Featured image: Glial cells are the structural glue that holds together our brain neurons—and we wouldn’t know much about them without the hard work of Ben Barres. (courtesy RStudio)
In this All Vinyl Week episode, we welcome our friend Kelsey Ockert from the Princeton Public Library for a book giveaway! This time, it’s the posthumously released Autobiography of a Transgender Scientist by Stanford neuroscientist Ben Barres. Ben researched glial cells, a central but poorly understood building block of the nervous system, which he found to be tied to protective myelin growth, as well as nerve structure and repair. This understanding led to profound success, but Ben experienced severe sexism before his female-to-male transition, and extreme worry that coming out as a transgender scientist would endanger his career. Nonetheless, Ben’s success continued, and he partnered his research career with a direct confrontational approach toward a lack of diversity in science. Read this moving and revealing autobiography for a new look on how the scientific community operates, and how it could benefit from becoming more inclusive.
Thanks to MIT Press for contributing the book for our giveaway this week!
In other news:
- Hiking researchers have proven how bacteria in Yellowstone ponds eat and breathe using high voltages, breaking down pollutants into less harmful byproducts as they consume.
- After the first “cure” over a decade ago, a second patient has now been declared free of HIV after a long period of no treatment, showing that there are methods that completely beat the otherwise incurable virus out of the body. We’re a long way from a generalized cure… but it’s still an unbelievable repetition!
The playlist can be found on WPRB.com or below.