research

An “Almost” Doctor’s Guide to MSG: 6 Utterly Wrong Myths

Admit it. We’ve all teared back the crisply sealed cover of cup noodles, salivating at the thought of slurping up those curly strands of savory instagoodness. But as soon as you finish your delicious meal, that soft creeping euphoria of drowsiness (that has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that its 3am and you’ve been studying for an endocrinology exam the past 6 hours) begins to overcome you. Must be all that MSG you just choked down. As one of the most widely despised and misunderstood food products in the world, Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG, has gone through quite the journey. A recent article by Buzzfeed contributor John Mahoney sheds light on the whirlpool of myths on MSG, focusing on the titillating rise of the “umami craze” and one chef’s quest to perfect the “5th basic taste”. For these chefs, the path to understanding umami inevitably leads them to MSG, which is chemically identical to the glutamic acid they’re creating from scratch. And yet Chang wouldn’t think of using MSG in his restaurants today. He told me he doesn’t even use it at home, despite being a professed lover of MSG-laced Japanese Kewpie mayo. After decades of research debunking its reputation as a health hazard, and uninterrupted FDA approval since 1959, MSG remains a food pariah — part of a story that spans a century of history, race, culture, and science...

Ever Wonder How Your Brain Detects Motion?

Ever wonder how your brain detects motion? How you just missed getting hit by the foul ball when you were pretending to care about the game but were actually on instagram? Or how you were able to swat the annoying fly that’s always buzzing around your desk? Well, after 50 years of only having a vague idea of how the brain is able to detect motion, this week, three studies were published in Nature revealing the exact mechanism of this ability. Maybe you’ve never asked yourself these questions, but this video is an interesting explanation of how the brain is able to detect motion and the tools researchers are using to learn more about the brain. Check out the three articles in Nature (1, 2, and 3). Featured image is a screenshot taken  from the video...

A World of Genetic Data at Your Fingertips

Atul Butte, MD, PhD, Chief, Division of Systems Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, discusses the intersection of biomedical research and computer technology. He explains how the increasing ease, affordability, and accessibility of genome sequencing will revolutionize the way genetic data is analyzed and utilized. Read more about Atul Butte, MD, PhD. Filmed at FutureMed, in February 2013, at Singularity...

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