Meet our new Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Hass


By Ross Keller, Editor-in-Chief

Hello readers! It has been a pleasure to run the blog for the past two years. We have garnered interest in numerous posts about a wide range of topics, and I hope you’ve all learned a lot. I have now defended my dissertation, so my time as editor-in-chief is at an end. Thus, I’m thrilled to announce the new editor-in-chief for Lions Talk Science, Daniel Hass. Daniel has contributed several posts to the blog and has been an associate editor here for the past two years. I know he will do a great job.

So without delay, Daniel will introduce himself.

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

daniel new editor in chiefHi I’m Dan! I did my undergrad at Franklin and Marshall College, where I graduated with a major in the Biological Foundations of Behavior—basically another term for Neuroscience. I love the topic, and so now I’m a Neuroscience Ph.D. student in Colin Barnstable’s lab, in the Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences.

Do you like Binge-watching? Your sleep may be suffering.

General, Neuroscience, sleep

By Jessica Parascando, Master of Public Health Student


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Binge-watching involves watching multiple episodes of a television series in a row. (Creative Commons)

Are you still watching *inserts TV show*? This is a popular phrase with which many of us are all too familiar. “Binge-watching” is a term famously associated with Netflix and is defined as watching many or all episodes of a television series in rapid succession1. With 63% of households in America having access to a streaming service (examples include Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime), trends show that more and more individuals are watching television in larger doses2.

The Scientific Conference Survival Guide


By: Amanda White, Research Technologist in the Department of Psychiatry


Image credit: Marianne Weiss (Wikimedia Commons)

Scientific conferences are an important way to learn about the latest developments in your field and to meet people who can help you advance your career. They are annual meetings organized by professional societies that include poster presentations, oral presentations, and social events. Conferences often take place in major cities (like San Diego, Washington DC, or Chicago), though the location of each conference usually changes from year to year. Conference attendees include professors, medical doctors, industry representatives, graduate students, and occasionally undergraduate students.

Conferences  can be a lot of fun, but they can also be intimidating and overwhelming! I attended my first two conferences this year – Animal Behavior Society (ABS) in August and Society for Neuroscience (SfN) in November.

Here are a few tips and tricks that I hope can help you survive (and thrive) at a scientific conference:

“How Can I Join a Lab as an Undergraduate?”


By: Caitlin Millett, 2nd year PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Program

girls in a labThere are many benefits to participating in undergraduate research. In most cases, especially in STEM fields, writing a research thesis is a requirement for graduation. Moreover, it’s necessary for a strong application to graduate or medical school.

That said, there are many aspects of choosing a lab that can be quite nerve racking. In order to avoid common pitfalls on the path to a thesis, students should be aware of the most important aspects of this process.

Here are a few gems of wisdom for a lab-bound undergrad…

Welcome to “Lions Talk Science”!


Welcome, readers! “Lions Talk Science” is a blog written by the graduate students of Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The purpose of this blog is fourfold:

  1. To increase public understanding of biomedical research going on at Penn State College of Medicine;
  2. To give a glimpse into the day in the life of a scientist—beyond the nerdy pop culture images we’re so accustomed to seeing;
  3. To educate prospective students and the community about what graduate school is;
  4. To dispel bad science journalism by having us scientists directly explain our findings to our readers.

From scientific experiments to fascinating findings (without the jargon!) to goofy pictures of us in the laboratories, we hope you find this blog informative, intriguing, and fun!