Monthly Archives: August 2011

What if I could see your brain working, literally?

Researchers are Riken (Japan) develop, Scale, a new solution that turns a biological tissue transparent. This non-destructive method, now allows scientists to look into tissues .

Considering that major efforts have been devoted towards seeing things inside of us -[ lots of work on staining with fluorotags (small particles) that emit light at specific wavelenghts to bypass the highly scattering tissue of our skin] – it is evident that this finding becomes breakthrough research since it does exactly the opposite in a revolutionary way:

In a nutshell, It doesn’t try to make things inside brighter, instead, it renders what prevents you from seeing inside transparent.

Well to every problem there is more than one approach. Science, once more teaches us to step outside the box.

This work of Hama et al. is published in Nature Neuroscience.


My First (photo) book.

Well, I  designed, wrote it,  completed it  and bought the first copy. And this is arguably the most substantial extra-curricular project that I undertook alone.


And I thought that, if  this achievement deserved to be immortalized, where else but on my blog…

So here it is, without further ado…. My first (photo)book…..

I am happy, to see it… All that is left is to work on a “real” book.



What if a pregnancy test was… HIV test…would you take it?

If you’ve never witnessed this in life, you must have at least in a movie, or perhaps even heard about it…if not watch this quickly…

Pregnancy tests are imbibed into the core of our western culture. It’s a quick and easy way by which a couple finds out whether they’d be welcoming new life (in the best case scenario).  And sometimes, not the best case scenario, a gentleman/lady awaits the verdict of a night of not fully thought out choices – From this strip, often lie the + or – of what it seems to be their exoneration or their death sentences.

Perhaps, most would agree with me that the most agonizing/exhilarating moment depending on whom you ask, is the waiting period. NOW, for just one second, imagine you, guy or gal, weren’t awaiting the + or – for a baby, and that you were testing for AIDS….yourself… Crank up the nerv-o-meter.

This is what scientist researchers at Columbia University realized: a lab-on-a-chip, the size of a credit card, to test oneself of some diseases, including , the “big one” AIDS. Their report was recently published in Nature- medicine.

Asst. Professor Sia’s group at Columbia developed a simple to use, microfluidic device, for all practical purposes that utilizes the same principle as a pregnancy test.  Although its aim was set out to develop it for countries where testing is not so readily available, this research has potential to revolutionize sexual interactions all together. (Huge Ethical issues).

I am a firm believer that proper diagnostic is an important part if not the most important in the treatment and eradication of a disease. Medicine has undertaken a trend to empowering more so ever the patient. This could be a major step in that trend, where proper protection starts with self.

Many Questions arise : Will this test, in any way shape or form contribute to removing/or worsening the stigma associated with some STDs.

…As well as many ethical ones which I’d rather not indulge into, at least in this post :). Regardless, Knowing is better than not knowing…The risk is in not knowing.

What did YOU do this summer? NEA Summer Research Program…

"Twas the best of times, 'twas the summer of 2011"

Whats is the NEA Summer Research at UCONN all about?

The short answer is Students leave home to come and spend 10 weeks at UCONN doing the following:

  • Conduct independent research in UConn laboratories
  • Receive supervision by a UConn Faculty Member and a near-peer Graduate Student Mentor
  • Present the results of your research in a poster presentation

    NEA research scholar explains his summer research to fellow NEA scholar at the Annual Summer Research Poster presentation

  • Participate in seminars and workshops on issues directly related to the academic, personal and professional growth of the student
  • Participate in academic enhancement activities: acquisition of additional laboratory and academic skills, and mentoring on academic/scientific careers
  • Visit with professionals on field trips and visit other research labs and educational facilities
  • Participate in social and cultural activities in New England.

Well it isn’t too late. 2012 is around the corner. APPLY!!!

Why do I, Darlington, care? Besides my deep passion for science, and science education, I am a graduate mentor in the program, the longest active to date (5th year NEA fellow). And my student this year was Fanta from Rust College. I am also in charge of immortalizing the great moments of the program.  Special Thanks go to Drs. Aggison and Washington for their steadfastness and to all other members of the NEA staff/family.

Graduate Mentor (left) with NEA scholar (right) at the annual closing ceremony.

….till next year,



Can you Touch the Ceiling? #DebtCeiling 5 thoughts

I remember growing up, we used to jump in an attempt to scrape the ceiling as a validation for “hops”. Well nothing has changed, and that same concept can be extrapolated to the US economy. However, a debt ceiling it is not something so desirable to want to touch.

But then you ask yourself, 14 trillions, who has that kind of money to lend…

This chart opened my eyes to the global economy…. with the perspective of things that matter to me.

(Dark purple) 1- No, The USA does not belong CHINA!! ….It is obviously evident that although 9.5% of 14 trillion is a big chump of money,  let’s hold off on adding “made in china” to the star-spangled banner, well at least for the moment.

(blue and red) 2- AMERICA owes AMERICA money, lots of it. This sounds like a bad case of  4 1 9   that ended terribly wrong. But I must tip my hat to the american people (obama’s voice), they have shown composure and maturity, (contrasting that to Washington)  throughout this whole fiasco.

(light purple) 3- BRAZILIANS  have made quite a bit of money from soccer. 🙂 I kid, I kid… i just love that country. La Selecao, The next world cup 2014 and Christ the REDEEMER   sum up briefly why “DESTINATION:BRAZIL” is in my bucket list.

(light green)4- Does “OIL EXPORTERS” have to be in quotation marks? I mean, can you pretend being one? Just curious…

(Bluish) 5-“I think we don’t credit the Japanese enough” ..Somehow, with my limited and humble knowledge of global economics, I think that the 6% of Japan outweighs the 9% of china…. in terms of  “worth” or for lack of a better word…”overall swag”

As I write this, Obama just signed the bill….the world can breathe and i still can’t touch the ceiling…(shaking my head)…my hops are gone.