Can Chocolate be Good for You? The Dark and Light Side of the Force

By Jesica Levingston Mac leod, PhD It is this time of the year again: San Valentin (aka Valentine’s Day) –  the best excuse to give and more importantly to EAT a lot of chocolate. But, maybe a better gift that receiving chocolate,  is to know that eating chocolate might be good for your health. In the …

From String to Strand

  By Jordana Lovett   Ask a molecular biologist what image DNA conjures up in the mind. A convoluted ladder of nitrogenous bases, twisting and coiling dynamically. Pose the very same question to a theoretical physicist- chances are that DNA takes on a completely different meaning. As it turns out, DNA is in the eye …

Beyond Neuromania

By Celine Cammarata As someone within the field, it seems to me that neuroscience – in some form or another – appears in the media nearly every day. Indeed the term “neuromania”, originally coined by Raymond Tallis, has come into use to describe both the lofty claims made about the power of neuroscience to answer nearly …

Ripples in The Pond: Psychological Interventions can Spread to the Whole Group

  By Celine Cammarata In light of frightening outbreak of preventable diseases like measles, the impact that an individual can have on the community in terms of biological intervention – in this case, immunization – has become pressingly clear. Less obvious is that analogous ideas may apply to psychological treatments: a recent paper in the journal …

Epigenetic Inheritance, Trauma and the Holocaust

  By Alison Bernstein, PhD Since my research interests focus on environmental impacts on health and how epigenetic processes mediate those effects, my mother sent me this article, “Study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children’s genes“, from The Guardian. This article reports the recent paper, “Holocaust exposure induced intergenerational effects on FKBP5 …

Leaving Your Mark on the World

By Danielle Gerhard   The idea that transgenerational inheritance of salient life experiences exists has only recently entered the world of experimental research. French scientist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed the idea that acquired traits throughout an organism’s life could be passed along to offspring. This theory of inheritance was originally disregarded in favor of Mendelian genetics, …

Dr Frankenstein’s Modern Guide to Body Building

By Sally Burn, PhD Square head, green skin, bolt through the neck, and plagued by misconceptions: “Frankenstein” is a popular choice at the Halloween costume store. This erroneously named costume is based on the monster from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the titular character of which is Dr Frankenstein, the scientist who creates the in fact unnamed creature. Modern …