David Garcia is a graduate student in the Bredesen Center at the University of Tennessee. His research in the laboratory of Mitchel Doktycz at ORNL focuses on the development and use of cell-free systems for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. David is a NSF graduate research fellow, a graduate advisor for UTK’s iGEM team, as... Continue Reading →
Rob Ledbetter is a senior at the University of Tennessee, studying philosophy and biology. In the last year, he has worked for the Schulz Lab, focusing on the effects of prenatal stress on the development of depressive behaviors. Below is his entry for the Science Writing Competition that won him 2nd place. Congrats Rob! Epilepsy is... Continue Reading →
By Humaira Taz Last Thursday, 2nd November 2017, FOSEP members had a discussion on another debated topic: genetic modification of human embryos. Yes, you read that correct. We have far outstepped the era of genetically modified food and are now in the age where human embryos can be genetically modified as well. First question: how?... Continue Reading →
Brooke is a 5th year Ph.D. student at the University of Tennessee studying biological psychology, and her dissertation research is focused on the neurochemistry and neural circuitry of stress resilience. She is also interested in science communication and currently serves as the head editor for Ask a Scientist at UTK. Below is her entry for the... Continue Reading →
By Humaira Taz FOSEP’s slack discussion on 26th October, Thursday was on a very controversial topic: policies related to birth control and abortion. To inform everyone a little bit about this topic, one of our senior members, Mallory Ladd had put together a nice document summarizing some facts on the topic. In 1973, abortion was... Continue Reading →
By Humaira Taz For FOSEP's discussion on Thursday 12th October, we decided to address the growing concerns over Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has been growing at a rapid rate in the past few years. Interfaces such as "Siri" and "Alexa", autonomous driving cars, and robots that can communicate with each other and compete with humans... Continue Reading →
With the government being so heavily focused on coal, it raised the question of how much of the economy actually depends on coal. Turns out that the coal industry contributes to less than 0.3% of the US GDP. The Washington Post made a hilarious comparison that the coal industry employs fewer people than Arby's! Given the employment numbers for the different industries, why does the death of the coal industry seem so detrimental to our economy? Marie mentioned that it might be a localization issue. Coal mines are so localized and concentrated in certain regions that when a they shut down, entire towns go under the economy. When media covers the topic it looks like an economical disaster to the general public. "[It's] interesting to think about the role the media is playing in the way we think about coal...and the power of narrative vs facts", she concluded.
"Regardless, if scientists can learn the language to communicate and convince the general public, there will still be hope to make environment-friendly policies even with the current government."
On April 23rd 2017, Sunday, campus organizations All Campus Theater and FOSEP are holding a staged reading of the play "Informed Consent" by Deborah Zoe Laufer. The play was inspired by a court case between a researcher at an Arizona university and a Native American tribe living at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The... Continue Reading →