, volunteering at local centers, and giving back to our communities.” The organization not only works to ensure an impact on the passion-driven youth interested in medicine but also the communities we come from. 

          Furthermore, YMA promotes its content across multiple sources of media, ranging from articles to videos to simple posts. Such content can be found on the YMA website, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Projects promoted on such platforms are distributed by directors and crafted by the Content Creation Team, the News/Media Production Team, and other staff members of YMA. A member of YMA, Muntha Zaman, a Junior at Bronx Science High School, expresses enthusiasm for YMA’s most recent YouTube video titled Steps to Becoming a Doctor for High Schoolers, saying, “It was YMA’s first major media project and the execution turned out to be successful.” 

          Correspondingly, YMA is a space for everyone. Many individuals are unsure or have not decided what they want to pursue specifically in the medical field. YMA can help play a major role in fueling that spark. Julia Shellira, also a participant of YMA and a Junior at Bronx Science High School, stated that “participating in YMA has benefited me because it allowed me to really have a bigger scope on what I want to do in the future regarding the medical field.” She also shared how “it’s really easy to reach out to people if you need help” and “regain more skills as not only a participant in YMA, but also helping lead others as the chief of staff.” 

Similarly, Besines Santana, a Senior at Bronx Science High School, shares her experience as a leader stating, “I have engaged and organized fundraisers, supervised informational webinars, and facilitated meetings, partnerships, and opportunities with other organizations and renowned medical centers.” These leadership and professionalism skills gained through YMA are crucial for working in any line of occupation, not just health. 

          Upon joining YMA, I was exposed to an abundance of resources and opportunities I would not have had access to. I am honored to have been accepted as one of their article writers and to be able to share wisdom and advice through writing. Although not based in the high school I attend, I am still able to easily navigate and attend bi-weekly meetings. I see a big future for YMA and hope it will continue to support students on their road to success.

The Impact and Assimilation of New Age Animation 

By Isabel Valesco

New Age animation is a form of art that is stylised through its use of texture, simplified objects, experiments with colors, and more. No movie can be credited with revolutionizing this genre more than Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). 

Pixar dominated the animation community throughout the 2000s, with their animation style being dubbed the “Pixar Dream”. Movies such as Toy Story (1995) , The Incredibles (2004), and Inside Out (2015), are all perfect examples of said style. Eventually, many animation companies attempted to adapt to Pixar’s blueprint as it had shown to be a strong formula with strong gross revenue; examples being Bolt (2008), Mars Needs More Moms (2011), and Monster House (2006).

 In 2017, Sony Pictures decided to take a risk. Instead of chasing the idealized realistic animation look shaped by Pixar, Sony decided to work on a new film that created something visually abstract using “non-photorealistic rendering” within the animation. “We’d worked on this for already a year and a half by the time it came out. The world hadn’t seen any of it, and some of the things we were trying to do felt like risks, and we thought there were too many. We thought the majority of the people might hate it,” Imageworks Animation Supervisor Joshua Beveridge says. But the risk paid off, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) earning the highest grossing film in Sony Pictures animations ever. 

The release of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) paved the way for experimental animation for other movies. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022) is a prime example of the hyper stylized animation used by big studio companies. The textured brush strokes and colors within the animation are not only an instance of creative liberty, but an homage to traditional Spanish art and culture. This not only contributes to the aesthetically pleasing look of the movie but the art actually contributes to the story told. Another movie that utilizes this same technique is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023), where emotions are emphasized visually through colors and shapes, similarly having the art of the movie help carry along the story. 

Artists everywhere praise the innovative art of this New Age animation. Bayside High School Senior Enrique Nunez expresses that “To me, being an artist ties in uniquely with enjoying movies, in the sense that movies, animated or otherwise, are a form of art, and the art of filmography in itself is a beautiful thing. I am excited for this new dawn of animation.” 

Additionally, Bayside High School Senior Victoria Giron says, “As an artist, I think both are equally fantastic in their own aspects, but I find myself gravitating towards New Age animation a tiny bit more.” 

Even Bayside High School Senior Kevin Navarette exclaims, “Nowadays I feel like animations are more than animations, y’know? More about the story than the animations, I think they really stand out now and I love how expressive these movies are.” 

