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This will be the last post for Science To Life. Due to changes in my professional life I will no longer maintain the blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing here and I hope you have enjoyed reading the blog. Take care!
The Graduate Junction The Graduate Junction provides an easy way for Masters, PhD and Postdoctoral researchers to see what current work is being undertaken by their peers and communicate with those who share common research interests in a global multi-disciplinary environment. It was created by a team of graduate researchers at Durham and Oxford University. With this website, they hope to build an online graduate research community.www.graduatejunction.com Labmeeting.com Labmeeting.com is a new, web-based tool to help researchers organize and search their collection of PDFs, find out about…
This article was brought to my attention by the male minority (we have 2 men and 8 women) in my lab. They suggested that the article supports their plea to recruit more men into the lab in order to neutralize the excessive female-ness that they are exposed to every day. They are grossly exaggerating, of course. Nevertheless, here are excerpts from the article. University of Illinois researchers report this week that chronic exposure to estradiol, the main estrogen in the body, diminishes some cognitive functions. Rats exposed to a steady dose of estradiol were impaired on tasks involving…
The Southeastern United States has long been recognized for producing talented scientists and technicians. But are too many of them leaving the Southeast to find jobs? I recently explored this issue in an article that was published in the August 2008 edition of Tech Journal South. Georgia, North Carolina and Florida were selected as representative Southeastern states. The problems they face-and solutions they create-are likely to reflect on other neighboring states. Area scientists and administrators, including those who work in the Southeast or are actively involved in recruiting and…
I recently read an interesting article about why doing scientific research makes a person feel stupid and why this may actually be a good thing. The article is written by Martin A. Schwartz, a professor at the University of Virginia and is published in the April 2008 edition of Journal of Cell Science. Schwartz writes: I recently saw an old friend for the first time in many years. We had been Ph.D. students at the same time, both studying science, although in different areas. She later dropped out of graduate school, went to Harvard Law School and is now a senior lawyer for a major…
You may soon be enjoying microwave popcorn and other 'nuked' foods and beverages faster than ever before, while saving on electricity. Researchers in Pennsylvania and Japan report development of new ceramic materials that heat up faster and retain heat longer than conventional microwave cookware while using less energy.The ceramics are made from a mixtures of magnetite and petalite and are reported to heat faster than commercially available microwave cookware. "Rice cooks in about half or less time," the researchers say. Other applications may include pizza delivery, since the food would…
After 6 years in graduate school, I finally defended my dissertation and earned those 3 letters I've wanted for so long: P.h. & D. I look forward to putting the emotional and psychological roller coaster called "grad school" behind me and moving on into the professional world, which I hope will be more routinely stable. Anyone looking to hire a medical writer? Email me.
Here are some interesting posts from bloggers in my Blogroll: 1. Counter Minds tackles the question "why do people have different blood types?" 2. Bio Job Blog writes about being involved in the creation of a new science-oriented social networking site called "The BioCrowd". 3. The Gist writes about scientists' efforts to study the melting of Greenland's massive ice cap. 4. Bio-Typing discusses about the portrayal of leprosy in the film "The Motorcycle Diaries" (Image: Sarah Das/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the major cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age in developed countries (1). Researchers of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy, have developed a mouse model of SIDS to study to role of serotonin signaling in the disease and hope to apply their findings to treating the same condition in humans. Postmortem studies have shown alterations in serotonin neurons in the brainstem of SIDS infants. The researchers set out to determine how serotonin homeostasis may contribute to infant death in a mammalian…
I am happy to report that my research paper on a protein implicated in breast and lung cancer, called BAP1 (BRCA1-associated protein-1), was recently accepted for publication in the journal 'Cancer Research'. As you know, my research studies are in the field of cancer biochemistry and for the past few years I have been working on the BAP1 protein-a deubiquitinating enzyme. The paper is entitled "BAP1 is a tumor suppressor that requires deubiquitinating activity and nuclear localization". This paper is particularly special to me because it is my first peer-reviewed scientific publication (…
