Drug Resistance 1-2-3

Recently, I read an article in The Atlantic by Ed Yong, an experienced science writer whom I admire. In this article, Mr. Yong describes a study commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, designed to probe the public’s understanding of drug resistant infections. The conclusions of the study are troubling: the public does not understand the basics about antibiotics. Continue reading

Nightmares always tell: Oral exam dreams

Graduate school preliminary exams are dreaded, anticipated, and for me, thankfully over. In the days before taking my second preliminary exam, my oral qualifying exam, I self-evaluated and determined that I was handling the stress of my impending exam exceptionally well. After all, graduate school is associated with a near constant low-grade stress, and I had learned various coping mechanisms to deal with it over the prior two years. Regardless, the graduate student’s keen stress-induced cortisol-awakening response informs them of their heightened anxiety. In other words, nightmares always tell.

I have asked a few confidants to share their own experiences with the ‘Oral Exam dream.’ Enjoy!

I wasn’t stressed about taking my oral exam, or so I thought until the night before. It was a normal evening; I planned to get plenty of rest before the big day. I tucked into bed, and turned off my nightstand lamp. It was then that my oral exam nightmare began…. Continue reading

Does Inside Out Accurately Portray Memory?

With the recent release of Pixar’s latest movie, The Good Dinosaur, I thought I would revisit their previous film, Inside Out. Inside Out follows the five main emotions (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear) of 11-year-old Riley as they guide her through her family’s move from Minnesota to San Francisco. Themes of the movie include how Riley experiences her world and how these experiences are translated into long-term memories, some of which define Riley’s personality. As a graduate student who studies memory, I was intrigued by the movie’s depiction of it. Fortunately, the movie does a nice (and entertaining) job. So what does it get right? Continue reading

Traveling trees: how fast can they migrate to track climate change?

Most readers are probably familiar with some of the implications of climate change: sea level rise; more frequent extreme weather events; habitat loss for arctic species. Other implications are equally important to understand and reach into many realms of ecology (as well as other disciplines), but are not popular topics covered in the media. Continue reading