“Ever since I was very young, I’ve had the need to create,” she says, looking out the window of her car to the vast Californian landscape. Oakland-based artist Diane Heron has always seen the interconnectedness of art, life, and well-being. Recently, Diane was tested and diagnosed as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), she says suddenly her calling as an artist, makes sense in so many ways.
We’re so intimately dependent on bacteria, and the way that these beings inside of us exist can determine our health and hence our mind. You hear so much about the gut microbiome nowadays — people are beginning to pay more attention to eating fermented foods and it’s completely reasonable - fermentation is one of our most ancient and anthropologically important processes that has allowed us harness bacterial pre-digestion to gather nutrients from from vegetation and meats.
“So...who’s ever been stressed at Stanford?”
I half-jokingly asked this question to a group of undergrads, PhD students, and faculty on a rainy Thursday night. It was the middle of the quarter, right before the dreaded “midterm season.” With upcoming deadlines for projects and tests, while balancing extracurriculars and friendships, students can feel overwhelmed by all of their commitments.
What makes a human being? This question, which has been asked since the beginning of history, takes on a different interpretation when applied to translational research. Scientists use animals, from apes to zebrafish, as models for the human body. This practice, which extends back to the ancient Greeks, changes the question from “What makes a human being?” to “What are the core necessities for being human-like?” Up until recently, the criteria for being sufficiently human-like has been solely physiological.
Many people, especially those who have grown up around the water, have stories about jellyfish, be it finding them littered on the coast in gelatinous pieces or watching them surrounding you deep in the ocean. But most of us do not give a second thought to their life cycle, their ecological niche, or even the impact they have on the oceans as a whole.
Like many Stanford students, Anjini came to college excited but also overwhelmed by the breadth of opportunities. “In the beginning, it can be extremely difficult finding one’s own niche,” she says, “Ultimately, I wanted to pursue what I truly enjoyed.”
We interviewed Elizabeth Jameson, an artist who uses her art as a way to reclaim her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis from the scientific community, and Anthony Norcia, Ph.D, a Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford, about the intersection of art and neuroscience that appears in three of Jameson’s vibrant paintings.
The brain is one of the most mysterious and beautiful parts of the body. The mysterious part is obvious - many consider the brain one of the last great undiscovered frontiers of science. But the beautiful part may be a little more counterintuitive.