Quick updates

I spend most of my study & work time reading a lot of stuff on the web so why not create a new series with a potpourri of interesting things that I stumble upon?

  • I have been an ardent follower of radiolab for a while now and would like to share one of my favorite podcasts – famous tumors. I revisited this particular episode while reading about the Henrietta Lacks Foundation. All the 3 segments of the show are equally intriguing – from tumors that spread amongst Tasmanian Devils to the gripping story about the famous HeLa cell line.
  • At the Chicago Biomedical Consortium Tech Day 2014 that I attended recently, I was introduced to The NASA Human Exploration Research Opportunities (HERO) project being conducted at Northwestern University. In this unusual study, a research team at NU will be studying the bacteriome in the GI tract of twin astronauts. This NASA funded “twin study” aims to understand how a year of living in space affects the human body. Identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly will be participating in this study, during which one will spend a year at the International Space Station while the other stays on earth. This has got to be one of the coolest Biology-meets-Aerospace science projects ever performed! Explore the other 9 equally intriguing project proposals to Explore Genetic Aspects of Spaceflight on the NASA website.
  • If you haven’t watched the Piled Higher and Deeper movie a.k.a the PHD movie, then you’re missing out! They are currently raising funds to make a 2nd movie “Still in Grad School” and you could help make that happen.

I also did some pretty exciting things during the last couple of days –

  • Handled around 20 brain sections for the first time by helping my lab supervisor transfer the sections between different containers. The timing couldn’t have been perfect because I’ve been learning a great deal of neuroanatomy in the Neuro MOOC and could identify a couple of parts quite easily.
  • After having been briefly introduced to NMR Spectroscopy during my undergrad years, I finally had the opportunity to check out the instrument in person. I’ve always been a Chemistry geek and it was stimulating to learn about it all over again. Next step is to get my hands on it for some structure studies!