Month: October 2018

A picture is worth a thousand words…or more

A picture is worth a thousand words…or more

“Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” This timeless expression first appeared in a 1911 Syracuse Post Standard newspaper article. If you ask Mohamad Elgendi, he’ll say it’s more like 10000 words, based on how fast our mind processes words vs. images. Although true…

Why the Ocean needs the Desert

Why the Ocean needs the Desert

What do you imagine when you think of the desert? I grew up in the desert and I think of dry hot days and clear cool nights. I think of my home town where mountains and a vast sky surround us.  I think of sand…

The Science of Survivorship

The Science of Survivorship

As a cancer researcher, I often wonder about patients after their ordeal with cancer. How does the body change after facing a life-threatening illness? Do cells in our body hold the memory of disease in some way? Survivorship is a word that describes life after…

To Dye or Not To Dye

To Dye or Not To Dye

Dyeing hair is a common, but not recent, beauty practice. Hair dyeing (coloring) has been around for thousands of years, using plant-based dyes such as indigo and turmeric before synthetic dyes were invented. I recently wondered “What kind of science goes into modern hair coloring? What is the…

Why Pharmaceutical Companies Care About Your Saliva

Why Pharmaceutical Companies Care About Your Saliva

Earwax stickiness. Neanderthal ancestry. Caffeine metabolism. Tasting soap when you eat cilantro. Direct-to-consumer genotyping companies like 23andme boast this kind of information in exchange for a tube of your finest spit and a chunk of change about equivalent to a week’s worth of groceries. In…

Dealing with automatic sinks

Dealing with automatic sinks

It’s time to wash your hands and help prevent the spread of flu, but when you put your hands under the automatic sink, nothing happens.  You give your hands a shake, praying the sink actually turns on.  You get frustrated, take a step back, and…

A World Without Cheese

A World Without Cheese

Imagine a world without pizza, nachos, cheeseburgers, mozzarella sticks, macaroni and cheese; a world without cheese. Living in a world with thousands of cheeses from many countries and cultures, it is difficult to imagine there was a time in human history when cheese did not…

In the Wake of Hurricane Florence: How Genetic Tools Can Prevent Ecosystem Damage

In the Wake of Hurricane Florence: How Genetic Tools Can Prevent Ecosystem Damage

Hurricane Florence was devastating to much of the Carolinas. The flooding that ensued destroyed not only homes and livelihoods, but greatly affected animal agriculture. The effects of Florence resulted in the deaths of millions of animals and caused massive overflows or “overtopping” of animal waste,…