Category Archives: Uncategorized

June 23

A Genetic Identity Crisis: Mosaicism in the Brain

We carry with us every day trillions of copies of one of the best stories ever written: the human genome. Carefully drafted and edited over 4 billion years, our genome contains all the information necessary, and then some, for making a human being from scratch. Often we think of this recipe book as a monolith: […]

January 27

Genetics of Sasquatch: making cryptozoology scientific?

Growing up in Oregon meant I spent lots of time hearing about Sasquatch. Now working in a lab studying monkeys, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how different primates are related. While it is undeniable that little evidence has been found to prove Bigfoot roams the wild forests of the Pacific Northwest, perhaps […]

December 09

Mal de Débarquement: The Science of Land Sickness

Recently I was lucky to spend seven days on a catamaran out at sea with a small group of (COVID-vaccinated) friends. We traveled around the Gulf of California, witnessing truly amazing sights like manta rays jumping out of the water, sea birds diving into the water, and turtles floating along in the swell. This was […]

April 15

Why UC student researchers need a union

Right now, a group of graduate student researchers across the University of California are working to form a union.  What does this mean?  How is science made?  The process of becoming a full-time (“tenure-track”) neuroscientist or biologist at a university or other research institution involves a long training process.  Students must obtain an undergraduate degree […]

December 24

The Earth is Flat: A Psychology Perspective

Living in a world of “alternative facts” and misinformation is exhausting. A casual scroll through Facebook can spiral into a tiresome fact checking escapade and an emotional rollercoaster: “You mean we could have been free from COVID if we had all just injected ourselves with bleach?!” Misinformation is defined as false information that is spread, […]

November 19

Neuroscience… of the bladder

When we think of neuroscience, we often think of the brain. […] But so much of neuroscience is concerned with happenings outside the brain itself. For instance, neural signaling controls and coordinates our muscle movements, alerts us when our stomach is empty, produces a physiological response to arousal, and sends a painful alarm when we damage our skin. Neural signaling is also important for telling us when it’s time to pee.

October 08

It’s about time

About a day To you, Earth probably seems like a fairly stagnant entity. Sure, we are currently dealing with rising global temperatures as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, but in your day to day world, those changes probably seem quite small. Over the history of life on Earth, however, so many things that we […]

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), […]

July 23

Postictal Blues

Intro On the morning of January 12th, 2020, I woke up to the sound of my phone vibrating. It was my mom because it was her birthday and I had told her to call me the night before. I had the perfect plan: at approximately 2 a.m. that morning, I snuck into the house (I […]

July 02

The Intersex Brain

It is evident that male and female sex characteristics exist on a spectrum, and treating them as fully binary categories invalidates the bodies and experiences of those who express a range of biological sex characteristics. […] But… what about the brain? Are there differences between the male brain and the female brain?