BunsenBwog: Summer of Science
Written by Bwog Staff
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean science isn’t happening at Columbia!
Scientists at Columbia are growing heart and bone tissue. An NPR reporter went to the lab, interviewed researchers, and made a really cool and informative video about it that includes footage of heart tissue beating like a real heart. Perhaps most amazing is the fact that the beat tempo can be controlled by altering the frequency of electrical pulses going to the muscle. It’s a little geeky, but really fun to watch. After the video was published, NPR meta-interviewed the reporter about the video.
Some Columbia researchers are working on something which may lead to The Pill—for men! They gave mice a drug which interefered with Vitamin A receptors, causing them to cease producing sperm. After being taken off the drug, the mice resumed mating and were able to reproduce. Giggity.
Complaining that much really does hurt you. According to a new study, a “positive outlook” on life can reduce chance of heart attack up to 22%. And this study was done by Columbian researchers on Canadians, so their threshold for a “negative outlook” probably has nothing on us.
Ian Lipkin is a Columbia scientist who supports “de-discovery,” which is the practice of rigorously repeating studies. Apparently this isn’t done because, hey, just repeating the work of others doesn’t get you on the front cover of Nature. So that’s no feather in Frontiers’ cap—just because studies can be repeated does not mean they are.
In happy news, Kartik Chandran, associate professor of EEE at SEAS (or CE?), won some Gates Foundation money to turn “fecal sludge” into fuel. That’s right folks: it actually says “fecal sludge” on columbia.edu. Today is a day for celebration.
Image via Wikimedia Commons