COBE Symposium 4/19 - Alcohol use disorder (AUD) on its own is currently affecting about 7.2% of adults 18 and over in the United States according to the National Institute of Health, however that statistic does not include the wide spectrum of the disorder or the high instances of other psychological diseases that often occur comorbidly with AUD.  At … Continue reading COBE Symposium 4/19 Read More
DNA Methylation Levels and the Risk of Obesity - Researchers at the University of Southampton have found an association between DNA methylation levels at the CDKN2A gene and the risk of obesity. Originally, DNA methylation was thought to be rather static throughout life, however, researchers have discovered differences in levels from birth to adults. They found this association when testing DNA methylation levels in … Continue reading DNA Methylation Levels and the Risk of Obesity Read More
A Mutation That Causes a Smoother Gait - Swedish researchers have been able to identify the mutated nucleotide that is responsible for the gait known as the amble, which is naturally occurring in few horse breeds. The amble is similar to a trot, but instead the horse’s legs work together in a motion that creates a smooth movement. It is also known as … Continue reading A Mutation That Causes a Smoother Gait Read More
Is gene-editing the future cure of HIV? - Human Immunodeficiency Virus affects over 1.2 million people in the United States alone. There is no cure for the virus and 1 out of 8 people don’t even know that they have it. However, there has been advances in research. Researchers at Temple University and University of Pittsburgh have found a way to stop the … Continue reading Is gene-editing the future cure of HIV? Read More
COBE Symposium: Gender, Pain, and Opioid Use - On April 18th, Dr. Mishka Terplan spoke about his research in how gender relates to use and misuse of narcotics and also treatment and recovery. An interesting piece of information Dr. Terplan mentioned is that even though we are starting to hear more about doctors “over-prescribing” opioids for pain management, this is not a new … Continue reading COBE Symposium: Gender, Pain, and Opioid Use Read More
The Effectiveness of Blogging for Recruitment - This semester, recruitment shifts made up a large portion of the class. This makes sense, as Spit4Science wouldn’t really work without participants. As somebody who worked various recruitment types, I feel like the method that I enjoyed most was blogging. Of course I see the value in tabling, and less so hand billing, but online … Continue reading The Effectiveness of Blogging for Recruitment Read More
COBE Symposium: Opioid Addiction in Youth - On April 18th, Dr. Marc Fishman spoke at the COBE symposium about his research in opioid addiction in youths. Dr. Fishman presented us with a case scenario of an opioid-addicted youth and asked us to brainstorm the best course of treatment. It was much more difficult because the youth had already been treated for opioid … Continue reading COBE Symposium: Opioid Addiction in Youth Read More
COBE Symposium: The Craving Mind - On the second day of the COBE symposium, Dr. Judson Brewer presented his presentation on cravings and addictive habits. Dr. Brewer started by explaining his thoughts on the comparison between Facebook and heroin. When people use heroin their “reward centers” in the brain activate. Studies have shown that similar effects happen when people get “likes” … Continue reading COBE Symposium: The Craving Mind Read More
COBE Symposium: The Craving Mind - On the second day of the COBE symposium, Dr. Judson Brewer presented his presentation on cravings and addictive habits. Dr. Brewer started by explaining his thoughts on the comparison between Facebook and heroin. When people use heroin their “reward centers” in the brain activate. Studies have shown that similar effects happen when people get “likes” … Continue reading COBE Symposium: The Craving Mind Read More
COBE Symposium 2017 - During the month of April COBE had its Research to Recovery Town Hall on Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th. The event was held in the VCU library and featured food, coffee, and great speakers. In the last lecture of the event on the 19th there were three speakers covering “Trauma, ADHD, & Substance … Continue reading COBE Symposium 2017 Read More
COBE Symposium 2017 - During the month of April COBE had its Research to Recovery Town Hall on Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th. The event was held in the VCU library and featured food, coffee, and great speakers. In the last lecture of the event on the 19th there were three speakers covering “Trauma, ADHD, & Substance … Continue reading COBE Symposium 2017 Read More
Gene therapy: restoring sight in people, and giving hope to scientists - An article on ScienceDaily’s website reports scientists have used CRISPR/Cas9 to reprogram rod cells to become cone cells. The article Using CRISPR to reverse retinitis pigmentosa and restore visual function, explains the ability to modify the rod and cone cell gene functions is significant for 100,000 Americans who are affected by Retinitis pigmentosa (RP). RP … Continue reading Gene therapy: restoring sight in people, and giving hope to scientists Read More
Moody teen or early depression? - The article Ordinary sounding expressions of teen angst may signal early depression on ScienceDaily’s website, tells the reader what is typically seen as regular teenage dialect, could be a sign of early depression. The study looked at 369 screening interviews of teenager’s ages 13 and 18, who are at risk for depression. The participants participated … Continue reading Moody teen or early depression? Read More
