RECENT POSTS RSS

 

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

Builders and Blocks – Engineering Blood Vessels with Stem Cells

Posted 17 September 2014 by Jalees Rehman

Back in 2001, when we first began studying how regenerative cells (stem cells or more mature progenitor cells) enhance blood vessel growth, our group as well as many of our colleagues focused on one specific type of blood vessel: arteries. Arteries are responsible for supplying oxygen to all organs and tissues of the body and arteries are more likely to develop gradual plaque build-up (atherosclerosis) than veins or networks of smaller blood vessels (capillaries). Once the amount of plaque in... Read more

Fasting Improves Recovery of Bone Marrow Stem Cells after Chemotherapy

Posted 22 July 2014 by Jalees Rehman

[Note: This is a guest post by Tauseef (@CellSpell)] Fasting is defined as either completely abstaining from or minimizing food intake for a defined period time - ranging from about 12 hours to even a few weeks. Calorie restriction, on the other hand, refers to an overall reduction in the daily calorie intake by about 20%-40% without necessarily reducing the meal intake frequency. Although calorie restriction is well-suited for weight loss and thus also reduces the risk of chronic diseases... Read more

The Road to Bad Science Is Paved with Obedience and Secrecy

Posted 8 July 2014 by Jalees Rehman

We often laud intellectual diversity of a scientific research group because we hope that the multitude of opinions can help point out flaws and improve the quality of research long before it is finalized and written up as a manuscript. The recent events surrounding the research in one of the world's most famous stem cell research laboratories at Harvard shows us the disastrous effects of suppressing diverse and dissenting opinions. The infamous "Orlic paper" was a landmark research article published in... Read more

Turning Off Inflammation: A Novel Anti-Inflammatory Switch in Macrophages

Posted 24 June 2014 by Jalees Rehman

[Note: This is a guest post by Tauseef (@CellSpell), an excellent immunologist and one of my faculty colleagues at the University of Illinois, who is quite excited about science outreach and science blogging.] Macrophages are important immune cells which regulate inflammation, host defense and also act as a 'clean-up crew'. They recognize, kill and engulf bacteria as well as cellular debris, which is generated during an acute infection or inflammation. As such, they are present in nearly all tissues of... Read more