Neuroscientist-turned-Science Writer

Sharing health and life science stories through writing, podcasting, and media relations

    Recent Highlights

    Stem Cell Therapy Rescues Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

    In the ongoing search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a burgeoning branch of medicine is bringing new hope. Stem cell therapies are already being used to treat various cancers and disorders of the blood and immune system. In a new proof-of-concept study, scientists at University of California San Diego show stem cell transplants may also be a promising therapeutic against Alzheimer’s. In the study, published August 8, 2023 in Cell Reports, the researchers demonstrate that transplanting hemat

    Artificial Intelligence Aids Discovery of Super Tight-Binding Antibodies

    Scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based strategy for discovering high-affinity antibody drugs.

    In the study, published January 28, 2023 in Nature Communications, researchers used the approach to identify a new antibody that binds a major cancer target 17-fold tighter than an existing antibody drug. The authors say the pipeline could accelerate the discovery of novel drugs against cancer and other diseases such as C

    Tissue-Specific Immunity May Be the Future, if We Can First Learn its Rules

    After experiencing an infection, the immune system leaves behind memory T cells, which maintain a long-lasting molecular memory of the pathogen and are ready to sound the alarm if it ever returns. While some memory T cells are designed to circulate through the bloodstream and provide whole-body protection, others reside in specific organs and are specialized to fight the pathogens that target that part of the body. These T cells can provide life-long immunity at the target tissue, but can also c

    New Efforts to Relate Brain Structure and Function Reveal Surprising Properties of Neural Circuits

    Nematodes don’t like to be touched. A poke will send the worm slithering backward, away from the bothersome nudge. Unless, that is, the worm was in the midst of turning when it was poked. “Somehow, the act of turning makes the worm change the way it responds to this very salient stimulus, but we didn’t know how this computation played out in the brain,” says Andrew Leifer, a neuroscientist at Princeton University and an investigator with the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain. Despite havi

    Did gonorrhea give us grandparents?

    Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine previously found a set of human gene mutations that protect older adults against cognitive decline and dementia. In a new study, published July 9, 2022 in Molecular Biology and Evolution, they focus on one of these mutated genes and attempt to trace its evolution ⁠— when and why it appeared in the human genome. The findings suggest selective pressure from infectious pathogens like gonorrhea may have promoted the emergence of th
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