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On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast
71 minutes | May 26, 2016
This week (or month) on the On Your Mind Podcast: Sorry for the wait! Here is a real, honest to God, episode. It's got updates on Liam's Thesis and Kat's paper, some fun science news and lots of advice for graduate students, henceforth known as gradvice. This page will be updated soon with links and more details, but for now here is everything Liam wanted to talk about: Choosing a supervisor Personality and mentorship style can be as important as research interest even if you're someone who likes a lot of supervisor contact you'll want some independence Don't be afraid to ask your potential supervisor very direct questions like "what are your expectations of time spent in the lab" how long does your average student take to finish is there a particular project you have in mind how would you describe your mentorship style how would you describe the work culture of the lab PubMed a few students and see how much they publish Maintaining Sanity Your PHD will probably take 6 years. You can aim for less, but don't assume you'll hit it. DO THINGS OUTSIDE THE LAB you will pretty much always be thinking about work ( I like hobbies that make me think about something else) Things won't always work, in fact they'll almost always not work. Plan for failure. Find people who get you inspired when you talk about science with them. In a lot of labs, the time is unstructured, you can come and go as you please. This actually means you work late or on weekends a lot. If you're working weekends, then any night is as good as a wakened night, go have some fun. you won't be that productive for your first 2-3 years DONT BE AFRAID TO CO TO COUNCILING, there is a very high rate of depression in grad students, and more than 25% of science PhD students don't finish the PhD. probably not because they aren't smart enough. Being successful/productive become the go to person for a technique being organized leads to clear plans leads to being proactive leads to getting things done have side projects Actually plan for failure, if an experiment doesn't work is there some information you can still get from it? have regular conversations with your supervisor, talk about your data, your plans, if the project is progressing to their satisfaction, if they feel you are on track for upcoming milestones, if there is something you are doing that they would like to see improve talk to people who do really different work than you, especially ones who use interesting techniques You will find there are parts of the job you love and parts you hate. Figure out how to work a lot on the things you like, and avoid the things you hate. That said DO NOT put off the things you hate. If you have to do them, do them quickly. Then try to design future projects that don't have as much of that part, or better yet find a friend/collaborator who likes those parts. Different strokes for different folks Ask for help. There are lots of smart people around you. Familiarize yourself with resources available at your institution. Preparing for the afterlife If you want an academic job: they key is really Postdoc papers. You need a decent PhD (and a good network) to get you a good post-doc, you need an excellent post-doc to get a faculty position. Have a real fallback. -probably not a coffee shop Think of the things you like to do (in research or in life) what do they have in common? What are other things that share those traits? What skills do they require, what jobs would employ those skills? What other skills do those jobs need? Get training. Especially in soft skills. Look for ways to apply or demonstrate different skills in your research. Talk to people who have a job you’re interested in. it might not be what you think. Ask what makes someone a good candidate for the job. Other PhD Science is creative work. It has more in common with writing a book than it does factory work. Remember this, find a muse, and get inspired. Think about why you're getting the PhD and if you would get as much out of a Masters if you don't understand something, it's not because of you, it's because of the person explaining For any protocol or process understand why you do each step, and why you do it the way that you do it. http://pgbovine.net/early-stage-PhD-advice.htm http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/an-open-letter-to-new-graduate-students/26326
69 minutes | Apr 7, 2016
OYM96: Gold-engram Retriever
We are super stoked to announce that the OYM team will be at the Canadian Neuroscience meeting in Toronto this year, hosting an exciting new satellite symposium on science communication! Come talk about the importance of communication in neuroscience with special guest speakers! Other than shamelessly self-promoting, the hosts have got a whole lot on their minds this week. They’re both on writing duty this week and have been thinking about the way that their science is portrayed and how it fits into the big picture. Kat’s been reading up a lot (like, a lot a lot) on the misuse of statistics in the wake of the American Statistical Association’s statement on p values. Plus, she’s back on a podcast kick and is a new fan of the Bold Signals Podcast. Meanwhile, Liam’s been spending some free time on Twitter and catches us up on the hashtag #BiologySpaceFacts before we move onto this week’s paper. The media attention drew our attention to this study that was published as a letter in Nature. In it, researchers use a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to study the cells in the dentate gyrus, and their connections to surrounding cortices, that are activated during the formation of contextual fear memories. They use optogenetic techniques to modulate the activity of these ‘engram’ cells, and show that they can strengthen their connections and recover memory function in the AD mice. It’s a whole lot of information to be crammed into a letter, but it certainly takes a promising step towards understanding how AD relates to memory formation and retrieval. More links! Institute for Research on Public Policy Podcast Spurious Correlations
73 minutes | Mar 23, 2016
OYM95: TCF4 is the Pitt (Hopkin)s
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast: The hosts are taking the time to look at their respective big pictures this week, with Kat organizing and analyzing her onslaught of data and Liam working on an outline for his thesis. Fortunately, all this computer time has led to some pretty productive procrastination. While perusing Nature Jobs and Science, Kat’s come across an editorial piece highlighting the pervasiveness of “Imposter Syndrome” in science and a fresh perspective on the concept of “research parasites”. On the other hand, Liam’s been catching up on his Netflix, and a documentary by David Thorpe has his mind tuned to the question of how our voice defines us. Then it’s onto this week’s article. Published in Neuron, this week’s paper uses in utero gene transfection and electrophysiology to show that TCF4, a gene that’s been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, regulates neuron excitability in the prefrontal cortex. This paper, and it’s sometimes counter-intuitive data, raises more questions than it answers for us, but we’re refreshed by its earnestness.
