Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup

By: Liibaan Yusuf

One of the biggest events this year is the World Cup. What is the World Cup? It’s one of the most important soccer, or football, events in the world, with the big grand stage happening every 4 years. However, there are almost always games going on, whether they’re qualifiers or friendlies between countries.

The World Cup is also a big deal to governments across the world. Hosting the World Cup is a big responsibility and many countries try to join in on the opportunity. Hosting the World Cup, may cost a country at first, but it puts it on the map.

For example, in the past, World Cups held in Russia (2018) and Brazil (2014) were both fairly big for their time. Brazil had spent $15 billion USD on various investments towards the preparation of the 2014 World Cup. Russia had spent upwards of $11 billion USD towards new stadiums, metro systems, and employment for security and other positions. 

However, the upcoming 2022 World Cup is unlike any we have seen in the past. Qatar has said to have invested $220 billion USD towards this year’s sporting event. Qatar, is substantially smaller than every country to have ever held a World Cup since the creation of the massive event.

Qatar has a history of extravagant spending, especially since the discovery of oil in the Middle East. The ruling Thani family is a family known for scandals and hidden secrets. Even though Qatar states they have invested $220 billion USD, there have been numerous scandals and issues hidden behind closed doors.

One of the biggest scandals, is that many expats come to Qatar from various countries, particularly those who come from less wealthy areas of the world. They come to Qatar for promises of work and wealth, however, this industry is built on lies and deceit. Passports and work clearances are taken and kept hostage by employers and they’re paid low wages. They work out in infamous Qatari heat. There have been many stories of people dying from heat exhaustion and other heat related causes. 

However, Qatar has passed historic new laws and regulations calling for investigations into employers who’ve been caught violating workers rights. In fact, in April of 2021, the Qatari government put $824 million USD towards paying migrants who had COVID. Before this, manual labor workers who were sick would have no benefits or income for their time sick. In August of the same year, Qatar passed a law for a national minimum wage of 1000 riyals, about 300 more riyals than the previous minimum wage. “Qatar is the first country in the world to introduce non-discriminatory minimum wage,” according to the ‘International Labour Organization’. 

Though Qatar has been known to have human rights issues, it would seem as though hosting the World Cup has led it to start paving the way for human rights in the Middle East. Hopefully, this will provide a fresh start for all through a shared interest for those around the world.

How depression affects school

By: Kayla Madison

Depression affects school differently for everyone. Usually, lower grades are one the first noticeable signs. Sometimes though, unfortunately, it’s easier for parents/teachers/family members to miss this sign of mental illness. It’s a common thing to think that “It’s just a teenager thing/ it’s just a phase”, but a drop of grades can be a clear sign that there’s more that meets the eye.

The some possible symptoms of how depression can affect school are: difficulty concentrating – resulting in poor work on assignments and exams, trouble with organizing and time management, hypersensitivity – that could lead to emotions out of whack and not good interactions socially, forgetfulness, and decreased self esteem. These are just quick little signs that show how difficult school can be when depressed, because of these things they could significantly affect your school life.

Depression at school can affect your perception of yourself at school, failing an assignment could worsen the thought that you’re dumb, or can’t do anything right, and it becomes a self perpetuating cycle. Memory is also impaired, which becomes especially hard when taking tests or exams, affecting grades.

As someone who struggles with depression, my position is a lot like this: I become unmotivated to do anything and I end up having bad grades or attendance. I don’t want to do anything involving school, and I usually just wait it out because there are no methods out of that kind of thinking. That almost always sucks for me because then I have to end up making up credits, which is extremely hard when you’re depressed, and I’m almost a senior and it’s really messing a lot of things up for me. When you feel like this you should mainly talk to your teachers, or counselors, and see if there’s anything you can do to prevent things like credit recovery or summer school.

​​Scientific research on frogs being able to regrow limbs as adults 

By: Abigail Hernandez Castillo & Thalia Pliego

As the world changes everyday, science changes and evolves everyday as well. There have been advances in all areas of science and regrowing limbs in adult frogs is one of them. According to CBS News, scientists at Tufts University and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute have been able to regrow amputated limbs. A study that was published in Science Advances shows how the researchers used a chemical cocktail to induce this growth on the frogs’ limbs. Currently, “The ability to regrow limbs is limited to ‘salamanders and superheroes,'” the team said in a press release. Science Advances further explains that, “For the study, scientists began by applying the five-drug chemical cocktail infused with silk protein gel to the African clawed frogs stump and they covered it with a silicone dome,” called the BioDome. 

Both frogs and humans share a similarity, they both cannot regrow limbs. According to Live Science, based on a new study, researchers had successfully been able to get African clawed frogs to grow new replacement limbs in 18 months which was followed by a treatment that lasted 24 hours. Humans are able to close open wounds and use stem cells to regrow parts of the liver, similar to animals like salamanders who can regrow entire limbs. However, as of right now both frogs and humans cannot fully regrow limbs. “The cells of the frog already know how to make frog legs, our goal is to figure out how to convince them to do it again.” says Micheal Levin, a biologist at Tufts University.

According to Science News, Michael Levin and his team amputated the back legs of 115 adult African clawed frogs. ⅓ of these frogs received BioDomes, which are silicone sleeves that cover the wound on the legs. Researchers attached BioDomes holding a gel that contained 5 chemicals which included a nerve growth promoter, an anti-inflammatory substance, and a growth hormone to another third of the frogs. The last ⅓ of the frogs had not received any treatments before being placed into their tanks. The BioDomes had stayed on the African clawed frogs for 24 hours. So why use BioDomes? According to David Kaplan, a professor of engineering at Tufts University, “Using the BioDome cap in the first 24 hours helps mimic an amniotic-like environment, which, along with the right drugs, allows the rebuilding process to proceed without the interference of scar tissue”. 

According to Science News, Over the next 18 months, frogs had grown new limbs after amputation. The ⅓ of the frogs that didn’t receive treatments grew a spiky stump. The ⅓ of the frogs that received BioDome devices and drugs grew the longest limbs with the greatest bone density and more blood vessels and nerves. According to CBS News, the new limbs had bones and several “toes” that grew at the end of the limbs, however, the toes did not have bones. The frogs were able to feel when the limb was brushed over with stiff fiber and could also use the new limb to swim through the water. 

This new study could be beneficial to humans in the long run. It increases life quality. According to Fast Company, traumatic injury is one of the leading causes of death and disability in Americans. The most lifelong disability is limb loss from severe injury. These injuries are often caused by car accidents, athletic injuries, side effects of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, and even battlefield injuries. The treatment is far from being ready to be used in humans, but it is known that it only works immediately after injury. Uncovering and understanding his process is a start to a new beginning in regenerative medicine. 

We interviewed a senior at Highland High for their input on this article. “I think this is a good discovery because if we know how to make frogs regrow limbs, hopefully in the future we can figure out how to make humans regrow limbs so that if a person has to get amputated, it will be less traumatizing because they will possibly be able to regrow it and have it like nothing ever happened.”