Category Archives: Development

October 01

Stem cells and their applications in Neurobiology

You have probably heard about neurons and blood cells, but have you ever wondered where they come from? Their ‘mother’ cells are called stem cells, and not only are the ‘parents’ of all the other cells in our bodies, but they are also a very important tool for all kinds of research! What are stem […]

August 06

Racism and Birth Inequities, From Biology to Society

Image Credit: UNICEF Black mothers in the US are 3-4x more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white mothers (NPR/ProPublica).  In addition, 40.6% of Black births are preterm, compared to 33.1% of white births (CDC).  Compounding evidence suggests that the lived experience of racism in the US, rather than genetics, health behaviors (e.g. smoking), […]

February 06

What’s my (brain) age again?

What does it mean to age? Is it a purely time-based process, with each passing moment bringing our bodies along an invariant trajectory of decline? Or is it a function of our behavior, dependent on our daily activities and the damage inflicted upon ourselves over time? Clearly, there is a bit of truth in each […]

January 09

Can we inherit family trauma?

The epigenetics behind “generational trauma” [En español] The 23 and Me craze has officially reached my family. Both of my parents were born in Poland so the results weren’t a complete surprise, but as we watched the site track generations of family history from a single spit sample, new questions came up. When my sisters […]

October 10

Why do neuroscientists study weird animals?: A primer on neuroethology

Why do neuroscientists study weird animals? And I don’t mean borderline weird; I mean the kind of extraordinary animals that can create electric fields and lift 100 times their body weight. The sort of animals that can camouflage despite being colorblind and can capture flying prey in fractions of a second. The kind of creatures […]

December 13

Astrocytes, the Underrated Stars

[En español] You usually hear the term “brain cell” referring to neurons, like they’re the only cell type present in the brain. But that’s far from the case. Neurons can be considered the main cellular unit in our nervous system, as they are the cells that transfer the information by means of electrical and chemical signals. […]

August 02

Snake Eyes: The Fear That Built Your Brain

Indiana Jones is a quintessential American hero, his fedora, satchel, and whip instantly recognizable around the world. He lives a double life, a scholarly professor of anthropology in public and a globetrotting treasure hunter in private. He defeats the Nazis and always gets the girl, displaying daring and fearlessness, with one notable exception. He has […]

July 05

Where does Alzheimer’s disease begin?

Sometimes I forget what day of the week it is, where I put my keys, or when a friend’s birthday is- but I never stop to wonder if these brief moments of forgetfulness are normal or a sign of something more serious. For many, occasional short-term memory loss is a normal part of getting older, […]

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 […]

April 28

Zika and the Brain

[En español] If you have been able to capture a glimpse of any news OTHER than the ongoing disaster which is the American 2016 Presidential Election, you may have caught wind of another wave of (more global) disaster: newly uncovered effects of the Zika virus. Zika first came into the spotlight when it was linked […]