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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Every week Dr. Karen Ring organizes a “sciparty” on twitter, where a scientists or science communicator who is active on twitter takes over the @sciparty account and answers questions for an hour on twitter. Today, I hosted the science party and received a lot of questions about my decisions to pursue and drop out of […]


The knowing-speaking gap Last night I went to taping of live Tech podcast that featured non-fiction author Douglas Rushkoff as a guest. (I’ll try to link to it once it get’s published). Overall, I felt the show was funny but in huge need of either fact-checking or authoritative guests, which Rushkoff was not. Unfortunately, it […]


Exposure to toxic metals, like lead, have been linked to intellectual disability, and language, and behavioral problems, but the results of studies looking at whether toxic metals influence Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have been mixed. Other metals like manganese and zinc are essential minerals important for proper development and health. Until now, one of the […]


I’m currently trying to go from working as an MD-PhD student to a science journalist. From thinking about disease and doing hands-on research to writing, thinking, and talking about those same conditions and studies. I’ve struggled to explain why I’m making this switch. To come up with a single linear narrative that’s both satisfactory and […]


Today, I listened to a story from Science Friday about sunscreen. It’s an interesting story: sunscreen use is on the rise, but so are cases of melanoma. Why? One idea, called the ‘compensation hypothesis’ is that sunscreen with high UVB but low UVA protection, stops sunburn and enables people to spend more time in the […]


Today’s horrific tragedy will undoubtedly spawn another round of news stories saying that this is the “Nth mass shooting,” or “it’s been N days since the last mass shooting in the U.S.” But many of them will give completely different numbers. When it comes to mass shootings, it can be hard to find good data—in […]


James L. Madara, MD, CEO of the American Medical Association (AMA), began his letter to the United States Senate poetically: “Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or ‘first, do no harm.’ The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels.” The letter concludes more concretely: “We believe that Congress should […]


Loan words sometimes take on whole new meanings: for example the word ‘parka’ in Japan refers to a ‘hooded sweatshirt’ or ‘hoodie’ as opposed to the jacket commonly called a ‘parka’ in English: I’d be really curious to dig into the etymology of these kinds of words, and it’s probably fairly easy to trace their […]


The strong and simultaneous activation of both branches the autonomic nervous system, sympathetic and parasympathetic, is known as ‘autonomic conflict.’ In the cartoonish intro-biology view of the body, the sympathetic system fight or flight is an accelerator, the parasympathetic is pumping the breaks. (I always used to think parasympathetic = paramedics = ’rest and recover’.) […]


One nuance of language that I hadn’t considered before spending a year in Japan is how words for expressing categories sometimes don’t quite line up. For example, in Japanese ‘juusu’ or juice refers not just to fruit and vegetable juices, but also soft-drinks. But what’s more, the line between fruits and vegetables itself is different, […]



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