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Simon Spichak

Neuroscience

Hi! I’m a neuroscientist and science communicator finishing up my MSc in Ireland. I study the way that microbes living in the gut communicate with the brain, but I’m interested in all things neuroscience! I am passionated about mental health and science communication!

I love coffee, raccoons and basketball.

Simon has authored 4 articles

A breathing tube through the butt could be an alternative to mechanical ventilators

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Inspired by animals that breathe through their butts, scientists show that mammals can also harness the incredible breathing ability of our butts

Simon Spichak

Comment 1 peer comment

Could blockchain technology protect patients from counterfeit medication?

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Not so fast. We should be wary of trying to science our way out of large-scale health issues

Simon Spichak

Comment 2 peer comments

Microbes in your gut might be impairing your memory

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Gut microbes send different signals to the brain in people with obesity

Simon Spichak

The mother's gut microbiome helps a child's brain develop its senses

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Without the maternal microbiome, a mouse's thalamus under-develops, resulting in reduced sensory processing

Simon Spichak

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Simon has shared 18 notes

These uses of poop for protection are stranger than fiction

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Defense by dung doesn't always elicit disgust in predators to repel them

Researchers observe a boar releasing two caged younglings in a impassioned rescue

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The act sheds light on the prosocial behavior and empathy of wild boars, thought to be rare among animals

Bacteria can live without food for over 1000 days

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Nearly three years without food drives innovative survival strategies

Feeding caffeine to bees could help them become better pollinators

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A jolt of caffeine enhances bees' memories

The WHO has released new guidelines for genome editing technology

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These recommendations will help improve the safety and access of genome-editing treatments

Google's new dermatology app misses the mark for BIPOC people

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The technology was trained on 64,387 images, only a tiny portion of which featured dark-skinned people

Turn your poo blue (for science) in the #BluePoopChallenge

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Assessing gut transit time gives insight into your gut health

Ancient poop analysis reveals extinct species of bacteria

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Scientists analyzed bacterial genomes from 1000-2000 year feces

Feeding gut bacteria may reduce anxiety in women

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In a trial, women who took fiber supplements reported lowered anxiety compared to a placebo

This worm has too many butts

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Researchers have identified how its internal anatomy adapts as its butts branch off

A mass Tyrannosaurus rex grave confirms that they hunted in packs

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A collection of T. rex fossils all found in one spot likely died together in a flood

Google has shown that they don't actually care about ethical AI

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AI algorithms are racist and sexist because these biases are baked into our society. We need to fix this

Mind-controlling your computer just became one step closer

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Two people were able to perform tasks like opening Skype with a wireless implant

A scientific correction finds Venus's atmosphere probably does not contain phosphine gas

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The initial discovery set off a flurry of excitement. The reality is something more mundane

Octopuses sometimes punch fish out of spite

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The mysterious behavior appears related to collaborative hunting and hints at complex emotions

Antidepressant drugs suppress important gut bacteria

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This finding explains why some people who take antidepressants have unpleasant gut-centered side effects

Eating more fiber could help you handle stress better

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Some dietary fibers are converted to fatty acids, which are linked to cortisol levels in your blood

Simon has left Comment 9 peer comments

The butyrate produced by your gut bugs is good for your health

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Gut bacteria make butyrate when they break down resistant starches. But the science of how you can boost it is proving to be personal

Elise Cutts

Comment 3 peer comments

Slime mold and cancer cells "sniff" their way through mazes by breaking down chemical molecules

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Research demonstrates that cells are capable of sensing, and creating, chemical gradients to travel long distances

Xinwen Zhu

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The lab-leak hypothesis for COVID-19 is becoming a conspiracy theory

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To explain where SARS-CoV-2 came from, look at processes with scientific explanations and precedents

Dan Samorodnitsky

Comment 5 peer comments

Retracting publications doesn't stop them from influencing science

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"Zombie papers" keep on getting cited, with huge ripple effects

Fanni Daniella Szakal

Comment 4 peer comments

Microglia build and maintain the "roads" your brain needs to store memories

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A protein called IL-33 keeps microglia working efficiently

Abdullah Asad Iqbal

Comment 2 peer comments

Instead of a colonoscopy, a new screen tests poop for colorectal cancer-related bacteria

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Testing for the bacterium Parvimonas micra in stool may present an alternative to a colonoscopy

Manisha Roy

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Skin cells protect their DNA from bumps and bruises with a jello-like response

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Cells' responses to microscopic pushes and pulls prevent cancers from forming

Rachel Stewart

Comment 3 peer comments

Widespread PFAS chemical pollution will likely make COVID-19 worse

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These common household and industrial chemicals impair immune system function

Anna Robuck

Comment 2 peer comments

Rare spindle-shaped neurons from deep inside the brain recorded for the first time

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Losing the mysterious cells may lead to Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, or other neurological disorders

Burcin Ikiz

Comment 5 peer comments