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:
Just when you thought the biggest philosophical debate about poultry was whether the chicken or the egg came first, a new urban and suburban trend of raising backyard chickens has […]
To Be or Not To Be a Vegetarian: That is the Question. Or is it? Most people see a documentary about the meat industry and then they become a vegetarian […]
It’s that time of the year again. Valentine’s Day is upon us. It’s the festival of romantic love, and a time in which we are reminded by our friends, relatives, […]
The world’s greatest library lies centimeters below the surface of the Earth. We would know the planet’s best-kept secrets if we could understand the text in which its stories are […]
The Real Ultra-marathoners Pause for a minute and think about how far you travel in a day. The average American walks around 2.5 miles each day. If you are an […]
Fall foliage, hoarfrost, and smoke, oh my! This Thanksgiving, my family and I journeyed through part of the Southern Appalachians we frequent most often: the Great Smoky Mountains. It was […]
Often the ocean can look idyllic and inviting on the surface. Exploration of the sea floor, however, shows a harsh and unforgiving place. The Gulf of Mexico brine pools investigated […]
It’s the 50th anniversary of the cave creature we love to hate, infamous for stealing candy from children, lying to a toddler, and burglarizing an entire village (on Christmas Eve, […]
With the constant news of terror attacks, devastating civil wars, or even just political debates, our world seems irreconcilably divided. So when there is a problem so large that 193 […]
Climate change is happening. What should we do about it? With climate change, we can expect serious consequences, including destruction of coastal communities by sea level rise, increased frequency of […]
Recently, efforts have been made to increase awareness about mental health through pop culture. Netflix Original shows such as 13 Reasons Why and To the Bone highlight various aspects of mental health such as major depression and eating disorders, and they project these to broad audiences. Unfortunately, of all mental health conditions, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate. However, how eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are distinguished and categorized is still a topic of discussion among psychologists today.
We’ve all seen the infamous weight loss advertisements – the ones that claim to have finally found the magic diet that will absolutely make you lose weight. You can look […]
On Tuesday, October 3rd the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish, and Kip Thorne for their contributions to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). On […]
In honor of September 16th, otherwise known as World Ozone Day, let’s spend some time talking about ozone in Earth’s atmosphere! You may be wondering why ozone is significant enough […]
When I was young I learned that the colors I saw in the world were due to materials absorbing certain wavelengths of light and reflecting others. Leaves appear green because the chlorophyll in plant cells absorbs blue and red light and reflects green. While this holds true for most natural materials, it turns out that nature has more than one way of making color. Many of the most striking colors found in nature often occur through the development of structural coloration. For instance, the absurdly bright colors of butterfly wings, beetle scales, day gecko skin, bird feathers and even certain berries all come from structural color.
It is that time of the year we’ve all been waiting for… pumpkin spice season. That means pumpkin spice pancakes, pumpkin spice snickerdoodles (seriously, you need to try them), and […]
“ The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir Most days I feel a lot like John Muir, only I think it would be frowned upon if […]