August 17

Zika: Has this virus lost its bite?

Do you live in a generally cool, dry place and rarely think about mosquitoes? Was last year’s Zika outbreak of little personal concern? You may not have the option of staying carefree for much longer. The Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito is already enjoying widespread breeding grounds as temperatures steadily rise across the globe, indicating that […]

August 10

It’s a Fine Line Between Utopia and Gattaca

In a previous piece, we talked about why scientists and innovators around the world are so excited about CRISPR, a powerful new gene editing technology. The tool was first published 2012, but it still regularly makes headlines. Less than a month ago researchers in Portland, Oregon announced the first successful use of CRISPR in human […]

August 03

The Ring to Rule Them All – Tinnitus

Baby Driver, the most recent theatrical offering from director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), not only makes the first generation iPod (which now passes as a body double for a paperweight) look cool again, but also brings to light an interesting auditory condition that affects nearly 10% of the population – […]

July 20

Genomes, Circuits, and the Roundworm: C. Elegans as a Model Organism

A nematode can do much to help our understanding of human biology.

July 13

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

What’s one part beach, four parts science, and too much fun? If you answered “Brain Camp,” you nailed it.

July 06

A nerve-racking issue

[En español] In 1936, a scientist named Gerhard Schrader was hired by the German government to end a bothersome and destructive beetle pest that was devastating German farms. Mixing different molecules (because that’s what we scientists do) he came across the recipe for the deadly nerve agent tabun. Even though his purpose was to create […]

June 29

Feelin’ the Beat (Frequency)

What do you think when you read the word interference? If you’re like most people, you probably think it’s negative. Colloquially, interference tends to be obstructive or destructive, like interference keeping your radio or TV from picking up a station, or pass interference in football. I’m NeuWriting to inform you of a recent study in […]

June 22

Psychopathy, qu’est-ce que c’est

Psychopathy, qu’est-ce que c’est A thought experiment Imagine that you are a respected scientist trying to better understand psychopathy.  What might be different in the brain of a psychopath?  As you look through brain scan after brain scan of psychopathic individuals—many of them convicted killers—you see a pattern.  In brain regions important for impulse control, […]

June 15

Your Brain, the Liar

Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Thinking machines, like those portrayed in HBO’s Westworld, use new information from their environment to update their beliefs about the world and take action to further their goals. For all such machines, the success of that process of integrating new input is limited by their hardware, […]

June 08

Apply now for ComSciCon at UCSD!

Applications for ComSciCon-SD close in one week (on June 15th)!  Apply today. A scientist and a non-scientist walk into a bar.  As the night proceeds, the non-scientist asks the scientist the oft-dreaded question: “So, what do you do?  What is your research about?”  What likely follows is a confused and confusing garble of jargon and […]