Artist or not, viewers of all kinds have positively responded to this new generation of animation movies. 

Bayside High School Senior Owen Wang says, “New Age animation truly is revolutionary. It’s really refreshing to see and it is a nice change of pace from older movies.”

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) paved the way for studios to express themselves and essentially create the New Age animation movement in quirky and memorable ways that will earn their spots in movie history. 

The Role which Artificial Intelligence Plays in the Selection of Majors and Careers

By Ephrata Habte

In today's fast-paced world, students are faced with an array of options when choosing their academic majors and career paths. The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into this decision-making process has the potential to revolutionize the way people approach these critical life choices. AI offers personalized recommendations, data-driven insights, and an efficient decision-making process. However, its use also raises concerns about bias, dehumanization, and the potential loss of a human touch in guiding students. 

Bayside High School Junior Niya Din shared her perspective on the role of AI in major selection saying, "AI is a powerful tool that can help us understand our strengths and interests. It offers tailored suggestions, which is great for students like me who feel overwhelmed by the choices." Din emphasized the efficiency of AI in streamlining the decision-making process and helping students make informed choices.

On the other hand, Bayside High School Junior Melina Yanez cautioned about the potential downsides of relying on AI. She noted, "While AI is undoubtedly a valuable resource, it should complement, not replace, human guidance. It lacks the ability to fully comprehend a student's unique qualities and individual circumstances. We must ensure students don't lose the personal touch that comes from face-to-face conversations with counselors and teachers."

In a world dominated by data, AI can provide valuable insights into career projections and job market trends. It can offer information about employment prospects and salary expectations for various majors, helping students align their choices with their future goals. Bayside High School Junior Aditi Sinha commented on this aspect stating, "AI has opened my eyes to the vast opportunities in my chosen field. It provided me with data that gave me a clearer understanding of what to expect after graduation." 

However, not all students share this enthusiasm for AI. Bayside High School Junior Giancarlo Alvarez expressed his concerns stating, "AI worries me. I feel like certain careers can easily be replaced by advanced technology such as AI. I often find myself researching jobs and careers that won't be taken over by AI. I don't want to go to college for four years and end up being replaced by some technology."

The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the job market is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. According to the article, "AI Taking Over Jobs: What to Know About the Future of Jobs” by Matthew Urwin, from, "AI is replacing and will continue to replace some jobs. Workers in industries ranging from healthcare to agriculture and industrial sectors can all expect to see disruptions in hiring due to AI." 

While AI is undoubtedly a valuable resource, it should complement, not replace, human guidance. AI is poised to replace certain jobs, but it also has the potential to create new opportunities and increase demand in various sectors. As the use of AI continues to expand in education, it is crucial to strike a balance between technological assistance and the irreplaceable human element in career and major selection.

Unlocking the Genetic Code: The Evolution and Impact of Gene Sequencing

By Karine Zhuo

Genome sequencing, a transformative tool in the field of genetics and molecular biology, has come a long way since its inception. It has not only revolutionized our understanding of genetics, but has also brought about significant advancements in medicine, crime-solving, and the improvement of society at large.

Gene sequencing involves copying gene strands in a test tube using DNA polymerase and chain-terminating nucleotides. It began during the 1970s when Fredrick Sanger developed a new technique for reading DNA. Subsequently, during the 21st century, the emergence of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) allowed for the simultaneous sequencing of thousands to millions of DNA fragments rather than small isolated samples. This high throughput technology drastically reduced sequencing costs and time, spreading its utilization beyond just biology. 

Bayside High Schools’ AP Biology Teacher, Ms. Georgas claims, “We can learn about our evolutionary past, which can help us understand how to further human health [using gene sequencing].”

Additionally, Gene Sequencing has found its way into the realm of forensic science. The ability to analyze DNA from crime scenes has led to numerous breakthroughs in identifying suspects and victims. DNA profiles generated through gene sequencing can be compared to databases of known offenders, helping to solve cold cases and exonerate the innocent. Ms. Georgas additionally asserts, “I think it’s very beneficial…we can be more accurate in our crime-solving, detect, and actually identify which individuals were and were not at the scene of a crime.” The utilization of Gene Sequencing in forensics has not only streamlined the investigation process but also served as a powerful deterrent to potential offenders. 

