Introducing…STEMpod!

STEMpod is a podcast featuring incredible women in STEM who share the good, the bad, and the totally unexpected. Hosted by @samjscience🎙️and produced by @rubesrodriguez 🎧 Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and YouTube. Check out our trailer here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXc3zelrQm4  

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What Does Space Do to an Astronaut’s Brain?

The Apollo 11 anniversary really had my neurons firing. Last night, on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, I strolled down to the National Mall for a show that paid tribute to the groundbreaking 1969 mission when man first set foot on the Moon. The Apollo 11 rocket, the Saturn V, was projected on... Continue Reading →

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Tripping Nemo: Zebrafish on Ayahuasca

Does ayahuasca use affect our brains? Researchers ask our fishy friends. Maybe you’ve heard of ayahuasca, a mind-altering brew that many travel to South America to sample. Over the last few years public interest in this beverage—whose active ingredients are a combination of β-carbolines in the ayahuasca vine and psychoactive compound dimethyltryptamine (DMT) from the... Continue Reading →

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Your Brain On Christmas

Originally posted in Psychology Today December 24, 2018 As a kid I would start my Christmas countdown in July. To this day my parents remind me of my elementary school age “post-Christmas meltdowns.” On December 26th they often found me in tears, lamenting the hundreds of days that stood between me and next year’s Christmas… [Continued... Continue Reading →

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Evolution of the Primate Brain: Size Is Just a Start

Originally posted in Psychology Today, September 21, 2018 In the last post, we left off with the knowledge that human brains grow for longer into adulthood compared to chimp brains. But why would that matter? Turns out, that time allows for increased development of structures and tissues that may underlie our uniquely-human traits. Let's start... Continue Reading →

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Did Mom’s Immune System Affect Your Fetal Brain?

Originally posted in Psychology Today June 12, 2018 Researchers have found that a more active immune system in a pregnant mother can negatively impact the brain of her developing fetus. Previous epidemiological studies revealed a link between maternal inflammation (i.e. activation of mom’s immune system) and an increase in her child’s likelihood of developing a psychiatric disease... [Continued in Psychology... Continue Reading →

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Dissecting the Brain, One Cell at a Time

Originally posted in Psychology Today April 2, 2018 Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have broken new ground with their recent work examining the prefrontal cortex at the single cell level during human fetal development... [Continued in Psychology Today]

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Botox: The good, the bad and the beautiful

Originally posted in Neuwrite San Diego February 15, 2018  Awards season is upon us. From the Golden Globes to the Grammys to the Oscars, we’ve seen celebrities posing on the red carpet, chatting with TV hosts, and accepting awards on stage. All the while I’ve found myself wondering, “Is he happy?” “Is she disappointed?” “Are emotions just... Continue Reading →

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Science and S’mores: SciCommCamp 2017

Originally posted in NeuWrite San Diego November 23, 2017 SciCommCamp can be best described as a not-so-average conference for a diverse group of fabulously nerdy science communicators with a common goal: to make science publicly accessible. I left SciCommCamp with pep in my step and a bit more confidence in my planned post-graduate school transition out of... Continue Reading →

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Science for All: Shifting Academic Communication at ComSciCon

Originally published by The Qualcomm Institute September 26, 2017 “Whose advisor is unhappy that they’re here today?” asked Leanne Chukoskie, an assistant research scientist at the Institute for Neural Computation at UC San Diego and an affiliate of the Qualcomm Institute. Looking around at a sea of raised hands, she continued, “Know that the act... Continue Reading →

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Scientist Seeking Funding: Tips for Grant Writing

Originally published by The Q September 7, 2017 If you’re currently in science research then you’re well aware of the funding deficit, and it’s likely that at one point you or a fellow scientist friend has had research (or maybe even a job) on the line while eagerly awaiting a grant score. So, outside of completely reworking... Continue Reading →

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Choose a program, have a life

September 8, 2017 As I formally accepted the offer to join my Ph.D. program, the massive weight on my chest began to dissolve, my shoulders relaxed, and my headache subsided. Choosing a program had been quite the roller coaster ride, filled with uncertainty and sleepless nights. “Phew, well that's finally over,” I said to myself.... Continue Reading →

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Zika: Has this virus lost its bite?

