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Abstract: The Future of Science

Abstract: The Future of Science

By Jeremy Ullman
Bringing unprecedented accessibility to graduate research.

New interviews on graduate research released monthly, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked!

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Ep. 57 - Black Holes & Neutron Stars ft. Abbie Stevens, PhD

Abstract: The Future of Science

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Success & Failure ft. Jeremy Ullman
This is my second solo podcast, and features the full recording from a talk I gave at the "Seeking Success" event organized by the Center for Conscious Awareness. It's packed full of great quotes, as well as some of the main themes and takeaways from my non-linear academic and creative paths! Quotes 1. If you find a path with no obstacles it probably doesn't lead anywhere. - Frank A. Clarke 2. Success is moving in the right direction, not getting 100% on the first try. - Karen Gazith 3. We should always be asking ourselves: is this something that is or is not in my control. - Epictetus 4. We fail when we stick to something that's not a good fit. - Seth Godin 5. Someone is sitting in the shade today because somebody planted a tree a long time ago. - Warren Buffet 6. The biggest risk of all is not taking one. - Mellody Hobson Timeline 0:00 - Introduction 1:23 - Quote 1 1:39 - Academic Path 6:37 - Intro to Success 8:28 - Your Success is Not My Success 9:07 - Framing 9:52 - First Steps: Reflection Before Action 10:34 - Quote 2 10:52 - Taking Action 11:22 - Expectations & Their Violation 12:23 - Management & Chunking 15:31 - Note-taking 16:04 - Self-Auditing & Flow 18:59 - Quote 3 19:20 - Control 21:25 - Newton's Law of Motion in the 21st Century 26:21 - Quote 4 26:34 - Failure 28:41 - 4 Things To Do Before Your Quit, #1: Take Your Time 30:46 - #2: Struggle a little 31:37 - #3: Make mistakes 32:31 - #4: Don't blindly follow your dreams 33:19 - After You Quit: Say Yes 34:26 - Slido on Failure 36:15 - Connecting 37:14 - #1: Don't Reinvent the Wheel 38:38 - #2: Keep It Organic 39:07 - #3: Embrace Rejection 40:50 - Quote 5 41:30 - Mindfulness 41:44 - #1: Balance 42:44 - #2: Moderation in Self-Awareness 43:36 - #3: Energy Release & Regeneration 45:27 - Quote 6 45:50 - Takeaways & Closing Remarks /// Episode Cover Photo by Everett Bartels on Unsplash
48:05
May 26, 2022
Ep. 79 - Evolution: From Chimps to Chests ft. Éamon Callison
Éamon Callison, originally from Denver (elevation ~5280 ft), is finishing his PhD in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Philosophy of Science at Washington University in St. Louis, followed by an MPhil in Human Evolutionary Studies at the University of Cambridge. His dissertation work has focused on understanding the form and function of the human chest. He is interested in how humans have evolved to breathe during sustained endurance activities, like running, and how selection has affected how we use our ribs to inhale and exhale. To answer these questions, he has measured thoracic motion in humans, dogs, and goats, examined lots of bones, measured human fossils, and worked in the Peruvian Andes (elevation ~14230 ft). We're extremely lucky to have him on the show -- and trust me when I say: he delivers! Sneak Peek Q: What do coyotes, pigeons and humans have in common? A: They're all massively adaptible and flourish in different environments. Q: Why am I a biped? A: UBER Eats didn't exist 7 million years ago. Q: Are there as of yet unknown biological mechanisms that could confer even greater ventilation ability in humans? A: *nerding out so hard you need to take a breather* yes and no... TOPICS & CONCEPTS Breathing & Ventilation Gestation & Birth Evolution of the Thoracic Cage Environment & Culture Natural Selection: Heritability, Variation & Competition The Modern Human Timeline Last Common Ancestors (LCA) & Chimpanzees Forest Fragmentation & The Evolution of Bipedality Energy Expenditure The Treasured Chest Paleontology Funnel vs. Barrel The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis Shape vs. Function The Costovertebral Joint: Curvature = Motion Goats on Treadmills Vacuums & Negative Pressure A Visceral Piston Sprinters & Weight-LIfters Pump-Handle vs. Bucket-Handle High-Altitude Adaptations & The Peruvian Quechua Highlights of Grad School /// SOCIALS /// CLOSING REMARKS Episode Art Background Photo Credit: Jesse Orrico  Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com!  Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts!  Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Art by Me and Nino Liverani & Rishi Ragunathan on Unsplash 
44:26
April 24, 2022
Ep. 78 - Nanoparticles & 3D Printing ft. Keroles Riad
Keroles Riad is a former Public Scholar at Concordia University where he received a Ph.D in the Individualized Program (INDI) developing new materials (ex. nanoparticles) for 3D printing. His research leverages novel techinques like Flame Spray Pyrolysis and Stereolithography, among more traditional methods in chemistry, like combustion reactions. He led the “Waste Not, Want Not” initiative on campus for which he received the Quebec Lieutenant-Governor Youth Medal. Since the beginning of “Waste Not, Want Not” in 2016, the Concordia community doubled their annual composting, and each Concordian reduced their annual overall waste by 16%. Outside of academia, Kero's hobbies include reading and playing chess and ping-pong. TOPICS AND CONCEPTS Individualized Research Programs Interdisciplinarity & Collaboration Nanoparticles Size Scales mRNA Vaccines Pill Coatings Good and Bad Nanos 3D Printings & Materials UV & The Light Spectrum Fire & Water: Wet vs. Other Chemistry Flame Spray Pyrolysis Combustion & Oxidation Reactions Quantum Dots Color & Energy /// EXTRAS Kero's viral article on Nanoparticles and mRNA vaccines here. /// SOCIALS Keroles Riad [IG, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn] @Kerologist [Twitter] @enufCanada [IG, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn] /// CLOSING REMARKS Episode Art Background Photo Credit: Jesse Orrico Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Art Photograph by Joshua Newton on Unsplash
36:34
March 27, 2022
Ep. 77 - Gynecology & The Heart ft. Ida Derish
Ida Derish is a PhD candidate in the department of Experimental Surgery at McGill University. She is currently spearheading efforts to study patient-specific differences in heart disease under the supervision of Dr. Renzo Cecere, a cardiac surgeon. She's been passionate about science communication ever since starting graduate school and is proud to say that she's been the recipient of multiple presentation awards (2nd place @ McGill’s 3-Minute Thesis competition, 2021; 1st place @ Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, 2020). She is also the co-founder and CEO of GynAware, a start-up that focuses on developing a medical biopsy device that will enable women to make more conscious choices about their gynecological health. A few fun facts about Ida: "I speak Russian, English and French, and I enjoy going mushroom picking in the forest." TOPICS & CONCEPTS Fast-Tracking to a PhD Heart Repair The Age Factor Stem Cells Cell Signaling (e.g. Calcium) Heart in a Dish The Placenta Heart Cells: Cardiomyocytes & Endothelial Cells Angiogenesis Heart Disease by the Numbers The Cardio and The Vascular Future Therapies Clinical Trials & Population Representation Timeline of Experimentation The Personalized Medicine Paradox Statistical Significance Getting Down & Dirty With Demographics GynAware Uterine Fibroids Surgeries: Laparoscopy & Hysterectomy Urology vs. Gynecology /// LINKS & CONTACT GynAware Website Link: http://gynaware.com/ Ida's Email: ida.derish@mail.mcgill.ca /// CLOSING REMARKS Episode Art Background Photo Credit: Jesse Orrico Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
36:46
February 27, 2022
Ep. 76 - Space Sexology ft. Simon Dubé
Simon Dubé is a Public Scholar and PhD candidate in Psychology at Concordia University specializing in human sexuality, sex-tech, and Erobotics – the study of human-machine erotic interaction and co-evolution. His work also explores Space Sexology, and how we can integrate sex research into space programs. He is a student representative of the International Academy of Sex Research and a general co-Chair of the International Congress on Love & Sex with Robots. He's that and a whole lot more as you're about to experience in the next 40 minutes. So sit back, strap in and hold on for dear life as we shoot for the stars and beyond on this week's episode of Abstract!   TOPICS AND CONCEPTS Intro to Space Sexology Human Behavior & Psychology Biopsychosociality Are we having sex in space yet? Extraterrestrial Habitation Love Cloud (https://lovecloudvegas.com/) Space Tourism: Pleasure & Leisure What are the issues with space sex and reproduction? The Factor Equation Space as a Challenge Amplifier Mitigating Bio-Psycho-Socio-Culturo-Sexual Problems Abroad Applications of Sex Tech & Erobotics Vanna Bonta Suits The Space Problem in Space Astronauts The Future of Humanity in Space /// EXTRAS Check out Simon et al's most recent publication: The Case for Space Sexology https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2021.2012639?journalCode=hjsr20 /// CONTACT INFO Simon Dubé Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simon.dube.75 Twitter: @SciDub11 LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-dub%C3%A9-53ba9012b/ /// CLOSING REMARKS Episode Art Background Photo Credit: grandeduc / Adobe Stock Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
39:12
February 13, 2022
Ep. 75 - Beyond Grad School ft. Austin L'Ecuyer
From Academia to the Workforce. We discuss Austin L'Ecuyer's transition out of 7 years of engineering schooling and into the working world. You might remember Austin from his star performance on Ep. 21 where we discussed his own Master's research on Turbulence and Fluid Dynamics in great detail -- if you're curious to learn more about that, please check it out! RESEARCH REVIEW Turbulence & Turbulent Flows Checkerboard Fans, Length Scales & Bonus Energy TRANSITION: ACADEMIA --> WORK FORCE Engineering Consulting & Drafting Project Size & Pacing Feedback Supervision LOOKING BACK P.Eng: Professional Engineering License Is a Master's worth it? Mastering Speech & Communication Specialization & Making a Difference Collaboration RECOMMENDATIONS Application Considerations Procrastination: Undergrad vs. Grad School /// Austin's Published Thesis: [Link Coming Soon] /// CLOSING REMARKS Episode Art Photograph from Rut Miit on Unsplash Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
32:39
January 30, 2022
Ep. 74 - Astrodynamics & The 3-Body Problem ft. Noah Sadaka
Noah Sadaka is a Master’s student at Purdue University studying Astrodynamics. He's working on how resonant orbits in the circular restricted three body problem, or CR3BP, can be used in spacecraft mission design. He says that part of what is so exciting about working in this field is that trajectories and orbits originally simulated in the CR3BP are being used to fly actual missions, including the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming NASA Gateway space station around the Moon! To keep himself firmly grounded on Earth, you can find him cycling through Indiana cornfields and trying out new recipes when cooking. Noah's the real deal, so keep those ears open and check out the topics we cover (in chronological order) below: Topics & Concepts Apollo 13 & Free Return Trajectories Burns & Manoeuvres The Moon & Lunar Vicinity The (Circular Restricted) 3-Body Problem [(CR)3BP] What's in a "body"? Newton's Gravitational Equation Analytic Solutions & The Relative 2-Body Model The Bi-Circular Restricted 4-Body Problem The Parker Solar Probe Patched Conics Perturbations The Rubber Ducky Analogy Chaotic Systems Periodic Orbits Solar System Instability Resonant Orbits Lagrange Points Reference Frames: Intertial vs. Rotating Pendulums & Equilibrium The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) The Finale: Conic Motion &  /// CONTACT + EXTRAS Website: https://noahsadaka.com Instagram: @NoahSadaka (https://www.instagram.com/noahsadaka/) LinkedIn: Noah Sadaka (https://www.linkedin.com/in/noah-sadaka-36b4ba10a/) Episode Art By Lagrange_points.jpg: created by NASAderivative work: Xander89 (talk) - Lagrange_points.jpg, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7547312 /// CLOSING REMARKS Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
35:09
January 02, 2022
Ep. 73 - Causality, Graph Theory & The Brain ft. Alex Markham
Alex Markham is completing their Postdoc in the Math of Data and AI group at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Their research focuses on developing new algorithms for learning causal models from data. Causal inference is especially appealing to more applied researchers, because it offers an intuitive framework for reasoning about why stuff happens and how we can influence it to happen differently. Alex finds causal inference especially interesting because of the many different fields it draws from, including philosophy, cognitive science, and methodology, as well as computational and mathematical fields, like machine learning, statistics, graph theory, algebraic geometry, and combinatorics. Episode 73's got it all: math, science and philosophy -- join us for a holistic half hour! INTRO Causal Inference Correlation vs. Causality THE BRAIN Neuroimaging & fMRI Statistics Time Variables Complexity Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Electroencephalography (EEG) Prosthetics The Matrix CAUSALITY Causal Relationships (Direct, Indirect, Mediated) The Limits of Probability & Statistics Extending the Language of Probability The "Do" Operator Symmetry of Correlation "No Causation Without Manipulation" Randomized Controlled Experimentation MATHEMATICS Machine Learning Dependence & Independence (Acyclic) Directed Graphs (DAGs) & Colliders Causal Models Graph Spaces /// CONTACT Alex's Website: causal.dev My Website: rapyourgift.com READINGS Introduction to Causality in Machine Learning by Alexandre Gonfalonieri on Medium: https://towardsdatascience.com/introduction-to-causality-in-machine-learning-4cee9467f06f /// CLOSING REMARKS Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
34:47
December 12, 2021
Ep. 72 - Goal Orientation Theory ft. Brandon Klaitman
Brandon Klaitman, like me, is pursuing an M.A. in Teaching and Learning (MATL) at McGill University. He is on the Social Science path while I am in the Math stream. We got together for a special episode this week to discuss Goal Orientation Theory and how it relates to student success. Topics & Concepts Goals Goal Orientations Mastery vs. Performance Goals Approach vs. Avoidance Behavior Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation Teacher Influence Factors of Effective Goal Setting in the Classrooms Feedback, Framing & Acceptance Subgoals Work-Avoidant Learners Mixed-Grade & Mixed-Ability Classes Social Goals, Well-Being & Self-Esteem /// Resources Deemer, S. (2004). Classroom goal orientation in high school classrooms: Revealing links   between teacher beliefs and classroom environments. Educational research, 46(1), 73-90. McCollum, D.L., & Kajs, L.T. (2007). Applying goal orientation theory in an exploration of student motivations in the domain of educational leadership. Educational Research Quarterly, 31(1), 45-59. Stavrou, N. A. M. et al. (2015). Flow theory – goal orientation theory: positive experience is related to athlete’s goal orientation. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(1), 1499. https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01499. 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01499 Woolfolk, A., Perry, N. E., & Winne, P. H. (2020). Educational psychology, 7th Canadian Edition. Pearson. /// CLOSING REMARKS Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
26:11
October 31, 2021
Ep. 71 - Game Theory & Multiagent Systems ft. Rahul Chandan