67 minutes | Mar 1, 2016
OYM94: C4 Blows the Lid off Schizophrenia
We’ve got an explosive episode this week: we’re talking about the schizophrenia genetics paper whose press release has got a lot of internet attention recently. But first, it’s grant deadline crunch time for Liam and Kat and they’re sharing their very different approaches to the writing process. In between budgets and proposals, Kat’s allowed herself to be distracted by the NEJM editorial piece that introduces the idea of “data authors” and “research parasites”. It’s a timely warning about the dangers of irresponsible data sharing, given the recent controversy over improperly credited sources in a paper on the Zika virus. Meanwhile, Liam’s come across a surprising (and alarming) article from STAT news that exposes the lack of transparency with human drug research in the US. Apparently, even though there are stiff fines from the NIH for those who fail to promptly upload their results, the astounding majority of data doesn’t make it to the federal archive. Then, after another health podcast recommendation from Liam, it’s onto this week’s paper. We’re talking about a paper, published in Nature, that uses a clever mix of statistical modelling and cryptogenetics to investigate the functional impact of one of the most highly implicated genetic loci on schizophrenia risk. We’re both incredibly impressed by the mountains of data pointing to the expression of a specific isoform of the C4 gene as the key functional mediator of decades of genetic linkage studies that have associated the MHC locus with schizophrenia.
82 minutes | Feb 10, 2016
OYM93: Oxytocin V-Day Special
It’s that time of year again, when you’ve got the urge to get close to that special someone, light some candles, and put on the latest OYM episode for a night of sweet, sweet neuroscience. And this year, we’re delighted to welcome our official valentine, Daniel Almeida, to the guest host chair. He’s a Master’s student who’s excited about developing a new microscopy technique in his lab, and is putting his background in sex research to good use with this week’s paper about oxytocin and sexual behavior in Prairie Voles. But first, we’ve got some local neuroscience news to discuss. The Montreal Neurological Institute in Montreal has announced a new plan to promote open science by asking it’s researchers to make all data and programs available and no longer supporting the creation of new patents. We’re also talking about reproducibility again, with the launch of a the new F1000 research channel, thePreclinical Reproducibility and Robustness Channel, and a comment piece in Science that highlights the many hurdles involved in the ‘self-correcting’ aspect of science.
89 minutes | Jan 25, 2016
OYM 92: SHANKs for the Reference Letter
It’s the first episode of 2016 and we’re catching up with our co-hosts and all that’s been on their minds. Kat’s pre-winter break plan to get everything finished has backfired bigtime, but she’s learned a valuable lesson in deadline realism. While she’s frantically trying to catch up, she’s read a story about a disastrous press release that’s lead her to an online organization that systematically reviews and grades medical news stories. Meanwhile, Liam’s had a bit of a head start back to work and is imminently awaiting the arrival of some very important results. While he waits, he’s reading up on some (intentionally?) misleading charts that have made the rounds this past year. We’re also talking about whether it’s cool to ghost write your own reference letters, and the Luminosity lawsuit before it’s onto this week’s paper! This week, we’re talking about an article in Neuron that looks at the Shank3 gene as a link between autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia. The authors have generated two novel mouse lines with truncated Shank3 proteins analogous to mutations in human patients with either ASD or schizophrenia. Then, using a massive battery of electrophysiological, biochemical and behavioral experiments at two developmental time points, this paper presents one of the first experimental investigations that we’ve ever seen, into similarities and differences between these two disorders.
