Grad Gloom: Mental Health & Grad School

Ah, February. That time of year when the winter starts to feel long…really long. The holidays are over and now it’s just the long slog toward spring. In grad school, this time of year can be especially difficult – long hours working to make up for lost time during break, grant deadlines creeping, and for […]

Fluorescent DREADD January 28

Dawn of the DREADD

[En Español] There are few things I find more satisfying than a good acronym, and DREADD  or Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by a Designer Drug has got to be my favorite.  The name is just so evocative.  Whenever I think about DREADDs, I find myself picturing some sort of Star Wars villain; maybe due to […]

Vector flat concept of gamification in business. Management and commerce - vector illustration January 14

Life (™), the Game

I emerged from the haze of 2015’s consumer season with “FitBit”, one of the biggest names in wearable technology, staring at me from my bank statement. Turns out, my brother’s job, like many others, has monthly competitions, awarding prizes to the employee averaging the most daily steps. Never one to be beat, my sister in law requested one for the holidays, which […]

Darth_Vader December 17

Did Epigenetics Save Luke Skywalker from the Dark Side? A Neurobiological Perspective on Darth Vader

Good versus Evil It’s less than a week before Christmas, and just a few short days away from opening night of The Force Awakens (Episode VII of the THIRD and final Star Wars trilogy). The Christmas season (coincidentally also the season of blockbuster releases) is ripe with distinctions between “naughty” and “nice”, from children who […]

Featured Image -- 4732 December 16

Who wants to be an astronaut?

Originally posted on NeuWrite San Diego:
Sensory deprivation. Cultural isolation. Physical confinement. Throw in relearning every menial task for microgravity, the lack of privacy and the disturbed sleep-wake cycle, and you can be sure your life will never be the same (1,2). Yeah, the job description for being an astronaut is a little intense. Especially since you also need…

Yoda_Attack_of_the_Clones December 15

What’s Your Damage, Yoda?

Even if you haven’t seen the Star Wars films (yes, those people do exist and yes, it’s rude to yell at them until they watch them), you probably know three key things about Jedi Master Yoda: he’s small, he’s green, and he talks funny. Specifically, he switches around the order of some of his words; […]

sw-the-force-awakens December 14

Real Jedi Mind Tricks: The Psychology of Mind Control

[En Español] Welcome, my young padawans, to Star Wars week. Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out THIS Friday, and the neurds on our team decided that it was a perfect opportunity to do one of our favorite things: connect neuroscience with pop culture! First up: real-world Jedi Mind Tricks. In Star Wars: A New […]

optogenetics December 10

A Toast to Optogenetics

[En español] “This seems rather far-fetched but it is conceivable that molecular biologists could engineer a particular cell type to be sensitive to light.” These words, published in 1999 by Francis Crick [1] (co-discoverer of the DNA double helix structure and a neuroscientist later in life) were incredibly prophetic. It did seem far-fetched, and yet, a […]

IMG_8818 December 03


Anorexia nervosa. A disease for the privileged? Shallow white girls trying to look like fashion models? […] The stereotypes attached to anorexia add to the devastating reality of a serious brain disorder

ATCG November 26

PCR (Pilgrims and Cranberry Relish)

[En Español] A Thanksgiving tale about DNA amplification There are many things for which I am thankful, and I’m sure for many of us these reasons for gratitude are similar—family, friends, good health all come to mind.  But there are so many other things that make our daily lives easier and more manageable. Just to […]


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