Nicholas Carr set out to explore how the ubiquity of text on the Internet is affecting our brains, after realizing that his increased Internet use may be affecting his ability to concentrate on reading long, detailed texts. His essay is published in the July/August issue of The Atlantic "Over the past few years I've had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain," he says. "The deep reading that use to come naturally has become a struggle." As the Internet becomes a universal conduit for most of the information that flows through our eyes and…
The question was asked by a Science To Life reader using the "Make a Request" icon. He asked: I am interested in how bacon impacts the body. Is it filling because it has fat that is useful for delaying hunger and quelling the appetite? Is it not damaging because of nitrates or nitrates used in production/preparation? Is it not to be avoided as a fatty heavy protein the body finds hard to metabolize? To answer this question, I turned to fitness expert and author Louiza Patsis MS. Here is her response: High levels of nitrates have been linked to adverse health effects in humans, such as…
Clifford S. Mintz Ph.D., author of Bio Job Blog, writes about a study suggesting that artificial sweeteners may cause people to gain rather than lose weight. Like Cliff, I had heard reports of this but never paid much attention. Although the study was published several months ago, I recently became interested in it because I am trying to kick a bad dependence on diet sodas. He writes: Over the past few years, I have heard rumors that artificial sweeteners like saccharine, aspartame and sucralose actually cause people to gain rather than lose weight. I summarily dismissed these stories…
A new study aimed at confirming the region of the brain that is important in detecting sarcasm may open the door for new diagnostic tools in detecting mental illness, according to an article in The New York Times. Study leader Katherine P. Rankin, a neuropsychologist and assistant professor in the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco, used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology and a language test to highlight the region of the brain where the ability to detect sarcasm resides. The findings, which were presented at the American Academy of Neurology's…
I recently teamed up with Hitt Medical Writing, LLC to bring you science/medical writing jobs (see the new section of the sidebar). Hitt Medical Writing is a company that provides solutions to industries in the life sciences, including continuing medical education, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies. Company founder, Emma Hitt Ph.D., produces "The HittList"TM, a free weekly subscription email containing information about science/medical writing/editing jobs (both staff and freelance). I've been receiving this job list for ages and find it to be a great resource for freelance, full-…
Google Health, the latest service from Google, was recently launched as a beta version. Online personal health services have been around for a while (including Revolution Health and Microsoft's HealthVault) but here's what Google says is different about theirs: 1.Portability:Through Google Health, you will be able to have access and control over your health data from anywhere. People who travel will be able to move health data between their various health providers seamlessly and with total control. 2.Ease of use: Clean, easy-to-use user experience that makes managing your health information…
There may soon be a new (more eco-friendly) option in funeral services: dissolving bodies in lye and flushing the residue down the drain. Lye is an alkaline chemical also known as sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and the process of using it to dissolve certain substances is called alkaline hydrolysis. Alkaline hydrolysis has actually been around for years and is used in a variety of processes including the disposal of other biological and biohazardous waste. By avoiding the emissions generated during cremation, alkaline hydrolysis may be a more eco-friendly option. Although the process is legal…
Seed Magazine editors, now hard at work on the next issue, want to see the typical or not-so-typical places where our bloggers (and their readers) do science. For the chance to get your scientific work space featured in Seed, please send a photo of it to art@seedmediagroup.com by Tuesday, May 13th at 5:00pm EST. Please write "Where I Do Science Photo Submission" in the subject line, and send as high a resolution image as you can. Read more here.
I recently started writing for a new website called TechPedia Atlanta which will launch in Summer 2008. TechPedia Atlanta is a wiki-style site that will let anyone create or edit encyclopedic entries about the Atlanta technology scene. I like the idea of an Atlanta-centric technology site because the city has a burgeoning biotech industry that remains under-the-radar. I think it would be a great place to showcase the innovative research being done at local universities and act as a networking tool for people aspiring to work or invest in the Atlanta biotech industry. Having a wiki-style…
India will account for approximately 60% of heart disease cases worldwide within two years, according to new research published in the journal Lancet. The study, led by Dr Denis Xavier of St John's National Academy of Health Sciences in Bangalore and other researchers from Canada says one major problem is that Indians are unable to reach hospitals quickly in an emergency. Other risk factors in India were the same as elsewhere including tobacco use, high levels of lipids in the blood due to diets rich in saturated fat, and hypertension. "As the Indian economy grows, there is a possibility…