Another tool to help combat substance abuse in college students - In an article on ScienceDaily’s website, Volunteering might prevent substance abuse for female student-athletes, looks at a study conducted by Gustavo Carlo and Alexandra Davis at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Carlo and Davis led a team research on Division III female athletes on substance use. The research participants self-reported on willingness to volunteer and their … Continue reading Another tool to help combat substance abuse in college students Read More
COBE Town Hall - On April 18th and 19th, I had the pleasure of attending this year’s COBE Town Hall. This event allowed researchers to come together and share the work that they are doing. The researchers spoke on topics such as mental health, addiction, and genetics. At this event, I attended three talks in particular that I wanted … Continue reading COBE Town Hall Read More
Service Utilization and Mental Health at VCU - At the March COBE Connect Luncheon, PhD student Jessica Bourdon presented her research on mental health and mental health service utilization at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jessica explains that there is a high prevalence of mental health disorders in college students, as well as stigma around mental health disorders. Jessica tells us that universities overall do … Continue reading Service Utilization and Mental Health at VCU Read More
Uncovering the Science Behind E-Cigarettes - Doctoral candidate, Tory Spindle presented his research on e-cigarettes at this February’s COBE Connect luncheon. For someone who isn’t familiar with e-cigarettes (which are still a relatively new concept), Tory gave us an overview of the different types of e-cigarettes and how they work. Ultimately, they are used to transport nicotine into the lungs. They … Continue reading Uncovering the Science Behind E-Cigarettes Read More
April 4th COBE Connect: Service Utilization and Mental Health at VCU - On April 4th, I was lucky enough to see Jessica Bourdon speak on mental health and utilization of services designed to assist with mental health. She began by giving background information on the rates of mental health disorders on college campuses. These included anxiety, depression, alcohol dependence, and stressful life events. She also discussed antisocial … Continue reading April 4th COBE Connect: Service Utilization and Mental Health at VCU Read More
Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Marijuana Use - An article published by Science Daily reported on a study recently published in the journal Addiction Research & Theory about young people’s preference for smoking cigarettes or pot while drinking alcohol. This study is the first of its kind to document tobacco and alcohol are perceived with a greater reward than smoking tobacco and smoking marijuana. […]… Read More
Alcohol Dependence and Brain Changes - An article posted in Science Daily reported on a study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute that looked at the difference between brains of alcohol-dependent rats and nondependent rats. They found that in both rats’ brains there was activity in the central amygdala in their brains but the activity was triggered by two […]… Read More
Inheriting PTSD? - A recent article published by Science Daily described research that suggests Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has a genetic component for who is at risk for this disorder. The study was conducted by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and it is the first of its kind to provide evidence for genetic influences related to the risk of […]… Read More
COBE Symposium – Kevin Britton talks about his “Voice in Recovery” - Kevin Britton is a student at VCU and is part of the Rams in Recovery program. He shared his inspiring story about his recovery from being an alcoholic. He has been abstinent from alcohol for 7 1/2 years now and he is an activist in the Richmond neighborhoods of Fulton and Creighton Court. He explained […]… Read More
COBE Symposium – Eric Sterling talks “White Privilege and the Drug War” - Eric Sterling is the Executive Director of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice issues and failed global drug policy. He is also involved in the Families Against Mandatory Minimums and Marijuana Majority along with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, DrugSense,  and Drug Reform Coordination […]… Read More
COBE Symposium – Dr. Lula Beatty talks about “Stress and Drugs in Vulnerable Boys and Men: How It Matters to You and Me” - Dr. Lula Beatty is the Senior Director of the Health Disparities Office within the American Psychological Association. Among her many accomplishments, she has become particularly interested in the health disparities affecting vulnerable men and boys of the black community and within men and boys of the sexuality minority group. She began her talk with a […]… Read More
Research Reflection - When I started preliminary research on my topic: “The Relationship Between Alcohol Consumption, Sleep Quality, Depression, and Alcohol Use Disorders” I was a bit concerned as there weren’t many studies that I could compare this topic with. However, I quickly realized that this is a good thing! This gives us an amazing opportunity to research … Continue reading Research Reflection Read More
Take a number & You will be seen shortly - On April 4, 2017, Jessica Bourdon, a Ph.D. student in Clinical and Translational Sciences, presented an informative lecture on the Service Utilization and Mental Health at VCU. Bourdon gave general background on student mental health, pointing out the stigma around mental health, and the high prevalence of mental health disorders on college campuses. A fair … Continue reading Take a number & You will be seen shortly Read More
