I Smell Terribly (part I)

I Smell Terribly (part I)

A new study in Science shows that the human nose, long thought to be dull, can distinguish between one trillion (1 000 000 000 000) different scents. Not having one trillion different scents handy, researchers used the next best thing:  math. Just like there’s a limit to how similar to colors can be in order … Continue reading

Plagiarism in Neuroscience

Plagiarism in Neuroscience One researcher’s article has “unexplained, close similarities” to a previously published study and is exposed on a watchdog website. The researcher threatens legal action, which prompts closer inspection of his work, with more and more papers uncovered as having “unexplained, close similarities.” Lesson of the day:  don’t plagiarize in the age of … Continue reading

Inheriting Life Experiences

Inheriting Life Experiences

The nature versus nurture debate has long been dead and buried. From the ashes arose a new preposition:  nature with nurture. While it is true that genes, the functional unit of DNA, are hereditary, what happens to those genes depends on environmental factors. Certain environments and experiences affect what happens to a gene and thereby … Continue reading

“The Reason I Jump” review

The autism described in The Reason I Jump is not what is typified in either clinical or popular descriptions of autism. Though the disorder presents on a spectrum with each individual’s experience different from others, one may hope to get a general understanding of the experiences an individual with autism has. This memoir presents a fresh … Continue reading

Milk of amnesia, no more

There is a common sedative called Propofol. It is strong, fast-acting, and allows a clear-headed recovery from its effects. It plays nicely with pain killers and is nonaddictive. Propofol d has an opaque whiteness that earned it the monicker “milk of amnesia” because it is widely used as a sedative and anesthetic. Yet when it’s given … Continue reading

Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace Day

The established fact of women’s underrepresentation in science has deservedly drawn mainstream attention. There are STEM programs catered toward developing interests in the field and various Women in Science Days across America, including ones that I’ve personally organized at my own small alma mater. Despite these growing efforts, there is still the pervasive assumption that women are the “other” in science, needing special inclusions into the empirical domain. Continue reading

Surprises in Science:  Experiment Gone Unexpectedly Right

Surprises in Science: Experiment Gone Unexpectedly Right

Sometimes in science, things don’t always go as planned. Often, this causes frustration, confusion, and funding woes. But other times, it leads you in a new, exciting direction. This is a story of the latter, a story that movies are based on. It details the pitfalls, the ingenuity, and the surprises common to scientific endeavors. On the surface, this article reads like a niche publication. But there is a thinly veiled story of surprise and seized opportunity underneath. Continue reading

Brains, lasers, and memories: oh my!

Brains, lasers, and memories: oh my!

Science is always cool. But sometimes, it’s cool enough to be mentioned in the New York Times, CNN, BBC, and every major news outlet. It takes a very special experiment to make that happen – combining sexy research methods with science fiction like applications. This is one of those papers. Ramirez and Liu et al. … Continue reading