Rahul Chandan is a fifth-year PhD student and UC Regents' Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). His research work uses game theory and optimization to study the coordination of multi-agent systems. His research interests are motivated by a desire to understand complex biological, social and technological systems composed of relatively simple agents, and to explore interesting applications of mathematics. In his spare time, Rahul enjoys biking the hills of Santa Barbara, cooking new and challenging dishes, and watching terrible Netflix movies with his friends. Tune in for answers to questions like... How does Game Theory describe human behavior? What are multiagent systems and where do we find them in the real world? How does a system reach equilibrium, Nash or otherwise? What is the role of information, new and old, in a complex system? and many more! Topics & Concepts Multi-Agent Systems Intelligence Consciousness Optimization (Local) Utility Functions Rationality Economics Game Theory Road Networks & Routing Nash Equilibrium Intractable Equilibria Centralized Authority (And the Pseudo-Dictatorship of Google Maps) A Multiplicity of Solutions Drones & Forest Fire Surveillance Information Single-Agent Systems Distributed Decision-Making The Tragedy of the Commons Policy Hobbes vs. Rousseau Noise & Unpredictability Cake Equality /// FURTHER READING (Non-cooperative) game theory -- the branch of game theory that deals with self-interested decision making: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-cooperative_game_theory Tragedy of the commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons Price of Anarchy (a term of the art in game theory which serves as a metric for the "tragedy of the commons"): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_of_anarchy Fair cake-cutting problem (by the way, it turns out there's a solution for 3 or more agents, but the optimal mechanism just gets really complex): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_cake-cutting ///CONTACT Rahul's Website: https://rahul-chandan.github.io /// CLOSING REMARKS Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
38:15
October 24, 2021
Ep. 70 - Neuroscience of Mental Disorders ft. Neurolingo
Welcome to our 2nd ever panel discussion, this time discussing the intersection of Neuroscience and Mental Health! Our guests this week, Liam O’Leary, Tommy Markopoulos, Claudia Belliveau and Candice Canonne, are Neuroscience researchers studying brain anatomy, mental disorders and treatments for them. They have all been trained at Neurolingo, a science outreach initiative founded and managed by graduate students in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University, to deliver effective science presentations to public audiences.  Tune in for answers to questions like... How do we study the neuroscience of mental health? What are the main factors affecting mental health onset and outcomes? What's the distinction between mental health and brain health? and many more! Topics & Concepts Mental Health Pre-Clinical Modeling Post-Mortem Human Brains Genetics, Environment & Epigenetics Schizophrenia Depression Astrocytes Neurotransmitters Diagnosis Speech Disorders Brain Health Deep Brain Stimulation Antidepressants & SSRIs Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Fragile-X Syndrome Stress-Diathesis Model The Limbic System: A Circuit Brain Surgery & The Default Mode Network Neuroplasticity Psychedelics Ketamine & Treatment-Resistant Depression Von Economo Neurons /// CONTACT Claudia Insta/Twitter: @belliveau13 Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claudia-belliveau/ Candice Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/candice.canonne.5/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/candice-canonne-310649181/ Liam Twitter: @Neuroleary Tommy Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tommy.markopoulos.1 LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tommy-markopoulos-0034921ba/ /// CLOSING REMARKS Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
01:03:46
October 17, 2021
Ep. 69 - Why You Should Sleep ft. Jonathan Charest
Jonathan Charest is currently working on validating a sleep questionnaire for student-athletes as part of his postdoctoral research at the University of Calgary. Concurrently, he works with different sports teams and athletes to help them with their travel and jet lag for the upcoming Olympic Games next winter in Beijing. As an ex-track and field athlete, Jonathan is hugely interest in sport and student-athletes and believes that sleep is a crucial part of their success. In his free time, if and when it arises, he loves every outdoor activity including hiking, jogging, cycling and oh yeah, he loves craft beer! Tune in for answers to questions like... Do I have a healthy relationship with caffeine? Should I be taking melatonin to fall asleep? How can sleep help improve my quality of life? and many more! Topics & Concepts Blue Light: Screens, Glasses & f.lux Caffein Half-Life Sleep Currency: Banking & Debt Adaptability Melatonin: Time-Shifting & Sleep Phase Falling vs. Sinking into Sleep Scheduling & Priorities Teens: Lazy or Sleep Deprived? Napping: How & When Quality of Life Waste Management: Cerebrospinal Fluid Sleep Tech & Gadgets Mental Health Impacts Name Drops: Dr. Penny Werthner, Dr. Charles Samuels /// Resources /// https://justgetflux.com/ /// Contact /// Twitter: @Jocharest1, @CentreforSleep, @uofcknes Linkedin: dr-jonathan-charest-98647733
38:59
October 10, 2021
Ep. 68 - Stem Cells & The Pancreas ft. Jonathan Brassard
Jonathan Brassard obtained his Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering at Université Laval followed by a Master's in Bioengineering in Switzerland. Two years ago, he joined Prof. Corinne Hoesli at Mcgill University in Biological and Biomedical Engineering to work on combining stem cell biology and device engineering to treat type 1 diabetes. When he's not in the lab tending to his very needy stem cells, you can find him hiking, climbing or taking pictures of cute animals he encounters during his outdoor adventures!   Tune in for answers to questions like... How did we discover stem cells and how are they used in bioengineering research? How do we create and manipulate miniature organs in the lab? What is the cutting edge in the treatment and management of diabetes? Where does the future of bioengineering look like? and many more! Topics & Concepts Bioengineering, Chemistry & Medicine Stem Cells Pluri- & Multi-potency Progenitor Cells Genetics & Environment Differentiation & Self-Organization Morphogenesis Organoids Personalized Medicine In Vitro vs. In Vivo Bioprinting Freedom & Constraint The Pancreas Exocrine & Endocrine Islets of Langerhans Alpha, Beta & Delta Cells Artificial Pancrease Insulin & Glucose Transplantation & Cadaveric Donors The Immune System Pouches & Membranes Collaboration Resources Bioprinting, Stem Cells & Organoids https://www.technologynetworks.com/tn/news/researchers-develop-new-method-to-print-tiny-functional-organs-340763 Self-Organization of Stem Cells https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(19)30209-7?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1934590919302097%3Fshowall%3Dtrue#secsectitle0010 Contact Twitter: @Brassardjon Facebook: facebook.com/jonathan.brassard.77 /// CLOSING REMARKS Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
33:56
October 03, 2021
Ep. 67 - Ophthalmology & The Eye ft. Tina Felfeli
Tina Felfeli is a resident physician in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at University of Toronto. Currently, she's completing a PhD degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto (UofT) as a part of the Integrated Physician-Scientist program. She is a Vanier Scholar and was recently awarded the Fighting Blindness Canada Clinician Scientist Emerging Leaders Award. She's also the author of the Toronto Guide to Clinical Ophthalmology (linked below), which is a textbook used in the ophthalmology curriculum for medical students at UofT. Her research interests include population-based studies, economic evaluations, and prediction models for outcomes of surgical retinal diseases and uveitis, and evaluation of health care delivery within the field of ophthalmology. She combines the worlds of health services research and biomedical research to better understand patient outcomes. Tune in for answers to questions like... What are the key structures of the eye and the visual system that contribute to my sense of sight? What's the difference between optometry and ophthalmology? What's the deal with eye floaters? What constitutes proper contact lens etiquette? Why have I never heard of the leading cause of preventative blindness (Uveitis) before? How do we diagnose and treat ocular diseases? Topics & Concepts Retinal Degenerative Diseases Optometry vs. Ophthalmology Anatomical Structures of the Visual System: - Surrounding the Eye: Orbit, Extraocular Muscles, Fat - Front of Eye: Iris, Lens, Cornea, Anterior/Posterior Chamber, Ora Serrata - Back of Eye: Vitreous Humor, Retina, Macula, Rods, Cones, Floaters Retinal Detachment (yikes!) Oblong Eyeballs & Myopia (Near-Sightedness) Lasik Refraction Non-Infectious Uveitis: The Star of the Show Age & Pathology Welcome to the Uvea: Iris, Ciliary Body, Choroid Psoriasis, Arthritis, Sarcoidosis Inflammatory Disease Contact Lense PSA Treatment Cataracts Developing vs. Developed Countries Macula & Fovea /// Resources /// Book: The Toronto Guide to Clinical Ophthalmology (https://books.google.ca/books?id=DDmhDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false) Webinar: FBC’s Clinician-Scientist Emerging Leader Award Recipients (https://youtu.be/F8mahC46a7Y?t=1220) ///Contact/// Website: https://theta.utoronto.ca/tina-felfeli-md Twitter: @TinaFelfeli, @ihpmeuoft, @uoftmedicine
41:25
September 26, 2021
Ep. 66 - Quantum Computation ft. Alba Cervera-Lierta
Alba Cervera-Lierta is a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto (Matterlab group). She earned her PhD in quantum computation and quantum information at the Universitat de Barcelona and is currently working on near-term quantum algorithms and high-dimensional quantum physics. Besides fundamental physics, she has a great interest in quantum technologies, education and public outreach activities including popular science talks, seminars, and newspaper and radio programs explaining what quantum computational scientists are doing! And now we've got her on Abstract -- what a treat! Tune in for answers to questions like... What does it mean to have a probability of -1? How do you build a qubit? What are the limitations of classical (digital) computers? Do quantum physicists believe in free will? What will be the capability of the quantum computers of the future? Topics & Concepts Quantum Information Quantum Mechanics Quantum Revolution, The Quantum Computation Quantum Bits (Qubits) 3 Branches of Quantum Information Theory: (1) Communication & Cryptography (2) Sensing & Metrology (3) Quantum Simulation Superconducting Circuits Superposition Entanglement Particle Physics Probabilities & Amplitudes Continuous vs. Discrete Quantum Algorithms Digital vs. Quantum Computers Controlling Randomness Photons & Dyson Spheres Quantum Machine Learning Complexity Name Drops: Max Planck, Richard Feynman /// Resources /// Quantum Random Number Generator (https://qrange.eu/) /// Contact /// Alba's Personal Website (https://albacl.github.io/) Alba's Twitter Page (@ACLierta) /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
39:27
September 19, 2021
Gratitude & The Good Life ft. Jeremy Ullman
Tune in for a peek behind the curtain and into my personal gratitude journal (and a little solo podcasting to change things up). /// Interested in a free core workout, every weekday @ 8:30am EST? Here's the Core Collective Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83608422966?pwd=M21BNXVGdEE4cmljUUl3cktOc09qZz09 /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
14:53
September 12, 2021
Ep. 65 - Hypersomnolence & Sleep Science ft. Jesse Cook
Jesse Cook is a 5th year Clinical Psychology PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His primary research program focuses on advancing the classification, assessment, and treatment of unexplained excessive daytime sleepiness, which is classified as either Idiopathic Hypersomnia or Hypersomnolence Disorder. Supplementarily, he has unique expertise in the capabilities and shortcomings of commercially available sleep tracking technology. He has a longstanding affiliation with the Sleep Research Society and previously served as the Sleep Research Society Trainee Member At-Large, while currently assisting efforts on the Communications Committee. In his free time, I loves to stay active by running, biking, hiking, and playing all the sports. Also, he finds comfort and accomplishment in making healthy, delicious meals and desserts. Ultimately, he aspires for a career that bridges clinical, research, and commercial domains, and intends to pursue a clinical specialty as a Behavioral Sleep Medicine provider. Tune in for answers to questions like... Why do we sleep? Is sleep an automatic process? What goes into a good night's sleep? How do we define (and what are the different) sleep-states across the animal kingdom? What does abnormal sleep look like? What treatments exist for people with abnormal sleep behaviors? Topics & Concepts Sleep Evolution, Behavior & Importance Sleep Hygiene & Process Sleep States & Stages Rapid Eye Movement (REM) & Non-REM Sleep Sleep Duration, Quality & Consistency Hypersomolence Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy & Idiopathic Hypersomnia Intl. Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD) & Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) Sleep Inertia The Bed: Refuge vs. Restoration Sleep Tolerance The Sleep Seesaw Treatment & Management The Future of Hypersomnolence Disorder Kline-Levin Syndrome (KLS) Fatal Familial Insomnia /// Contact Jesse's Twitter & Instagram: @SleepAndSports /// Misc. Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
35:23
September 05, 2021
Ep. 64 - The Future of Mentorship ft. Lauren Ortosky & Payton Small
Lauren Ortosky is a PhD candidate in Social Psychology with diverse research interests exploring the interaction of personal and social identity in critical domains. Her primary research examines the passive influence of living in a nationalist country on the beliefs and behaviors of those who are or are not already sympathetic to that ideology. She is also involved in projects to improve diversity in the professoriate with culturally-sensitive training programs and mentorship, as well as work on reducing under-employment among returning veterans. In her free time she is a dedicated trail runner and rock climber - hobbies that combine her passionate support of environmental sustainability and personal health, fitness, wellness, and overall human optimization. Payton Small is a PhD candidate in the Psychological and Brain Sciences department at UC Santa Barbara. Broadly, he studies how people of color cope with race-related prejudice, discrimination and stressful life events. In a separate line of work, he examines Whites' pushback against pro-diversity organizational messages and the downstream consequences of such pushback on people of color. In addition to researching topics related to diversity, he is deeply committed to the diversification of the field of social psychology, both in terms of who is conducting research and whose perspectives we are interested in when we conduct research. Tune in for answers to questions like... What is Access Grads and how can I get involved? What goes into creating a student mentorship program? What are graduate students best able to help undergraduates with in their academic and even non-academic lives? ... and so much more! Topics & Concepts Cultural Mismatch Theory The Independence Norm & Creating Norms Winding Academic Paths Humanizing Graduates & Research Mentorship Experiences Starting Your Own Mentorship Program /// GUEST SOCIALS /// Twitter: PaytonSmall2 Instagram: Payton_Small, LOrtosky LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurenortosky /// ACCESS GRADS CONTACT /// Email: accessgrads@gmail.com Website: https://accessgrads.wixsite.com/psychology /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
36:04
August 29, 2021
THE MECHATRONICS TRILOGY ft. Mitchell Kurnell, Ali Safaei & Eitan Bulka
THE MECHATRONICS TRILOGY =  Ep. 45 - Nuclear Physics & Cubesats ft. Mitchell Kurnell + Ep. 39 - Autonomous Mobile Robots ft. Ali Safaei + Ep. 11 - Drones & Aerospace Mechatronics ft. Eitan Bulka /// Topics & Concepts: Nuclear Safety Fission vs. Fusion LIBS: Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Plasmas Infrared & Ultraviolet Light Observation Window Deuterium & Heavy Water Neutron Absorption Zirconium Alloys Pressure Tubes & Nuclear Reactor Malfunction Mass Spectroscopy Transtioning Research Fields Cube Sats Satellite Tracking  & Orbital Decay Space Junk & Deadly Debris Altitude & Attitude Magnetic Fields & Magnet Torquers + Getting Published & The Secret to Success in your PhD Autonomous Mobile Robots State & Position Estimation The Localization Problem: Indoors vs. Outdoors RTKGPS: GPS on Steroids Swarms Relative Position & Distance Consensus: Average Knowledge & The Wisdom of Crowds Spanning Trees Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & Ultra-wideband Communication (Bio-mimicry @ 14:05) Birds & Biomimicry Ground Rovers 2D vs. 3D Environments Motion Capture Distributed vs. Centralized Control Cooperative Control & Localization Solutions Passion Driven Success + Lift Generation Thrust to Weight Ratio Robotics Aerospace Mechantronics Newton's 2nd Law of Motion Motion Planning Aerial Dynamics The 12 Dimensions of Control Laws Applications ...and more! /// Interested in another themed trilogy/saga? DM us a simple YES PLEASE or a special request on Instagram @abstractcast! Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter!
