It has gotten harder as I've gotten older to keep the weight off, and I miss the days when I could eat all I could eat at buffets and not gain a single pound. I'm still not that big, but definitely have a bit of the #DadBod and my HbA1C count suggests that I'm bordering on prediabetic even as my cholesterol levels stay within established norms. It's a sobering reminder that as we age, the body simply can't be as efficient as it used to be, and even for those folks still far from "middle age," it makes sense to set up good healthy habits that will persist throughout however much time we have left on this blue marble flying through space. Being National Nutrition Month at the time of this writing, now is as good a time as any to reset reasonable dietary goals without having to go full cold turkey.
Maintaining Integrity in Scientific Research
Everywhere I've been in school or at work, there has been at least one session about ethics, whether it was a semester long course, a small retreat, or just a statement in passing for the company to cover their legal obligations. I'd like to think of myself as someone who wants the best for everyone he encounters, and try to live my life based on acceptance and collaboration so we can achieve common goals for the greater good. Because people come from diverse backgrounds with different upbringings, it is hard to distill ethics and values into a simple set of parameters, but I also think that in general, most people know what is right and what is wrong.
Multiple Sclerosis: A Mysterious Menace
Remember once upon a time when I said my first actual laboratory research project involved myelin basic protein? Other than knowing that the mother of one of my high school friends had been diagnosed with it, this was the first real exposure I had with multiple sclerosis. I eventually learned more about the immune system and autoimmunity, and the thought of your own body attacking your literal nerve cells was scary and made me feel for the people who have to live with and manage this disease every day. March happens to be Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, which as the name suggests works to make sure the public knows about multiple sclerosis, develops empathy and understanding for afflicted individuals, and encourages participation in events and activities to spread awareness. In this blog, let's explore the disease, current treatment strategies and ongoing research, and ways that you can help both in and out of the lab.
Selenocysteine: An Unusual Amino Acid
Previously, I listed some of my favorite educational YouTube channels, which includes the Kurzgesagt channel with its fun animations and soothing narration of scientific concepts, including many topics in biology and biological functions. As part of my algorithm, this one popped up in my feed recently:
Celebrating Women in the Sciences
As we head out of February and into March, we celebrated the resilience of our colleagues from diverse backgrounds during Black History Month and continue to promote the accessibility to science and STEM careers. There were a couple really important dates to recognize girls and women in February as well, with the National Girls & Women in Sports Day on the first day of the month, followed by the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11. And now in March, we have the entire month to celebrate the contributions of women throughout our history. To kick off Women's History Month, I wanted to take a look at some of the most accomplished women scientists that advanced our knowledge to new heights while overcoming societal pressures and prejudice.
The Rare Complications From Glycogen Storage Disease
The last day of February marks a hopeful end to winter and a transition in the sporting world as well, but is also important in society as a day to recognize and raise awareness for rare diseases. Known as Rare Disease Day, the goal is this observance is to remind humanity that just because a disease is not prevalent or has as much research dedicated to it does not make it any less important, as certain individuals obviously suffer from these rare diseases and deserve accessibility to treatment and hopefully a cure. While it makes sense that more funding is funneled to cancer and neurology research since it affects so many more people, performing research in these comparatively uncommon maladies could offer insight into their diseases that get most of the research dollars.