Reflection Post #3 – Research Experience - I have had a wonderful experience working on my research project looking at the relationship between recreational sports and health outcomes using the Spit for Science data. I think my favorite part has been running the actual analyses and working with the data set itself. I learned a lot about how to utilize SPSS and […]… Read More
Why We Don’t Want to Forget the Eugenics Movement - During The Progressive Era in the 1890s through 1920s the United States worked towards improving industrialization, public health, and a corrupt government. While there was positive progress during this time, such as the start of the Suffrage Movement, there was the negative, the American Eugenics movement. The Eugenics movement in the United States had “scientific” … Continue reading Why We Don’t Want to Forget the Eugenics Movement Read More
Hot Topic: Eugenics - One day during class we were asked if we had any knowledge of the term “eugenics”. The only thoughts that came to my mind were that it had something to do with the Nazi regime, during WWII, in an effort to create a so-called “perfect” human race. I thought that eugenics was some sort of … Continue reading Hot Topic: Eugenics Read More
COBE Connect: E-Cigarettes and the Risk Factors Behind Usage - Image: Various types of E-cigarettes (Source: FDA)   On February 28th, I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Tory Spindle on e-cigarettes at COBE Connect. Spindle began the talk with background information on e-cigarettes, including components and types. Differences in e-cigarettes include battery voltage and disposability among other features. From here, Spindle moved … Continue reading COBE Connect: E-Cigarettes and the Risk Factors Behind Usage Read More
Reflecting on Eugenics in America - The week prior to spring break, Dr. Adkins gave a lecture in our Spit 4 Science course on the history of eugenics in America and specifically focused on the practices here in Virginia. This topic is near and dear to my heart because my great grandmother’s sister had epilepsy during the early 1900s, a time […]… Read More
What is going on with Vaping? - On February 28th COBE Connect hosted Tory Spindle to explain the research he has been doing on electronic cigarettes. Spindle is a doctoral candidate at VCU Health Psychology and Center for the Study of Tobacco Products.  The research Spindle has been focusing on is what e-cigarettes do and who is using them at VCU. The … Continue reading What is going on with Vaping? Read More
Being Physically Active and Its Benefits for Depression -   In our course we talked about mental illnesses such as depression. Depression is often prevalent due to genetics. However, we also spoke about how the environment that a child grew up in may also play a big factor. That is where the phrase “nature and nurture” comes in. An article I chose was from… Read More
The Extraterrestrials in our food! - Did you happen to eat breakfast today? maybe a bowl of cereal with some 2% milk?  Did you know that you probably consumed a GM product or a GMO? GMO is the term used to refer to genetically modified organisms, more appropriately referred to as “transgenic” organisms because they contain foreign DNA from an alternative source; … Continue reading The Extraterrestrials in our food! Read More
Gender Differences in College 2017-02-09 17:18:29 -   Genetic testing is defined as the sequencing of human DNA in order to discover genetic differences, anomalies, or mutations that may prove pathological (Google, 2017). While genetic testing has proved useful and important, it has also considered ethical dilemmas and limitations, which has been a great controversial topic recently. One problem is that genetic … Continue reading Read More
Reflection Post 1: Nature is Not Yours to Copyright - The human genome is comprised of about 3 billion base pairs of DNA nucleotides, Adenine with Thymine and Cytosine with Guanine. If you take a sequence of these nucleotides, you can transcribe them and translate them into proteins, which are the real go-getters of an organism. However, sometimes proteins can be harmful to a human, … Continue reading Reflection Post 1: Nature is Not Yours to Copyright Read More
Parents of murder victim call for familial DNA testing -   Parents of murder victim Karina Vetrano are petitioning for familial DNA testing in the state of New York. Currently, when DNA is found at a crime scene in New York it is only used to test for exact matches in the DNA database. In order to find a match, the person must already have … Continue reading Parents of murder victim call for familial DNA testing Read More
Smoking and Depression - A recent article published on January 27, 2017 on the news site “Newsmax Health” reported a study conducted by Cancer Research UK which looked at the relationship between depression and smoking. The study included 3775 patients in the Czech Republic who were attending a clinic in order to help them quit smoking. The findings showed […]… Read More
Why We Need to Rethink Ethnicity-Based Genetic Testing - http://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2016-11-07/why-we-need-to-rethink-ethnicity-based-genetic-testing Summary: Recent studies have shown racial bias in the genetic databases that are important to furthering research in precision medicine. This data has been shown to be skewed towards a European Caucasian population, which has made it hard to interpret genetic variants in minority groups. Recent advances have made it possible for physicians to … Continue reading Why We Need to Rethink Ethnicity-Based Genetic Testing Read More
Drug Deaths on The Rise - This article discusses the recent rise in drug related deaths arcoss the United States, particularly within the white popluation. The authors mention how such problems affecting the white population have lead lawmakers to begin to think about drug and addidction issues differently. An example that was mentioned in the article of how this realization has … Continue reading Drug Deaths on The Rise Read More
