When I was little, my favorite thing to do was draw pictures. Crisp white printer paper and a mega box of crayons were all I needed for endless hours of […]
Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, yes it’s that time of year again—flu season is upon us. By now you’ve seen plenty of “get your flu shot here” paraphernalia. Each year, a […]
Humor me for a moment: Close your eyes and imagine a scientist. Okay, now describe what you saw. If you’re artistically inclined, maybe even sketch out what you imagined on […]
Imagine for a moment that you have just welcomed a beautiful baby into the world. Over the next fourteen days your baby multiplies 3,000 times in size to that of […]
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your concept of the world’s layout is (probably) wrong. It’s not your fault; you’ve just been misled all […]
Ever since the new iPhones were announced, millions of people have been pondering one of life’s most important questions: to upgrade or not to upgrade? For me, the newly improved camera could take my Instagram game to a whole new level. For others, retinal scanning could help secure important business emails. Whether you use your phone to post pictures of your vacation, respond to important emails, or stalk an ex-boyfriend, there’s no denying that phones have become integral parts of our lives. For people without access to healthcare, cell phones can help save their lives. Even in Africa, 93% of people have access to cell phone service. This has spurred scientists to find ways to make diagnosing, treating, or tracking diseases as easy as using an app on your phone.
The month of October is in full swing, bringing with it festive fall decor, cooler weather (unless you’re here in Georgia), and also plenty of opportunities to get involved with […]
With most people, Halloween tradition mandates two things: sweets and costumes. It is the one time of year the average Joe drops their ‘people suit’ and spends the night dressed […]
What if you could design your future baby? They could be free of genetic disorders, predisposition to future disease, or even have a longer life span. In 1997, the movie GATTACA introduced us to this world of “designer babies”, where genetic manipulation allowed for the creation of the “perfect” human. But what if this science fiction is not so far-fetched? In the past three years, we have seen the genetic manipulation of human embryos, termed germline engineering, become a reality.
Flu season is coming in hot, folks! What better way to prepare than by brushing up on your knowledge? First let’s recall the important features of influenza viruses. There are […]
Jeez, he sure was beautiful. Our new snake, that is, before it escaped into the car in a mysterious, Houdini-like fashion. I left my family in the car with the […]
The breeding behavior of animals is vastly diverse and has fascinated biologists for centuries. Birds sing elaborate songs and flash their colorful plumage, some mammals fight with each other for […]
Everyone poops; it is a fact of life. It is something we do behind closed doors, and rarely discuss in civilized conversation. We refer to it as “waste” to be flushed away and forgotten, but for some people your poop could be a precious medical commodity. Poop is a tool that can help in fighting bacteria that are antibiotic resistant. Individuals dealing with these resistant infections may be looking for someone just like you to aid in a fecal transplant. You heard me right, a poop transplant from one person to another to treat a medical condition.
Insects: tiny, alien. We tend to treat them like little machines, little nuisances, little scurrying things we call “It.” Swat It! Catch It! Don’t let the dog eat It! But […]
Seriously, don’t come to work if you’re sick. How many times have we all heard this mantra? When people bring their infectious illness to work, it spreads like wildfire. Especially […]
When I was very little, I asked my dad how long it would take to get from Earth to the Sun.
I was wondering because I was attempting to pay a visit via a well-timed leap off the swingset. After he initially shattered my travel plans with the reminder that, to avoid a fiery death, I’d have to go at night (which, unfortunately, was past my bedtime), he proceeded to shatter my fragile 4-year-old notion of the universe with the fact that the sun is 93 million miles away.
You may have heard of opioids as the drug that killed Prince, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and (controversially) Elvis Presley. But my interest came after constantly seeing articles about overdoses […]
On October 27, 2016, Mike Wallace, a cotton and soybean farmer from Arkansas, met with Allan Jones, also a farmer and Mike’s neighbor. They met along a quiet road between their two farms. Their discussion began civil, but it quickly escalated. Then, suddenly, Jones drew his gun and shot Wallace. The farmer died before paramedics could arrive.
