December 14

Star Wars Science: Sci-Fi Syndrome, Neuroprosthetics, and Luke Skywalker’s Hand

It’s that time of year, friends. Holiday lights are going up, snow is starting to fall, and a new Star Wars movie is about to come out! We’re all amped up to see the next chapter in Rey’s journey, this time with an experienced mentor by her side. In the new film The Last Jedi, […]

December 12

GOP tax bill would cripple biomedical science and higher education

Graduate students have it pretty rough. But we knew what we were getting into — being underpaid for several years in the hopes of contributing to an important scientific discovery and eventually getting that PhD. What we didn’t know was that Congress would draft legislation to make our lives even harder. The version of the […]

December 07

Ancient Aliens Among Us

  First contact. The prospect of intelligent extraterrestrial life has tantalized us Earthbound humans throughout our history. In relatively recent times, artists such as H.G. Wells, Ursula Le Guin, and Gene Roddenberry have created wide-eyed fantasies full of violent invasions, fraught coexistence, and delicate peace between humanity and the Other. As early as the second […]

November 30

CRISPR and the Real World

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” So begins our country’s Declaration of Independence. While we have learned that this preamble is all too simple in the context of wider society, consider the most basic interpretation of this sentiment; at the precise moment of a child’s birth, broader circumstances […]

November 23

Science and S’mores: SciCommCamp 2017

SciCommCamp can be best described as a not-so-average conference for a diverse group of fabulously nerdy science communicators with a common goal: to make science publicly accessible. I left SciCommCamp with pep in my step and a bit more confidence in my planned post-graduate school transition out of academia and into a career in science […]

November 16

Breaking Rad: The story behind “Rad Scientist”

  A year and change ago, I decided to start making podcasts – those on demand audio files that our parents and grandparents have trouble finding.  I wanted to produce audio stories that capture the amazing science happening in the San Diego area.  And I wanted these stories to focus on the scientists themselves and […]

November 09

SfN 2017 NeuWriter Picks!

You’ve probably heard about music festivals like Coachella, ACL and Bonnaroo: these are multi-day extravaganzas where thousands of individuals converge to sample from an elaborate menu of musical acts. As an attendee, you would likely be constantly shuffling back and forth across the festival grounds, trying to see as many of your favorite artists as […]

November 02

Fact or Fiction: False Memories from Replicants to Rituals

Mild spoilers for the film Blade Runner 2049 follow.   In Blade Runner’s world, it is the year 2049, and Earth looks substantially different than in 2017. Our fair city of San Diego is a literal garbage dump, crops are unable to grow outdoors, a single corporation dominates all agriculture and industry. The skies of […]

October 26

Engaged teaching and learning: Ready, set, action!

[En español] When I first signed up for formal training in best teaching practices from UCSD’s Center for Engaged Teaching, I thought I would learn good techniques for imparting knowledge to students. What I actually learned about was how to help students build their own knowledge, particularly through incorporating active learning in the classroom. Here […]

October 19

To sleep, perchance to roam

You jolt awake, sensing a presence in your room. Heart racing, you open your eyes and the figure comes into focus. Her glassy eyes seem to stare right through you. You sigh thinking, “not again,” and take your sleepwalking child back to bed.   In the middle of the night, I go walking in my […]