One famous crime case is the "Golden State Killer". The serial criminal committed a series of heinous crimes, including burglaries, rapes, and murders in California during the late 1900s. The case remained unsolved for decades until 2018, when investigators turned to a relatively new technique called genetic genealogy. Jocelyn Kaiser, a staff writer for Science, a magazine that focuses on the biomedical research policy, and the National Institutes of Health, states that “law enforcement agencies…test a crime scene DNA sample…upload the DNA data to GEDmatch, a free online database where anyone can share their data from consumer DNA testing companies…to search for relatives who have submitted their DNA.” In other words, crime scene DNA was used to create a profile and uploaded to a public genealogy database. 

This resulted in the ability to trace back family trees to identify potential suspects. After identifying a distant relative of the suspect, investigators worked their way down the family tree to pinpoint Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer, as “The Golden State Killer.” DeAngelo was arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder, rape, and theft. Thus, the knowledge that even the smallest trace of DNA can lead to identification has undoubtedly made a significant impact on criminal investigations.

In the medical field, Gene Sequencing has transformed the way we approach healthcare, especially prenatal diagnostics. Ms. Georgas professes, “When it comes to genetic diseases, we can now see if people are predisposed to certain genetic diseases because we can know their gene sequencing, so we can do more preventative care…We can help possibly create cures because we are looking at the origins of that disease.” That being said, by analyzing an individual's genetic makeup, doctors tailor analyses to be more effective and minimize adverse effects. For example, The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy states that “looking for mutations or changes in that order which are known to cause a genetic disease can yield a diagnosis.” From this, expecting parents can have their baby's DNA sequenced, identifying potential genetic disorders early in pregnancy.  This information allows for informed decisions about the continuation of the pregnancy and can prepare parents for the child's medical needs after birth.

In essence, the history of gene sequencing reflects the remarkable evolution of a technology that has transformed genetics, medicine, crime-solving, and various other aspects of society. As research continues, the potential for further breakthroughs in healthcare and law enforcement is limitless. Gene Sequencing represents a powerful tool that not only illuminates our genetic code but also holds the key to a healthier, more informed, and sustainable future.

NASA’s Return To The Moon

By Vicky Wu

Have you ever dreamed of living in outer space? Well, your dream might just come true. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is an organization that was established in the United States by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 29, 1958, officially opening on October 1, 1958.

NASA focuses on researching space and the world beyond our planet Earth. Although their original purpose was to solely focus on exploring outer space, they are now also responsible for the study of outer space science, space technology, and space travel to other planets for new discoveries. NASA, having had several successful moon landings in the past, instilled a sense of credibility in their current plans of returning to the moon. 

NASA, a highly influential organization in exploring outer space and creating technology, started their first successful mission: Explorer 1. Explorer 1's purpose was to launch the first satellite into space, and it went successfully on January 31, 1958. It was then followed by a few more successful satellite missions later.

However, the Explorer 1 was not the most remarkable success NASA has ever had. The most well-known was the first successful moon landing by Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. Unfortunately, Apollo 17, the final Apollo— taken in December of 1972—marked the end of the Apollo program. Due to the decline of public interest and the government’s shift in focus to the Vietnam War, NASA lacked the money funded by others to continue exploring.

It has been 45 years since the last Apollo exploration ended. During those 45 years, NASA has not sent any men to the moon due to a policy made by President Obama after Apollo 17. However, on December 11, 2017, President Donald J. Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, allowing NASA to return to the moon for the continuation of exploration in the solar system. 

“The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery,” said President Trump. “It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972 for long-term exploration and use. This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints—we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars and perhaps someday to many worlds beyond.” 

As a result, the benefits of the new space policy allowed NASA to finally set up its mission on exploration to the moon. This time, NASA is making a long-term plan to send astronauts back to the moon with the Artemis program. They did so in the hope of sending the first woman and the first man of color while focusing on paying a visit to the darker side of the moon–the lunar south pole that’s always facing away from the Earth. 