Race is a Social Construct - I believe that race is a social construct. This is because all the traditions and customs associated with a particular race are passed down from generation to generation. In addition, when we say people are of a certain race in my opinion it is how they talk, act, and speak that we are able to … Continue reading Race is a Social Construct Read More
What history and genetics tell us about Race - Based on the articles that we read before class on 11/29, race can be seen as a social construct. I will be using examples in the United States to back up my statement; taking into account the history of slavery and genetic data. Human individuals are very similar to each other, with 99.9% similarities in … Continue reading What history and genetics tell us about Race Read More
Race Is A Social Construct - Race is a social construct because there is no gene for race. While those of a certain race may have biological similarities, that does not mean that race is biologically constructed. Race is socially constructed based off of geographical locations and different cultures. If a group of people live in a different geographical location, then … Continue reading Race Is A Social Construct Read More
Race: Social or Biological Construct - Race is predominantly a biological construct. Our genes determine certain indicators of race, including but not limited to, skin color, hair type, eye color, height, etc. These indicators help identify individuals as a certain race. I believe in a very naive, basic application of the term “race”, and the biological construct accomplishes this. Using race … Continue reading Race: Social or Biological Construct Read More
Race is a Social Construct - I believe race is a social construct rather then biological.  As toddlers before we lost our innocence we did not recognize different skin complexions and connected to people solely on emotions. However as we grew up we became influenced by our parents , friends and started to see different races through their eyes. We started … Continue reading Race is a Social Construct Read More
Race a Biological or Social Construct - Whether or not race is a social or biological construct is a very debatable subject. I would argue that race is not biological, but is social. The main reason I would argue that point is that there are no specific genes that are particular to one race or another. Although genes are what is responsible for … Continue reading Race a Biological or Social Construct Read More
Race? - So probably because I am a biology major when someone says race I quickly think of the small genetic differences between us all that create the concept of “race.” In the biological context that makes sense but when you start to think about it for another minute it doesn’t take much knowledge to realize there is probably […]… Read More
Race — Biological or Social Construct? - I do not own this photo. All rights given to the owner. Biology is classified as a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms; including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, identification and taxonomy. With that being said, race is a biological construct due to identification. From what I’ve read online … Continue reading Race — Biological or Social Construct? Read More
Can adolescent binge-drinking affect the genes of future offsprings? - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161114140611.htm A study using mice as their animal model looked at methylation patterns in offspring whose parents were exposed to alcohol. This study wanted to know if adolescent binge-drinking could affect the genes in future generations. Researchers exposed male and female mice to alcohol that was comparable to 6 binge-drinking episodes and had a control-group … Continue reading Can adolescent binge-drinking affect the genes of future offsprings? Read More
Severe Mental Illness and Substance Abuse - https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2014/01/severe-mental-illness-tied-to-higher-rates-substance-use This article summarizes a study conducted that looked at people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, and examined substance use.  According to this study, individuals with severe mental illnesses are more likely to have higher levels of substance abuse. In addition, the authors note that protective factors in regards to substance abuse did … Continue reading Severe Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Read More
Gene Editing Tool CRISPR-CAS9 Used in a Human For the First Time - Article Link: http://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2016-11-17/gene-editing-tool-crispr-cas9-used-in-a-human-for-the-first-time According to a study published in Nature a team from the West China Hospital have used CRISPR-Cas9 to treat a patient with aggressive breast cancer. CRISPR, short for clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic sequence, are easily editable DNA patterns. The Cas-9 protein is able to snip these CRISPR sequences, modifying the DNA itself. This … Continue reading Gene Editing Tool CRISPR-CAS9 Used in a Human For the First Time Read More
Rams in Recovery (Reflection Post 3) - Our research group is partnered with Rams in Recovery to look at the community of students identifying as being in recovery. We looked at different data that the questions for Spit for Science provided about the demographics and different challenges students in recovery faced compared to their peers who drank, who did not drink and … Continue reading Rams in Recovery (Reflection Post 3) Read More