Originally published by NeuWrite San Diego August 17, 2017 Do you live in a generally cool, dry place and rarely think about mosquitoes? Was last year’s Zika outbreak of little personal concern? You may not have the option of staying carefree for much longer. The Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito is already enjoying widespread breeding grounds as temperatures steadily rise across... Continue Reading →

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This is why we need time machines: A PhD reflection

Originally published by The Q July 26, 2017 As I enter into what is likely the final year of my PhD in the Biomedical Sciences program at the University of California San Diego, I regularly find myself contemplating the last four years. Although my experience has been a generally positive one, it has also been filled... Continue Reading →

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Alternative science careers: Beyond academia and industry

Originally published by The Q  May 16, 2017 When I was applying to graduate school I was under the impression that after obtaining my PhD there were two options: start a postdoctoral position in the hopes of one day securing a faculty spot at a research institution, or take an “alternative” career path and move into industry. It... Continue Reading →

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Navigating the Shifting Academic Research Landscape: Advice for the Junior Scientist

Originally posted in Future of Research May 3, 2017 Procuring a tenure-track faculty position in academic scientific research is becoming an elusive dream for an ever-increasing number of junior candidates.  With the current percentage of successful faculty applicants hovering just above 15%, the majority of those with a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences are considering alternative career... Continue Reading →

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Around the Pier: With a ‘Lifelong Connection to Water,’ Samantha Murray Takes Helm of Biodiversity Master’s Program

Originally published by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography New executive director seeks to fill student toolboxes with the right knowledge and skills Master of Advanced Studies in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Executive Director Samantha Murray Samantha Murray describes herself as having an “undeniable, inextricable, lifelong connection to water” that drew her to marine science. That... Continue Reading →

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Last Week Was Rough

January 30, 2017 Moving forward and creating change is only possible if we use knowledge and reason to work through the frustration and anger. Moving forward and creating change is only possible if we use knowledge and reason to work through the frustration and anger….[deep breaths] As a female scientist in the early days of her career, at what... Continue Reading →

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Accolades for Two Former Scripps Directors

Originally published by The Scripps Institution of Oceanography UCSD Emeriti Association and Australian academy honor Kennel and Haymet Former Scripps directors Charles Kennel (left) and Tony Haymet Former Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego directors Charles Kennel and Tony Haymet have been granted prestigious awards that recognize past and current achievements... Continue Reading →

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Research Highlight: Vaquita Illustrate the Complicated Landscape of Endangered Species Preservation

Originally published by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Mismanagement threatens dwindling population of small porpoise Vaquita trapped in fishing net. Photo: NOAA Fisheries The vaquita, a small porpoise found in the upper Gulf of California, is more than just a critically endangered species, say researchers. It is also an emblem of a failing approach to... Continue Reading →

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Research Highlight: Automated System Advances Study of Chemical ‘Pulse’ of Coral Reefs

Field study successfully tests a new tool for tracking ocean acidification Former Scripps graduate student Yuichiro Takeshita with BEAMS on Palmyra coral reef A team of researchers at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography used a groundbreaking instrument package to assess the chemistry of coral reef environments at a time when scientists are concerned about... Continue Reading →

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Debashis Sahoo: From Computers to Cancer Genomes

Originally published by Calit2 Debashis Sahoo, an assistant professor in both the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California San Diego, has been selected as a participating member of the Cancer Genomes and Networks program at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Members of the Cancer... Continue Reading →

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Around the Pier: Scripps Student’s Work Distinguishing Bacterial Species Honored

Nastassia Patin awarded 2016 Frieman Prize Scripps Oceanography graduate student and Frieman Prize winner Nastassia Patin Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego graduate student Nastassia Patin is this year’s recipient of the Edward A. Frieman Prize for Excellence in Graduate Student Research. The prize is awarded to one distinguished Scripps Oceanography... Continue Reading →

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