Remembering a champion for justice in academia and emulating his approach

Remembering a champion for justice in academia and emulating his approach

We offer a tribute to Dr. Ben Barres, whose groundbreaking science and refusal to remain silent in the face of injustice served as an inspiration to many. This piece and its companion piece by David Lipton are the final installments in our series about inequality in STEM.

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Sleeping with the Cavefishes

Sleeping with the Cavefishes

As a graduate student, I would give my right arm to be a fully functioning human being with little to no sleep. Alas, even Aristotle in 350 BCE observed a seemingly simple truth -- all animals sleep. Much to the frustration of sleep scientists, we still do not fully understand why we need sleep or why there is so much variation between species in sleep behavior. We are, however, beginning to gain an understanding of what may be regulating sleep and how it may have evolved over time, in some cases even making use of unusual model organisms such as Astyanax mexicanus, or the Mexican cavefish.

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A Pathway Towards Alzheimer’s Disease Treatments: Understanding the Role of ApoE in Human Neuron Physiology

A Pathway Towards Alzheimer’s Disease Treatments: Understanding the Role of ApoE in Human Neuron Physiology

More than five million individuals are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in the United States. This dementia is the sixth leading cause of death nationwide, and one of every three seniors dies from AD or a related dementia…

Research has primarily sought to understand the biology underlying early-onset familial Alzheimer’s, using genes with well-defined autosomal dominant mutations. However, familial early-onset AD occurs in less than ten percent of Alzheimer’s Disease cases. The majority of cases are sporadic, late-onset, and associated with “risk genes”, particularly APOE.

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Strategies addressing a “chilly climate” transform women’s experience, relationships, and achievement in engineering

Strategies addressing a “chilly climate” transform women’s experience, relationships, and achievement in engineering

In STEM fields women are underrepresented both in numbers of senior faculty and participation metrics [1,2,3]. Women leave STEM fields at all transition points, a phenomenon known as “the leaky pipeline.” … In this post, we highlight a study by Professor Gregory Walton and his colleagues, where they characterize feelings of exclusion, and attempt to mitigate these feelings through the development of simple intervention strategies [6].

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White People in Black Bodies: How to Reduce Implicit Bias for a Long Time

White People in Black Bodies: How to Reduce Implicit Bias for a Long Time

From courtroom sentencing to graduate school admissions, from voting on the president to choosing who to sit next to on the bus, our biases play a role in the decisions we make and the actions we take. Most interventions designed to combat implicit bias do not hold up over time or simply do not reduce bias. Amidst these unsuccessful interventions, Mel Slater’s group at the University of Barcelona found one method that did reduce implicit bias of white people against black people and whose effects persisted for an unusually long time.

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