RP3–My Experience! -   My research experience is going great so far! Coming into this class and learning of what I would be engaged in with the research project and service learning I was a bit intimidated. But the insight and knowledge I have received from Sally, Derrick, Dr. Adkins, and Dr. Dick has been very interesting! I … Continue reading RP3–My Experience! Read More
Reflection Post #3 - After being in this class and hearing lots of presentations, it has become pretty clear that any significant results are rare to come across and super exciting to find. Our job for this community project was made significantly easier by the simple fact that our study found several statistically significant associations between sleep quality, alcohol … Continue reading Reflection Post #3 Read More
Genetic Heart Disease Risk Eased by Healthy Habits, Study Finds - Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/health/genetic-heart-disease-risk-eased-by-healthy-habits-study-finds.html Summary: A new analysis of data from more than 55,000 people shows that by living right and following healthy habits, people can positively reduce even the worst genetic risk. As Dr. Sekar Kathiresan, director of the Center for Human Genetic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, says, “You do have control over the problem, even if … Continue reading Genetic Heart Disease Risk Eased by Healthy Habits, Study Finds Read More
Reflection 3- Community Partner - The Rams in Recovery group is looking at a small subset of the Spit for Science data to gain a better understanding of students who identified as being in recovery. Thus far the research project has been a little challenging considering the sample, or students who identified as being in recovery, is so small. In […]… Read More
Rams in Recovery Reflection - I was super excited when I heard that I would be joining the group working with Rams in Recovery. I have seen the name on the Stall Street Journal and had a very vague knowledge about what it was about. I knew that it was for students who wanted to break their addiction with drugs. … Continue reading Rams in Recovery Reflection Read More
Correlation between Risky Behavior and Brain Activity in Adolescents - In a recent study conducted at Darmouth, researchers discovered that risk-taking behavior in adolescents (in this case rats were used) was linked to low activity in Prefrontal Cortex but high activity in the nucleus accumbens. The lead researcher, a graduate student at Dartmouth, used Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) to simulate the imbalance … Continue reading Correlation between Risky Behavior and Brain Activity in Adolescents Read More
Innovative Solution to Combat Alcohol Abuse Among Soldiers - This study conducted at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in western Washington tested out the effectiveness of telephone based intervention for soldiers who met the criteria for alcohol abuse disorders. The article highlights how prevalent binge-drinking can be in the military (In 2008, 47% of active duty members reported being binge drinkers), and how drinking can be … Continue reading Innovative Solution to Combat Alcohol Abuse Among Soldiers Read More
Reflection Post 3 - My group and I have been working on a research project looking at the effects of rec sports participation on health out comes in students, including alcohol usage. I’ve really enjoyed being able to study and learn more about this topic. Sports and physical fitness have both always been something that I really enjoy participating … Continue reading Reflection Post 3 Read More
Rat Study: Who gets hooked? - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160427080929.htm This article uses rats to try to determine what causes the difference between being hooked on a drug and just trying it once. The study discusses the genetic difference between additction-prone rats and those that are addiction-resistant as being largely a product of the pleasure receptor in the brain. This study was interesting to […]… Read More
Alcohol can rewire teenage brain - Article: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/alcohol-can-rewire-teenage-brain In this article it talked about kids who drink before age 15 are five times  more likely to become alcoholics and binge drink. This consumption of alcohol negatively affects their brain and its development. This development includes the lost of white matter and a defect in the prefrontal cortex with controls our attention, self … Continue reading Alcohol can rewire teenage brain Read More
Regeneration of Spinal Cord Cells Boosted - UT Southwestern researchers discovered a more effective way of regenerating mature nerve cells in the spinal cord. The  major cells that play a role are glial cells. They looked at p53 & p21 and it is interesting that these cells are involved in the cell cycle pathway. When they silenced this pathway that gave rise … Continue reading Regeneration of Spinal Cord Cells Boosted Read More
ADHD Medications and Meth - http://drugabuse.com/spotlight-on-adhd-meds-and-their-frightening-meth-connection/ This article explores the rising abuse of ADHD medication. The authors mention how one of the contributors to the rising stimulant addiction issue is that doctors are diagnosing too many people with ADHD; so much that the sale of ADHD medication increased almost 42% in just five years. In addition, the article mentions how … Continue reading ADHD Medications and Meth Read More
The Gene of Autumn Colors -   https://www.google.com/search?q=autumn+leaves&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=601&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwinrp2bq_vPAhWBeD4KHVSaCyYQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=UqcecmjVQV5kXM%3A Hokkaido University. “The gene of autumn colors.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161025082604.htm>. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161025082604.htm Date accessed: 10/27 Summary: In plants, the pigment chlorophyll is essential for photosynthesis – it helps convert sunlight into energy. Chlorophyll degrades as a normal part of leaf aging, which plays a key role in nitrogen recycling. This process … Continue reading The Gene of Autumn Colors Read More
