Earlier this month, Dr. Kristina Martinez gave a wonderful talk as part of our C2ST Speakeasy series on the bacteria that live in our gut and how they might affect us. I caught up with her afterwards for some follow-up questions.
C2ST: What do you think was the most important takeaway message from your talk?
You just received news that your best friend has a “chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences” (1). Would it surprise you that this is just a lengthy definition for addiction?
As we go about our days, it’s easy to forget the cells, molecules, and organs silently ticking, keeping us alive and hopefully well. One of the most intricate of these biological teams is our immune system.
Around the turn of the 20th century, the world witnessed the birth of what they thought was an almighty cure: the antibiotic. "We became convinced overnight that nothing was beyond reach for the future. Medicine was off and running," wrote Lewis Thomas, a physician and essayist, in his autobiography.
Last month, at the usual classy, mood-lighted Geek Bar, Jessica B. Turner, plant researcher and enthusiast reminded listeners not to forget about the plant kingdom. These photosynthesizing organisms are essential to our lives and our planet.
As part of C2ST’s monthly Speakeasy event, Dr. Turner spoke about the vital and innovative conservation efforts happening around the world and her research on conserving the man-shaped root, American ginseng.
Vital vegetation: How do we use plants and what roles do they play on our planet?