02:10:48
August 22, 2021
Ep. 63 - Loyalty, Passion & Identity ft. Zachariah Berry
Zachariah Berry is a curious, developing, committed, and highly motivated 4th year PhD student at Cornell University studying Organizational Behavior. His research is broadly on morality and identity, and he's hoping to answer some big questions related to loyalty and passion for work. [On the loyalty side, he's studying when it is (or is not) okay to break one's loyalty-based obligations, how people navigate competing loyalties, and whether or not loyalty's obligations extend beyond one's direct ties. On the passion for work side, he's exploring both the psychology of giving-up and quitting, as well as how people navigate their passion for work and their non-work passions.] Outside of his research interests, Zachariah is very passionate about scuba diving and fitness. Tune in for answers to questions like... Why is loyalty a "double-edged sword"? How does passion shape our identity? Why do people quit and when is quitting ever a good thing? What values mediate our morality? and many, many more! Topics & Concepts The Double-Edged Sword of Loyalty Fundamental Attribution Error Morality in a Hierarchy Cognitive Dissonance Identity: Personal & Relational Passion for Work vs. Non-Work Passions A Dearth of "Dognitive" Dissonance To Quit or Not to Quit Goal Pursuit + Perserverance Negative Beliefs Metacogntive Reflection Overwork & Burnout ///  Zachariah's Personal Website: https://zachariahberry.com/ /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
29:59
August 15, 2021
Ep. 62 - Death by Deferral ft. Tanya Singh
Tanya Singh is a PhD candidate in Marketing at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. She studies the psychological and behavioral consequences of putting off decisions. She's also interested in difficult trade-offs (ex. quality vs. quantity) and how consumers respond to resource scarcity. In addition to her current PhD, she also has a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Evolutionary Biology (you heard right). Tanya also secretly daydreams about owning an ice cream shop! Tune in for answers to questions like... What is the role of time in decision making? What happens after you put off choices? Why do I keep deferring, and is it a problem? How do we categorize consumers as decision makers? and many, many more! Topics & Concepts Timing & Deferral Familiarity Subjectivity & Metacognitive Fluency Choice Involvement Price Wafers & The Compromise Effect Anchoring Choice Deferral & Deferral Momentum A Better Future Delated Discounting/Gratification Impulsivity Timepoints for Decision-Making Cognitive Closure Confidence Motivated Reasining (Choice Justification) Decision-Making: Styles & Outsourcing ///  Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
29:54
August 08, 2021
Ep. 61 - The Prolific Pelvis ft. Mariel Young
Mariel Young just graduated from Harvard University with a PhD in Human Evolutionary Biology! She completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Arkansas, followed by an MPhil in human evolutionary studies from Cambridge University. Her dissertation work focused on the evolutionary and developmental genetics of the pelvis and scapula--the hips and shoulders--and asked the question: what genes control the embryonic development of these structures, and how have they been under evolution in human ancestors? Tune in for answers to questions like... What makes humans unique? What is the basic process bone formation and is it the same for all bones? Why would somebody want to study the pelvis? How have evolutionary pressures shaped the pelvis and other bone structures? and many, many more! Topics & Concepts Development, Evolution & Genetics The Pelvis The Scapula Fish & Dinosaurs Bone Formation: Endochondral & Intramembranous Cartilage Ossification Fossils: The Skeletal Story of our Evolution Pelvo-thoracic Decoupling Bowl- vs. Flat-Shaped Pelves Birthing Brain, Intelligence & Cognition The Obstetric Dilemma Evolutinary Pressures Genes & Regulation Debunking "Junk" DNA Enhancers /// Mariel Contact: Twitter: @MarielBYoung Insta: @mariel_young /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
31:59
August 01, 2021
Ep. 60 - Peanuts & Allergenicity ft. Casey Cohen
Casey Cohen is pursuing a PhD in Experimental Medicine at McGill University. His research focuses on peanut allergy; he's evaluating different processing methods and their effects on allergenicity. The ultimate goal of his research is to develop a ‘modified peanut’ that can be used as a safer and more efficacious substrate for peanut allergy treatments. Yummy! Tune in for answers to questions like... What are the peanut processing methods and how do they affect allergenicity? Where do allergies come from? What is the difference, biochemically, between allergy to food and other allergies? Why peanuts and not other nuts? What's going on in a peanut on a molecular level? and many, many more! Topics & Concepts Autoclave Allergens The Immune System Pathogens Genetics The Hygiene Hypothesis Gideon Lack Tolerance Exposure: Oral vs. Dermatological Sensitization Eczema Legumes, Ground Nuts & (Goofy) Goobers Protein & Fat Asthma Antibodies: Immunoglobulin E (IgE) Treatment The Future of Peanut /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
31:49
July 25, 2021
Ep. 59 - Superhydrophobia ft. Breno Sequeira
Breno Sequeira is a Master's candidate in Chemical Engineering at McGill University. He is working as a researcher in the biomimetics surface engineering lab. His current research aims to manufacture nonstick and superhydrophobic food and waste plastic containers. I was blown away by the processes behind the production of these materials, and discovered my new favorite word! *Note: Due to the visual nature of our discussion on the topic of "Contact Angle," please refer to the diagram at the following link for clarification: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Force-diagram-of-Youngs-equation-and-associated-Contact-Angle-measurement_fig1_280115341 Topics & Concepts Biomimetics Self-Cleaning & Water-Repellancy Micro & Nanostructures Surface Coatings Hydrophobia vs. Hydrophilia (Criteria for) Superhydrophobia Superoliophobicity & Omniphobicity Contact Angle* The Rose Petal Effect Industry Applications Injection Molding Laser Micromachining Environmental Impact /// Breno's Contact Info LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brenomumic/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brenomumic Instagram: @brenomumic ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Breno-Sequeira E-mail: breno.sequeira@mail.mcgill.ca /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Want to support the show? Save your $$$ and support us by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter! Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
27:45
July 18, 2021
Ep. 58 - Compulsive Exercise & Eating Disorders ft. Laura Hallward
Laura Hallward is a PhD candidate in Kinesiology specializing in Exercise and Health Psychology at McGill University. Her research focuses on better understanding lived experiences with compulsive exercise in individuals with eating disorders. She speaks directly with people with these pathologies and explores how these topics are discussed on social media! Tune in for answers to questions like... How do we diagnose compulsive exercise and eating disorders? What makes food and exercise different than other addictions? What is the role of social media in helping or hindering support? How can I improve my health today, starting right now? and many more! Topics & Concepts Eating Disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia & Binge Eating Fear of Food The DSM Addiction & Dependence Mental Health & Stress Moderation Compulsive Exercise Social Media: Thinspiration & Fitspiration Support, Treatment & Recovery Quadrant II Activities Exercise Is Medicine Intuitive Eating & Intuitive Movement Intermittent Fasting /// Resources The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey (https://www.franklincovey.com/the-7-habits/) Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works - Elyse Resch, Evelyn Tribole (https://www.intuitiveeating.org/our-books/) The Canadian national ED Information Centre (https://nedic.ca) (If you'd like more information or to seek help for an eating disorder, please check out this link.) /// Core Collective Sign-up Link https://thehabitsociety.com/core-collective/ /// Contact Info Jeremy, the Host: abstractcast@gmail.com Laura, the Guest: laura.hallward@mail.mcgill.ca Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
29:59
July 11, 2021
Ep. 57 - Black Holes & Neutron Stars ft. Abbie Stevens, PhD
Abbie Stevens is an energetic, friendly and curious postdoctoral fellow in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. She studies black holes and neutron stars by looking at X-ray light coming from stars they're gobbling up! Tune in for answers to questions like... How do binary systems form? What is the process of stellar evolution? What are the different types of black holes and where do we find them? How do stars die and what kind of remnants do they leave behind? and many more! Topics & Concepts Stellar Mass Stunning Supernovae Beautious Black Holes Neutron Stars Compact Objects Cosmic Waterfalls Optical Depth (Density) Accretion Physics Supermassive Black Holes X-ray Binaries Pulsars & Precise Periodic Pulsations 4U 1543-47 Outburst Spicy Plasma Physics Black Hole Jets /// Resources PBS Nova (https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/) Crash Course: Astronomy (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtPAJr1ysd5yGIyiSFuh0mIL) /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter Episode Cover Art by the very talented Eva Goblot.
32:27
July 04, 2021
Ep. 56 - Moral Injury & Ethics ft. Joe Inhaber
Joe Inhaber is pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa. His research is focused on the phenomenon of Moral Injury, and he's seeking better understanding of the kinds of things capable of violating a person’s sense of proper ethical conduct. He's the third of three life-long best friends to be on the show -- stick around to find out who's in the mystery trio! Tune in for answers to questions like... What is moral injury? Can moral injury be self-inflicted, by action or even thought alone? How is moral injury different from PTSD? How do observers and perpetrators of horrific life events differentially experience those events? What’s the role of intention in amoral action? How can trauma catalyze personal growth? and many more! Topics & Concepts Moral Injury Ethical Conduct Psychological Dissonance Perpetrator vs. Observer Trait Psychopathy Diathesis-stress Model Predisposition Environment PTSD: A fear-based disorder Guilt, Shame & Anger Military Moral- vs. Fear-Based Trauma Occupational Hazards Therapies Memory DSM: The Diagnostic & Statistical Manual EMDR Accidental vs. Deliberate Action Post-Traumatic Growth Finding Meaning in Suffering Obsession, Compulsion & Functionality /// Joe's Recommended Readings Moral Injury and PTSD: Often Co-Occurring Yet Mechanistically Different https://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.19020036 /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
38:40
June 27, 2021
Ep. 55 - Biomaterials & Beyond ft. Bishakh Rout
Bishakh Rout is a self-professed highly motivated PhD researcher in Chemical Engineering at McGill University. He is studying the surface modification of biomaterials and the application of hydragels in contact lens technology! Get ready for a fast-paced 25-minute interview -- the shortest Abstract interview yet, and the first of many shorter-form interviews, for all you busy bees out there! Tune in for Answers to Questions Like... How does one deliver medication through the eyeball? What is a hydrogel and what are its applications in biomaterials? What similarities/differences do we find between surface and embedded biomaterials? What kinds of interactions and influences do these biomaterials have on the body? and many more! Topics & Concepts Contact Lenses Nanotechnology & Nanocarriers Drug Delivery Polymers Crabs & Cyrosin Vitamins & Phytochemicals: Curcumin, Quercitin, Leutine Timolol (Beta-Blocker) Hydragels Gaseous Coating Biomaterials: Surface vs. Embedded Inflammation Rejection Performance Proteins Recommended Readings (See Below) /// A Sampling of Bishakh's Publications Work describing plasma polymer thin coatings on hydrogels - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ppap.202000191 Work on nanocarriers for drug/therapeutic delivery - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07444-w https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1572100017304404 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0927776516300029 /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
25:31
June 20, 2021
Ep. 54 - Exoplanets & Telescopes ft. Lisa Dang
Lisa Dang is an enthusiastic, outgoing and optimistic PhD student in Astrophysics at McGill University. During her graduate degree, she also held a research position at the NASA Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Right now, she’s studying the diversity of exoplanets and their climate, with a variety of space telescopes, and most excitingly with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. She hopes to understand how planets form and evolve, to ultimately uncover the recipe for habitable planets! When she’s not busy scratching her head looking at copious amounts of data, you can find her traveling, drawing, or taking care of her plants! Tune in for answers to questions like... Is there life in the universe beyond earth? How do we define life? How old are you in "Hot Jupiter" years? What and how have we learned about exoplanets? What are the mechanisms behind tidal locking? and more! Topics & Concepts A Simplified Universe Our Special Solar System Atmospheric Disequilibrium Exotic Planets: Hot Jupiters & Magma Earths The Era of Exoplanet Characterization The James Webb Space Telescope Hubble & The Visible Light Problem Spitzer & Infrared Astronomy Geocentric & Earth-Trailing Orbits The Kepler Planet-Finder Mission Transits Planet K2-141b Spectroscopy Tidal Locking Wacky Weather Systems The TRAPPIST System M-Stars /// My New Audio Course on Listenable: The Secret Life of Words https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/ Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with us at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Follow & Subscribe on: Spotify, Facebook & Instagram (@abstracast), & Twitter (@abstract_cast)
38:44
June 13, 2021
Ep. 53 - Decision-Making & Metacognition ft. Alexa Ruel
Our guest this week, Alexa Ruel, is completing her PhD in Psychology at Concordia University. Her research is focused on decision-making, making decisions about decisions and how that process changes across the lifespan. ALSO, for the first time ever we're joined by a high school student! Allegra is a bright eighth grader who sneaks insightful questions into the discussion throughout the episode, and keeps us accessible! You don't want to miss this (or any) episode! Tune in for Answers to Questions Like... How do we make decisions (about decisions)? How does decision-making change across the lifespan? How do our internal and external environments affect our decision-making? What is the role of memory in decision-making? Which brain regions are involved in making decisions? and many, many, many more!  Topics & Concepts Infant Cognition Decision-Making Across the Lifespan Adolescence vs. Old Age Decisions vs. Choices Cost Benefit Analysis Internal vs. External Environment Aging Mindsets Memory Hormones Alexa's Lab Model-Based vs. Model-Free Model Deterioration The Decision-Making System Experimental Design: Neural Activity & EEG Cognitive Effort & Mental Fatigue Alexa's Article: https://www.concordia.ca/cunews/offices/vprgs/sgs/public-scholars-21/2021/05/13/deciding-what-to-decide-is-no-easy-task.html My New Audio Course on Listenable: The Secret Life of Words https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/ Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Follow & Subscribe on: Spotify, Facebook & Instagram (@abstracast), & Twitter (@abstract_cast)