67 minutes | Dec 17, 2015
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast: It’s back to our regularly scheduled programming! With the winter holidays looming, our beloved hosts are desperately trying to squeeze the last bit of productivity out of the season. Kat’s wrestling her labmates for equipment and Liam’s been busy planning the tail end of his degree and has gotten the green light to aim start writing a thesis next summer! In the meantime, we’re talking about a new journal that’s promising to give light to ‘orphaned’ experiments, the incredibly space-agey and intriguing possibility of open sourced labware, and the way that Deepak Chopra’s twitter account can teach us about the science of believing the bullshit. Also this week, we’re taking a look at the role of dopamine in motivation and work with an article in Nature Neuroscience. In it, the authors use a complex decision making task, and precise striatal dopamine measurements to show that the neurotransmitter is involved in the valuating the changing probability of a reward. Although we’re trying to get past yet another unnecessary optogenetic experiment, the model that the authors present does a great job of merging the role of dopamine in two related, but distinct, cognitive functions. For links to all our past episodes and more, head to www.onyourmind.ca
62 minutes | Dec 1, 2015
OYM90: The Kat Came Back
We’re starting to get back into the swing of things this week, with Kat finally returning from her travelling adventures with stories to share! She’s discovered an unexpected excitement about bioinformatics while she was away, and so she’s been thinking about the importance of computer literacy in the life sciences. In fact, she brings us an article from The Conversation that takes the rather controversial stance that the widespread use of personal computers has been actively harmful to science. Even though we’ve got a lot to say about the details, it all boils down to a call for more computer education in science - and for the understanding that software isn’t flawless. It seems that Liam has been busy these days as well, probably too busy in fact; he’s the new co-president of the Science Policy Exchange here in Montreal! Thankfully he’s still got some podcast time, and he’s bringing us a list of other podcasts that he’s been digging lately, including a Reply All episode on LSD microdosing and the newly formed Useful Science that features our longtime OYM friend Ian Mahar! Of course, given his new extracurricular calling, Liam’s got politics on his mind and he’s got some encouraging news to share about publicly released Minister’s mandate letters, and the role of evidence based science in the policies of the new Canadian government.
14 minutes | Nov 5, 2015
OYM89b: Lonely Liam
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast Kat's still in Europe (she'll be back soon) and Liam is all alone. He first takes the opportunity to talk more about Science funding and Canadian Politics and then follows a though train exploring how weather it would help or hurt science if everyone under stood scientists are just regular people. Find all our old (full length) episodes at www.onyourmind.ca
98 minutes | Oct 30, 2015
OYM89: Gutsy Microglia With Aadil Bharwani and Shawna Thompson
This week on the On Your Mind Neuoscience Podcast: Liam is joined by McMaster graduate students Shawna Thompson (@mostlymicroglia) and Aadil Bharwani (@brainymicrobes), to debrief on SFN15, talk about the reproducibility project, recent successes and troubles at 23andMe, and genetic dating services. In this week’s paper we bring together the worlds of microglia and gut microbiota. We know the bacteria in the gut are important for healthy immune response but Erny et al. show that this is also true for microglia, the immune cells of the brain.
88 minutes | Oct 17, 2015
OYM87: NRFing SKITCHy NDP with Brad Dieter
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast: We're joined by special guest Dr. Brad Dieter who tells us about his journey from running people on treadmills to running proteins on a gel. Then we discuss the challenges of preparing for conferences, the importance of colour coordination, and taking classes way to late into grads school. On Our Minds: Liam has been dreaming of telling a story in The Bench Warmers, a new podcast featuring tales from grad school, and we all swap stories of the most expensive things we’ve ever broken in the lab. Then he finds another excuse to talk about CRISPR, this time it’s about who should win the Nobel Prize for the discovery, why it might be a different person than the patent holder, and why this whole process completely misrepresents science. Brad has been spending a lot of time thinking about the ethics of human cloning, and can’t figure out why it would be such a bad thing. And frankly we can’t either. Kat has been digging deep into the field of predatory journals, who made over $75 million last year Paper: This week’s paper is about how the stress response factor NRF2 regulates the degradation of phosphorylated Tau in models of Alzheimer’s disease (Readcube link)
74 minutes | Sep 30, 2015
OYM86: Totally T-Shaped
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast: Kathryn has been so busy getting ready for conferences she hasn’t prepared for her committee meeting, and Liam’s been so busy not thinking about it he hasn’t gotten ready for conferences! Maybe he should spend less time interviewing politicians like Ted Hsu and Laurin Liu about science policy, and more time focusing on school. Still not focusing on school Liam’s been reading about the Ethics for a New Scientific Millennium on The Winnower, a really cool open scholarly publishing platform. Meanwhile Kathryn has been focused on increasing her score on Nature’s How Interdisciplinary Are You quiz, and becoming more T-shaped, whatever that means. In this week’s paper (OA), suggested by listener Rebeca, we examine the suitability of fibroblasts for modeling the motor neuron diseases ALS and PLS.
