Yoga by the Lake

When I do yoga, it usually means that something is going on. Historically I associate yoga with transitions and with moves to new places. I went to a yoga class when I visited a lab in Michigan for a brief sabbatical during my postdoc. I also did it after breaking up with a long-term boyfriend and moving into my own apartment. I had a yoga VHS tape I used to do in the basement of my old house. And, I tend to do it on vacation, if there’s a class offered at the hotel where I’m staying or on the cruise ship. I’ve even done yoga in church: Sun Salutations as part of an RE class about Buddhism that barely scratched the surface, of either yoga or Buddhism.

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Have Mozart Will Travel

My new string quartet has been looking for something to perform in a recital on May 15, for our violist’s teacher. We’ve only played together twice, at least twice with me on violin 1. The others know each other better and have been to music camp together and had coaching and everything. I’m holding my own, though. I can finally say that I too have chamber music experience.

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Nerve Growth Factors: A primer

In honor of Brain Awareness Week, I am writing about a topic I studied during my PhD in Neuroscience: growth factors, specifically nerve growth factors, also called “neurotrophins.” These are small proteins that help neurons to survive and make connections with each other. They do so by being made in one cell and binding to a protein called a receptor on the surface of another cell. Once the neurotrophin binds to its receptor, biochemical signals are activated inside the receiving cell that enable it to survive and grow. Continue reading Nerve Growth Factors: A primer

Meow: cat update

IMG_5004Today I’m doing my part to fill up the internet with pictures of cats. After years of cat allergy, months of allergy shots, and lots of lobbying on the part of both kids, we got a cat last month. She is 4 years old, and she came with the name Sadie, which fits her, so we’re keeping it. She is part tabby and part Siamese. We’ve had her for almost a month now, and she is settling into her new home. The UULent word for today is home.

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Image of the Week: Lighting up brain cancer

In honor of Brain Awareness Week, I am reblogging this article from the Wellcome Trust blog about ‘tumour paint,’ an experimental drug that literally lights up brain cancer, making it easier for surgeons to cut out more of a tumor while leaving normal tissue undamaged. You can read more about this linked story ‘Light at the end of the scalpel’.

Wellcome Trust Blog

Brain-animation-gif Peta Bell and Grzegorz Krzeszowiec

This week’s image comes from Mosaic, the Wellcome Trust’s online magazine dedicated to exploring the science of life, which this week celebrates two years since its launch.

Launched in 2014, Mosaic publishes a compelling in-depth story every week about the people, ideas and trends that drive biology and medicine and affect our lives, health and society. It’s also open access: all Mosaic’s articles can be reproduced and distributed for free under a Creative Commons licence, and they appear frequently in media all over the world.

To mark their second birthday, Mosaic has teamed up with popular London literary event 5×15 to present Reports from the Future of Medicine, an evening of stories, inspiration and entertainment. The event will take place on Wednesday 16 May 2016 at 7pm at Conway Hall in London.

Join Mosaic and hear from five of their writers on…

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Mundane Monday: Happy Pi Day!

IMG_4990I have several geeky T-shirts. One has the first page of the score from Beethoven’s Eroica on it. Another shows a brain lifting weights. Yet another, pictured above and at left, celebrates “pi day,” March 14, (3.14), which also happens to be Einstein’s birthday.

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