Hobbies Offer Scientists a Much-Needed Break from the Lab

Posted by  | A Day in the Life

Last year — on a whim, and to temporarily escape the stresses of neuroscience research — I began to take improvisational comedy classes with the Baltimore Improv Group (BIG). Once a week, I’d leave the world of pipette tips, blinking displays and squirming mice and instead be transported to whatever reality my scene partners and(...)

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The Week of the Pancreas: Finding a Work-Life Balance

Posted by  | A Day in the Life

I vividly remember one particular week during my medicine subinternship as the Week of the Pancreas. On the wards, I was caring for two patients with pancreatitis: one acute, one chronic. Then, I admitted a third patient with heretofore-undiagnosed metastatic pancreatic cancer. To top it all off, midweek, I received a phone call from one(...)

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4 Conference Networking Tips for the Novice

Posted by  | A Day in the Life

I finally watched last year’s action flick Pacific Rim, and its portrayal of research scientists —stereotypically socially inept — made me cringe. In reality, the Ph.D. students I know are friendly and socially astute. But we tend to think of these qualities as social perks instead of professional skills. In the academic idyll, we think(...)

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End-of-Life Discussion: An Integral Component of Patient Care

Posted by  | Did You See This?

Next year, Medicare plans to begin reimbursing doctors for end-of-life discussions. This development highlights the vital role doctors play in these discussions and the importance of determining patients’ wishes before illness prevents them from speaking for themselves.  This change in billing is important not because of the money itself, but because it puts end-of-life discussions(...)

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Neuroscience Graduate Student Awarded Axol Science Scholarship

Posted by  | A Day in the Life

Jonathan Grima, a third-year neuroscience graduate student and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow working in the labs of Jeffrey Rothstein and Solomon Snyder, was recently named the winner of an international scholarship competition hosted by the human cell culture company Axol. The scholarship application was a test of effective science communication skills. Applicants were(...)

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Clinical Trial Shines Light on Sleep Disorders in Blind Patients

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

Last month, The Lancet published an article describing a recent phase III clinical trial in totally blind patients. The study evaluated the efficacy of a new medical intervention called tasimelteon for non-24-hour sleep-wake disorders.1 The science behind these conditions is simple. Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders result from discordance between an individual’s environment and the sleep-wake(...)

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Recent CRISPR/Cas9 Research Ignites Ethical Concerns

Posted by  | Perspectives in Research

The CRISPR/Cas9 wave that’s recently swept through the scientific community is now churning up a storm of controversy in its wake. Due to its relatively low cost and high efficiency, CRISPR/Cas9 has facilitated many breakthroughs in the areas of genome engineering, many of which are oriented at improving human health. Proof of this technology’s power(...)

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