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 […]

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 […]

January 02

The Blob

Beware! The Blob   Imagine you are on a trip to Paris. There is so much to see and do, but you decide to go to the local zoo. You are walking around, admiring all the interesting animals. There are beautiful big cats lounging about. There are enormous giraffes feeding on plants. You feast your […]

December 26

Open Borders: Remapping the Brain

While reading articles online, you may occasionally stumble across headlines like “Scientists find fear center of the brain,” or “Could this really be where the mind resides?” You might have also heard a TED talk where the speaker discusses how they discovered a part of the brain that makes decisions. Such expressions can take more […]

December 19

Genomic Imprinting: A Genetic Custody Dispute for Your Brain

During this holiday season, we would do well to reflect on what we’ve inherited from our parents. You might have your mother’s sense of humor but your father’s sense of direction. You and your Ma might share the same tastes in music, but you prefer your Pa’s tastes for ice cream. Although heavily influenced by […]

December 12

A Switch in the Brain for Compulsive Drinking

Most of us have drunk some form of alcohol in our lives. Many of us drink alcohol often. But we might know of only a few people who are pathologically addicted to alcohol. Are we, individually, differently prone to compulsive alcohol use? A recent paper, published in Science, attempts to answer this question using rodents. […]