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October 17, 2016

Winner of 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Yoshinori Ohsumi

Dear Readers,

If you’re like me, you might be ready to crawl into a media vacuum until this election is over. After compulsively refreshing my Twitter feed through each second of each debate, I am grateful to see tweets about science that eventually drown out the pundits. There is something so comforting in the idea that, unlike politics, science is most concerned with truth.

To all you eligible voters out there, as mentally exhausting as it may be, I implore you to put your research skills to use before voting in the next few weeks. Remember that you will be hiring more than one public servant this term. We’ve even scouted some trusted .org's for your perusal -,,, and Take a peak, inform yourself, and participate in democracy!

We also want to bring you a refreshing helping of internet to quench your thirst for truth. Extra laughs for you in this issue's Recommended Reading.

This month on

Why is Fear So Much Fun? By Alyssa McRay
Under the Lens: Zhongjiao Jiang by Laura Manning
Finding & Citing Images in Presentations by Cathy Lantz

Happy reading!


Recommended Reading

If only Pavlov were alive to see this. Directed evolution of a full professor. Observe, the grad student in its natural environment. Why paper cuts hurt so much. The Nobel self-cannibals and pastries. Real talk - listen up rotation students. Hear the Iceman mummy speak from beyond his glacial grave. Try out this new data set search engine. Living out Queen Nefertari’s legacy. Talking horses, what’s next? NASA’s not just talking space anymore. How XY can help XX in academia’s fight for equality. Insight into your disgusting brain. Sound the pollution alarm. One step closer to understanding our eukaryotic origins. Goodbye bone broth, hello roach milk. Skin that can hear. So nice, dogs evolved twice. Undergrads, safe spaces, and the feeling at home. Coal mine fires to new antibiotics. Bad science by natural selection. Grad school in one code. Science-talk for undecided voters.

Under the Lens

Zhongjiao Jiang

"I have to really want the data! You have to ignore everything else. And I have to get rid of my emotions. I can’t do patches with emotions."

Read our interview with Zhongjiao on our website.
Who should we interview? Email us at

Podcast Picks

So Your Facebook Friend Said Something Racist. Again.
With the upcoming election, many are taking to social media to share their political opinions. Inevitably, people will disagree, but how do you deal when a post rubs you the wrong way? Tune in for great tools to deal with this universal problem.

What feelings does the word mold evoke for you? Did you know moldy Mary, an Illinois native, played an important role in the development of penicillin? Many more fun facts are packed into this 30-minute episode.
What Polls Can't Tell Us About Faith In America
How do religion and politics intersect in today’s culture? Emma Green and Leah Libresco discuss religious trends in America and the consequences of using polling as our main data collection method.  

Supplemental Figure


Shoutouts to...

Dan the Iron Man Applegate! You’ve biked, swam, and ran more miles than most of us combined.

Hilary Osborne, Doctor and defender of foragers and burrowers.

Leo Venegas and Kevin Gorman who Oktoberfested with the best of them at the EMBO meeting. Send us some pics!

Mrs. Alyssa McRay. Congratulations on the coolest wedding we’ve heard of, and a lifetime of happiness to you both.

Chris McCallough, you’ve been up-regulated to Doctor. Woohoo!

Anika Hazra, of the Science Café family, bringing science to the people as a co-host on this awesome podcast.

Thom Park, spreading the good word of the naked mole rat.

Ashley Martin, post-doc extraordinaire and award-winning speaker at the Women in Science Conference at Notre Dame.

Go on, brag a little. Send us your rockstar moments of the month at



10.17            BGSA Happy hour @ PhD’s
11.4              BGSA Happy hour @ Drum&Monkey
11.12            BGSA Service Event @ stay tuned
12.18            BGSA Bulls vs. Spurs Game @ United Center


10.18           Student Success Research Lecture @ Daley Library
10.19           Yoga @ College of Nursing
10.20           Email Etiquette in U.S. Academia @ The Writing Center
10.21           UIC Annual Neuroscience Day @ Moss Auditorium
10.26           The Impact of Higher Education on the Illinois Economy @ SCE
11.2             Blackboard as an Extension of the Classroom @ Daley Library
11.7             Promoting an Inclusive Classroom @ Daley Library
11.10           Active Learning in the College Classroom @ Daley Library
                    LinkedIn Lab @ SCE
11.17           LinkedIn Lab @ BGRC


10.13-23      Chicago Museum Week
10.17-23      Chicago Ideas Week
10.18           Initiatives in Genomics Forum @ MATTER
10.21           MSI After Hours @ Museum of Science and Industry
10.24           Masters of the Night @ TBD
10.26           2016 NIH Regional Seminar
10.27           How the Indoor Microbiome Influence Health
                       @ British Intnl School of Chicago, Lincoln Park
                    Science and Engineering Talent Showcase @ UChicago
10.29-30      Free Admission Day @ The Field Museum
11.3             This is your brain on drugs @ MCA
11.11           CBC 14th Annual Symposium @ UChicago
11.17           Climate Change and Energy Needs @ IIT Downtown
                    Adler After Dark: Weird Science @ Adler Planetarium

Share your event here and on our calendar.

Treat your friends, trick your enemies.

Share some science.

Do you have a science story to share? Are you interested in filling your resumé with leadership and communication skills and experiences? The Science Café is looking for contributing writers and social media-tors to help us represent a wide range of science. Email us at

Send us your questions, hypotheses, and observations.

Find us on the internet.

The Science Café is made available through the Biology Graduate Students Association (BGSA) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. All copyrights to original content in the newsletter are owned by the individuals listed as authors.

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