Genetic testing should not be used to diagnose coeliac disease, experts say - Article Link: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/13/genetic-testing-should-not-be-used-to-diagnose-coeliac-disease-experts-say This article, which discusses the overall changes to health guidelines published by the Australia-based NPS MedicineWise, provides some insight into the limitations of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Since we are having Dr. Dick’s lecture on this subject tomorrow, I figured this is more relevant than ever. Essentially, the organization took issue with the … Continue reading Genetic testing should not be used to diagnose coeliac disease, experts say Read More
s t a r d u s t 2016-10-21 14:58:49 - http://www.uofmhealth.org/News/alcohol-mbni-0412 I thought this article was interesting because it relates to the exact things we have been studying. The article touches on GABRA2 as well as its relationship to impulsivity. In addition, to this impulsivity is linked to alcoholism. Lastly, the article brings up the important point that although this gene shows a strong correlation […]… Read More
Spit for Science Reflection Post 2 – Hirsh Shah - On September 27th, we had Dr. Jessica Salvatore come in and discuss her paper, “The Role of Romantic Relationship Status in Pathways of Risk for Emerging Adult Alcohol Use”. The main goals of her study were to examine whether romantic relationship experiences in emerging adulthood reflect risk factors for alcohol abuse, and whether the type … Continue reading Spit for Science Reflection Post 2 – Hirsh Shah Read More
The Importance of Yoga and Meditation - Our first gust lecturer was a yoga instructor and she detailed the importance of meditation. Meditation is a unique experience, in which one does not concentrate on anything else and tries to clear the mind of all problems and difficulties. This may sound simple, but it is very challenging to do. Everyone’s lives are so … Continue reading The Importance of Yoga and Meditation Read More
The Importance of Yoga and Meditation - Our first gust lecturer was a yoga instructor and she detailed the importance of meditation. Meditation is a unique experience, in which one does not concentrate on anything else and tries to clear the mind of all problems and difficulties. This may sound simple, but it is very challenging to do. Everyone’s lives are so … Continue reading The Importance of Yoga and Meditation Read More
Reflection Post 2 - One of the guest speakers that interested me in the course was Dr. Chartier’s analysis of alcohol use in different ethnicities and races. The goal for Dr. Chartier’s research was to eliminate disparities between racial and ethnic minority groups by providing research that may influence policy and specific programs. If we know more about how … Continue reading Reflection Post 2 Read More
Reflection Post 2 - One of the guest speakers that interested me in the course was Dr. Chartier’s analysis of alcohol use in different ethnicities and races. The goal for Dr. Chartier’s research was to eliminate disparities between racial and ethnic minority groups by providing research that may influence policy and specific programs. If we know more about how … Continue reading Reflection Post 2 Read More
Male Masculinity, Sports, and Alcohol (R.P.2) - Today, I met with the Director of Recreational Sports of VCU. It was a very interesting, insightful meeting and I learned a lot! Dr. Hottell spoke to me and my research team on a few various topics which included: male masculinity, sports, and alcohol. Overall, we were looking into the relationship between organized sports and … Continue reading Male Masculinity, Sports, and Alcohol (R.P.2) Read More
Reflection Post #2! - The lecture given by Dr. Dick in class yesterday was probably my favorite lecture of the semester. Learning about the whole process of investigating genetic bases of alcohol problems was super cool to hear about. Not only did we discuss how exactly the SNPs were discovered, but also seeing the scientific process at work was … Continue reading Reflection Post #2! Read More
How meditation and mindfulness alleviated my stress - During Kamini Pahuja’s lecture, I learned how to breathe. I use to practice mindfulness and meditation to relax my mind after a stressful day during my 4th year of college, so I was glad to have a speaker enlighten me on her views of meditation/mindfulness. I remember her giving us a large number of how … Continue reading How meditation and mindfulness alleviated my stress Read More
Colorado’s Teen Marijuana Usage Dips after Legalization - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/colorado-s-teen-marijuana-usage-dips-after-legalization/ Summary: A new survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health shows that marijuana consumption by Colorado high school students has dipped slightly since legalization of recreational cannabis use by adults 21 and older. This is contrary to concerns that legalization would allow greater access by teenagers to marijuana, thus increasing rates of … Continue reading Colorado’s Teen Marijuana Usage Dips after Legalization Read More
Mind Blown (reflection 2) - This morning Dr. Dick presented on the GABRA2 gene and discussed its correlation with alcohol problems. You could definitely see her passion about the topic and it was pretty special to be hearing significant and pioneered findings directly from the researcher herself. However, I was not expected Dr. Dick to take us on such a […]… Read More
