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 […]

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 12.00.26 AM August 11

Alzheimer’s disease: back to the basics & exploring new frontiers

When my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), I wanted to better understand what exactly was happening in his brain as his memory slowly deteriorated. Perhaps this drive came from innate scientific curiosity, or perhaps burying myself in the gritty molecular details was my attempt at escaping from the emotional gravity of the situation.

autism August 04

Funding Autism Research

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompasses many developmental disorders that cover a range of symptoms. While some people with ASD might have mild symptoms, others may stand out due to issues with social communication and language, for instance. Fortunately, scientists recognize that we need to accurately identify and treat individuals with ASD, beginning in early childhood […]

Ebbinghaus2 July 28

To improve your memory, try to get some space.

Imagine you have a big exam or work presentation at the end of the week. You’ll have to do it all from memory, so you have some studying to do. How should you decide how much to prepare? Do you practice everything once? Twice? More? It’s intuitive (and true) that more repetition results in stronger, […]

5512362612_52f8b83ae1 July 21

NeuWrite reads: Brain on Fire

As author William F. Allman puts it in his book Apprentices of Wonder: “the brain is a monstrous beautiful mess.” Thanks to the brain, we are who we are and we do what we do. Now can you imagine your brain failing you, turning against you and becoming your worst enemy? That is exactly what […]

web15-siteimages-lgbt-2400x960 July 14

#TriggerWarning: Life After Trauma

At 2:09 am on June 12, 2016, Pulse had a message for its patrons: It’s only eight words, but it gives me chills whenever I read it. Have you ever been anywhere and found yourself with that imperative? Run. Keep running. Or you may die. The shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando claimed the […]

screen-shot-2014-02-24-at-4-22-05-pm July 07

Just Keep Remembering (and Forgetting)

[En español] “I suffer from short-term memory loss. It runs in my family… At least I think it does… hm. Where are they?” Thirteen years ago, a little blue fish with a memory problem became one of the most lovable animated characters of all time. In Finding Nemo, Dory (voiced by Ellen Degeneres) constantly forgets […]

alan alda slide2 June 30

Reflections on #SciComm Boot Camp

Communicate. It is part of the scientific process, and yet scientists are notoriously terrible at distilling their work into an understandable form.

6517091111_cc7daa92a7_o June 23

Brain origami

[En español] Origami (from Japanese words “ori” meaning to fold and “kami” meaning paper) is the art of paper folding. A brain and a sheet of office paper don’t seem to have much in common, but when you crumple up the sheet into a paper ball you are holding the key to one of the mysteries […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,689 other followers