Meet a Scientist: Cecilia Bove

Graduate School

This is the fifth post in our “Meet a Scientist” series. Next up is Cecilia Bove, who just began her graduate studies at Penn State College of Medicine this semester.

Meet Cecilia:

When a young scientist meets Instagram

Meet Cecilia!

Let’s get to know you a bit! Where are you from, what did you study in college, and what is your role at Penn State College of Medicine?

I am from Abruzzo, a region in east-central Italy. The city in which I was born is surrounded by mountains, so cold and winter are my best friends! I attended college in the wonderful city of Perugia (go Griffins!). I just graduated in Medical Biotechnology and I am currently a Ph.D. student in the neuroscience program.

Why did you decide to become a scientist?

My very first day in lab!It happened in high school. The teacher I had at that time explained to us how DNA replicates and started talking about Biotechnology. It was love at first sight! I was able to appreciate this field of study only during the first years of university, where I received the confirmation that doing research was my life-long goal.

What do you research at Penn State, and why is it important?

First-year here! I officially became a graduate student at Penn State only ten days ago. I am sure I will not betray electrophysiology during this wonderful experience here, but I still have not worn my brand-new lab coat!

What are some of your hobbies outside the lab?

A quick self-portrait!My hobbies are deeply embedded in arts. The first thing that I learned was how to draw and I still do it in my spare time! Having a father who plays music, I have been stimulated since childhood to listen to music and play it, so I play piano, but I need to re-teach myself. I release stressful thoughts by writing and I recently started to do yoga for that reason. Baking and cooking help a lot too! But, one thing that I really enjoy during my free time is… NERD ALERT…playing board and videogames!

Tell us three random facts about yourself!

1) I am a crazy cat lady.

2) I have perfect pitch.

3) I have such a bad sense of direction that I could easily lose myself in my apartment!

Stay tuned for a new interview next week! And if you’re a Penn State College of Medicine scientist interested in participating, e-mail Lions-Talk-Science@psu.edu for details!

Can Wearing Orange-Tinted Glasses before Bed Improve Sleep? Only One Way to Find Out…

Neuroscience

By: Jordan Gaines Lewis, 5th year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Graduate Program

In March, I wrote about the terrible sleep habits of the characters in House of Cards. I disapproved of Frank Underwood’s late-night computer work in the Oval Office, his new midnight iPad gaming habit, and Claire taking her laptop to bed with her.

But I must confess my hypocrisy.

Despite my preaching – and despite being a sleep researcher myself – the last thing I do before I flip off the lights and snuggle into my bedsheets is play games on my iPhone.

I know, I’m bad – but I also know I’m not the only guilty person here.

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Chhe (Wikimedia Commons)

Although evidence suggests that the blue light emanating from phones, tablets, laptops, televisions and e-readers can affect the quality of our sleep – in turn affecting our health and well-being – many of us can’t help logging in and tapping away when we should be winding down. A Time/Qualcomm poll of 5,000 people worldwide suggests that nearly a quarter of those between the ages of 18 and 24 generally don’t sleep as well because of technology. Even worse, 40-75% of folks across all age groups report keeping their phones within reach while they sleep at night.

But there might be a solution. Recently, orange-tinted glasses, or “blue blockers,” were touted by the New York Times as a good option for those who simply can’t avoid technology before bed.

As a concerned scientist, I decided to do an experiment on myself. I hopped onto Amazon, bought an $8 pair of orange glasses, and formulated my research plan. Without changing any of my other habits, would wearing these glasses an hour before bed improve the quality of my sleep?