In October 2015, a 7-year old boy received life-saving surgeries involving skin grafts made from his own modified skin cells in the first successful gene therapy to-date for junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB).
Halloween has come and gone, and I haven’t made a post here in a month. Yikes! Research and report writing, as well as job hunting, have been keeping me quite busy, but that’s no excuse for my lack of writing here.
Updates in this post:
- Science Fridays
- Progress in Python and Japanese studies
Hello again, and happy September!
It seems like my posting is now becoming monthly, instead of weekly – and for this, I apologize! Research has been keeping me busy, along with other things. By the time I finish my work for the day and have dinner, all I want to do is relax! (And study Japanese, which I’ve been determined to make time for in the evenings as consistently as possible.)
I can’t believe it has been three months since I started learning Python!
(Or rather, it’s been three months since I started from scratch with Python Crash Course by Eric Matthes, after giving up on Codeacademy’s Python course for various reasons, which I wrote about here.)
I’m about halfway through PCC so far, nearly done with chapter 6 (about dictionaries). I really enjoy this book, and I’m so glad I came across it in the public library when I did. In this post, I’m going to talk about what I’ve learned from experimenting with different approaches to not just understanding the material, but remembering it.
During my researching and reading for my thesis project proposal (which I should finish soon!), I’ve come to realize that my ability to discern whether a given paper will be useful has improved a lot since I began graduate school. Before, I would have to read a paper in its entirety to figure out if I need it or not, which puts quite a few hours of valuable time down the drain.
My first semester in the program, I had a lot of papers to read each week for two reading-heavy courses, and I found myself struggling to keep up some weeks more than others. I spoke with professors and classmates and did some Googling to get some ideas of how to read long and/or dense papers more quickly without losing understanding of the material, but the biggest teacher has really been simple: just read more papers. This was one of the first pieces of advice I received, but at first, I wasn’t convinced it was very helpful. Why would reading more papers help if the sheer number and length of papers I had to read was what I was struggling with in the first place?
I apologize for the lack of posts as of late. I have been adjusting to a new routine of lab work in the summer, as well as working on a proposal for my upcoming thesis project in the fall semester. I went home for some vacation time – only 4 weeks – and I have been slowly plodding through a cold I managed to catch (probably while I was traveling).
Since returning to the lab (more regularly at least than during the previous spring semester), I have come to realize that learning in a lab is different now, as a graduate student, than it was when I was an undergraduate student. That’s what I’m going to talk about in this post!
I haven’t talked about politics on this blog before, but in light of the disconcerting anti-science trend that has been on the rise as of late, I think it’s a good time to start.
I recently finished reading a book titled Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science by Dave Levitan. As a science student, I have a deeper understanding of science than the average person, but I am not very politically-literate. I picked up this book hoping to learn about how to identify, evaluate, and debunk the scientific-sounding claims that politicians make.
Back in 2015, I took an online course on Coursera called “Learning How to Learn” but didn’t get a chance to blog about it. It’s a wonderful course; it taught me lot about how the brain works when you’re learning something. In light of my current pursuits in neuroscience, learning is one of the many topics I am interested in (along with neurodegenerative diseases, mood disorders, and motor neuron diseases).
The course is free, and you can check it out anytime! I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to improve their ability to learn new things.
I made PowerPoint slides for each of the four weeks in the course to help me take notes on the course material. Instead of sharing these slides here, I decided to put together a short list of the most helpful bits of advice.
Here we go!
I began my graduate school program in August of 2016, and I’ll be finishing at the end of the upcoming fall semester this year, in December 2017. I’ll be graduating with a Master’s degree, in Neuroscience.
In this post, I’ll be talking about what I have learned in the program so far, in terms of skills and things I have had to get accustomed to. I’ll also briefly list out some reasons why I decided not to go to medical school.
I have been researching and working on my own sketchnotes for quite some time, and I’m still trying to get the hang of it. Last semester, I tried sketchnoting to help me study in my cellular metabolism class. I kind of went through an “evolution” of sorts, where my formatting and style completely changed as I tried new things.
Check out the gallery below to see my progression!