My phone is eating my brain, also new video is up!

I posted a video about chromatography, but first I want to talk about focus and cell phones. The comic is almost a verbatim conversation I had with my wife. It’s hard to escape my phone even for the time it takes to use the restroom. That can’t be good for my psyche.

I was thinking about doing a deeper dive on that, but it just doesn’t fit the theme of the blog/vlog any more. It fits better over at my other site, Student Pro Tips, but I have not updated that for a long time. Then I thought, maybe I SHOULD update that site and maybe add a video, too! Because I need more projects. I have not done that yet… we will see. [EDIT: I posted the video and blog post about this whole thing]

Research summary on the subject:

  1. There have been several meta-analyses and reviews on smartphone addiction and smartphone effects on cognition and learning.
  2. There’s a thing called Nomophobia now: “The term NOMOPHOBIA or NO MObile PHone PhoBIA is used to describe a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from mobile phone connectivity.”

All that from a comic.

Ok, about chromatography. Here’s the video.

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Blog to accompany Vlog 330, 3/14/2021

I made a video about the bio-engineered pig heart transplant. When my wife and I were talking about it a month ago, the patient was still alive and we were really rooting for him, and that inspired the comic (thanks to Cygnus Design for the artwork). It’s too bad the poor guy died in the mean time, but he made a real gift to science by participating in the experiment.

In case you didn’t know, people used to use pigs to hunt truffles in the wild (the fungi, not the chocolates). But the pigs badly want to eat the truffles, so you have to fight the pig every time you find some. People have moved on to using dogs.

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Luciferase is not Satanism in biotech

I made a video about luciferase. Some conspiracy theorists think they THEY are putting LUCIFER-ase in the vaccines. I think it’s just a misunderstanding of a paper like Schlake et al. (“Developing MRNA-Vaccine Technologies.” RNA Biology 9.11 (2012): 1319–1330. https://doi.org/10.4161/rna.22269). I have been trying to end videos with some kind of call to action, but in this case I’ve been coming up blank. There are people who apparently believe the name luciferase means bioscientists are satanists and are dropping little “hiding-in-plain-sight” hints about it. What can we do about people who are that deep into conspiracy-theory cult-think?

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Not fighting with commenters, talking about SPR instead

I wanted to fight with some YouTube commenters, but that’s dumb. Hence the comic. But I need to remember that most of the comments I get are very kind. It’s easy to focus on the negative.

Thing 1. Someone said I have lesbian hair. I imagine this person thinks they were trolling me? But I take it as a complement. From what little I know, lesbians have really cool hair.

Thing 2. Someone compared climate science to a house of cards. I think his idea was “the pandemic caused a slowdown in CO2 production and we didn’t see a proportional change in climate! Checkmate, athe- climatologists!”

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comic of a woman who says she can't wear high heel shoes

Regarding arthritis and high heel shoes

I uploaded a video this week about the possible link between senescent cells and arthritis. Injury can generate senescent cells. Injury can make cause (or at least increase) osteoarthritis. So could that be the mechanism? Could senescent cells be causing or exacerbating osteoarthritis? I’m not the first to think so. This paper from 2017 shows how a drug to kill senescent cells in mice helped with arthritis. But, unfortunately, the drug didn’t work in people as of 2020.

This got me thinking of arthritis and “high-heel socks.” So I made this comic in collaboration with an artist. I’m very glad Snowman was available to do the art again. They do wonderful work.

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