Kyle Loh Discusses How He First Became a Scientist
Question: Was there a particular moment when you realized you wanted to be a scientist?
Loh: Not exactly, but I remember in 5th grade at the start of elementary school, I got this manual called [IB] Manual, that’s the diagnostic handbook for doctors and that really inspired me and then 6th grade, I heard about a stem cell researcher at Rutgers called the [IB] and about… he did a lot of the work with stem cells and spinal cord injury. And I just got really excited to jump in and I kept on hearing all these different people saying different things and I asked, “You know, one day, is it possible if I could actually be doing the work?” And I think that’d be cool to just do something hands on and find it work and I think that’s meaningful in life if I can do something that can help ameliorate the suffering of human beings. And I think that as I’ve just gotten more and more into research, that’s just what I hope to do.
Question: How did you end up at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute?
Loh: I was an undergrad at Rutgers and I was just browsing around the Harvard website for fun and it said something like, there’s a summer internship program for the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and I was… and I said, like, “There are hundreds of really smart kids applying for this. I’m just going to apply for fun ‘cause I have nothing better to do.” And so I applied and miraculously I got in, I was so shocked when I read the acceptance e-mail, I thought it was a prank or they have forgotten to insert the word, “You weren’t accepted” but I’ll have to say that that acceptance was based on certain really, really influential mentors and so I have to thank Dr. Doug Melton who is the director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute who has guided me a lot and Dr. [Willy Lynch] at Harvard Medical School who really made this happen.
The 15 year-old stem cell researcher on launching a career in science.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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