When Lana Del Rey sang of “Summertime Sadness”, I’m sure she was singing of summers in Georgia. Living in Athens, there are three things I can expect during the months of May through September: getting caught in a storm without an umbrella, sweating at 9 am walking into work, and being covered in hundreds of mosquito bites despite multiple coats of bug spray.
Our days are made up of thousands of decisions – both big and small, simple and complex. Generally we respond to these decisions by acting in our best interests. Yet […]
Picture a dairy cow with the black and white spots we all know and love, mooing happily in a grassy field. Does this dairy cow have horns? In your mind’s eye, it shouldn’t. But that’s only because the horns are removed when the cows are young, around four weeks old, with a procedure called disbudding.
Last fall, I got a pair of paper glasses in the mail. The flimsy plastic lenses were pitch black and the sides had eagles printed over an American flag. “What […]
Anyone who has read my previous post on “Why Computers Can’t do Everything” knows the Information Technology industry has an uncanny ability to generate a variety of buzzwords to try […]
Take a moment, locate a piece of paper, and then draw whatever comes to mind when you think of a scientist. Go ahead… I’ll wait. Take a look at what […]
Are you a fan of hand sanitizer? Clorox wipes? When it comes to household cleanliness, most Americans are of the opinion that the fewer germs present, the better. And despite increased warnings of potentially dangerous consequences such as antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial soaps, gels, wipes, and sprays continue to make up a large portion of America’s cleaning routine.
This blog post is part III in a three-part series about quantum mechanics. In case you missed them, check out part I here and part II here. The more we […]
On every flight, there is a point when you sink below the clouds and a miniature version of the world unfurls before you. This is my favorite part about flying. […]
I’m a tea person. This is pretty controversial in the land of good ol’ hard-workin’, coffee-drinkin’ Americans, but I suspect there are a few of you who prefer leaf water […]
In popular culture, biologically-inspired robots play a sinister role. Movies like Blade Runner and The Terminator depict scenes of a humanoid faces split open to reveal violently grinning machines underneath. Such stories often portray machines in a dire “us vs. them” scenario. However, real life robots can have a much softer side. Taking inspiration from creatures such as jellyfish, rays, and octopuses, scientists are developing soft robots that can respond to different environments and can augment human capabilities.
Everyone makes mistakes. Maybe you left popcorn in the microwave too long, or wrote the wrong date on important paperwork. Maybe you asked a friend what kind of cake he wants for his surprise party, or mistook Miracle Whip for marshmallow fluff (I will never live this one down).
In May 2013, a paper was received by the Annals of Mathematics. There were three things unusual about the event: first the author was completely unknown. Second, it claimed to […]
I will be the first to admit that, as a science student, the scientific method chapter of each textbook was no more than a list to be memorized for the […]
In previous Vaccine 101 installments, we covered the history, ingredients, importance, and global impact of vaccination. Now, in our last installment, we take a look at which vaccines we receive in the United States and at what age.
As my avid followers will recall, I ended my previous blog post with a brief discussion on the important distinction between acclimatization and adaptation. That blog post featured an in-depth […]
Babies… they go by many descriptions: miracle of life, bundle of joy, little treasure, or the best decision of ‘my’ life. Heartwarming announcements of their arrival grace our Facebook pages and are immediately followed by pictures of smiley, gurgling, adorable blobs of miniature humans. Everywhere, Mothers proclaim loudly and enthusiastically that their newly-minted creations are purely angelic.
In 2013, an outbreak of tuberculosis occurred in Oregon. The first patient discovered to have the disease was a 20-year-old male. His pale, cold, gray skin could have been a symptom of infection with the potentially deadly tuberculosis bacteria, but for Rama the elephant, it signaled that everything was normal. In fact, if it were not for a routine check-up, Rama’s tuberculosis may have never been discovered.