36:44
June 06, 2021
Re-Release - Jean Westenberg on The Opioid Crisis
As year 1 of Abstract comes to a close we're getting ready for another 52 episodes of goodness over the next 52 weeks!  In honor of esteemed guest Jean Westenberg delivering the goods on what became the most streamed episode of the entire year, I'm re-releasing his 40 minutes of heaven, without breaks, maxing out the Jean : Jeremy air-time ratio!  Oh yeah, and since I first had Jean on the show, he's published the first half of his thesis -- check it out here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eip.13155 /// Our guest from Ep. 37, Jean Westenberg, is pursuing a Master's degree in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is currently working under the supervision of Dr. Michael Krauss in his addiction and concurrent disorders lab, focusing on improving health outcomes in populations of opioid users, as well as those at risk of developing an addiction. Questions Answered How do we distinguish between the nature of addiction to drugs vs. social media? What makes Heroin so addictive and why is it so difficult to put it down? How can we even begin to imagine the experience of heroin use? What sorts of factors predispose me to developing an addiction? What is the Opioid crisis, and how many people are affected ever year? What is the crazy truth about overdoses? And many, many more! Topics & Concepts Different Types of Addiction: Social Media, Gambling, Caffeine, Heroin Opioids: Endogenous vs. Exogenous The Overdose Factor The Experience of Heroin Concurrent Disorders The Opioid Epidemic Educating the Public Imroving Health Outcomes The Fentanyl Crisis Complex Lifestyles Social Support Crisis by the Numbers Overdose Reversal Treatment  Disclaimer: The following episode will be discussing substance use, which may be triggering for some. If you are struggling with your mental health, please seek help from a health professional. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you heard on Abstract. Follow & Subscribe: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter For Feedback or To Reach Out: abstractcast@gmail.com, or any of the above ^^^
39:32
May 30, 2021
Ep. 52 - Amphibian Ecology ft. Nathalie Jreidini
Our guest this week, Nathalie Jreidini, is completing her PhD in Biology at McGill University. She has worked on diverse projects in Ecology throughout her graduate studies. She's now researching the causes of wild animal movements, and more specifically habitat dispersal! Join us for the final episode of Year 1 of Abstract -- cheers to Year 2 starting NEXT WEEK!  Tune in for Answers to Questions Like:  What's the distinction between reptiles and amphibians?  What do I do if I'm bitten by a tick?  What does it mean to be an endangered species? Is there life out there in the universe?  What is Ecology?  Why do animals move? Hint: it's not cause they got boogie fever...  What are the current limitations on animal tracking methods? and many, many, many more!  Topics & Concepts  Studying Animals vs. Humans  Amphibians  The Phylogenetic Tree  Disease Spread  Extrapolating from Animals to Humans  Invasive Species  Endangered Species  Ecology  The Fowler Toad & Habitat Dispersal  Toad Personality, Mating & Intercourse  Environment & Individual  Energy Expenditure & Exploration  To Move or Not to Move  Limitations on Tracking Methods  /// Welcome to your new favorite Website, The Endangered Species Redlist: https://www.iucnredlist.org/  Welcome to your new favorite Audio Course, The Secret Life of Words: https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/  Welcome to your new favorite Newsletter, The Habit Society: https://thehabitsociety.com/  /// Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Follow & Subscribe on: Spotify, Facebook & Instagram (@abstracast), & Twitter (@abstract_cast)
39:09
May 23, 2021
Ep. 51 - Archaeology & Civilization ft. Avery Warkentin
Our guest this week, Avery Warkentin, is completing her Master's in Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford. She's passionate about historical education, archaeological conservation and environmental sustainability. Her current research is focused on the artistic and archaeological manifestations of cultural interaction throughout the Roman provinces. She hopes to pursue a career in objects conservation upon completion of her Master's. Join Avery and myself as we dig deep into the history of humanity -- who know's what we'll unearth on this slightly-longer-than-usual episode of Abstract! Questions Answered What is Archaeology? What and how does it teach us about history? What makes a fruitful archaeological site or exciting archaeological find? What is the process of archaeological discovery, from dig to display case? What does the future of archaeology look like? How do we learn about abstract phenomena like culture through the discovery of physical objects? How do define a civilization and what are its main characteristics? Are we obliged to ever return findings to the countries from whence they came? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Objectivity in The Historical Record Digging from Conclusions Heinrich Schliemann Importance: The What & The Where Sites: Old & New The Discovery Process Dating: Stratigraphy, Dendrochronology & C-14 Context: Social, Cultural, Economic The Impact of Archaeology History Culture Hybrid Architecture Religious Defaulting Civilization The Future of Archaeology Repatriation & Dan Hicks Avery Warkentin: Reach her on Instagram & Twitter: @aevrynicole Prof. Dan Hicks: Website: https://www.danhicks.uk/ Twitter: @profdanhicks Book: Brutish Museums: http://www.plutobooks.com/9780745341767/the-brutish-museums/ The Habit Society (@thehabitsociety) - https://thehabitsociety.com/ Have you ever wanted to learn how to develop healthy, strong and sustainable habits? Well luckily you don't have to go it alone! I just increased my chances of forming and sticking to my new habits by signing up for a weekly 3-minute newsletter called The Habit Society. I know the co-founders personally and I am becoming increasingly involved in this awesome network of like-minded individuals. Part habit-formation guide and part accountability community, I'm proud to call myself a member of The Habit Society. It's completely free to join and get a beautifully curated newsletter sent right to your inbox every Monday morning. If you're looking to shake things up, here's a link to subscribe in the description of the episode. You can also check it out on instagram and Twitter @ thehabitsociety. Alright, back to the episode. My New Audio Course on Listenable: The Secret Life of Words https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/ Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Follow & Subscribe on: Spotify, Facebook & Instagram (@abstracast), & Twitter (@abstract_cast)
44:46
May 16, 2021
Ep. 50 - Geometry, Topology & Group Theory ft. Sam Fisher
Our guest this week, Sam Fisher, just completed his Master's in Mathematics at McGill University and is now embarking on a transatlantic PhD in Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He treats us to a journey through the conceptual underpinnings of his research in the field of Geometric Group Theory. Whether you're a math enthusiast, or just a curious mind, you'll find this episode to be refreshing reminder of the beauty and elegance of mathematics. Enjoy! Tune in for Answers to Questions Like What is Geometry, and what kinds of geometric spaces can we imagine? What would giant triangles look like on the surface of the earth? Why are some mathematicians incapable of differentiating between mugs and donuts? How do you create mathematically complex transformations every time you tie your shoelaces? Where do symmetries crop up in the mathematical and real world? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Mathematical Insights Mathematical Physics Geometry Euclidean & Non-Euclidean Spaces Curvature ft. Totally Trippy Triangles Topology Rubber-Sheet Geometry Mugs & Donuts Knot Theory Group Theory Geometric Group Theory Betti Numbers Sam's "Aggressive Saddles" The Secret Life of Words Audio Course (Coupon Code) Using 'TEACHER60' or this link (https://listenable.io/web/plans/?coupon=TEACHER60) you can get 60% off your first year of Listenable (it's only $24, or $2/mo)! It expires by May, 10th. Btw, it's the biggest discount Listenable has ever offered. Exciting, right? Keep that wallet thick and expand your brain volume at the same time! My New Audio Course on Listenable: The Secret Life of Words https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/ Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
39:44
May 09, 2021
Ep. 49 - Linguistics & The Neurobiology of Language ft. Yev Diachek
Our guest this week, Yev Diachek, is a PhD student studying Psychology at Vanderbilt University. After completing her undergraduate degree, Yev became interested in Psycholinguistics and the Neurobiology of Language so she took up multiple volunteer positions at Harvard and MIT. After completing her master’s, she worked as a full-time research assistant with Ev Fedorenko investigating how language interacts with other cognitive functions in the brain. In her Ph.D., Yev is now asking questions related to the structure and representation of conceptual knowledge and its relation to language. As a cognitive science major and linguistics enthusiast myself, this interview was truly a dream come true -- come on in and experience it for yourself! Questions Answered How is language represented in the brain, and how does it interact with other cognitive functions? Is language fixed or dynamic? Do we ever stop learning? How do we define core linguistic understanding, and is there even such a thing? What's the main goal of language? Is memory is also a part of language and are they separable? Are words meaningful in and of themselves? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts The Language System Hemispheric Lateralization The Multiple Demand Network Language Tasks Core Linguistics Understanding Gusture & Non-Verbal Cues Prosody & Intonation Pragmatics & Inference Brain Damage & Aphasia Language and Memory: Aphasia vs. Amnesia Language Learning Specialized vs Generalized Systems Meaning Category-Selective Deficits Concepts & Mental Representation Interactive Map of Concepts in the Brain: https://gallantlab.org/huth2016/ To Learn more, check out Yev's website: ediachek.com The Secret Life of Words Audio Course (Coupon Code)  Using 'TEACHER60' or this link (https://listenable.io/web/plans/?coupon=TEACHER60) you can get 60% off your first year of Listenable (it's only $24, or $2/mo)! It expires by May, 10th. Btw, it's the biggest discount Listenable has ever offered. Exciting, right? Keep that wallet thick and expand your brain volume at the same time!  My New Audio Course on Listenable: The Secret Life of Words https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/ Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
39:14
May 02, 2021
Ep. 48 - Aging ft. The Brains Behind the WEP
Abstract just took things to a whole new level with our first ever PANEL DISCUSSION: Our guests this week are none other than The Brains Behind the Wisdom Exchange Project: Alicia Duval, Danielle D'Amico, Emma Conway, Lauren Bechard, and Monica Vaillancourt. Buckle up for this episode where a group of bright Canadian graduate researchers bounce ideas off each other in this super special group interview on the aging process! Questions Answered How can we age gracefully? What can we control and what's totally out of our hands when it comes to aging? How do we define the aging process? How do rates of dementia vary across the population? What's the impact of menopause on quality of life? As we age, does cognition become a use it or lost it phenomenon? What is frailty? What is the Wisdom Exchange Project? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Graceful Aging Self Care Stress Individuality Modifiable Risk Factors Alzheimer's & Dementia Cognitive Reserve Resilient Aging Preventation vs. Reaction Motivation, Meaning & Fulfilment Perspective & Lived Experience The Lifespan Approach Midlife & Menopause Cognition: Use-it-or-Lose-it? The Cognitive Load Paradox Composite Risk Factors Frailty Parenting The Wisdom Exchange Project Connect with this week's guests on Twitter (@EmmaConwayUW, @DanielleNDamico, @AliciaMDuval, @LaurenBechard...) and Instagram (@daniellenicoledamico, @mon.vaillancourt, @duvalicia, @loebech...) Learn more about the Wisdom Exchange Project here: https://www.wisdomexchangeproject.com/ Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter My New Audio Course on Listenable: The Secret Life of Words https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/ 30% off Listenable Membership (Referral Code: jeremyullman) https://frstre.com/go/?a=76205-87a7d9&s=1670905-f8024a&p_affiliate.referral_code=jeremyullman
53:34
April 25, 2021
Ep. 47 - Spaceflight Dynamics ft. Shaziana Kaderali
Our guest this week, Shaziana Kaderali, is a Master's candidate at McGill University in Aerospace Engineering. Her research is focused on Space Situational Awareness and Spaceflight Dynamics. She helps satellite operators avoid collisions, among much else! She's a jack of all trades and a master of all of them, and we've got her on the show to talk all things aerospace! Questions Answered What's an aerospace engineer thinking about first thing in the morning? What do we mean by dynamics and specifically aerospace dynamics? What's going on up there in orbit around our lovely little planet? Should we be worried about the exponential increase in orbital objects and debris in freefall around the earth? What is the future of aerospace engineering going to look like? How do we dispose of dead or defunct spacecraft and what's the end-of-life process? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Roberta Bondar: The First Canadian Woman in Space Perseverance: The Latest Mars Rover Views from the Solar System Aerospace Dynamics Motion & Forces: Drag & Perturbations Dynamics Equations Synchronized Swimming Astronaut Training Satellite Operators vs. Air-Traffic Controllers Propulsion & Newton's 3rd Law Known Unknowns of Orbiting Spacecraft Orbits: Geospatial & Low- & Medium-Earth, Molniya, Lagrange The International Space Station (ISS) Kessler Syndrome & The Debris Problem The Kosmos-Irridium Collision The Future of Aerospace Engineering Quantum Satellite Technology Outerspace Treaty Death of a Spacecraft My New Audio Course on Listenable: The Secret Life of Words https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/  30% off Listenable Membership (Referral Code: jeremyullman) https://frstre.com/go/?a=76205-87a7d9&s=1670905-f8024a&p_affiliate.referral_code=jeremyullman Want to drop Shaziana a line? Reach her here: Shaziana.Kaderali@community.isunet.edu  Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
35:30
April 18, 2021
Ep. 46 - Cosmic Strings & The Early Universe ft. Bryce Cyr
Our guest this week, Bryce Cyr, is completing his PhD in Cosmology at McGill University. He's studying the theoretical structures known as cosmic strings (unrelated to string theory, but we discuss that too). They might shed light on the nature of the early universe and the origin of dark matter! Questions Answered How did the universe begin? Where did it come from and where is it going How far back can we look? What's the big idea with the cosmic microwave background? Why is gravity problematic? What's the goal of string theory? What about cosmic strings, are they the key unification? What's the big hold up on the grand unified theory of physics? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts The Early Universe Cosmic Strings Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) High Energy Physics A Unified Theory The Fundamental Forces String Theory Particle Acceleration & The LHC The Ideal Gas Law (PV = nRT) Universal Expansion Ancient Light: Distortions Neutrinos Gravitational Waves LIGO/VIRGO Collaboration Black Holes & Accretion Good Theories, Bad Theories Beauty & Loneliness Dark Matter, Dark Energy My New Audio Course on Listenable: The Secret Life of Words https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/ 30% off Listenable Membership (Referral Code: jeremyullman) https://frstre.com/go/?a=76205-87a7d9&s=1670905-f8024a&p_affiliate.referral_code=jeremyullman Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
40:14
April 11, 2021
Audio Course Trailer: The Secret Life of Words ft. Jeremy Ullman
Few things in life are more sacred than knowledge-sharing. Humans have evolved complex language, giving us the unique ability to propagate records of our discoveries, insights, and achievements. As an aspiring educator, my goal is to disseminate a combination of my personal experience, previous research, and independent readings to enrich the lives of others. During my Master's degree, my research centered around analyzing ambiguity in the written and spoken word. While I believe there is no concrete way to avoid ambiguity in our communications (or miscommunications), becoming aware of the shortcoming of our language system is the first step. Join myself and fellow curious minds in this first audio course as we dive deep into the secret life of words! You can expect to reemerge with a refreshing new outlook on language and the brain, a deep appreciation of our language processing system, a thorough understanding of the structure, meaning, and mental representation of words, the ability to recognize, resolve and circumvent ambiguity in all aspects of language use; and become a more cooperative communicator! What are you waiting for? The Secret Life of Words: https://listenable.io/web/courses/402/the-secret-life-of-words/ Instagram: @abstractcast Twitter: @abstract_cast Facebook: https://facebook.com/abstractcast
08:05
April 09, 2021
Ep. 45 - Nuclear Reactors & CubeSats ft. Mitchell Kurnell
Our guest this week, Mitchell Kurnell, just started his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in the Aerospace Mechatronics lab (yeah you know the one, he's worked alongisde Eitan Bulka (Ep.11) and Ali Safaei (Ep.39)). Our discussion is split between his master's research on nuclear physics, and his PhD research on cube sats. Questions Answered Is nuclear energy a safe energy alternative and can we entrust our future in these fission reactors? How can we use lasers to learn about a material's composition? How big and how small are the satellites in orbit above our heads? What are they doing up there? What is space junk and does it pose a problem to other satellites in orbit around the earth? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Nuclear Safety Fission vs. Fusion LIBS: Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Plasmas Infrared & Ultraviolet Light Observation Window Deuterium & Heavy Water Neutron Absorption Zirconium Alloys Pressure Tubes & Nuclear Reactor Malfunction Mass Spectroscopy Transtioning Research Fields Cube Sats Satellite Tracking  & Orbital Decay Space Junk & Deadly Debris Altitude & Attitude Magnetic Fields & Magnet Torquers Fundraiser Info From March 8th - April 8th 2021, $0.40 will be donated to the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST: https://www.scwist.ca) every time an Abstract episode with a female guest gets a listen. $4,00 will be donated to the same cause for every new review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts! Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
39:60
April 04, 2021
Ep. 44 - Exploring Epilepsy ft. Nafisa Husein
Our guest this week, Nafisa Husein, recently graduated with a Master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Montreal. Her thesis focused on the association between epilepsy and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the elderly. She's starting her PhD in Epidemiology this September, and her research will aim to uncover the causal variants between epilepsy and other comorbidities, as well as finding and presenting solutions to improve neurological health. Questions Answered What's happening in the brain during a seizure and how do we treat it? Do babies have seizures? (Do they?) How do I know if I'm prone to developing epilepsy, and what can I do to mitigate its onset? What's the relationship between stroke and epilepsy? What are the precursors and catalysts for the development of epilepsy throughout your life? What's the opposite of a seizure, if there is one? Do people experience seizure-induced hallucinations? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Epilepsy Seizures: Physical vs. Blank State Electrical Imbalance Intantile vs. Geriatric Cases Precursors & Catalysts Stroke Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Lifestyle & Behavior: Smoking, Drinking & Exercise Sociodemographics Chronic Disease Association vs. Causation The Opposite of a Seizure? Hallucinations Anti-Epileptic Drugs Neurological Disorders Anti-Seizure Medication Mediating Factors CVD PSA Fundraiser Info From March 8th - April 8th 2021, $0.40 will be donated to the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST: https://www.scwist.ca) every time an Abstract episode with a female guest gets a listen. $4,00 will be donated to the same cause for every new review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts! Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
36:52
March 28, 2021
Ep. 43 - Degrowth & Our Finite Planet ft. Alex Pettem
Our guest this week, Alex Pettem, is completing a Master's of Political Science at the University of Montreal. His research focus is on Degrowth, and he's got his finger on the pulse of the Montreal chapter of the movement. Strap in for a super unique and insightful episode with my good friend and our first ever Political Scientist! Questions Answered What is the Degrowth movement and how can we propagate it? How can we continue to make progress while simultaneously reducing our level of growth? What does a degrowth future look like, and what would we need to give up in order to get there? Who are the proponents of the degrowth movement, and at what level do they operate in society? Where did the movement begin and who should be getting involved? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Intro to Degrowth Decolonizing Our Imagination The "Zeitgeist" Climate Crisis The Solidarity Economy Voluntary Simplicity Steady-State Economy Yves-Marie Abraham Social Movements Radicalizing the Climate Debate Circular Economy vs. Planned Obsolescence Serge Mongeau & The Mouvement de la Decroissance Unknown Beginnings Limitations on Economic Growth Social Movement Theory Charisma The Global North The Invevitability of Degrowth Red Pilling the Masses Decroissance Conviviale FB Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/decroissanceconvivialeQC MQDC Website https://www.decroissance.qc.ca/documentation/videos Does free will exist? Maybe. Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com! Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating or a written review on Apple Podcasts! Support the show by Following & Subscribing on: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
37:43
March 21, 2021
Ep. 42 - Counteracting CRISPR ft. Ada McVean
Our guest this week, Ada McVean, is pursuing a Master's of Chemistry at McGill University in the Damha Lab (alongside our good friend James Thorpe from Ep. 30!). Her current research is focused on creating small modified nucleic acid-based inhibitors (or SNuBs) of Cas9 using click chemistry, to interrupt the normal functioning of the CRISPR complex. Questions Answered Why might we want to prevent a CRISPR complex from editing our genes? How do SNuBs interrupt a ribunucleic threesome? If gene editing is a play, who are the characters and what sorts of hijinx do they get themselves into? Can Turtles breathe out of their butts? How do lava lamps produce their magically entrancing goopy light show? Will wearing a hat speed up the balding process? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Biology vs Chemistry CRISPR SNuBs Oligonucleotides (Oligos) Fluorination The Periodic Table Electronegativity & Reactivity CRISPR Off-Target Effects A CRISPR Antidote Tracker & Guide RNAs The PAM & NGGs Rapid-Fire Fun-Facts Cloacal Respiration? Ejaculation & The Female Prostate? Lava Lamp Luminescence? Hats, Baldness & Follicular Miniaturization Syndrome? The Truth About Leftovers? Fundraiser Info From March 8th - April 8th 2021, $0.40 will be donated to the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST: https://www.scwist.ca) every time an Abstract episode with a female guest gets a listen. $4,00 will be donated to the same cause for every new review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts! Links to Ada's Articles Cloacal Respiration https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know/turtles-breathe-out-their-butt Ejaculation & The Female Prostate https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-history/can-women-ejaculate-depends-who-you-ask Lava Lamp Luminescence https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know/luminescent-chemistry-lava-lamps Hats, Baldness & Follicular Miniaturization Syndrome https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-general-science/will-wearing-hat-make-me-go-bald The Truth About Leftovers https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know-health/youre-probably-storing-leftovers-wrong-especially-if-you-eat-rice Does free will exist? Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating and a written review on Apple Podcasts! Follow & Subscribe: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
39:48
March 14, 2021
Ep. 41 - The Future of Lithium-ion Batteries ft. Jeremy Dawkins
Our guest this week, Jeremy Dawkins, is completing his PhD in Chemistry at McGill University. His thesis is based on improving the ubiquitous Li-ion batteries, which are a key solution to the current climate crisis. Specifically, Jeremy is developing a methodology that would allow scientists to detect the Li-ions inside a battery while it’s operating! Questions Answered What's going on inside the batteries in my phone, my tv remote and my car?      Can we put a rocket in space fueled solely using lithium ion batteries? How efficient is the recycling process and how sustainable is widespread battery use? Can we make batteries from other elements on the periodic table? How do you collect energy from a moving electron? How can we make better batteries? and many, many, many more! Topics & Concepts Lithium-Ion Batteries Rocking Chairs & Ping Pong Electrodes & Electrolytes Charging & Discharging Salts & Alkali Metals The Periodic Table Battery Recycling & Sustainability Hydro- and Pyro-metallurgy Voltage & Potential Shorting a Circuit Traveling Electrons Fast Charging & Optimization Localizing the Lithium Synchrotron Testing Coin Batteries Vehicle-to-Grid The Future of Batteries Does free will exist? Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating and a written review on Apple Podcasts, and get a shoutout on the next episode! Follow & Subscribe: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
39:30
March 07, 2021
Ep. 40 - Diabetes & Dietetics ft. Meryem Talbo
Our guest this week, Meryem Talbo, is a 2nd year PhD candidate in Dietetics at McGill University's School of Human Nutrition. Her research focus was on Type I diabetes, and how to best use technology as a tool to prevent and reduce both the fear and frequency of hypoglycemia. Questions Answered Where does insulin come from and who is it's biological partner in crime? How do protein, fat and carbs interact in the process of digestion? Will I develop diabetes and if so what can I do to avoid or dimish the likelihood of that outcome? Can we create an artificial pancreas and mimic its insulin regulating function? Is diabetes a fundamentally human pathology, or does it occur in other species? and many, many, MANY more! Topics & Concepts Diabetes Diagnoses Intro to Insulin Best & Banting Playing the Part of the Pancreas Good Guy Glucagon Handling Hypo and Hyperglycemia Commonality of Cases Lapses in Lifestyle Dishing the Dirt on Diet Drinks Cancel Calories, Create Cravings Macronutrients on the Mind Tricky Timing Supplements: The Scoop Infusion & Injection Tantalizing Technologies Diabetes on the DL Interspecies Insulin Insufficiencies Purging Prediabetes Fears of Fainting Do butterflies have diabetes? If you've got the answer, or just want to say hi, you can reach Meryem at meryem.talbo@mail.mcgill.ca Does free will exist? Regardless, please share your cherished feedback with me at abstractcast@gmail.com  Liking the show? Drop us a juicy 5-star rating and a written review on Apple Podcasts, and get a shoutout on the next episode!  Follow & Subscribe: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
38:35
February 28, 2021
Ep. 39 - Autonomous Mobile Robots & The Localization Problem ft. Ali Safaei
Our guest this week, Ali Safaei, is an Engineering postdoctoral fellow in the Aerospace Mechatronics Lab (Yes, the same lab that Eitan Bulka, Ep. 11, just graduated from!) at McGill University and HumanITAS Solutions. Ali is a force to be reckoned with: he's got a PhD and 23 scientific publications under his belt, as well as book coming up for publicaton later this year! Buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable tour through the wonderful world of unmanned aircraft and ground rovers... Questions Answered What's the secret to academic success? How do we solve the localization problem for autonomous mobile robots? What are the keys to success for communication within and between groups of autonomous agents? How has nature inspired an entire field of engineering? What's the most advanced form of GPS on planet earth? How does the wisdom of crowds apply to groups of autonomous robots? and many, many, many, more! Topics & Concepts Getting Published & The Secret to Success in your PhD Autonomous Mobile Robots State & Position Estimation The Localization Problem: Indoors vs. Outdoors RTKGPS: GPS on Steroids Swarms Relative Position & Distance Consensus: Average Knowledge & The Wisdom of Crowds Spanning Trees Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & Ultra-wideband Communication Birds & Biomimicry Ground Rovers 2D vs. 3D Environments Motion Capture Distributed vs. Centralized Control Cooperative Control & Localization Solutions Passion-Driven Success Follow & Subscribe: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter For Feedback or To Reach Out: abstractcast@gmail.com, or any of the above ^^^ P.S. Ali is writing a book on Model-Free Data-Driven Control Algorithms, coming to stores near you later this year, 2021!
37:56
February 21, 2021
Ep. 38 - The Future of MRI ft. Matthew McCready
Our guest this week, Matthew McCready, is a Master's student in Physics at Western University. He's developing, testing and implementing a revolutionary new dreMR coil, affectionately called "dreamer", for existing MRI machines that will usher in a new generation of neuroimaging! Questions Answered What's happening inside of an MRI machine? How do we produce images of the body using giant magnets? What does magnetic resonance imaging have to do with hills and rainbows? What's the next big development in this kind of imaging, and how will a new coil solve many of our imaging problems? and many, many more! Topics & Concepts Electrons, Current & Charge Electromagnetism Particle Spin Subatomic Relativity The Three Fields in an MRI Superconductors Gradient Fields Radiofrequency dreMR: Delta Relaxation Enhanced MRI ("dreamer") Molecular Imaging Methods PET Scans Ionizing Radiation & the ALARA Principle Contrast Agents Field Homogeneity Applications + Future Directions Follow & Subscribe: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter For Feedback or To Reach Out: abstractcast@gmail.com, or any of the above ^^^
33:54
February 14, 2021
Ep. 37 - Opioid Addiction, Crisis, Prevention & Treatment ft. Jean Westenberg
Our guest this week, Jean Westenberg, is pursuing a Master's degree in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is currently working under the supervision of Dr. Michael Krauss in his addiction and concurrent disorders lab, focusing on improving health outcomes in populations of opioid users, as well as those at risk of developing an addiction. Questions Answered How do we distinguish between the nature of addiction to drugs vs. social media? What makes Heroin so addictive and why is it so difficult to put it down? How can we even begin to imagine the experience of heroin use? What sorts of factors predispose me to developing an addiction? What is the Opioid crisis, and how many people are affected ever year? What is the crazy truth about overdoses? And many, many more! Topics & Concepts Different Types of Addiction: Social Media, Gambling, Caffeine, Heroin Opioids: Endogenous vs. Exogenous The Overdose Factor The Experience of Heroin Concurrent Disorders The Opioid Epidemic Educating the Public Imroving Health Outcomes The Fentanyl Crisis Complex Lifestyles Social Support Crisis by the Numbers Overdose Reversal Treatment Disclaimer: The following episode will be discussing substance use, which may be triggering for some. If you are struggling with your mental health, please seek help from a health professional. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you heard on Abstract. Follow & Subscribe: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter For Feedback or To Reach Out: abstractcast@gmail.com, or any of the above ^^^
37:58
February 07, 2021
Ep. 36 - Revolutionizing Cancer Treatment ft. Samuel Little
Our guest this week is Samuel Little, a bioengineering PhD candidate at Concordia University. His current research is focused on developing an innovative treatment known as CAR-T Therapy, in which an individual's immune system is removed from the body, genetically modified, and reinserted into the body to fight off cancer with unprecedented strength and efficiency. Sam brings the heat and turns the knowledge volume up to 11, if that makes sense -- this is a crazy episode, in the best way possible. I've already listened to it thrice from start to finish! What are you waiting for? Hey are you still reading this?  Questions Answered How has bioengineering paved the way for a new innovative cancer therapy? How can we beat cancer at its own game? Why is cancer a more perfect version of us? Are we on the brink of a revolution in cancer treatment? How can we manipulate our own immune system to maximize its efficacy? Is it worth engaging in research for research sake? And many, many.... many more! Topics & Concepts A Day in the Life of an Interdisciplinary Lab Microscopic vs. Macroscopic Engineering The Biological Scale Somatic Gene Therapy CAR-T: Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy Cancer's Invisibility Cloak ALL: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cancer: A More Perfect Version of Us Immune System Evasion Famous Papers: The Hallmarks of Cancer Blood Cancers: A Starting Point for CAR-T Chemotherapy: Thank You Dr. Sidney Farber The CD-19 Protein Microfluidics Electroporation CRISPR Research for Research's Sake The Dream: Mechanizing CART-T Therapy Sam's Book Recommendation: The Emperor of All Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor_of_All_Maladies Jeremy's Book Recommendations: Originals - Adam Grant The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho Meditations - Marcus Aurelius The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Richard Carlson Follow & Subscribe: Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter For Feedback or To Reach Out: abstractcast@gmail.com, or any of the above ^^^
38:59
January 31, 2021
Ep. 35 - Musical Complexity, Predictability & Enjoyment ft. Alexander Albury
Our guest this week is Alexander Albury, PhD candidate in Psychology at Concordia University. His research is focused on uncovering the relationship between complexity, predictability and liking of music! Tune in for: Questions Answered Is music more of an art or a science? Can we tell the difference between human-made and artifical music? What makes music complex and how do you even quantify complexity? How do we differentiate the same note played on different instruments? How do we meaure musical learning? Who are the better predictors of melody: Jazz or Classical musicians? Is learning language like learning an instrument? and many more! Topics & Concepts Covered Music: Art vs. Science Artificially Composed Music The Duality of Complexity & Predictability Cultural Idiosyncrasies Musical Experience Timbre Timing & Beat Expectancy & Liking Quantifying Complexity Machine Learning: Predicting Music Psychophysics & Inverted U-Shaped Relationships Measuring Learning: Raw Accuracy & Asynchrony Language vs. Music Statistical Learning Theory We Want To Hear From You, Yes, You! Got ideas, feedback, questions, topics or guests for future episodes, harsh criticism, love and praise for the show, ambivalence about the content, anything at all? You're in luck, we're VERY reachable: Email us by email: abstractcast@gmail.com Message us on Facebook: facebook.com/abstractcast Tweet us on Twitter: twitter.com/abstract_cast DM/Comment/Tag us on Instagram: instagram.com/abstractcast
38:15
January 24, 2021
Ep. 34 - Pain Perception, Venoms & The Peripheral Nervous System ft. Stephanie Mouchbahani-Constance
Our guest this week, Stephanie Mouchbahani-Constance, is working towards her PhD in Physiology at McGill University. Her current research is focused on characterizing the sensation of pain inflicted by lionfish stings, as well as the pathways through the nervous system along which they travel. She's an endless repository of animal facts and has nearly boundless knowledge of the peripheral nervous sytem, it's kinda scary, and very impressive. Need I say any more? Keep reading... Questions Answered: Where does pain originate in the body and how is it perceived? What can facial expressions tell us about individual experience? Why can't I read braille with chest? Where can I find saliva in the animal kingdom? What's the difference between venoms, poisons and stings? and much, much, much.... more! Topics & Concepts The Great Caribbean Liofnfish Invasion of the late 90s and early 00s Pain: Sensation & Perception Hargreaves Device Movies of Mouses Licking Themselves Jeffrey Mogil's: The Grimace Scale Distraction: The Strongest Analgesic The Nervous System: Central & Peripheral Pseudounipolar "Waystation" Cells Dorsal Root Ganglia (DRG) Receptive Fields & Mechanoreceptors Myelination, or a Lack Thereof Nerve Fibers End Organs: Tiny Structures in Your Skin Poisons, Venoms & Stings Chemical Weaponry for Petite Organisms Venoming Apparati & The Wacky Lil' Cone Snail Saliva is Everywhere PteroTech: A Startup Born Out of Lionfish Venom Research Hit us up with your electrifyingly juicy (and tantalizingly moist) feedback at: abstractcast@gmail.com and facebook.com/abstractcast and twitter.com/abstract_cast and instagram.com/abstractcast! Support PteroTech: Buy StingMaster now from pterotech.com/buy, and follow StingMaster on Instagram at @sting.master.
40:60
January 17, 2021
Ep. 33 - Vaccine Design, Antibodies & COVID ft. Audrey Kassardjian
Our guest this week, Audrey Kassardjian, is completing her PhD in Immunology at the University of Toronto. Join us this week for a hyper-relevant discussion surrounding vaccine design, antibodies, spike proteins, parasites and the immune system!  Questions Answered What goes into vaccine design? How do we differentially target parasites versus viruses? What's so abnormal about COVID-19? What are the types, functions and morphologies of antibodies? Does our lymphatic system have a memory of its own, independent of the central nervous system? and much, much, much, much, much.... more! Topics & Concepts Parasites vs. Viruses COVID-19 & Abnormality Biological Barriers What's in a vaccine? The Central Dogma of Biology Surface Proteins Intro to Antibodies Developing a Vaccine In-Vitro Assays The Immune Response Lymphatic Memory Spike Proteins Antibodies: Type, Function, Morphology Mentorship Additional Links:  Audrey's Publication: Here (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33252273/) Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith (Book): Here Reach out: Abstract: abstractcast@gmail.com Audrey: audrey.kassardjian@sickkids.ca
37:49
January 11, 2021
Ep. 32 - Sustainable Engineering & The Buildings of the Future ft. Sam Shulman
Our guest this week, Sam Shulman, is completing his Master's of Sustainable Engineering in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). His research is focused on developing an advanced, multi-material connection for prefabricated mass timber buildings that allows for efficient assembly/disassembly at the building’s end-of-life.  Questions Answered: Can we construct a fire-resistant building out of wood? What are some of the biggest mass-timber structures we can build? What does sustainable infrastructure look like? Are we going to run out of concrete? How can we maximize the renewability and sustainability of our cities? ...and much, much more! Topics & Concepts Sustainability Old Growth vs. Harvested Forests Carbon Abatement Forest Protection & Timber Constructions Carbon Sequesteration The Industrial Revolution Mass Timber: A Revolution in Fire Safety The End of Concrete Wood: It's Renewable! Oxymoron of the Day: Building Disassembly Empire State of Wood Land Conversion: The Great Enemy of Forests Ethical Considerations Engineering Design: Form & Function The Philosophy of Structure & Design Note: For a deeper dive into climate change, check out Episode 8 with Alex Pace! Please send us any and all feedback about this week's episode, or any of the 44 releases so far -- reach us at abstractcast@gmail.com Sam would love to hear from you too -- reach him at samuel.e.shulman@gmail.com
38:31
January 03, 2021
Ep. 31 - Interstellar Dust Clouds ft. Andrew Saydjari
Our guest this week, Andrew Saydjari, is midway through his PhD in Astrophysics at Harvard University. Andrew's research lies at the intersection of Astrophysics and Machine Learning, and he's studying the massive dust clouds in our very own galaxy. Tune in to tap into the wealth of knowledge that Andrew's bringing to Episode 31! On this week's episode we answer questions like:  Why should you care about interstellar dust clouds that are a million times as wide as the earth's orbit around the sun? What do spectrums of light tell us about the molecular make-up of these clouds? How much information can I glean from just a single image of a molecular cloud out there in space? And how does the symmetry of molecules factor into all this? Topics & Concepts Data Collection in the Physical Sciences Group Theory & Symmetries Spectroscopy, Optics & Lasers Rotating Bodies & Moments of Intertia Space Dust: Building Blocks of The Universe Relative Size & Scales of the Universe Nebulae & Infrared Imaging Fluid Dynamics, Simulations Hot Gases & Plasma Isotropy Magnetic Fields & Symmetry-Breaking JPEG Compression Fourier Transforms Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle Wavelets Further Reading - Related Research https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.11963 VIA (Virtues in Action) - 24 Character Strengths Survey https://www.viacharacter.org/account/register
38:60
December 27, 2020
Ep. 30 - Mechanochemistry & DNA Synthesis ft. James Thorpe
Our guest this week is a McGill University PhD in Bioorganic Chemistry. Say hello, to James Thorpe. "Hi James!" On today's episode we answer the big questions, like: How does a farmer's definition of Organic differ from that of a chemist? How do you patent a scientific methodology? Will we ever be able to eradicate the use of toxic solvents? Can you grow DNA at the push of a button? Why is 99% of our DNA absolutely useless Topics & Concepts Green Chemistry Mechanochemistry Oligonucleotide Synthesis "Organic" Chemistry Carbon Chains Short DNA and RNA Therapeutic Applications How to Patent Bead & String Model of DNA Protecting Groups (of DNA) Kinetic Energy Solid Phase Synthesis Deoxyribonucleic Acids (DNA) Ribonucleic Acids (RNA) Contact: abstractcast@gmail.com Pretty please, send me some feedback on the show. Did you enjoy this episode? When do you listen to Abstract? What's your favorite element of the show: music, intros, guests, duration, content...?  Guest James would love to hear from you too, and you can reach out to him at james.thorpe@mail.mcgill.ca
36:39
December 20, 2020
Rapstract | "Best Of" Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Rapstract is a rap album study tool, conceived, written, recording and performed by yours truly (Jeremy Ullman AKA Pcenna) for the McGill University undergraduate Psychology course PSYC 211: Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience. This is a compilation of some highlights from the album.  All 10 tracks are available on the Abstract podcast page. I also released an album this year called Life As We Know It, available now on SoundCloud, BandCamp and YouTube for your listening pleasure. I'd love to hear what you think, so PLEASE send any and all feedback, whether positive, constructive or outright malicious to: abstractcast@gmail.com. Thank you, and enjoy!  Jeremy // Pcenna
06:12
December 17, 2020
Ep. 29 - The Neurobiology of Mental Disorders ft. Ilya Demchenko
Our guest this week is Ilya Demchenko, a graduate from McGill University's MS Neuroscience program. With a strong background in biology, he ventured into the world of the brain sciences, gaining a keen interest in psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience with a research focus on the Neurobiology of Mental Disorders. Join us for a winding discussion from interventional psychiatric programs, to social role playing, brain imaging and beyond!  Topics & Concepts Defining Clinical Research From Molecular to Macroscopic Systems Novel interventional psychiatry program Treatment resistance depression Brain Stimulation, Ketamine Injection, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Three Axes of the Program Hierarchy: (1) Brain Stimulation, (2) Anaethesia, (3) Digitization Repetitive Transcranical Magnetic Stimulation (RTMS) Dimensional vs. Categorical Models Schizotypy Social Roles: Extraordinary vs. Ordinary, Favorable vs. Unfavorable Personality vs. Pathology Experimental Design Semantic Activation and Decision-Making EEG Peaks as Biomarkers for Psychological Disorders Placebo vs. Nocebo Effect The paper that laid the foundation for Ilya's thesis: Fernandez-Cruz et al. (2016) https://www.nature.com/articles/npjschz201635
38:36
December 13, 2020
Ep. 28 - Surgical Innovation & Heart Pumps ft. Andrea Sanchez
Our guest this week is Andrea Sanchez, and she comes fresh with tales from the OR, and insights on the future of heart surgery! School: McGill University Program: Experimental Surgery, MSc. Concentration: Surgical Innovation Topics & Concepts Emerging Heart Pump: Disruptive, Innovative Design & Geometry Medical Devices: From Toothbrushes to Transplants Heart Pump Configurations: Centrifugal or Axial (LVAD) Traditional Heart Pump Side-Effects: Hemolysis, Thrombosis, and more In-silico vs. In-vitro Experimentation Blood Flow Simulation Materials & Biocompatibility Heart Volume Output & Exercise Cardiac Conundrums The Future of Heart Surgery HEART PUMP PATENT: No. US9726195B2 https://patents.google.com/patent/US20160279311A1/en
34:18
December 06, 2020
Ep. 27 - Breathless ft. Lauren Tracey
Our guest this week is M.Sc. Lauren Tracey, coming to us live from beautiful Montreal, Canada. She holds a graduate degree in Exercise Science and just started McGill Medical School! Her primary research focus was on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), taking an exercise testing perspective, looking at risk factors for, and the human experience of, the disease. I met Lauren in High School and have known her for well over a decade. It was a real treat to have her on the show, and let me tell you, she delivered. Check it out for yourself, and feel free to peep the Topics & Concepts below to get an idea of what to expect on this week's episode! Topics & Concepts Exercise Testing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder Lung Anatomy Risk Factors Vaping, Combustion and Marijuana Oxygen Saturation Breathlessness & Their Descriptors Leg Pain Cardio-pulmonary Exercise Tests Academic Transitions Life in Medical School Lauren also wants you to follow (1) your heart, (2) the path less travelled and (3) @abstractcast on Instagram and (4) Abstract: The Future of Science on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!
36:42
November 29, 2020
Ep. 26 - Ants vs. Humans ft. Angelly Vasquez
Our guest this week is Angelly Vasquez, a PhD student studying Myrmecology at McGill University! What is Myrmecology? You'll just have to listen to find out (psst the episode title might give you a hint). Topics & Concepts Complexity in Nature Interdisciplinarity The Eco-Evo-Devo Approach Myrmecology Sociobiology Eusociality Ant Altruism vs. Human Individualism The Effect of Sociality on Brain Development Across Species Superorganisms Policing & The Death of the Queen Haploid/Diploid Chromosomal Make-up Caste Systems: Morphology, Physiology, Behavior Notes: Ants are pretty much all females except for the birthing of a male once or twice a year for the purposes of mating. The workers are all female, and the male grows wings to fly away from the colony to find females elsewhere to mate with, in order to propagate that gene pool and start a new colony. The males can't breed within their own colony because they're all siblings (ants are not incestuous). The queen ant has tyrannical rule over the female workers. In an ant colony, there are no individuals, only slaves to the matriarchy. Soldiers have disproportionately large and muscular heads to support their giant crime-fighting mandibles... While humans lack extreme morphology variation, we diversify in our divison of labor.  There's so much juicy information packed into today's episode that your mandibles might expand upon listening -- you've been warned. /// Angelly is all about outreach, so feel free to reach out to her at angelly.vasquezcorrea@mail.mcgill.ca! 
39:60
November 22, 2020
Ep. 25 - Life Transitions & Mental Health ft. Sarah Newcomb Anjo
Our guest this week is Concordia University Clinical Psychology PhD and now practicing Psychologist Sarah Newcomb-Anjo! We discuss stress, mental health and life transitions, with a big emphasis on mindset. Sarah also shares with us her favorite question she likes to ask her patients, which actually stems from her graduate research.  Tune in now for a real treat of an episode! Topics & Concepts Risk Factors for Mental Health Protective Factors for Mental Health Depression and Anxiety Change and Uncertainty Graduation and Life Transitions Contextual Factors Personality: Optimism, Grit, Neuroticism Mindset Perception Adaptation CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) /// If you want to keep the conversation going, you can: (1) Reach Sarah by e-mail at snewcombanjo@gmail.com (2) Comment on any and all social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) (3) Drop us a line at abstractcast@gmail.com for any other feedback and inquiries!
37:25
November 15, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 11 | Emotion | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 11: Emotion. is most likely the last chapter that I will be releasing as part of the PSYC 211 album. As this has been a volunteered gig, my continuation has been contingent on increasing or at least sustained listership. While things started strong, engagement has dwindled significantly since the project's inception. It's been a blast, and I hope you enjoy the 10th installation of Rapstract Season 1 on Emotion. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Shoot me some feedback at abstractcast@gmail.com! If you like what you hear, shoot me an e-tran$fer at abstractcast@gmail.com or pcennamusic@gmail.com! Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying Neuroscience and Psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18, 19, 20, 22 and 25 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych or neuro! Chapter 11 is brought to you by: Beat: Best Freestyle Rap Instrumental Beat [Prod. Mixla] Vocals, Lyrics, Recording: Pcenna
03:38
November 15, 2020
Ep. 24 - Computational Neuroimaging & Shape Analysis ft. Pulkit Khandelwal
Our guest this week is University of Pennsylvania Biomedical Engineering PhD Candidate Pulkit Khandelwal. His primary research focus is neuroimaging and specifically shape analysis of brain structures! If you haven't checked out Episode 22 with Nadia Blostein, feel free to check it out for a bit more background in neuroimaging before tackling this more technical episode! That said, if you've got a background in the brain sciences then you should be all set.  This is our second episode featuring passages from Marcus Aurelius' Meditations! Let us know what you think about the addition -- you can drop us a line at abstractcast@gmail.com. Be mindful, and have a great day!  Topics & Concepts: Biomedical Imaging Shape Analysis Level-Set Algorithms Differential Equation Models Shrinking and Expanding Curve-Fitting Deep Learning Neural Networks Unsupervised Learning Domain Generalization PACS: Pictures, Artistic Painting, Cartoons, Sketches
38:36
November 09, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 10 | Sex & Reproduction | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 10: Sex & Reproduction. This is most likely the second to last chapter that I will be releasing as part of the PSYC 211 album. As this has been a volunteered gig, my continuation has been contingent on increasing or at least sustained listership. While things started strong, engagement has dwindled significantly since the project's inception. It's been a blast, and chapter 10 is coming next week. Unless things change in the next week or so, that will be the last one. Thank you and enjoy! Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Shoot me some feedback at abstractcast@gmail.com! If you like what you hear, shoot me an e-tran$fer at abstractcast@gmail.com or pcennamusic@gmail.com! Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying Neuroscience and Psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18, 19, 20 and 22 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych or neuro! Chapter 9 is brought to you by: Beat: Money, Power & Respect [Prod. Anabolic Beatz] Vocals, Lyrics, Recording: Pcenna 
05:27
November 09, 2020
Ep. 23 - Epidemiology & The First Cured Virus ft. Adam Palayew
Our guest this week is Epidemiology PhD Candidate Adam Palayew, coming to us live (during recording,) from Seattle, Washington! Listen in on the magical and utterly fascinating discussion we had on the topics below. As always we'd love to get your feedback on today's (or any) episode! WHat did you like? What could we have done better? Are you a local artist looking to get your music or written work featured on the podcast? Reach out to us at abstractcast@gmail.com and we'd be happy to discuss features on future episodes. Enjoy responsibly!  Topics & Concepts: Epidemiology HIV & Hepatitis C Transmission Immunosuppression Liver Damage: Cirrhosis, Cancer & Failure U Equals U: undetectable equals untransmittable The First Cure for a Virus Finding the Missing Million The Cascade of Care Prevalence & Incidence The History of Statistics: Good vs. Evil Eugenics 3 Types of Statistics: Causal, Predictive, Counter-factual Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
38:33
November 02, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 9 | Sleep | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 9: Sleep. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Shoot me some feedback at abstractcast@gmail.com! If you like what you hear, shoot me an e-tran$fer at abstractcast@gmail.com or pcennamusic@gmail.com! Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying Neuroscience and Psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18, 19, 20 and 22 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych or neuro! Chapter 8 is brought to you by: Beat: Rap Instrumental [Prod. Silver Krueger] Vocals, Lyrics, Recording: Pcenna
04:12
November 02, 2020
Ep. 22 - Brain Structures: Shape, Volume and Heritability ft. Nadia Blostein
Our guest this week is McGIll Master's of Neuroscience candidate, Nadia Blostein, in an episode dedicated to subcortical brain structures, brain imaging, physical features of the brain and its evolution up the phylogenetic tree! You don't want to this delightful interview with a fresh-faced graduate student -- this could be you one day! Bullet Point Topics: Brain Volume + Shape Hippocampus Imaging Techniques - MRI, fMRI, PET Evolutionary Brain Development The science behind nature vs. nurture Subcortical brain structures: striatum, thalamus, global pallidus Phylogenetic tree Trait preservation due to genetic heritability Guest Appearance: Michael Smilovitch (from Ep. 6 - Virtual Reality & Immersion) reading from his "neuropoetry" collection Find his other work on his website: michaelsmilovitch.com Get access to his poetry collection directly here: theblastedtree.com/obscuritysquared-index
35:44
October 26, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 7 | The Senses | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 7: The Senses. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying Neuroscience and Psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18, 19, 20 and 22 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych or neuro! Chapter 7 is brought to you by: Beat: Inhumane [Prod. Shirazi] Vocals, Lyrics, Recording: Pcenna
06:05
October 25, 2020
Ep. 21 - Turbulence & Fluid Dynamics ft. Austin L'Ecuyer
Our guest this week is Mechanical Engineering Master's candidate Austin L'Ecuyer. His current research is primarily focused on Turbulent Systems, falling under the broader category of Fluid Dynamics. On today's episode we discuss the theoretical underpinnings as well as the applications of turbulence in natural and artifical systems. It was a real treat having Austin on the show: I'm sure you'll feel the same! If you or someone you know is a graduate student and interested in sharing your knowledge and current research projects on the podcast, please reach out and connect with us at abstractcast@gmail.com! We're always looking for well-spoken and enthusiastic graduatie students to hop on the show! (Austin is the perfect example of this.) For those of you who are curious about the "nitty gritty", we come across such concepts as: Order of Magnitude The Atmospheric Boundary Layer Laminar vs. Turbulent Flows Chaos and Randomness Kolmogorov Scales (of Turbulence) Viscosity Energy Cascades The Navier Stokes Equations & Hot Wire Anemometry
35:04
October 18, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 6 | Vision | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 6: Vision. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18 & 19 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp /// Chapter 6 was produced by: Beat: Massacre [Prod. Shirazi] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
06:11
October 18, 2020
Ep. 20 - Functional Connectivity & The Default Mode Network ft. Alex Bailey
Our guest this week is recent undergraduate and winner of CJAP's 2020 Podcast Guest Opportunity Award, Alex Bailey. It was an absolute treat to have Alex on the podcast this week and our conversation was truly eye-opening: ear candy for all! We answer questions like: What is functional connectivity and the network theory of the brain? What is the Default Mode Network and the nature of resting brain activity? What is fMRI and when/why do we use it? We also discuss how our brain compares to the "Reptilian" brain, the future of research using multimodal techniques, and the role of specific brain regions in the orchestration of neural activity. This and much more on episode 20 of Abstract -- let's go! If you like what you heard and you're interested in reaching out to Alex you can reach him by email at: alexander.bailey@mail.concordia.ca.
35:41
October 11, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 5 | Methods | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Chapter 5. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart. Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Rapstract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episodes 18 & 19 just came out in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp /// Chapter 5 was produced by: Beat: Rip Up [Prod. Shirazi] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
03:56
October 11, 2020
Ep. 19 - PTSD, Psilocybin & Depression ft. Emily Garfinkle
This week we're graced by the likes of Clinical Psychology PhD candidate Emily Garfinkle, hailing from beautiful sunny San Francisco, California. We cover many topics on today's episode, including but not limited to: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD); different types of stress (acute vs. chronic); mental illness and trauma; treatment programs (ex. Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Treatments) and meditation; veterans and clinical populations; the DSM and the most critical diagnostic criterion; and the resurgence of hallucinogenic drugs in clinical psychology (ex. Psilocybin, LSD, MDMA).  We're always looking to get your feedback. If you've got an idea/recommendation for a guest or any commentary on the recent change in format, please reach out at abstractcast@gmail.com, or you can find and interact with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! Enjoy the refreshing taste of Episode 19.  Stay thirsty (for knowledge).
39:14
October 04, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 4 | Drugs | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Don't be fooled by the short track length. Chapter 4 is JAM PACKED and FASTER than ever. Listen close and follow along with the lyrics (if you're not in PSYC 211, shoot me an email and I'll gladly send them your way). Study hard, study smart.  Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. You'll notice that Raptract is available here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. Episode 19 just came in case you're looking for a change of pace, but still something in the realm of psych! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp Chapter 4 was produced by: Beat: Bad Deeds [Prod. Shirazi] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
03:43
October 04, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 3 | Neuroanatomy | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Welcome back. Here's Chapter 3, total runtime 6:20 with a little message at the end when you make it through! Got a favorite lyric? Shoot me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you think you would benefit from a rap song like this for all of the chapters of the course? Please send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Do you make beats and want to collaborate? Send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com. Enjoy sending emails? Email me at abstractcast@gmail.com. You get the point: I want to hear from you. The first few chapters are already written and will be released here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye! Episode 18 just came out and I spoke with one of the TAs for this course! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp Chapter 3 was produced by: Beat: Blot Out [Prod. Shirazi] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
07:19
September 27, 2020
Ep. 18 - Sensation, Perception & Memory ft. Jamie Snytte
Jamie Snytte is a PhD researcher in the field of Clinical Psychology, with a background in Neuroscience, and his current work is focused on memory and Alzheimer's Disease. On today's episode we discuss a range of topics, including but not limited to: the emergence of behavior from brain activity; sensation, perception and memory, and different memory systems; the famous case studies of H.M. and London taxi drivers; relational vs. conceptual memory; autobiographical, semantic and procedural memory; the four mnemonic horsemen of depression; and more! You'll notice that today's episode is shorter than usual, and that was a deliberate move. Since you're all back to school/work, we know it's tough to find time to listen all the way through an entire hour or more (especially since nobody's really commuting these days). If you like the shorter format, or preferred the longer from discussions, please share your feedback with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!  Jamie is also the guitarist of Ivytide, an up and coming indie band whose music is available everywhere, and who you can check out at their official Ivytide Website. [https://www.ivytide.com/]
36:45
September 27, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 2 | Cells: Structure & Function | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Welcome back. Here's Chapter 2, so get ready to hear the words "potential", "ion channel" and "potassium" repeated a great many times. If you think you would benefit from a rap song like this for all of the chapters, please send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com so I can gauge interest. If I hear from enough of you then I will gladly write the rest, however, if this doesn't appeal to a large enough audience, then I may have to scrap the project. The first few chapters of Rapstract are already written and will be released here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye! /// If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album called Life As We Know It at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp Chapter 2 was produced by: Beat: High End [Prod.kanebeats x Heartboy] Lyrics, Vocals, Recording: Pcenna
05:41
September 21, 2020
Ep. 17b - COVID, CRISPR & Cancer ft. Owen Dunkley
And we're back with Part 2 of 2 with Owen Dunkley. This time we've got an alliterative bonus episode covering COVID, CRISPR and COVID! Here are some of the subtopics we hit on within each: CANCER: Mutations, somatic vs. germ-line cells, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, personalized medicine and the future of drug therapy.  CRISPR: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, the CAS-9 complex, genomes, viruses and bacteria, plasmids, gene editing, NHEJ and HDR, prime editing.  COVID: SARS-CoV-2 vs. SARS-CoV-1: the original SARS, positive single-stranded RNA viruses, infectious diseases, monitoring and the job of global health organizations We hope you enjoy Owen Dunkley in his appearance on this bonus episode, as he shares more of his invaluable knowledge on biological processes, diseases and viruses!
50:05
September 20, 2020
Ep. 17a - Life, Cells and Retroviruses ft. Owen Dunkley
As humans change the way we interact with animals and the environment, we are faced with increasingly common spillover events of infectious disease from animal to human. These events have led to human outbreaks of Tuberculosis, Influenza, Ebola, COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, among others. As there is no way of knowing what the next big outbreak will be, new platforms are needed to quickly develop customizable drugs against infection. Our guest this week believes he might know the kind of therapy we need. That guest is none other than the immensely knowledgeable Owen Dunkley, a broadly interested, driven and rational second-year Master's student in Experimental Medicine at McGill University.  This is Part 1 of my two-part discussion with Owen, so check out Ep. 17b after this for a bonus discussion on Cancer and Crispr!  This first episode (17a) can really be split into two parts, where in the first half we set things up with some key concepts in biology, which are relevant to the second half on Owen's research specifically. So we discuss what it's like working in a wetlab, a host of experimental techniques like growing human cancer cells and working will cell cultures in a dish as opposed to living animals, cancer cell proliferation, Henrietta Lacks' HELA cells, advancements in cell biology, the three domains of life, the differences between cancer, viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms, the greatest merger and acquisition in the history of multicellular life, mitochondrial transfers, the mechanisms of viral replication, the distinction between DNA, RNA and protein, the central dogma of molecular biology, RNA interference, the immune system, the evolution, mutation, mechanism and devastation of HIV/AIDS, retrovirus, shock and kill versus block and lock strategies for HIV treatment, the power of microRNAs to maximize virus latency, the Berlin and London patients, and so much more we had to split the episode into two parts!  This episode is packed to the brim with some seriously mind-blowing and absolutely fascinating content. I hope you enjoy Owen as much as I did! Here's a link to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, as mentioned in today's discussion. 