Reflection Post 2 on Dr. Salvatore’s Relationship Study - Article: The Role of Romantic Relationship Status in Pathways of Risk for Emerging Adult Alcohol Use I found Dr. Salvatore’s study on romantic relationships on emerging adults to be very interesting. In this study, Dr. Salvatore assessed alcohol use among individuals who were single, in a committed relationship, or involved in simultaneous multiple romantic relationships. It was … Continue reading Reflection Post 2 on Dr. Salvatore’s Relationship Study Read More
A Radical Revision of Human Genetics - Article Link: http://www.nature.com/news/a-radical-revision-of-human-genetics-1.20779 Guys, this is such a cool article. Essentially a group of scientists got fed up with a lack of a large genomic database from which to do analyses and compiled DNA from upwards of 60,000 people. Using a sad example of a woman seemingly diagnosed with fatal familial insomnia due to a mutation … Continue reading A Radical Revision of Human Genetics Read More
Mayo Clinic Recommends Individualized Treatment - Article: http://www.livescience.com/56325-drug-treat-alcohol-addiction.html Just this month, Mayo clinic released recommendations of four ways that physicians can acknowledge the difference between individual patient’s genetic and environmental makeups by providing individualized treatment. The first, is the use of pharmacogenetics,which is the use of DNA testing to determine how the body might respond to certain drugs. This was based … Continue reading Mayo Clinic Recommends Individualized Treatment Read More
New Drug May Help People with Alcohol Addiction - http://www.livescience.com/56325-drug-treat-alcohol-addiction.html   Alcohol Use Disorder is a disorder that comes from drinking and results in anxiety or stress from relationships and/or work. There are about 4 drugs out in the world that are suppose to help with alcohol use disorder, however, researchers are doubting their effectiveness. A new drug was created, labeled ABT-436, and was… Read More
That Asian Glow - Article: http://www.yalescientific.org/2011/04/what-causes-asian-glow/ In lecture we discussed how some asians who preside in japan, Korea, and Northeastern China experience an Alcohol Flush Reaction (AFR) or what we call the Asian Glow.  This is caused by an allele ALDH2; and the side effects are nausea, headaches, and a Increased heart rate. However what I did not know is … Continue reading That Asian Glow Read More
With worrisome animal research, more focus needed on effects of cannabis on human development - Article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160930080859.htm This study, which was essentially an in-depth literature review was conducted by medical students at Georgetown University. They found that there are significant animal studies which demonstrate that THC, the psychoactive compound which gives cannabis its effects, was able to effectively enter the placenta and interfere with such developmental steps as implantation and folic … Continue reading With worrisome animal research, more focus needed on effects of cannabis on human development Read More
Cannabis and Human Development - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160930080859.htm This article explores the research findings from animal studies about the effects of cannabis on development; and urges for more research to be done regarding human development. Dr. Gallicano states that limited human studies regarding the topic have been  conducted, but that the results show an associaciton between using cannabis during pregnancy and the same … Continue reading Cannabis and Human Development Read More
Research reveals new gene associated with habitual coffee consumption - Free Image from Pixabay Researchers conducted a genome-wide association study, published in Scientific Reports in August 2016, that found a new gene, PDSS2, that is thought to slow the body’s metabolism of coffee. The study was conducted on an Italian population of 1200 people, in which participants provided information about their coffee-drinking habits and also provided a … Continue reading Research reveals new gene associated with habitual coffee consumption Read More
Stress Negatively Affects Chances of Conception - Researchers at the University of Louisville and Emory University found that women who reported a higher level of stress during their predicted ovulatory window (defined as roughly 14 days after menstruation). The diaries also contained information regarding menstruation, intercourse, contraception, alcohol, caffeine and smoking. These measurements were used to account for these factors when determining the … Continue reading Stress Negatively Affects Chances of Conception Read More
Smoking Leaves a Long Lasting Impact on DNA - Researchers at the NIH working in the epidemiology branch found that DNA methylation patterns change because of smoking and that they could reveal smoking history which allows potential targets for new therapies. Methylation is a mechanism through which DNA can be regulated. Smokers that have stopped for awhile are still at risk of developing diseases like … Continue reading Smoking Leaves a Long Lasting Impact on DNA Read More
Is Volunteering The Answer to Addiction? - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/teen-addiction-substance-abuse_us_56fe8c9be4b0daf53aef6f06 In this article, the behavioral tendencies of teen substance abusers is examined; and researchers conclude that teen addicts lack awareness  for the individuals around them. Therefore, Dr. Pagano suggests that volunteering be introduced into their schedules in order to combat their egocentricity. Previous research conducted by Dr. Pagano has proven that teen relapse rates and … Continue reading Is Volunteering The Answer to Additcion? Read More
