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“She’s strong for a girl”: The Negative Impact of Stereotypes About Women

Posted 8 March 2015 by Jalees Rehman

This is a guest blog post by Ulli Hain (Twitter: @ulli_hain, Email: hain.ulli[at]gmail.com). Ulli is a postdoctoral researcher in the field of autophagy and also a science writer/blogger. Her blog Bench and Beyond reports on interesting scientific studies and explores life as a scientist including issues of gender and science. We have all heard the stereotypes: women can’t drive, they don’t understand computers, and how many blondes does it take to screw in a light bulb? But those are all in good... Read more

Does Thinking About God Increase Our Willingness to Make Risky Decisions?

Posted 2 March 2015 by Jalees Rehman

There are at least two ways of how the topic of trust in God is broached in Friday sermons that I have attended in the United States. Some imams lament the decrease of trust in God in the age of modernity. Instead of trusting God that He is looking out for the believers, modern day Muslims believe that they can control their destiny on their own without any Divine assistance. These imams see this lack of trust in God as... Read more

When can you have sex after a heart attack? Most doctors do not talk about it.

Posted 17 February 2015 by Jalees Rehman

Each year in the United States about 720,000 people have heart attacks and about 124,000 people in the UK and 55,000 people in Australia will have them as well. Since the 1980s, survival rates from heart attacks have improved – a lot of people get them, but more and more people are surviving. A recent study of patients in Denmark showed that in 1984-1988 31.4% of patients died within a month of having a heart attack. From 2004-2008 this was... Read more

Literature and Philosophy in the Laboratory Meeting

Posted 2 February 2015 by Jalees Rehman

Research institutions in the life sciences engage in two types of regular scientific meet-ups: scientific seminars and lab meetings. The structure of scientific seminars is fairly standard. Speakers give Powerpoint presentations (typically 45 to 55 minutes long) which provide the necessary scientific background, summarize their group's recent published scientific work and then (hopefully) present newer, unpublished data. Lab meetings are a rather different affair. The purpose of a lab meeting is to share the scientific work-in-progress with one's peers within... Read more

Fixing ‘Leaky’ Blood Vessels in Severe Respiratory Ailments and Ebola

Posted 15 January 2015 by Jalees Rehman

When you get an infection, your immune system responds with an influx of inflammatory cells that target the underlying bacteria or viruses. These immune cells migrate from your blood into the infected tissue in order to release a cocktail of pro-inflammatory proteins and help eliminate the infectious threat. During this inflammatory response, the blood vessel barrier becomes “leaky.” This allows for an even more rapid influx of additional immune cells. Once the infection resolves, the response cools off, the entry... Read more

How Often Do Books Mention Scientists and Researchers?

Posted 14 January 2015 by Jalees Rehman

Here is a graphic showing the usage of the words "scientists", "researchers", "soldiers" in English-language books published in 1900-2008. The graphic was generated using the Google N-gram Viewer which scours all digitized books in the Google database for selected words and assesses the relative word usage frequencies.   (You can click on the chart to see a screen shot or on this link for the N-gram Viewer) It is depressing that soldiers are mentioned more frequently than scientists or researchers... Read more

Typical Dreams: A Comparison of Dreams Across Cultures

Posted 5 January 2015 by Jalees Rehman

But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.                                     William Butler Yeats – from "Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven"       Have you ever wondered how the content of your dreams differs from that of your friends? How about the dreams of people raised in different countries and cultures? It is not always easy to compare dreams of distinct... Read more

Climate Change: Heatwaves and Poverty in Pakistan

Posted 8 December 2014 by Jalees Rehman

In the summer of 2010, over 20 million people were affected by the summer floods in Pakistan. Millions lost access to shelter and clean water, and became dependent on aid in the form of food, drinking water, tents, clothes and medical supplies in order to survive this humanitarian disaster. It is estimated that at least $1.5 billion to $2 billion were provided as aid by governments, NGOs, charity organizations and private individuals from all around the world, and helped contain the devastating... Read more

Moral Time: Does Our Internal Clock Influence Moral Judgments?

Posted 20 October 2014 by Jalees Rehman

Does morality depend on the time of the day? The study "The Morning Morality Effect: The Influence of Time of Day on Unethical Behavior" published in October of 2013 by Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith suggested that people are more honest in the mornings, and that their ability to resist the temptation of lying and cheating wears off as the day progresses. In a series of experiments, Kouchaki and Smith found that moral awareness and self-control in their study subjects decreased... Read more

The Psychology of Procrastination: How We Create Categories of the Future

Posted 12 October 2014 by Jalees Rehman

"Do not put your work off till tomorrow and the day after; for a sluggish worker does not fill his barn, nor one who puts off his work: industry makes work go well, but a man who puts off work is always at hand-grips with ruin."        Hesiod in "The Works and Days" Paying bills, filling out forms, completing class assignments or submitting grant proposals – we all have the tendency to procrastinate. We may engage in trivial activities... Read more