Young Observers: Mid-November 2023

Did You Know?: Rare Muscle Disease For Boys Only

by Declan, 8th grade

Some of us, boys, may not have the opportunity to live beyond 25 years old. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, or DMD, a genetic disorder resulting from a mutation (change) on the mother’s X chromosome, affects patients who are males at birth. It is known as an incurable illness that claims its victims between the age of 20-30 years old.

In a simple explanation, almost all healthy humans gain muscles and increase strength by exercising. During these exercises, the muscle fibers of cells in one’s body are destroyed, while protein and creatine kinase (production of muscle energy) allow a stronger muscle fiber to reconstruct. Dystrophin, a protein that binds muscles together, is required for this process since its function is to repair muscles. In a person diagnosed with DMD, the dystrophin protein is mutated to be shorter, rendering it useless. Because of this catastrophe, the muscles will start to weaken and will not be able to repair themselves after exercise. It causes the muscles to fall apart and deteriorate, ultimately affecting the lungs and the heart, which leads to death.

Although there are treatments for DMD, such as steroids and medications to prolong a patient’s life, the constant duplication and transcription of mutated, incorrect DNA will weaken the body.

Rosie LeeFeatured Pet: Meet Patton

by Rosie, 7th grade

Patton is a sweet and comical dog. A breeze to leash and walk, Patton can be found always playing with a toy. However, unlike my baby brother, he is always willing to share and play. He has a basic set of skills at the age of seven and has an exceptional temperament that would make him well-suited for first-time pet families, including young children.

Animal ID A1829121

Visit or Call (714) 935-6848 to schedule an appointment today! (Walk-ins welcome)

Endangered Species

Q: What turtle has bright green hair?

A: The Mary River Turtle has bright strands of algae growing on the turtle’s head in a symbiotic relationship. Symbiotic is the term for a relationship between two living organisms. An example of a symbiotic relationship is the mosquito’s relationship with humans. The Mary River Turtle is a large freshwater turtle endemic to the Mary River in Queensland, Australia.

Endemic means native and restricted to a specific place. Also endangered, there are only 10,000 of this short-necked turtle in the world. Since they do not reach maturity until 25 years old, the breeding of these reptiles takes patience and diligence. Mainly herbivorous, this reptilian eats some animal matter. Though the Mary River Turtle is a unique reptile, it has sadly become endangered due to the building of dams and the collection of eggs (Fun Fact: Turtle eggs are known to be more flavorful than chicken eggs because of their musky flavor). But that’s not why this turtle’s eggs are stolen. Presumably, because of their iconic hair, the turtle’s eggs are being taken to sell to the pet industry. There are less than 1000 individuals left.

National Observance: Anti-Bullying Week Nov 13 -17

by Mateo, 10th grade

Bullying has been one of the most prominent issues in our society for a long time. In a 2019 study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, around 1 in 5 U.S. students between the ages of 12-18 reported that they have experienced bullying at least once during the school year.

According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, that ratio increases to 1 in 3 students globally. An arguably worse issue among students is their general lack of courage to report these instances of bullying. Of the American students who were bullied during the 2019-2020 school year, less than half reported their experience to a trusted parent or adult.

Cyberbullying is also a rapidly growing threat to our youth, with roughly 15% of high school students being electronically bullied within the year the initial study was conducted. In response to bullying and its harmful emotional effects on children, the U.K.’s National Children’s Bureau (N.C.B.) collaborated with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty (N.S.P.C.C.) to establish the Anti-Bullying Alliance in 2002, which then led to the creation of Anti-Bullying Week two years later.

Through Anti-Bullying Week, the alliance aimed to educate the public about the various forms of bullying that children experience daily. They also provided different methods and programs to civilians that focused on eliminating bullying and making the world a better and kinder place for all. Anti-Bullying Week was a huge success in the U.K., pioneering other anti-bullying acts worldwide.

In 2008, California passed a law against cyberbullying, the first of its kind in the U.S., and New Jersey schools established and adopted their Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights in 2011. The Finnish government developed a computer curriculum directed toward their students to grow a culture where bullying is frowned upon by all. Anti-Bullying Week is going strong and has spread internationally, with around seven million students observing the event worldwide.

Today is the first day of this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, and there are many things you can do to support. A tradition that began in 2017, you can wear odd socks to symbolize the diversity of the world as well as your acceptance of our differences. You can also advocate for an end to bullying by promoting this special week on social media and spreading awareness to friends and family. Finally, be on the lookout for bullying and/or cyberbullying and speak up when necessary. Everyone must have the courage to speak up for themselves and others, as that is the only way the bullying issue will ever be resolved.

Most importantly, do not forget this rule: if you see something, say something.

Digital Art: Happy Fall

by Jules, 7th grade



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.