Archives for September, 2011

Scientists communicating their science

Christie Wilcox has a great post over at Science Sushi about why scientists should be on social media. I don’t disagree with anything she says, and I try to do it myself (see: the twitter and G+ links to the left… I also recently signed up for tumblr which is kind of fun). But sometimes…

In other words, you’re more likely to catch a cold from shaking their hand than to get an STI from Sitting on the same bench. There isn’t much reason to fear getting a sexually transmitted disease from naked sitters. These infections are most commonly the result of vigorous and prolonged exposure of a person’s mucous…

For anyone in the Boston Area, two of my colleagues and I will be giving a talk on how the immune system recognizes and responds to pathogens, and how understanding this will allow scientists to design better vaccines and more effectively treat illness. How to Spot a Virus: The origins of an immune response. This…

Halleluja, Amen.

I pledged to donate a bit every month for the next 6 months. I’ve been so cynical about politics recently, but I decided if I hear something I believe in, I should put my money where my mouth is. I’ll have to cut back on the coffee though… Via Slog.

A reward well deserved

Jad Abumrad, co-host of the amazing “Radiolab” just won a McArthur genius grant – a $500,000 prize with almost no limits on how to spend it. If you’ve never listened to Radiolab, stop reading blogs, go download an episode sit back with a good pair of headphones. It’s beautifully produced, a joy to listen to,…

Harvard Science in the News begins its fall lecture series this week with a talk on the interface between human brains and machines: I went to the practice talk last week, and it’s going to be great! From retinal implants to controlling robots with your mind, Harvard neuroscience graduate students will take you through the…

Extending life with red wine

The latest Science in the News Flash is up, and it examines the anti-aging research surrounding the molecule resveratrol, which is present at low concentrations in red wine: If resveratrol were able to mimic the lifespan-extending effects of caloric restriction in people without requiring such an extreme diet, it would be very popular, especially if…

When folks in my lab think about biological problems, we think about basics. A pathogen has some molecular component that trips a sensor on the outside of a cell. That sensor (the receptor) grabs on to some adapter proteins and starts a cascade of chemical reactions catalyzed by various enzymes, which eventually leads to the…

Sleep clears the mind

And speaking of milestones, the Harvard Science in the News Flash – a student written and student edited writing series just posted their 100th article: Sleep clears the mind: How sleep prepares the brain for new learning Despite the fact that sleep is essential to our health, its function and what makes it necessary have…

Reflections on the past

I got this e-mail from the president of my school yesterday: Dear Members of the Harvard Community: Starting this October, Harvard will celebrate its 375th birthday. Such milestones encourage us to reflect on our institution’s remarkable past–to remember that all we aspire to today finds inspiration in the creativity and commitment of those who have…