“ A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings For thousands of years, dogs have faithfully served by man’s […]
You have learned about the history, ingredients, and benefits of vaccines in the Vaccine 101 series so far. As we continue Vaccine 101 I want to talk about the current initiatives, benefits, and future plans for vaccines as a major player in global health. Global vaccination averts two to three million deaths per year, reduces child mortality rates, and works toward worldwide disease eradication.
If you had the choice to learn whether or not you have the mutation for Huntington’s Disease, would you want to know? Would you live your life differently? Would you see the world with new eyes? The choice to undergo genetic testing is a deeply personal one. Many individuals have no interest in obtaining their genetic information, believing the results they receive may negatively affect their daily lives: bringing depression and anxiety rather than clarity.
After taking a trip back in time to learn the history of vaccines and then inside a vaccine to learn the ingredients, we continue Vaccine 101 with our next lesson: why vaccinate?
It’s never a good sign when the deer in real life appear more gruesome than those depicted on the infamous zombie apocalypse TV series, ‘The Walking Dead’. On October 3, […]
It’s a boy! It’s a girl! It’s twins!!!
Overly excitable pregnancy posts are an unavoidable Facebook theme. Cliché pregnancy announcements are easily identified by a close-up of powder blue onesies or the tiniest pink booties, and each is accompanied by the same tale of overwhelming beauty! Can there be anything more magnificent and innocent than a new baby?
This is the fairytale American culture would have you believe.
What is the fate of the universe? Will it keep expanding forever? What did some of the first galaxies look like? Why are we here? The Hubble Space Telescope was […]
As we continue Vaccine 101 we move from history to the recipe for a vaccine. Throughout our lives we eat food, drink beverages, and use products on our bodies and around our homes. We do not always know what these things are made of, but we ingest them and use them anyways. Of these foods and products, many people have expressed concerns about what is being injected into their bodies when they get a vaccination. Much like a recipe for brownies, the ingredients that go into a vaccine all serve a specific purpose. But what exactly are these ingredients? What is their purpose?
This past November two friends and I embarked on the Three Passes Trek, a hiking trail through Nepal that crosses, you guessed it, three mountain passes. The trail experiences drastic […]
Banner photo credit: Hayley Schroeder As visitors wander through the Georgia State Botanical Garden, a flurry of life swells up to say “Welcome!” Daffodils greet you by the hundreds, insects […]
Today vaccination is considered a normal part of childhood and life for many. But do you know the origins of this life saving scientific discovery? Who were the big players and when? Hop in your TARDIS, DeLorean, or time machine of choice to take a trip back in time with me to visit some of the major milestones in the history of vaccinations.
As February comes to a close, so does the official observation of Black History Month. But, just as the ending of a month does not signify a sudden disregard for […]
Header Image Courtesy of Flikr You wake up, and the first thing you think about is diabetes because you have to check your blood sugar … and kind of know […]
February is the month of love, and there is no greater depiction of pure and honest love than in the ABC reality show, the Bachelor. For those who have managed to avoid an episode of the bachelor or one of its many franchises for the past 15 years, the premise is simple:
“Superbugs Strike Again!”
“Resistance on the Rise!”
“Antibiotic Resistant Bugs: The Next Pandemic?”
Headlines such as these have become increasingly familiar in the developed world as antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs”, become more common.
When Halloween excitement is at its highest, my conversations are dominated by comparing terrifying foes (IT vs. Freddy Krueger), and generating ridiculous ‘what if’ scenarios, such as, “If Pennywise was […]
Pick an arbitrary person on the street and ask them how many senses we have, and without a moment’s thought they will say, “five”, thanks to Aristotle. But ask a […]
The sudden ubiquity of pumpkin spice flavoring makes it official: Fall is upon us. It’s the perfect time to wrap up in a comfy blanket, find a rocking chair, and knit yourself something soft.
If you’re short on ideas, here’s a little inspiration: