Real science from real scientists, writers, communicators, artists & clinicians. Tweets this week from Caroline Spry (@carolinedigs)
9 added to My Authors
Apr 11 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
There seems to be some interest in this topic of why we all find the same images memorable and forgettable, so let me tell you a bit more about it. Let's start with faces! @WilmaBainbridge has taught us a lot about what makes pictures of faces memorable and forgettable. @WilmaBainbridge even has a website where you can upload your own pictures and get feedback from a computer model about how memorable they are. Let me know if you try it! brainbridgelab.uchicago.edu/resmem/
Apr 11 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Yesterday I shared a some fascinating facts about different types of memory. Now let me tell you a bit more about what I do. I study our ability to remember whether we've seen specific things before; it's often called 'familiarity' memory.
We've all had that experience of walking down the street, seeing someone, and remembering that we know them but not being able to recall details such as who they are. We are interested in understanding: what's going on in our brains when that happens?
Oct 8, 2021 • 41 tweets • 13 min read
We had our department's doctoral students' meeting today. High time to share more about the topic I'm working on for my dissertation!
All please welcome #evolution of #altruism!
Put simply, altruism means unconditionally helping another. You might think it's a human trait, but it's actually present in lots of animal species! Let's have a look at some.
In the previous tweet, you could see an example of guarding against predators. Is that altruism?
Oct 7, 2021 • 26 tweets • 6 min read
I meant to tweet more actively this week, but my three-year-old's fever derailed these plans. Luckily, she's better now. This came at the same time as me starting an elimination diet to find out what's problematic for my breastfed baby.
Let's have a look at infant allergies.
This may come as a surprise to most non-parents, but food allergies are surprisingly common in infants. The estimates vary a lot, but fluctuate around 5%: one in twenty infants having a food allergy. You likely know some.
But it's hard to know for sure for reasons we'll look at.
Oct 7, 2021 • 10 tweets • 5 min read
I mentioned the movie Europa Report in the #Europa thread yesterday. It's an amazing piece of science fiction about this moon.
But there are plenty of interesting takes on life in a subsurface ocean in SF! Let's have a look at a few...
"All these worlds are yours. Except Europa. Attempt no landing there." - 2010: Odyssey Two, by A.C. Clarke
Most of you think we'll first discover life outside of Earth on Europa or Enceladus. Let's have a look at these amazing worlds of ice and water! 🧵
In 1610, Europa, Io, Ganymede and Callisto were discovered almost at the same time by Simon Marius and Galileo Galilei.
We remember the latter better, but those names were selected by Marius. If not for him, we might have been calling them after the Medicis, Galileo's patrons...
Oct 2, 2021 • 15 tweets • 5 min read
Excellent question! The answer is partly related to planetary protection and to engineering, partly to the uncertainty of our knowledge about liquid water on Mars now and its accessibility. Thread 🧵.
I'll start with the water. While the geology of Mars - dried-up riverbeds, deltas - suggests it likely had plenty of liquid water long ago, it currently has too thin atmosphere for liquid water to stably exist on its surface, regardless of temperature. We have to go underground!
Britannica defines astrobiology as a "multidisciplinary field dealing with the nature, existence, and search for extraterrestrial life" - practically spot on, but we should emphasize that for this, we study the evolution of life on Earth, extreme conditions it can survive...
Aug 20, 2021 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
As wonderfully described by @CCriadoPerez in her book ‘Invisible Women’, women are living in a world designed for men. Now in an era of increased data science, that means that there is a data bias towards men (1/5)
This wonderful book covers everything medical data (including ‘standard’ symptoms of heart attack) is based on men, that women are 47% more likely to be seriously injured in a car accident and asks ‘can snow clearing can be sexist?’ (2/5)
Aug 19, 2021 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
How I approach my own mental health is not the only way and with everything difficult, it’s a journey. So please don’t view anything you differently to me as wrong!
But what do I actually do to take care of my #mentalhealth? (1/8)
1) Understand that there will be very good and very bad days. These may come at random times and without reason. It’s about riding the rollercoaster
Aug 19, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
A recent survey of postgraduate researchers (PGRs) in the UK found that only 14% of PGRs saying that they have low anxiety. This is nearly 3 times lower than in the general population (41%). Does this seem right to you?
Source: advance-he.ac.uk/news-and-views… (1/3)
What this study shows in that anxiety (and likely other experiences of poor mental health) are prevalent in the research community - at least at PhD level.
So why don’t we talk about it more? We all have mental health after all (2/3)
Aug 18, 2021 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
My journey into scientific engagement started with @cgebm_aberdeen during my masters in 2017 at @aberdeenuni May Festival - which celebrates culture and education around the city and university campus (1/4)
As part of this event, the CGEBM hosted ‘Gene’s unzipped’ - where we taught primary school students from around Aberdeenshire what DNA is, why it’s so awesome. We also helped the students perform my favourite basic science experiment - extracting DNA from strawberries (2/4)
.@LastWeekTonight did a great piece on bias in medicine in 2019 that features an excerpt of an interview with Larry Cahill from a 60 Minutes story ("Sex Matters" in 2014).
Larry Cahill wrote a great response to Gina Rippon's "The Gendered Brain" -- a tweet from the amazing @docbecca explains...
At the start of lockdown last year, I downloaded #TikTok and I’ve been hooked ever since! My own videos are a mix of “life in the lab”, some singing & music, and a generous helping of silliness 😁 vm.tiktok.com/ZMeqjhy3c/
I’ve really enjoyed being part of the science community there over the past year — here are a few of the amazing scientist creators on TikTok ⤵️
May 5, 2021 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
Thrilled to see research on #Covid19 considering sex and gender differences! I'll link a few more articles underneath 👇
Highlighting researchers studying sex differences: a thread of amazing scientists you should follow!🧵 #SABV (@ this account and use #SABVscientists if you'd like to be added!)
. @jordanmarrocco is a molecular neuroendocrinologist @RockefellerUniv where he studies epigenomic signatures of stress. He was the first to demonstrate that stress induces a sex-specific translatome in CA3 pyramidal neurons. nature.com/articles/s4146…
May 3, 2021 • 7 tweets • 4 min read
Hello all! @NeuroErinPhD here - I’m thrilled to be curating the feed this week. Here's an intro thread on my journey in science…🧵(1/7)
I'm a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at University College Cork, Ireland @AnatNeuroUCC. My research in the lab of Dr. Olivia O'Leary focuses on sex differences in stress-related psychiatric illness and developing novel therapeutic targets (2/7)
Apr 13, 2021 • 19 tweets • 4 min read
Ok so I had a rather hectic evening, but now let's talk about simulating proteins!
First of all, what's a protein?
Protein's are large biological molecules that are responsible for a myriad of different processes in living things. Feel hungry? In pain? Taste something sweet? Feeling an emotion? All of these things are controlled by a vast array of proteins!
Apr 13, 2021 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
Yes we can usually determine if a calculation will be expensive by assessing a number of parameters ⬇️
In the context of QM calculations we have to assess whether the level of theory we are using is appropriate. Perhaps we could use a cheaper ab initio, semi-empirical, or DFT method. The choice depends on the question and system!
Also: basis sets
Apr 13, 2021 • 10 tweets • 2 min read
This is one thing I didn't mention in my MD thread yesterday: solvent models 🧵