Benjamin Bell

About Benjamin Bell

Benjamin Bell studies sleep and circadian rhythms in mice and flies, and is fortunate the mice understand his semi-nocturnal work schedule. When not actively in the lab, you can find him thinking about research and science-writing on his motorcycle, on the hiking trails, or at any local concert venue.

Posts by Benjamin Bell:

The Science of Snoring

The Science of Snoring

There are few disciplines in science and medicine as broadly important, or as inherently relatable, as the study of sleep. During the annual Johns Hopkins Sleep and Circadian Research Day, a disparate group of clinicians, epidemiologists, geneticists and basic researchers gather to share posters and present new findings at the vanguard of sleep research on(...)

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Modern Papers for Modern Science

Modern Papers for Modern Science

In the past 400 years, science has revolutionized the planet several times over. Modern medicine has eradicated diseases that once decimated populations, while physicists manipulate the very building blocks of the universe. Travel and communication are instantaneous worldwide. Should we one day unravel the secret of time travel, we might bring Sir Isaac Newton (b.(...)

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Choosing to Be Irrational: How Neuroscience Incorporated Economics, and Vice Versa

Choosing to Be Irrational: How Neuroscience Incorporated Economics, and Vice Versa

The Department of Neuroeconomics and Neuromarketing sounds like a title chiseled on the wall of a corporate division in a dystopian future; the highlight of a consumerism episode of Black Mirror. But Dino Levy, a researcher in this seemingly dystopian department at Tel Aviv University, was quick to readjust our preconceived notions of what his lab studies(...)

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Sleep: Our Panacea

Sleep: Our Panacea

Humans and animals share the most basic drives in life: the need for food and water, and the urge to procreate. Yet only humans have built a modern world in which these drives seem to cause more problems than they solve. Bookstores worldwide have dedicated whole sections to literature about reconciling your natural desires with(...)

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Artificial Intelligence in Medicine—Science Fiction Now Science Fact

Artificial Intelligence in Medicine—Science Fiction Now Science Fact

What is artificial intelligence today? While innovators and philosophers debate the consequences and likelihood of C-3PO or HAL appearing on Earth, we have already accepted a variety of forms of artificial intelligence in our daily lives. Self-driving cars are proving to be successful on our streets, and over 90 percent of flight time on airplanes(...)

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Ecstasy and Agony: Accepting MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy as a Breakthrough PTSD Treatment


For the majority of the population, MDMA, or ecstasy, is simply an illegal drug, its use exclusive to underground dance clubs and its abuse the purview of the police. However, a small group of psychopharmacological researchers and advocates have been touting this compound as the next major frontline treatment for a variety of troubling psychological(...)

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Antimicrobial Stewardship: Ensuring a Future for Human Health Care

Antimicrobial Stewardship: Ensuring a Future for Human Health Care

“...23,000 deaths a year.”  “...over 2 million infections.”  These headlines would be alarming but expected if they were descriptions of the latest Ebola outbreak. But alas, these are “conservative, minimum estimates” of antibiotic-resistant infections each year in the United States, as projected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Dangers of Antibiotic Resistance Antibiotics(...)

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Competition in an Age of Collaboration

Competition in an Age of Collaboration

The competitive drive is a double-edged sword: Fighting for success or superiority sharpens our mental acuity and increases motivation, while concurrently inducing anxiety and decreasing inhibitions. Success in fast-paced. Intensive careers such as business, law, science and medicine require using this competitive spirit to drive higher performance and production. Yet this drive to succeed can(...)

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Monkey See, Monkey Do: Tracing the Origin of Contagious Behaviors

Monkey See, Monkey Do: Tracing the Origin of Contagious Behaviors

The contagious yawn is a well-known component of the communal human experience that transcends languages and cultures. We joke about it in offices and dedicate Mythbusters episodes to understanding its frequency, and researchers have even shown its ability to pass between species (try yawning in front of your dog or cat and see how long(...)

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