01:09:07
September 20, 2020
Ep. 16 - Cannabis, Pregnancy & Neuroimaging ft. Lani Cupo
Our guest this week is Lani Cupo, a multifaceted and tempestuous PhD student in Neuroscience. In this episode we discuss the seduction of the cognitive sciences, the integrated program in neuroscience offered through the Montreal Neurological Institute, the effect of perspective-taking on the perception of Native American art using priming, quantitative and qualitative analysis, the suppression of unwated thoughts, what it means to be WEIRD, biased and prejudiced; we talk animal vs. human research, taking pictures of the brain with giant magnets and other imaging techniques, the effects of maternal illness and THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, weed, pot, cannabis, etc.) exposure on disorders in offspring, how a mother's compromised immune system affects fetal development, jelly-bean mice, what we learn from a baby's first poop (!), the importance of laying the foundation of a solid work-life balance early on in your career, and finally my own question gets flipped on me! It's another jam packed episode so tune in, and as always, you can find and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!  Your feedback is invaluable, so if you like what you heard or have an idea of how the podacast could be improved, we want to hear from you -- shoot us a message, DM, or email at abstractcast@gmail.com Thanks for listening!
59:09
September 13, 2020
Rapstract Ch. 1 | Origins | Intro to Behavioral Neuroscience ft. Pcenna
Dear McGill PSYC 211 students, I graduated from McGill in Cognitive Science back in 2018. I am volunteering some time this semester to create a rap album that accompanies your course material this fall: here's the first chapter! This course changed the way I thought about science and the world at large; you will get out of this course exatly what you put it, so pay attention and enjoy the process.  If you think you would benefit from a rap song like this for all of the chapters, please send me an email at abstractcast@gmail.com so I can gauge interest. If I hear from enough of you then I will gladly write the rest, however, if this doesn't appeal to a large enough audience, then I may have to scrap the project.  The first few chapters are already written and will be released here on my podcast page, Abstract. I interview graduate students on their research, many of whom are studying psychology. I urge you to peruse and have a listen to the first episode that catches your eye. ///  If you like what you hear, please feel free to check out my latest rap album, Life As We Know It, at any of the following links: YouTube SoundCloud Bandcamp Chapter 1 was produced by: Beat: Sinister [Prod. kanebeats] Vocals: Pcenna
05:49
September 13, 2020
Ep. 15 - Learning, Human Performance & Mental Health ft. Nadine Bekkouche
Our guest this week is dedicated and cooperative PhD candidate Nadine Bekkouche, studying the structures and processes of graduate education. We cover a plethora of topics of the show this week including, but not limited to: the limitations on human linguistic abilities, two consciousness-changing insights having to do with learning, the importance of a nurturing supervisor (especially at the beginning of your academic career), the personal experience of pain, environmental effects on behavior and emotional state, mental health in academia, teaching versus tutoring, empathy, instructional design and educational technology, what academic institutions can learn from Apple and Google, a unique definition of motivation, and the outcomes of putting your authentic self first. This is truly a jam-packed episode, so come on in!
01:02:11
September 06, 2020
Ep. 14 - Building Bones ft. Daniella Marx
Our guest this week is fun-loving, energetic and tenacious Phd student Daniella Marx. Daniella is working towards her degree in Biomedical Engineering at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. We take a deep dive into the nature of bone and what makes it solid, building bone tissue in a petri dish, bioactive bone cements and their biological effects and applications, the cutting edge in implant technology, the secret life of Strontium, the difference between good and bad inflammation; we also run the gamut on a whole bunch of metals, some of which are found in your body, and others which you should avoid ingesting. Get ready for this, and so much more on episode 14 of Abstract. Happy listening! Check out Daniella's latest publication here!
52:29
August 31, 2020
Ep. 13 - Simulating the Human Brain ft. William Scott Thompson
Our guest this is week is none other than expert listener and pattern-seeking PhD candidate William Scott Thompson. Will is interested in understanding recurring motifs in the brain, rather than its specific functions. He is currently working in a lab at a research institute in Sweden, contributing to the longterm multinational goal of mapping the human brain! On today's episode we discuss the Human Brain Project, what goes into building a high-resolution, three-dimensional atlas of the brain, the forebrain structures known as the Basal Ganglia and the evolution of such structures, pain mapping, the difference between epigenetics and gene editing, simulation neuroscience, communication at every scale of the nervous system, the anatomy of a brain cell, the future of academia and much more!  NEW! This episode now has a discussion forum, so check out the following link to access and contribute to an international collaborative debate on the following thesis: "One day, it will be possible to fully simulate the human brain." https://www.kialo-edu.com/p/24fb041a-8fc8-4ba5-85b6-f40e83ba1e95/20484
58:38
August 23, 2020
Ep. 12 - Relationship Dynamics & Well-being ft. Ryan Persram
On this week's episode I sit down with ambitious, caring and creative postdoc Ryan Persram. We discuss the nature of sibling conflict, the general and three specific sub-types of trust, tools for conflict mediation, the importance of promoting positive interactions with other people, empathy, collaboration, friendships, family dynamics, nesting, identify development and we close it out with a deep dive into defining and characterizing work-life balance! Moving forward, Ryan hopes to contribute to the creation of new policy and design of outreach programs to educate adults and parents on child develpment, well being and relationship building. NOTE: Due to some technical difficulties, for the first 21 minutes of this episode, the quality of the guest's audio is slightly lower than what you can normally expect here on Abstract. Thank you kindly for understanding, and we hope you enjoy this week's animated discussion! Abstract on Facebook  Abstract on Twitter
01:06:15
August 16, 2020
Ep. 11 - Drones & Aerospace Mechatronics ft. Eitan Bulka
Our guest this week is self-professed "fairly laid back" PhD student Eitan Bulka. He is rapidly approaching the end of his PhD at McGill University, where he has spent over half a decade developing a breadth and depth of knowledge in robotics -- and he shares that with us in an hour of blissful pedagogy! We talk about how airplanes generate lift, the benefit of a high thrust to weight ratio, the kinds of people you find in the robotics community, what it means to do research in an Aerospace Mechantronics lab, the ubiquity of Newton's second law of motion, motion planning, aerial dynamics, the 12 dimensions of control laws and applications of both of these latter systems (and more). Eitan also believes that it's easy to make time for something when you love it - and he loves what he does, as will evident upon listening to this episode. As an added bonus, Eitan was also just inducted into the McGill sports hall of fame; so for all of you sports fans out there, this one's for you too!
57:22
August 10, 2020
Ep. 10 - Aircraft Design, Modification & Development ft. Andrea Cartile
Our guest this week is PhD candidate, professional procrastinator and aerospace industry expert Andrea Cartile! In a nutshell, she does stuff with airplanes, but more specifically she optimizes communication in the domain of aircraft modification. Her research lies in information management, and she seeks to answer questions like "how do you take an existing airplane and make changes to it?" and "what do you need to prove that an aircraft modification is equally safe or safer than the original design?" Andrea never shies away from a challenge, in fact, she specifically seeks out the hard stuff! She's gritty, has a great attitude and killer work ethic. Excelling in the biological sciences and then pivoting to engineering, Andrea has proven herself to be a true jack of all trades. Andrea also draws a fascinating connection between the seemingly disparate fields of Engineering and Biology (you don't want to miss this). We discuss the framework and sub-fields of aerospace, Andrea's experience at L'Oreal and the engineering side of cosmetics, the safety and criticality of safety-critical systems, and so much more. We conclude that despite a sure-fire formula for succeeding in graduate school, the importance of maximizing "bum-in-chair" time cannot be overstated. This is a special one, so pop on episode 10 and get in on the discussion! You can reach out to Andrea on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrea-cartile/
01:01:53
August 02, 2020
Ep. 9 - Consumer Psychology ft. Austin Trudeau
Our guest this week is the ever optimistic Austin Trudeau, the man who inspired this very podcast. He is our second graduate student business owner after Shauna (Ep. 4), and he has been studying emotional decision-making in a marketing context. His focus is on the phenomenon of delayed discounting -- which he breaks down for us in great detail -- and the effects of sexual imagery on people's spending habits. Austin is chock full of great pearls of wisdom; strong mindset, perspective and time management skills are the cornerstones of Austin's philosphy. He also believes that you are an average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, and he's proud of his 5! Austin and two fellow business-owners started the podcast that inspired this one, so please do yourselves a favor and check out The Weekly Call, available everywhere you find Abstract!
01:10:16
July 26, 2020
Ep. 8 - Climate History & Tree Rings ft. Alex Pace
Our guest today is the curious Mr. Alex Pace, a recent Master's graduate from Concordia University's Environmental Geography program. He's been studying the history of climate through the analysis of tree-rings in Quebec. We run the gamut on the climate crisis,  outlining its 5 main components: climate science, impacts on humans, impacts on nature, individual solutions and systems solutions. We talk greenhouse gases, the Gaia Hypothesis, jurassic sustainability, tropical Antarctic fossils and so much more! We answer the question of which natural phenomena allow us to know the climate of the past. We close our discussion with the big picture of life as an academic, what to keep an eye out for, and what's important for success along the way. Alex is also an aspiring nature photographer, and you can find his lovely work on instagram @alley.peach!
01:04:18
July 20, 2020
Ep. 7 - Artificial Intelligence ft. Jacob Buckman
This week we're treated to the likes of Jacob Buckman,  a PhD canditate researching Reinforcement Learning in the domain of Artificial Intelligence. We begin by defining AI: a relatively new phenomenon with the primary goal of automating specific tasks. Where the industrial revolution lightened the load of physical labor for humans, some people believe AI will soon take over the more burdensome mental tasks that plague us. Next, we outline three types of learning: Machine Learning, Reinforcement Learning, and Deep Learning, as well as what is actually meant by 'Deep'. By the end of the hour we will have covered learning tasks of varying difficulty and complexity, algorithms that can identify anything, Pavlov's classic canine experiment, Neural Networks and a whole lot more! Jacob is also our first guest to participate in the "Explain Like I'm 5 Segment!" For an introduction to AI, Jacob recommends "The Deep Learning Book" by Courville, Goodfellow & Bengio  at deeplearningbook.org
01:00:52
July 12, 2020
Ep. 6 - Virtual Reality & Immersion ft. Michael Smilovitch
As a master's student, Michael became a full-time virtual-reality entrepreneur. Solving the problem of engagement on three different levels. In virtuality, immersion is everything, and Michael worked to take immersion to the next level with his Cross-Platform Asymmetric Virtual Reality Communication Game. It's not just another game: it's innovative, pushing VR forward and even introducing a performative element with a custom chicken-themed headset attachment! We discuss how cross-platform play increases immersion, how asymmetry promotes teamwork, and how communication improves the gameplay experience for everyone involved. We also go behind the scenes of VR game development. When it comes to work-life balance, Michael says its about the little things, like standing up! So give that tushy a rest, remind your feet that they exist for a reason and press play! Michael's Thesis Publication Here And Personal Website
01:04:47
July 06, 2020
Ep. 5 - Learning & Dopamine ft. Alexandra Usypchuk
Alexandra is a quirky, curious, ambitious, and high-energy Master's student at Concordia University. Groundbreaking research is happening everywhere all the time, and Alexandra's lab is no exception. She's studying the role of dopamine in learning using optogenetics - or the manipulation of genes using light! On today's episode we discuss everything from neutransmitters to models of Pavlovian conditioning to exposure therapy and context. What are Serotonin and Dopamine? What are the benefits of studying rats? And how does it all relate to finding a crisp $50 bill on the side of the road? Answers to these and more on episode 5 of Abstract!  For the foundational paper on plateau curves AKA. the Rescorla-Wagner Model, see Rescorla & Wagner, 1972. You can reach Alexandra on Twitter: @alex_usypchuk Here's one of her publications in Nature Neuroscience: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-019-0574-1
54:53
June 28, 2020
Ep. 4 - The Psychology of Injury Prevention ft. Shauna Ericksen
Our guest today is a passionately curious hobbyist and the first of hopefully many graduate-researcher-business-owner guests we'll have on the podcast. She is studying how stress and anxiety can affect decision-making skills in the world of sport and how to reduce injury risk in your athletes through mindfulness and meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and imagery! Oh yeah, and you should all be training to move better, even if you're a fit 20-something (and especially if the golden years are rapidly approaching). You can reach Shauna on Twitter: @shaunalea_22
49:07
June 21, 2020
Ep. 3 - Theory of Mind ft. Eliza Dutemple
In this episode, Eliza Dutemple weaves together a rich and coherent picture of the three predominant theories of Theory of Mind (ToM), aka. the ability to assess others' thoughts. Follow us down the ToM rabbit hole, and learn about Change Blindness, Violation of Expectation, and staying organized, in and out of academia! Reach out to Eliza on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DutempleEliza
01:07:39
June 14, 2020
Ep. 2 - Cognitive Effort ft. Sean Devine
Sean just finished his Master's degree in Psychology, where his research focus was on the role of individual differences in decision making. On today's episode, we discuss the Practicality Crisis in academia; Ego Depletion and self-control; cognitive effort and the Effort Paradox; what your pupils tell us about how hard you're thinking; and the importance of making daily progress towards your goals. Got a question for Sean? Drop him a line at: seandamiandevine@gmail.com
01:09:23
June 07, 2020
Ep. 1 - Drug Seeking ft. Alexandra Chisholm
Alexandra Chisholm is a Ph.D. Candidate in Experimental Psychology at Concordia University. Her research explores the neural mechanisms involved in heroin seeking and relapse using a new technology that uses receptors designed to be exclusively activated by designer drugs. What happens in the brain that affects drug seeking behavior? Lets find out! Want To Improve Your Academic Writing For Free? Alexandra Recommends: https://www.coursera.org/learn/sciwrite Reach Out To Alexandra On Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamalexchisholm
01:08:17
May 30, 2020
Ep. 0 - Welcome to Abstract ft. Jeremy Ullman
Here on Abstract we're translating months and years of graduate research and reading into 40 minutes of accessible knowledge. New episodes are released every Sunday on a brand new topic, with a brand new guest! If you're a graduate student and interested in talking about your research in a way that's accessible to listeners from all backgrounds, drop us a line at abstractcast@gmail.com. If you like what you heard or have suggestions for topics on future episodes, shoot us a message at the same address! Enjoy responsibly, for ages 0+. Facebook Twitter Instagram
00:44
May 14, 2020