The Red Nessie: My visit to Janelia Farms

After following directions like “right on Helix drive, then right on Scientific lane,” one can surely expect to arrive at a scientific paradise. Stashed away in almost the countryside of Virginia like a well-kept secret, Janelia Farms, a campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is indeed a paradise for science. Entering the guarded premise evokes a … Read moreThe Red Nessie: My visit to Janelia Farms

Tenderness: A Beautiful Description of a Scientist

I first crossed paths with Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee as a PhD student at the Johns Hopkins University in 2012, where he had come to talk about his highly acclaimed, Pulitzer prize-winning book, The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. It was a rather big auditorium, but proved to be to quite small for the sea of admiring students and faculty … Read moreTenderness: A Beautiful Description of a Scientist

Mean girls (and boys) and biology

A new study by researchers at University of Texas at San Antonio and University of Minnesota, school of management, shows that during the week of their ovulation, women subconsciously become more competitive about their socio-economic standing in comparison to other women, and are less likely to help them. “They become meaner to other women”, says … Read moreMean girls (and boys) and biology

A strawberry a day keeps the doctor away!

A new study by Alvarez-Suarez et al. in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry indicates that adding strawberries to your diet may lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides. The study was based on 23 healthy volunteers adding 500 grams of fresh strawberries to their diet everyday for a month. The result- volunteer blood samples showed a decrease … Read moreA strawberry a day keeps the doctor away!

New Study Indicates Aspirin Use May Reduce the Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, is commonly used to relieve minor aches and pains and to reduce fever. Interestingly, ancient Greeks and Native Americans benefitted, for centuries from salicylic acid, the active form of aspirin, found naturally in the barks of willow trees. A versatile drug, aspirin, has been shown to reduce the risk of several … Read moreNew Study Indicates Aspirin Use May Reduce the Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Late Nights: A Bad Idea

The 19th century German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, once said of sleep:  Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at  death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is  paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed. Hyperbole? Maybe. But we have … Read moreLate Nights: A Bad Idea

Antioxidants: to take or not to take?

A new study published in Science Translational Medicine shows that antioxidants, specifically vitamin E and acetylcysteine (NAC), can actually worsen lung cancer in mice, putting to question the popular belief that antioxidants fight cancer. An antioxidant is any molecule that prevents oxidation of other molecules by reacting with free radicals produced naturally as a byproduct … Read moreAntioxidants: to take or not to take?

The Ripple Effect: Hidden Costs of Courtship Cues

The one fundamental quality shared unwaveringly among all living species is the commitment to reproduction. Thus, remarkable courtship behaviors have evolved among species dedicated to attracting a promising mate. These include distinctive songs, conspicuous display of plumage, bright colors, and bioluminescence and offering of shelter and food. Needless to say, every advertised mating cue poses … Read moreThe Ripple Effect: Hidden Costs of Courtship Cues

Breakthrough in Science’s Price: Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize

Without a doubt, the most coveted honor in any academic field, including life sciences, is the Nobel Prize. At a lavish ceremony held annually at Stockholm, the laureate receives a regal gold medal, an exclusive diploma and a hefty cash prize-currently amounting to USD1.2 million.  In addition, the laureate also receives the ultimate worldwide validation … Read moreBreakthrough in Science’s Price: Life Sciences Breakthrough Prize