March 18

Is anyone in there?

How can we tell if someone is aware of what is going on around them? One strategy is to look at their eyes. Eye contact and dilated pupils are a good sign someone is actively engaged in a conversation. If they’re staring off into space or flickering open and shut, it’s a good sign they […]

March 12

ACHOO! How can light make you sneeze?

I follow the same routine every morning. I begrudgingly roll out of bed, get ready for the day, hustle out the side door of my apartment building on my way to the bus stop, and… sneeze. Especially in sunny San Diego where even the overcast days seem bright, I step outside and am greeted with […]

March 05

The Biochemist's Stone: NAD+

NAD+ (pronounced “N-A-D Plus”) is one of the most fundamental, crucial molecules in metabolism throughout all life on Earth. Life without NAD+ is hard to imagine: it holds irreplaceable roles in nearly every cellular process, from handling oxidative stress, DNA repair, and protein folding through to the generation of cellular energy (ATP). How does one […]

February 27

Choosing a neuroscience graduate program

TL;DR talk to current students & trust your instincts

February 20

Trying to Forget

It is difficult to overstate the importance of learning. Many consider lifelong learning to be one of their primary goals in life, education is one of the primary roles of government, and machine learning — an algorithmic approximation of learning applied to computers — is a hundred-million dollar business. It quite literally underlies everything we […]

February 13

Hard Drugs & Hard Facts

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and is not intended to condone the use of drugs illicit or otherwise. Marijuana is being legalized and hitting pop culture with a force. With most focus being directed at this seemingly harmless drug it may be easy to forget about the more taboo drugs people are using. […]

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 30

Love in the Time of PCR

(Image credit: CellPress)  Renowned geneticist George Church caused a stir last month with his idea for a brand new dating app, in which users submit their DNA for sequencing as a critical part of their profile.  Church’s app, “digiD8”, doesn’t connect tech-savvy singles who love all-things-90’s, as the name implies, but rather matches users based […]

January 23

Brains and Buildings

[En Español] There is a fascinating explosion of potential questions to ask when two previously thought-to-be-unrelated fields converge. One night, as I was having a beer in a Chula Vista brewery with my best friend Alma and her husband Ross, I was invited to be conscious about our surroundings. Alma and Ross Majewski graduated from […]

January 16

If Your Brain Could Speak

As neuroscientists, we spend much of our time staring at brain signals trying to decipher what the brain is “telling” us. We draw conclusions about memories, actions and even emotions from patterns of neural activity. In a very metaphorical sense the data “speaks to us”, it answers our questions, begs us to ask more, and […]