Sci on the Fly

Spa Day for Your Brain

Alzheimer's is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that slowly erases the very thing that makes us who we are—our minds. While major advances in neuroimaging have allowed us to visualize structural, functional and temporal features of the brain in great detail, researchers are limited in their abilities to target specific brain functions. Current interdisciplinary research combining techniques from genetics, biochemistry and photonics to control the functions of single neurons, however, may be the key to unlocking targeted treatments and much more.

Marching for Science: The Blurry Line Between Values and Facts

Scientists of all backgrounds are fighting back against anti-science rhetoric sweeping American politics. They are speaking out, planning runs for office, and organizing a worldwide March for Science on Earth Day 2017. One point of particular focus is anthropogenic climate change, a settled fact in the scientific community, but an issue that remains subject to partisan debate.

PODCAST | What makes a data scientist?

"Data Scientist" is listed as the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” by the Harvard Business Review, but what is data science and what do data scientists do? Claire Schulkey investigated the question at International Data Week speaking with Amy Nurnberger and Sarah Callaghan, two data professionals, and she heard from the chief data scientist at the New York Times to figure out what makes a data professional, how people get into the field, and what they do all day.

Embrace a Career Sidestep: Write a novel

Ever thought about taking a career sidestep to write a novel? Seriously. Issac Asimov was a biochemistry professor before he started to write science fiction (I, Robot; Fantastic Voyage; and 500 more novels). The astronomer Carl Sagan wrote Contact. Michael Crichton was a physician before he became a best-selling author (Jurassic Park and Andromeda Strain, among others). Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a mathematician (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland).

Can you spare the time?

For centuries, we’ve survived with wristwatches that kept time accurate to within a few minutes per year. Yet early in 2016, a timing signal broadcast an error of only 13 microseconds, which in turn disrupted telecommunications and other networked computers around the globe. How could such a small error, an amount of time equivalent to 1/25,000 of an eye blink, cause such problems?

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