Science Says Blog Posts

Water: A Tale of Trickled Down Inequities

From the fields at Standing Rock Native American Reservation, the chant “Mní wičhóni” could be heard reverberating through the gathered crowd of protestors. This Lakota phrase, meaning “Water is life,” was taken up as a unifying message grounding the demonstrators’ mission.

Food Systems: Nourishing Inequality

Now in her sixties, Willena Scott-White nostalgically reminisced about the family farm she grew up on, surrounded by other African American-owned farms. Such communities have a long and tortuous history. In the decades after the Civil War, Black sharecroppers cultivated their leased land (where they were often exploited as undervalued laborers).

There's Something in the Water...

Do you enjoy a cold, refreshing glass of water on a hot day? Unfortunately, not everyone has that privilege: Over the past three decades, millions of Americans have been exposed to unsafe drinking water.


In 2013, the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh that manufactured clothing for several well-known retailers (e.g. Walmart, JC Penny) collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers and injuring around 2,500 more. It is the deadliest disaster the garment industry has ever suffered.

Conventional Energy

Disclaimer: This blog post discusses suicide. If you or a loved one are in need of support, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.


Is the “Love” Hormone Making Us Socially Anxious?

We have all experienced nervousness before a social engagement at some point. Perhaps you had anxiety before speaking in front of a crowd or butterflies in your stomach in anticipation of a first date. As social beings, it is normal human behavior to care about what others think of you. But what happens when you care too much? This is the unfortunate reality for individuals who suffer from social anxiety disorder. Remember that feeling you get before you public speak? Imagine feeling that every time you interact with somebody new.

Labeling Lawsuits

What makes cheese, cheese? Or milk, milk? How does naming food products create such controversy that it inspires lawsuits?

The Person Behind the Scientist: A Ph.D. Journey

It is finally here. After over six years of studying, pipetting, writing, pipetting, teaching, pipetting, planning, pipetting, troubleshooting, pipetting, attending meetings, pipetting, mentoring and then some more pipetting, the letter stating I have completed all requirements to be awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Microbiology from UC Davis has arrived. It will be a couple more months until the final diploma comes through the mail and there are still some manuscripts pending review to be published.

What A Bird Needs

Taking a shot at better chances of survival, songbirds encounter stress. Long-distance migration is one of these stressful survival mechanisms. When birds are stressed, their bodies begin to produce hormones (glucocorticoids) which are meant to help the birds cope with stressors. But they become problematic when produced for too long.

How Prolonged Social Isolation During the Pandemic Can Affect Adolescents

It is an understatement to say that the pandemic has dramatically disrupted normalcy in one way or another. For months, going to work or school for many of us has meant not leaving the house. Additionally, we have all been advised to keep our distance from friends and family to avoid spreading the virus, making individuals--particularly adolescents--prone to feeling alone and isolated. Some teens may not even have access to electronic devices that allow them to virtually spend time with friends, making the lack of social contact especially hard for these individuals.

The Effects of Marijuana on the Developing Brain

Although our brains remain the same size since early childhood, they continue to rapidly develop all the way into adolescence and even early adulthood. During this critical period in development, the cells within our brains called neurons continue to refine connections with each other so that important connections are strengthened and irrelevant connections are eliminated. Adolescence is also associated with alterations in the amount of chemicals released by neurons and the amount of receptors the chemicals bind to.

How Our Early Life Upbringing Can Be the Root of Our Anxiety

Is your mother to blame for your constant anxiety? For decades, Sigmund Freud made it popular belief that all mental health problems were products of how your parents raised you. Although this idea fizzled out by the 1980’s, it still influences the way many clinicians treat their patients. However, your mother is not necessarily to blame for your anxiety, especially in a society where socioeconomic challenges can have a huge impact on parenting.

Storytelling Tips from Don't Be Such A Scientist

Storytelling is vital to successful science communication. However, our inner scientist can often get in the way of telling a good science story. I read Don’t Be Such a Scientist by Randy Olson to learn more about what I can do to improve my storytelling.

Considerations in Animal Research: Genetic Backgrounds Matter, Even 1%

Graduate student Nycole Copping works as a researcher in Dr. Jill Lynn Silverman’s lab at the UC Davis MIND Institute, a center dedicated to developing treatments for and spreading awareness of neurodevelopmental disorders. Neurodevelopmental disorder research often involves investigating behaviours of inbred mouse models for disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Angelman syndrome (AS).