How Athletes Can Dupe the Banned Drug System - The Economist http://www.economist.com/blogs/gametheory/2016/09/doper-s-dupe Summary: Hackers from Russia have leaked drug-testing documents of 66 Olympic athletes from the WADA, World Anti-Doping Agency. The famous American gymnast Simone Biles was also implicated, with files showing that she had been taking medication to treat ADHD for at least four years, which contains stimulants prohibited by the WADA. However, … Continue reading How Athletes Can Dupe the Banned Drug System Read More
Increasing Public Knowledge of Genetic Research (R.P.1) - Photo courtesy of MGM CENTER FOR GENETIC RESEARCH & DIAGNOSIS Growing up,  I would have never known that things such as obesity, high blood pressure, drugs or alcohol abuse are influenced by ones genes. I alway though people who were fat ate too much, people who drink too much were just crazy and lacked self … Continue reading Increasing Public Knowledge of Genetic Research (R.P.1) Read More
Sober since April, Abby Wambach says she secretly abused alcohol and drugs for years - Website: http://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/la-sp-abby-wambach-alcohol-20160912-snap-story.html People all across the world have problems with alcohol abuse and drug abuse. It affects people and others are unaware of the problem. Women soccer star, Abby Wambach, admitted that while she played for the national soccer team, she was facing problems with drug abuse. She has now been clean for several months. Hopefully … Continue reading Sober since April, Abby Wambach says she secretly abused alcohol and drugs for years Read More
Can Antidepressants make you more depressed? - “Our Depressions” by Drunk Photographer Article: Now Antidepressant-Induced Chronic Depression Has a Name: Tardive Dysphoria Author: Robert Whitaker In this article, the author talks about antipressants and their long-term effects on a patient’s brain. Indeed, it would seem that even though antidepressants’ main goal is to help in the treatment of depression, it could actually cause … Continue reading Can Antidepressants make you more depressed? Read More
Bullying Effect College Students - Researchers at Univeristy of Illinois-Champaign found that those who were bullied at young ages the trauma still manifests itself as college students. I found this very interesting and relevant to my life, because I was a bullied as a child and sometimes think about what if I wasn’t. Like for example, something as easy as bringing … Continue reading Bullying Effect College Students Read More
Originally posted on 9/9: The Ethical Dilemmas in Genetic Engineering - The field of genetics is changing every day and it is growing at a pace that can be overwhelming. The pictured attached, taken from a creative commons source that does not require credit, shows the development of cloning which occurred in the 1970s. genetics has come a very long way since then. With this rapid … Continue reading Originally posted on 9/9: The Ethical Dilemmas in Genetic Engineering Read More
The Designer Baby Debate (Reflection Post 1) - Article: https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/ethics-designer-babies In the past decade, there has been a rapid increase in innovation of technology and, with it, the vast expansion of our knowledge of genetics. Things that seemed impossible a few years ago are seemingly becoming more and more realistic, and in the not too distant future. The idea of creating “designer babies” … Continue reading The Designer Baby Debate (Reflection Post 1) Read More
Reflection Post 1 - One of the most talk-about issues in genomics is genetic testing and what its ethical implications are. In the past decade, genetics testing has become more easily accessible and more commonly used, especially by gynecologists and obstetricians around the United States. While some genetic testing on fetuses is mandated by law, most tests for specific … Continue reading Reflection Post 1 Read More
Ethical Dilemma: Do We Have Rights To Genetic Information? - https://theconversation.com/why-you-should-worry-about-the-privatization-of-genetic-data-62591 I quickly searched “genetics and ethics” on Google just to see the latest issues and a recent article by a post-doctoral research fellow, Kayte Spector-Bagdady, popped up. Her article discusses recent comments president Obama has made on genetics and then goes into detail about the 1 million-person research study, also known as Precision Medicine […]… Read More
Antisocial Personality Disorder and a correlation to jail? - http://www.businessinsider.com/genes-play-role-in-antisocial-personality-disorder-2016-9 Author  : Rafi Letzter This article has found that the proportion of individuals that exhibit Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is much higher within jail populations than in a general population sample outside of jail. This is significant information because ASPD is a complex trait and has actually been linked to aggression and disregard for […]… Read More
For all of the coffee drinkers out there! - http://www.livescience.com/55880-coffee-consumption-dna-genes.html Summary: In this article a study is described that looked at how one gene, the PDSS2 gene, effects how many cups of coffee some people need to drink in order to get a caffeine high. While some people are able to drink just one cup of coffee in order to get the desired effect… Read More
Ice Bucket Challenge Cash Helped Pay for ALS Gene Discoveries - http://www.livescience.com/55571-als-genetic-risk.html Summary: Thanks to the very popular ice bucket challenge form two years ago new discoveries have been made in the fight to find a cure for ALS. Donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge allowed researchers to conduct two studies in which they tried to find faulty genes in people who were diagnosed with ALS.… Read More

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