messy October 20

Cuteness, or How I Scammed My Way to Adulthood

I have a confession to make: I am a scammer. You’re born naked and the rest is scam. — Joanne The Scammer (@joanneprada) May 18, 2016 When I was born, I was completely unsuited to survive on my own.  Considering all of my accomplishments today, it’s hard to believe that when I got started, I […]

batman-dc-comics October 13

Pop Culture Psychology: What Your Favorite Superhero Can Say About You

[En espagñol] It’s October and the leaves are turning – Halloween is creeping up, and it’s time to start thinking about your costume. Vampires and zombies are always popular, but you’ve probably noticed a trend in the last few years: superheroes are where it’s at. We love our pop culture characters, and from Luke Cage […]

toxoplasma_gondii October 06

Hiding Inside

[En español] Every time someone asks me how I became interested in science, my memory takes me back to the early 90s. I was six or seven, and instead of being amused by princesses and unicorns (I have nothing against them though), I was a huge fan of any movie/series that featured weird creatures, like […]

5081826831_b8f7dec174_o September 30

To See, but not to See

In 2008, a man shocked researchers when he successfully walked through a hallway cluttered with boxes, trash cans, and other junk without stumbling into anything. That may not seem terribly impressive (particularly if you’re used to navigating through a messy bedroom every night), but here’s the catch: that man was blind. That man, known as […]

rbbrains September 22

Left Brain, Right Brain, Red Brain, Blue Brain

[En español] With the first presidential debate of 2016 quickly approaching, it’s a good time to consider whether your brain has already cast its vote. There is no shortage of articles that imply your political leanings are reflected in your brain’s structure and function (e.g. Is your brain liberal or conservative?—Fox News, Experts say liberal […]

eye-609987_1280 September 15

I’m not crying; it’s just been raining on my face

Humans and turtles have many things in common: we both possess four limbs, two eyes, a shell around our most vulnerable secrets, and tears that are attractive to butterflies and bees [1,2]. Our salt-rich tears, it seems, are much more palatable (and nutritious) to insects than they are to ourselves. Julia butterflies drinking turtle tears […]

drunk_driving_simulator_montreal_by_caa_of_quebec September 08

Car Talk

For many Americans—and southern Californians in particular—a good chunk of our lives occurs in the confines of a car above a tangle of highways (or side streets). Time spent in traffic is the pits, so it’s no small wonder that drivers might dabble in multi-tasking.  Driving itself involves a coordination of many tasks, both perceptual […]

14060256_10210162881369245_1746773970_o September 01

Mentors Like Us: Expanding Diversity Research Program Curricula

STEM diversity initiatives should shift the focus from solely providing resources to also investigating why the vast majority of minority students stray from academia.

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 1.27.18 AM August 25

To diet or not to diet: what does your brain think?

“It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.” Margaret Mead [En español] In the US, about 50% of 10-year-olds have been on a diet [1]. Seriously. Tips for dieting and recipes for quickly losing weight saturate the media: from the most straightforward of dieting mantras, “eat less, exercise more,” to […]

frozen addicts August 18

Mind your P’s and T’s: How tainted drugs revolutionized Parkinson’s research

[En español] In 1982, a man was brought to a hospital in the Bay Area of California in a curious condition.  The man was completely catatonic (immobile), and was frozen into an awkward, statue-like posture.  Doctors initially diagnosed him with catatonic schizophrenia, a sub-type of schizophrenia characterized by rigidity and unresponsiveness. However, this diagnosis did […]