Ultimately, on November 16, 2022, NASA made its first launch on Artemis I. According to NASA officials, “Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft around the Moon.” Fortunately, Artemis I was a success, safely landing back to Earth on December 11, 2022. Now, they are working on testing Artemis II, the first crewed flight, in November 2024. However, the exact date has yet to be confirmed. Artemis III, the second crewed Artemis and the first crewed southern-lunar landing will launch in 2025. 

The Artemis IV mission, which is scheduled to launch in 2028,  will advance the moon as the gateway to traveling deeper into the solar system. According to NASA officials, “We will build an Artemis Base Camp on the surface (of the Moon).”  After the settlement of advanced technology and humans, NASA will begin its new challenging missions to travel to Mars.  “Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars,” said NASA officials. For now, “We are going to the Moon, to stay, by 2024.”

The Black Dahlia : A Mystery which Remains

By Afra Noor

This article contains graphic descriptions. Please read with discretion.

The black dahlia is a deep crimson-colored flower that blooms during summer and sometimes early autumn. That is what you expect to retain when searching what a black dahlia is. Instead what you discover is the murder of Elizabeth Short, who was found lying on a sidewalk in Los Angeles. Her body was found severed at the waist, with gashes carved on both ends of her mouth. This is the story of the mysterious Black Dahlia case.

Elizabeth Short was born and raised in Massachusetts during the early 1900s. She was praised for her childlike beauty and was a “movie-struck” girl. At the age of 17, she left Massachusetts to pursue a waitress job in Miami. Later, she worked as a clerk in Camp Cooke, California. The name Black Dahlia arose due to Short’s fondness for sheer black clothing and accessories. Besides, shortly before her death, a crime film was released with the name “Blue Dahlia.”

Short’s body was found in the Leimert Park neighborhood by a mother and daughter in January 1947. She was identified in less than an hour through FBI fingerprint records from a prior arrest for underage drinking. According to police reports, there were cuts and bruises all over Short’s body, many of which were made post-mortem. Surprisingly enough, there was not a tear of blood present at the scene. Dr. Frederick Newbarr of, who conducted the autopsy declared that Short died of “hemorrhage and shock due to deep knife lacerations of the face and repeated blows by a heavy metal object to the face”.

Officers Perkins and Fitzgerald were the first to arrive at the scene, soon joined by Detectives Brown and Hansen. “I allowed myself to lean slightly towards the theory of a male murderer, someone with medical training. I based that merely on the physical aspects of the case,” said Hansen.

The exemplary dissection of the body raised suspicions among one particular individual, Marvin Margolis. The grand jury investigation announced that Margolis was the person Short roomed with for the last 60 days of her life. Evidently, amid the investigation, Margolis flew to Chicago with no prior word. 

Detective Brown stated Margolis, “was interrogated at first, but…there was nothing to tie him to the case at that time other than being a medical student”.

That said, Red Manley was another man on the persons of interest list. Previous military records show that Manley had been discharged for “hearing voices” and nervous breakdowns. He was reportedly the last person to have interacted with Short, sparking controversies as he had a family of his own. Manley expressed, “But I didn’t mention it to her, of course, because she didn’t even know I knew the girl. My wife called me…when I finally got her the first thing she said was, ‘Did you do it?’” His wife then admitted him to Patton State Hospital.

The list doesn’t end there, as Mark Hansen was another suspect in the case. Inspector Jemison said, “Anne and her friend…state that Mark was crazy about [Short] and jealous of her…he is a man who must have what he wants”.

DA’s files displayed that Hansen had failed to attempt to seduce Short, which may have been a potential motive. Furthermore, Detective Keller disclosed that Hansen attended Sweden's Medical Surgical School and held parties that Detective Brown attended.

Considering all the loose ends in this case, it’s plausible that multiple people are responsible for the murder of Elizabeth Short. In my perspective, Mark Hansen is the most questionable suspect. This is taking into account that he was a well-known businessman and had connections with the LAPD. Moreover, assuming Detective Keller’s statement regarding Hansen’s medical education is true, it further proves he’s guilty. Nonetheless, apart from the suspects mentioned, there were numerous potential culprits and false confessions. Alas, the Black Dahlia case remains a mystery.