You are not using a standards compliant browser. Because of this you may notice minor glitches in the rendering of this page. Please upgrade to a compliant browser for optimal viewing:
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (Mac and PC)
Post Archive
2020 (0)2010 (13)
December (2)

Moving on...
Thursday, December 23, 2010

Music Warz - Konono No. 1
Thursday, December 2, 2010
November (2)

Teach me!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010
October (6)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Two Atoms
Friday, October 15, 2010

Hotsy Totsy
Friday, October 15, 2010

Donor's Choose - a way to give to schools in need
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Zapoteca, Chichimeca or Tlaxcalteca?
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
September (3)

Echo Chambers
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Repost: Neuronistas vs. Reticularistas
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Blogger Profile


Namnezia is a neuroscientist working as an assistant professor at a university in the Northeastern United States. This blog will feature selected, science-based cross-postings originally appearing in my regular blog, "Take it to the Bridge" on Wordpress. For more about my life in life sciences and in academia, please head on over to my regular blog. Hope you enjoy!

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

Blog RSS Feed
RSS Add to My Yahoo Add to Google
Awesome Stuff
Views: 137 | Comments: 4
Last by Odyssey on Dec 23, 2010, 8:18pm
So, I've made a decision to shut down this blog. It's been obvious that I've been mostly posting at my Wordpress blog "Take it to the Bridge" and I feel it unfair to the nice folks here at LabSpaces to keep up an inactive blog. It's been difficult trying to keep both blogs lively and interesting and felt that shutting down this essentially inactive blog is the best thing. I would like to thank all the folks here at LabSpaces for hosting me, I'll still be around in the comments and forums, and I would especially like to thank Brian for inviting me to blog here and for all his support while this blog has been active. Thanks a bunch and do stop by at "Take it to the Bridge".


. . . More
Views: 123 | Comments: 0
None o' y'all's fancy music got nothin' on Konono No. 5 and their electric likumbes, hacked onto a megaphone:

. . . More
Views: 318 | Comments: 3
Last by Prabodh Kandala on Nov 10, 2010, 7:36am
So today we're writing about mentoring styles here at Lab Spaces. I think a good mentor, particularly in grad school, is one who teaches you HOW to do science. Yeah, yeah, career advice, hand-holding and people skills are nice, but really you go to grad school to learn how to do the shit you are supposed to be doing.

When I was a grad student, my advisor spent a large amount of time working in the lab, was always accessible and basically had memorized every paper he had read.  Which was spooky. He could tell you in which figure so-and-so did which experiment in what paper. Even crappy papers he knew. He wasn't what I would call a "hands-on" kind of advisor who would hold your hand while you went through the difficult bits, but he also wasn't an asshole. In fact he was pretty friendly and easy to get along with, he had eclectic interests outside the lab and was very generous with his time. Someone you would like to hang out and be friends with. But mostly, he was an excellent scientist. He was always excited about what he was doing and extremely lucid when explaining anything. However, he did expect people in the lab to show a great deal of independence and initiative. He would of course help you pick a good project, and when you proposed a given experiment he could tell y . . . More
Views: 243 | Comments: 3
Last by JanedeLartigue on Nov 01, 2010, 1:24pm
A parasite walks into a bar.

Bartender says, "Hey, we don't serve parasites here!"

Parasite answers, "Well, well... you're NOT being a good host, are you?"

So yes, this is one more attempt to kick up the giving for Donors Choose!

Only nine days left to help classrooms in need. Visit my giving page for some worthy projects in our smallest state.

Thank you for your support!

. . . More
Views: 958 | Comments: 13
Last by Nikkilina on Oct 29, 2010, 3:26pm
Two bacteria walk into a bar, the bartender says, "We don't serve bacteria here."

The bacteria reply, "Its alright, we work here, were staph!"

And work it did! Thank you to the anonymous donor who generously helped a class buy some sorely needed books. I know I said I would cut out the jokes if you donated. But I still have a few more in me! So this time I want to focus on a specific project. Mrs. A's class in Pawtucket, RI really needs your help! They've been trying to win the Rhode Island Science Olympiad for four years, but the students have no material to prepare for it. They are asking for several study aids and science projects to get students up to speed. Rhode Island in general has very poor funding for its schools. In one school I know of, science teachers get a budget of $1.71 per student per year for all of their educational needs! So let's help Mrs. A's class win the science olympics this year! Participating in a science olympics is a great way to get students excited about science and about learning... so let's encourage these future scientists!

To visit my giving page and see Mrs. A's class a . . . More
Views: 305 | Comments: 8
Last by Dr Becca, Ph.D. on Oct 18, 2010, 9:23pm
A pirate walks into a bar. The bartender asks him:

"Is that a steering wheel you've got down your pants?"

"Arrrrr! And it's driving me nuts!"

And it's driving ME nuts that I am such a sucky fundraiser for our Donor's Choose campaign. So far I have not been able to muster any contributions to my giving page! Take a look at my giving page and see the projects I'm supporting by following this link. But if you don't like any of the project's I've chosen, at least give to someone else's; any contribution will go a long way to giving a classroom something you take for granted. So please give and thank you for your generous contributions! And if you give to my giving page I promise I will stop with the bad jokes!

. . . More
Views: 357 | Comments: 4
Last by eve isk on May 10, 2011, 2:10am
One atom says to the other, "What's wrong?"

"I lost an electron."

"Are you sure?!"

"Yes, I'm positive!"