59 minutes | Sep 22, 2015
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast: Kat has had a dramatic change in problems, and now has so much data she can’t stop working on it (literally), while Liam has realized that maybe it was a mistake to sign up for so many extracurricular activities. In what little spare time Kat has she's been searching for levity in the IgNobel Prizes - Personal favourites include the universal pee time and diagnosing appendicitis with speed bumps. Liam is interested in conflicts of interest this week, but insists he has nothing to disclose. Oh, and Kat accidently predicted the future last week now that Tom Insel has stepped down as director of the NIMH to take a job at the Google spinoff Life Sciences. This week’s paper is a plot study - or maybe a pilot of a pilot study - that takes an interesting approach to the search for Alzheimer's biomarkers by studying people with Down’s syndrome. A lot of the techniques are interesting, but we wish there was a little more data available before publication. In the title test we could see past the colon, but it turns out the length may reduce their citations. “The down syndrome biomarker initiative (DSBI) pilot: proof of concept for deep phenotyping of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in down syndrome” (OA) Thanks for listening! For links to our previous episodes head to www.onyourmind.ca
64 minutes | Sep 13, 2015
We're Back!! This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast: We celebrate our triumphant return, and realize that somewhere during our break we became senior PhD students in our labs. A lot has happened since we spoke last, so Kat catches us up on Tom Insel's push to involve private tech companies in neuroscience, and why neuroscience needs hackers, and Liam give his thoughts on former OYM guest Jean-François Gariépy's Public departure from academic science and if encouraging students to study science is a fools errand. Finally in our paper this week we discuss how NDMA receptors can cause spine shrinkage and LND without opening ion channels. Our website is a little bit behind our release schedule right now, but you can still find all our old episodes at www.onyourmind.ca
47 minutes | Jun 19, 2015
OYM 83: Open Science and Closed Data
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience Podcast: We’re back! If only for a moment. In this week’s dumpling powered episode Liam and Kathryn discuss working in groups, the Tim Hunt scandal, open science and closed off data. This will be our last episode for a few weeks, so jump into our past episodes at www.onyourmind.ca
72 minutes | Jun 5, 2015
OYM 80: Rett-y for Replication
This week on the on Your Mind neuroscience podcast: It's a double whammy! We’re talking about two papers looking at using bone marrow transplants and microglia to treat Rett syndrome in mice. After a 2012 paper showed some very promising results some hospitals started using this approach for human trails, but a 2015 paper from a group of four labs have tried and failed to replicate the original findings. Before we can get to that Liam tries to rectify his love preparing talks with his hatred preparing posters, then lightens the mood with some talk of studying music. Then Kathryn discusses terrible advice for female scientists. For links to everything we talked about today, full show notes, past episodes and more head to www.onyourmind.ca
76 minutes | May 27, 2015
OYM79: Egr for Cocaine
This week on the On Your Mind neuroscience podcast: We've got a lot peer review on our minds this week. Liam brings the story of fabricated data about canvasing for gay marriage, and Kats excited about ORCIDs integration of crediting peer review. Then in this weeks paper we talk about the different roles of D1 and D2 neurons in cocaine response. For links to everything we talked about full shownotes and more head to www.onyourmind.ca
75 minutes | May 21, 2015
OYM78: The Brain of a Man
This week on the On Your Mind neuroscience podcast: Kathryn talks shares some advice for young scientists, and explains why we should embrace the flawed nature of science and Liam tries to untangle the unsolved problems of neuroscience. Then in this week’s paper, mice and rats given early androgens or with blocked methylation have masculinized brains For links to everything we talked about, past episodes, full show notes and more head to www.onyourmind.ca
76 minutes | May 13, 2015
OYM77: Eating for Two
This week on the On Your Mind neuroscience podcast: Liam and Kathryn discuss the joys of working with undergrads, and budget writing. Meanwhile Kat's been distressed by differences in reference letters written for nice women who get their work done despite being moms, and brilliant male leaders. And Liam has been thinking about what defines a neuronal subtype. In this week’s paper, feeding pregnant mice high fat and low protein diets has causes specific cognitive deficits in their offspring. There are some very cool experiments here, even if we wish there were more of them.
84 minutes | May 5, 2015
OYM76: Health for the Homeless with Sophia Rinaldis
This week on the On Your Mind neuroscience podcast. We're joined by social worker Sophia Rinaldis to talk about the #addmaleauthorgate, why a teratoma is not an evil twin, and how to be more inclusive of other cultures in research. Sophia's interests are in the social determinants of mental health, and she's brought in a report from the Canadian Mental Health commotion of the efficacy of the At Home/Chez Soi project, a Housing first approach to improving the mental health of hopeless people. For links to everything we talked about, full shownotes, past episodes and more head to www.onyourmind.ca
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