Articles by:

Ayan Mandal

MANDAL: Mechanisms of Memory Shape Our Realities

While the English language only has one word for “memory,” the truth is that memory comes in many different forms. Psychologists break memory down into dozens of categories: long-term memory, short-term memory, implicit memory and declarative memory. But this concept expands beyond the individual human mind. For example, history itself[Read More…]

by November 29, 2016 0 comments Opinion, Opinion - Top
Ayan Mandal

MANDAL: Dynamic Interests Push Science

In 19th-century Spain, a young boy who wished only to become an artistwas met by disapproval from his parents, who urged him to pursue a more practical career in medicine. Ultimately, he attended medical school and became a hugely successful scientist. But, there is an unexpected twist: The boy’s artistic[Read More…]

by November 8, 2016 0 comments Commentary, Opinion, Opinion - Top

MANDAL: Personal Personas Subject to Change

In 1848, a company sought to clear some land for a railroad in Vermont. To clear land, foremen must explode rocks, and unsurprisingly, this procedure could be rather unsafe. So, in a case that is now famous among neurologists, a particularly competent foreman named Phineas Gage exploded a rock, and[Read More…]

by October 25, 2016 0 comments Commentary, Opinion, Opinion - Top

Digging Past Implausibility

A friend who visited me a week ago swears by zodiac signs, claiming my personality was “such an Aquarius; so goal-driven, stubborn and opinionated.” Even when discussing another friend, this person asked if she was a Scorpio because “Scorpios tend to have really deep-rooted emotional issues — you should watch[Read More…]

by October 4, 2016 0 comments Opinion, Opinion - Top
Ayan Mandal

MANDAL: Hot Hearts and Cooler Heads

Like many intellectual disciplines, the study of biology can be traced back to the Greek philosopher Aristotle. A true empiricist, Aristotle relied not on speculation but on dissections of organisms to uncover the principles that govern life processes. However, despite his positive influence on the physical sciences, one glaring error[Read More…]

by August 30, 2016 1 comment Commentary, Opinion, Opinion - Top

Brains, Booze and Bad Decisions

Around this time last year in the spring of 2015, I saw a poster on campus that read “Make Good Decisions.” This poster was obviously in reference to Georgetown Day, the last Friday of classes during the spring semester. Since its inception 16 years ago, it has been tradition for[Read More…]

by April 29, 2016 0 comments Opinion, Opinion - Top

MANDAL: Seeing the Reality Beyond Our Senses

This world contains realities that we were not born to perceive. For instance, the Earth’s magnetic field constantly passes through each person, yet it passes unnoticed. Students of biology know this is because magnetic fields are not a part of our umwelt, or the slice of physical reality a particular[Read More…]

by April 15, 2016 0 comments Commentary, Opinion, Opinion - Top

MANDAL: The Science of Freestyle Rapping

In 1997, a boy named Marshall from Detroit ventured off to Los Angeles to compete in the Rap Olympics, a nationwide rap battle tournament. Marshall, whose white skin marked him an outsider, battled against stiff competition and walked away with second place. Most importantly, he attracted the attention of a[Read More…]

by April 1, 2016 0 comments Commentary, Opinion, Opinion - Top
MANDAL: Innovation Inspired By LSD

MANDAL: Innovation Inspired By LSD

“What if I had not taken LSD ever; would I have still invented PCR? I don’t know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.” In 1986, biochemist Kary Mullis invented the polymerase chain reaction, a technique that allows biologists to quickly produce a large number of copies of a segment[Read More…]

by February 23, 2016 0 comments Commentary, Opinion, Opinion - Top

MANDAL: How Healthy Is Privacy?

The Google Life Sciences Division is up to something powerful and concerning. A newly independent sector of the transformed Alphabet, a multinational conglomerate and Google’s parent company, Google Life Sciences attracts top scientists from across America, seeking the company’s extensive funding, experience with big data and lack of bureaucracy. Additionally,[Read More…]

by February 9, 2016 0 comments Commentary, Opinion, Opinion - Top