Women X Women Science Convention

Brought by The Science National Honor Society, the Women X Women Science Convention was broadcasted in the media center for members to learn about women’s impact in the scientific field. The students who attended had many positive things to say about it, hoping to learn some knowledge about DNA and have a general discussion about science.

The Women X Women Convention talked about inflammation in tissue and how it affects cancer growth. Guest Speaker, Karolina Palucka, talked about breast cancer and immunotherapy. The cancer tissue is mostly found in the bone, and inflammation becomes worse in the tissue after menopause. This is why they are using immunotherapy to help look at other ways to reduce the inflammation of cancerous tissue.

“Immunotherapy capitalizes on our body’s immune response. One reason why we can recover [from cancer] is because of our immune system,” Palucka informed. “It learns something is wrong and recognizes it needs to eliminate it.” 

Immunotherapy helps to prevent the body’s immune system from destroying healthy cells when it recognizes the cancer cells and starts to eradicate them. 

They also discussed information and ideas about an experiment with a fertility preserve to store eggs and keep them safe when women are going through ovary cancer treatments. They are currently testing this experiment on mice, where they take the eggs out of mice, freeze them, and put them back in to see what the difference is and if they can still reproduce after certain time spans. 

Another illness that was included was endometriosis. Endometriosis can be found in ovaries of females or in the lungs of males or females. It takes 7-10 years for someone suffering from endometriosis to be diagnosed. Using single-cell technology, endometriosis cells are dissipated. Single cell technology is when the information of a cell in the patient’s body is extracted. After this, they reveal the cell population and differences of cellular, evolutionary relationships which can help treat the mutated cells.  

Rachel Goldfeder is a scientist and founder of WiSE. WiSE stands for Women in Science and Engineering. 

“Our mission is supporting and helping women in the science field. We focus on the community to help women feel empowered,” Goldfeder commented. “We also focus as mentors outside of our community. We look at the next generation of scientists to help them see this is a career they could be in.”

Rachel hopes to inspire generations to come so they can see how much fun science is. WiSE also mentors young girls who are curious about the scientific field. 

Nadia Rosenthal has been studying COVID-19. They have been looking at why some people have worse symptoms of COVID-19 than others and what this means. They started by gathering a large group of mice. They embedded a human gene into the mice so the mice could get Covid. Then they had two mice impregnate all the other mice so all the offspring would be related, like us humans, but they are all different genetics. There were mice that got sick and died within a couple days, while others would get sick and were fine within a week. About half of the mice had neurological issues, while others had lung problems. In a few groups, only males got COVID-19, and in other groups, only females got COVID-19. They are currently looking into why the mice acted differently. Nadia hopes to understand why COVID-19 does this so they can know exactly what they need to do to a patient to treat them. 

Later, each scientist was asked why they went into this field and what the experiment means to them. Ewelina Bolcun-Finas, a woman scientist who has traveled to Spain, Poland, and Germany, came to America to study and help with her experiment. She hopes to decrease the infertility rate among cancerous women with her experiment. 

Karolina Palucka decided to study breast cancer when a patient came in with severe breast cancer, and they couldn’t do anything about it.

“This patient still hurts me today when I think about her.”

Without this patient, Karolina says he wouldn’t have been here. It gave her the motivation to help others, and now, she hopes to make it easier to treat breast cancer in patients and to help their bodies recover from it quicker. 

The women hope they were able to inform young viewers and convince them that anyone, male or female, can go into a women’s study field. BJ Bormann, host of the convention, thinks anyone should be able to go into this field.  You can be a male and work in a female study; or vice-versa.

 “With the scientist’s advice, their main goal was to let everyone know they could be a scientist if they want to be, and don’t give up just because you think you’re “not smart enough.” BJ Bormann concludes, “You should chase after what you want. “It doesn’t matter who you are. Chase after what you want to do.”