May 10

A Bright Idea: Illuminating the Brain with GCaMP

You might’ve read stories about some brain region “lighting up” in response to some stimulus. But what does “lighting up” actually mean? Oftentimes it refers to scientists using a fMRI machine that applies sophisticated technology to translate changes in blood flow into pixels on a computer screen. Sometimes though the brain can literally light up, […]

May 03

The Neurogenesis Saga: Are new neurons born in the adult human brain?

One of neuroscience’s most heated debates during the past 50 years has been whether or not new neurons are born (a process called neurogenesis) in the adult mammalian brain. Before the late 1990s, we believed that we were born with all the neurons we would have throughout our lives. However, evidence of adult neurogenesis from […]

April 26

Lymph, glymph, sleep, & sickness

  Consider the word “lymph.” What comes to mind? To me, “lymph” sounds like a viscous liquid that might ooze out of the orifices of some terrifying wounded creature. Or perhaps your mind jumps to the term “lymph nodes”, conjuring images of little knobs in your neck bulging with infection, sometimes growing so large that […]

April 19

taste of science: a fest to feed your curiosity

I’m a firm believer that science and beer pair well together. Luckily for me, taste of science San Diego highlights the best of both in a week–long festival. As the city coordinator, I’ve worked with an incredible team to create a festival that provides San Diegans a unique opportunity to get a flavor for the […]

April 12

Titrating your trip: Microdosing and mental health

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to promote or condone the purchase, possession, sale, or consumption of any illicit substances. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. Your alarm goes off, you hit snooze a few times, then roll over and drag yourself out of bed to make some coffee. It’s just another […]

April 06

THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC: A SOBERING VULNERABILITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

Opioids are a class of powerful psychoactive drugs that are often prescribed for pain relief, but can produce an intense euphoria that has proven remarkably addictive.  Opioid use disorder, a diagnosis characterized by compulsive opioid use and withdrawal, affects or has affected approximately 3 million Americans and 16 million people worldwide.  According to the Centers […]

March 29

The animals snakes have nightmares about

The Box Jellyfish has venom so powerful that its human victims go straight into shock. The bite of a king cobra can result in the death of a healthy human adult within fifteen minutes. One drop of venom from a cone snail is capable of killing more than twenty humans. We live in fear of […]

March 22

“Find My Friends”, Brain edition

Have you ever felt hyper-aware of where another person is, almost like you’ve got some internal GPS that’s automatically tracking their location? Perhaps you’ve felt this way (however creepily) when you’ve had a major crush on someone, to the point that you’re exceptionally tuned in to where that person is in a room at any […]

March 15

Remember Tomorrow?

  We humans have an impressive ability to plan for the future — lapsed New Year’s resolutions and overambitious project planners notwithstanding. We can make decisions in the present (like bringing an umbrella) that make our lives easier in the future (we stay dry). Among the animal kingdom, this capacity is distinctly rare. Even animals […]

March 08

The Art of Brainwashing

[En español] Have you ever tried to convince someone of something? Or have you ever been convinced of something? Of course you have. Everyone has. We are constantly bombarded with commercials for products to buy, and exposed to people’s rants, in real life or online, about how we should be voting, and what we should […]