And I'm positive you should give to our Donor's Choose campaign. Take a look at my giving page and see the projects I'm supporting by following this link. Some of these classrooms need things as simple as notebooks. Notebooks! Any contribution will go a long way to giving someone something you take for granted. So please give and thank you for your generous contributions!

. . . More
Views: 383 | Comments: 14
Last by Nikkilina on Oct 16, 2010, 8:36am
This year we had a bumper crop of habanero peppers in our garden, and I decided to pickle them (see recipe here). So last weekend I had the Big Pickling Event and I spent about an hour slicing and dicing habaneros and a variety of vegetables and putting them in jars. After I was done I washed all the dishes and my hands, etc. I was very careful not to touch my face or eyes during the whole process and even afterwards. Nevertheless I could still feel some pepper fumes while I was cutting them and my eyes and mouth maybe felt a bit scratchy, but nothing too bad. Later that evening I was giving my kids a bath and when the hot water hit my hands they really began to burn, which makes sense, since the capsaicin receptor in our mouths and skin is the same receptor that senses noxious heat (+43 °C), and maybe there was some residual capsaicin on my hands which I felt when the receptors were co-activated by heat. But still nothing too bad.

OK, here is where it gets weird. The next morning I'm having breakfast and I ate a piece of cut-up fruit and... it tastes spicy. First I thought that I didn't wash the knife or cutting board properly after habanero fest. . . . More
Views: 219 | Comments: 0
This week we started our Donor's Choose campaign, in which readers can contribute sorely needed funds to schools in need. While many of the LabSpaces blogs are focusing on biggish science projects, it always seems like these are the ones that receive the largest amount of donations. Therefore, my giving page is focusing on small-scale projects in a small geographical area – schools and projects that don't seem to reach the top of the Donor's Choose pile.

To visit my giving page and see the projects I'm supporting, follow this link. Thank you for your generous contributions!

. . . More
Views: 948 | Comments: 9
Last by JanedeLartigue on Oct 05, 2010, 7:36pm
So I was asked the question: what would you be doing if you were not doing science?

This is tricky, because you can answer this in a couple of different ways. One is, if I were to quit science now, what would I do? The second is, if I had taken an alternative path what would it have been? The first is somewhat scary to answer, because honestly, I have no fucking idea. I'm sure I'd come up with something, but I'm not sure what. The second is far more fun to answer - and that's the one I'll answer here.

To me, the obvious answer would be to become… an archaeologist! Although my wife kindly pointed out that archaeology IS a science; but it's different enough from what I do, so it still counts. Growing up in Mexico City I was always fascinated by the fact that buried literally beneath my feet was a whole ancient civilization. That you could basically dig a deep enough hole and you would find evidence of this, just there, in the ground. Some subway stations even have pyramids inside them. I was obsessed with the National Anthropology Museum, one of the largest in the world, which houses artifacts from every important archaeological dig in Mexico, laying out all the different pre-columbian cultures in chronological order from the Olmecs . . . More
Views: 952 | Comments: 4
Last by Evie on Sep 30, 2010, 4:38pm
In the late 70's, French anthropologist Bruno Latour set off to do some interesting fieldwork. He spent time observing the daily rituals and customs of scientists in situ, in the laboratory of Roger Guillemin, discoverer of TRF, at the Salk Institute. The results of his anthropological study was a book called "Laboratory Life" which was published in 1979. It was one of the first descriptions of the day to day functioning of a science lab and of the act of doing science itself. Anyone that has worked in a lab will recognize the descriptions of laboratory dynamics, the role of funding in scientific research and in the selection of what scientific questions are considered important, the role of the PI's prestige in determining which data gets published where and how "believable" it is, how hypotheses sometimes become unspoken assumptions without any real data to back them up, and in general how scientific facts become constructed by the human enterprise of science. Latour's conclusion is somewhat extreme – that all scientific facts are socially constructed. I think most scientists would agree that this is not the case, that while many of the . . . More
Views: 654 | Comments: 3
Last by Evie on Sep 22, 2010, 1:23pm
Every couple of years I teach an upper-level seminar course which focuses on historical controversies in neuroscience. Typically we read some classic scientific papers describing how a specific bit of knowledge first came to be and then we read some contemporary papers from the scientific literature which either overturn this long-held dogma, or revisit it with more modern experimental techniques. Ideally we'll discuss papers which look at the same question but come up with completely opposing conclusions. We then try and see why this is so – whether it is differences in experimental techniques, or cherry picking of data by a lab looking to support their pet hypothesis.

One of the first discussions we have in class is about a heated controversy that occurred over 100 years ago regarding the fine structure of the nervous system. During the second half of the 19th century, anatomists had been unable to distinguish much in the way of structure in neural tissue. It was simply too dense, too complicated and indistinct, and it was difficult to conclude anything useful about its anatomy from available anatomical and microscopic techniques. In 1872, Italian anatomist Camillo Golgi developed a method to stain brain sec . . . More
Views: 269 | Comments: 8
Last by Evie on Sep 22, 2010, 12:47pm
A little about this blog. For the last few month I have been writing "Take it to the Bridge", a blog about life in the life sciences. Recently I was asked to contribute to LabSpaces and thought it might be a good idea to use this space to cross-post some of my favorite more science-related content from "Take it to the Bridge" that LabSpaces users might find of interest. For my other posts and thoughts about life and life in academia, please refer to my regular blog which will remain fully active and contain old and new posts. Please feel free to comment on posts, I love discussion!

. . . More