283 reputation
17
bio website
location San Francisco, CA
age 36
visits member for 2 years, 2 months
seen Jul 20 at 18:25

I'm a hybrid programmer / web designer / psychology researcher. I'm currently doing internet-based psychological interventions with a University of California health research lab, trying to help folks learn skills for creating positive emotions and coping with stress effectively.

I also help non-technologically-inclined researchers and administrators manage and collate large datasets. Munging unruly text files may not be glamorous, but you'd be surprised how often it's what gets the science done.


Jul
14
comment Zinc gluconate, proteolysis, and the Zicam debacle
Yes, that's my basic question. I'm asking here because I thought it might have something to do with the way zinc gluconate or other acids act on the different tissues involved, rather than something specific about those two products.
Jul
14
revised Zinc gluconate, proteolysis, and the Zicam debacle
added 13 characters in body
Jul
14
asked Zinc gluconate, proteolysis, and the Zicam debacle
Mar
28
comment Do we really dream multiple time a night?
Dreams are closely linked to rapid eye movement sleep (REM). If you wake up someone when they're in REM, they'll often recall that they were having a dream, even if they almost never remember dreaming when they wake up in the morning. That's how we know that most people have more dreams than they remember.
Mar
25
comment Does apheresis damage any components of blood? If not, why not?
Thank you both for the comments. I'm obviously not a biologist, so it was counterintuitive to me that forces of that kind would be unproblematic to cells. Is the same thing true for things other than cells, like albumin, liproproteins, etc?
Mar
25
comment Does apheresis damage any components of blood? If not, why not?
@WYSIWYG Is that specific to blood donation? I wasn't able to find that information, but when I looked up other blood fractionation procedures (typically for lab use) they had values around 1500g. Or would that even make a difference?
Mar
25
asked Does apheresis damage any components of blood? If not, why not?
Jan
27
revised Why do we assume that the first humans were dark-skinned?
deleted 20 characters in body
Jan
27
answered Why do we assume that the first humans were dark-skinned?
Jan
26
comment What happens if someone with mutations to alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) drinks alcohol?
In theory I believe that's true, but they'd also be much more susceptible to the normal intoxicating properties of ethanol / methanol, which might be just as harmful.
Jan
26
comment What happens if someone with mutations to alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) drinks alcohol?
The flush reaction is caused by reduced activity of ALDEHYDE dehyrdogenase. The question is about alcohol dehydrogenase, which is necessary for alcohol to be converted into acetaldehyde in the first place.
Jan
26
comment What is meant by “neurotransmitters flooding the brain”?
I'm pretty sure the answer is that it's a sensationalistic media term with no specific meaning. It probably covers a variety of different underlying biological mechanisms.
Nov
14
comment Deciding between chi square and t test
This is correct, though I think the core of it is actually simple. Use chi-square if your predictor and your outcome are both categorical variables (e.g., purple vs. white). Use a t-test if your predictor is categorical and your outcome is continuous (e.g., height, weight, etc). Use correlation or regression if both the predictor and the outcome are continuous.
Nov
3
awarded  Critic
Oct
18
comment Won't natural selection miss the overall minimum of a function?
Perhaps it would have been more accurate for me to say that selection can't progress in that way. You're right that the overall process of evolution includes random events that prevent it from being a pure fitness maximization function.
Oct
17
comment Won't natural selection miss the overall minimum of a function?
You're absolutely right. Evolution is path-dependent. It can't progress toward features that would ultimately enhance fitness unless each step enhances fitness by itself.
May
3
awarded  Yearling
Apr
21
comment How are new people created from the DNA of an aged person. i.e. Why are we young?
Telomeres shorten with every cell division. Telomerase is an enzyme that adds extra copies to the ends of telomeres, extending a cell's lifespan. The assumption that telomeres only ever get shorter is incorrect (though that doesn't invalidate the rest of your question).
Mar
28
answered Why do some people find vegetables so repellent when evolutionarily they should find them an attractive and thus tasty food?
Mar
28
comment what's an ethics-friendly way to measure the protocol of electric shocking mice?
Just thinking, perhaps you could test different levels of current with mice that are restrained in ways that are not potentially lethal. You could observe their behavior and look for movements that would be lethal for head-fixed mice, and take that as a sign that you need less current.