In Science and Tech this Week

Twice the Tweet
From the early days, Twitter has capped its Tweets at the iconic 140 characters. On Tuesday, however, Twitter announced testing of a longer 280 character tweet limit. Testing will only effect a small number of users initially, but Twitter plans to roll it our over the entire used base (except Japanese, Chinese and Korean language users).
Tweet more

Egg-Freezing as a Work Perk
Perks amongst the tech giants now come with the territory, but Facebook, Google and Apple are some of the first to offer to pay for egg-freezing for their female employees. The benefit is designed to allow working women more flexibility when planning a family alongside their career, but critics have suggested it sends the message that work is more important than family life. With more women having children in their 30’s than in their 20’s, does this perk allow for better life-planning or is it a way to make younger workers focus on their jobs?
Frozen eggs

You are What You Eat.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and it has been long hypothesized that bacteria in human intestinal flora may be responsible for triggering the disease in individuals who are genetically predisposed. Research fresh out of the Max Planck Institue of Immunobiology and Epigenetics has found evidence to support this, suggesting that intestinal bacterial can indeed trigger multiple sclerosis.
Trust your gut

A Generation Turning to Meditation
Although the word meditation conjures up stereotypical images for some, mindfulness is going mainstream amongst the millennial generation. With as many as 42% having meditated at least once in the past year, is there merit to its popularity and can it help you achieve better balance in your personal and professional life?
State of mind

From sexism to Saturn: Life After Cassini
Having spent 4 decades dedicating her life to Saturn, Linda Spilker worked on Voyager, and the Cassini mission from beginning to end. Despite being discouraged from a career in physics and mathematics, Spilker’s career skyrocketed with NASA. Now it’s over? Spilker has her eyes set on the next big mission.
Sky’s the limit

Science in Images: WIB, Seattle Business Casual Event

The WIB, Seattle “Your guide to Business Casual” event was a hit, with many of Seattle’s best and brightest scientists turning out for the evening. Featuring presentations from Eileen Fisher, Kendra Scott and MAC cosmetics, the event covered all the basics of creating a work-ready wardrobe.

Here are some of the tips that stood out.

Create a Capsule:
At Eileen Fisher, the emphasis was on creating a work wardrobe that really did all the hard work for you. By starting with 3 basic items (pants, dress, camisole) you had the foundation to build any outfit on top of. Simply pair a soft sweatshirt with the boxy shell and black pant, to create a laid-back at-the-bench work look, or swap it out for a soft blazer, to be boardroom ready. The same goes with the tank dress. Flattering on all figures, it can be paired with a smart shirt for a business event, or a loose knit for comfort whilst still looking professional. The emphasis here really is that less is more.

  

Keep it Simple:
At Kendra Scott, we talked about elevating an outfit without going OTT. The answer? Layers. By using multiple simple pieces, think delicate chains and pendants, you can create a layered look that still keeps it professional. An easy way to dress an outfit up or down. And why stop with necklaces? Layering clean bracelets, or stacking rings can give and equally dramatic look and finish an outfit.

 

Tone it Down:
My personal favorite presentation was MAC cosmetics. Getting a work make-up look is difficult, and the balance between flawless and too much foundation is very, very real. MAC pointed to keeping it natural. Choose tones that compliment your skin and soft hues. Their top tips? For starters, if possible always opt for concealer over foundation. Apply a small dab to the back of your hand, and apply to necessary areas with a soft brush. Think under the eyes, any blemishes and the nose. Using the brush will help keep excess oil off your skin, and stop you applying too much!

Next add a subtle blush or highlight. Our make-up artist described good blush as “a road-map to the eyes”. Start out just above the cheek and sweep upwards towards the corner of the eye. Just beware, blush should be light and a flattering color.

So to follow that road-map, put focus on the eyes. Our eyes are the key to much of our expression, and when it comes to make-up they give us a unique opportunity to express ourselves. Pair a simple mascara and liner with a pop of your favorite shade at the corner of the eye, for a fun but safe look.

The final piece of advice? Don’t keep old mascara! Mascara is a beautiful breeding ground for bacterial (more here), and one way your eyes are susceptible to infection. If it’s more than 6 months old, throw it away.

And if that all seems like too much information, you can schedule a personal appointment with one of their artists, who will walk you through the whole process!

In summary?
The take-home message from the entire evening- Think Simplicity.

By owning a few key pieces of clothing and jewelry, you can create multiple looks that transform at the swap of a jacket. And when it comes to make-up, keep it light and simple but don’t be afraid to add a bit of personal expression.

In Science and Tech this Week

Dogs can Love You as much as Food
After spending his days scanning Dogs brains using MRI, Dr Gregory Berns of Emory University, Atlanta discusses his research. His work, now available in the book “What It’s Like To Be a Dog” talks about reward response in dogs, and that they might really love you as much as food!
Woof woof

Better funding for Science
Congress has rejected President Trump’s plans to cut funding for Biomedical Research, instead pushing to increase spending by the NIH.
NIH OK

New iPhones, More Hype
A decade after the first iPhone was introduced, Apple has launched three new ones: the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus. While the latter two are upgrades on the company’s previous models, the X has a design and a heap of new features. “iPhone X feels like the future” but is that enough to make people pay the hefty price-tag ($999) for the device?
Future X

The Bitcoin Shake-Up
Chinese regulators ordered a halt to all virtual currency trading platforms in the country, acting to further rein in risks related to cryptocurrencies. The move came after the central bank and other departments imposed an immediate ban on fundraising using new blockchain-based currencies. According to analysts, China could be just one of many countries lining up to put increasing regulatory pressure on the $150 billion cryptocurrency market.
Bitcoin

Amazon HQ, Take Two
This week saw Amazon announce plans to open a second, equal HQ elsewhere in North America. With multiple cities vying to be Amazons next hub, is having the Amazonians in town really a good thing?
Where next?

Women in Bio, Seattle: How to Dress in Science

I’ve been involved in many different Women in Science projects and societies over the years, but one program from Women in Bio, Seattle* has really caught my attention: How to Dress for a Career in Science.

The life of a scientist is a complex and varied one, and finding an appropriate way to dress can sometimes be difficult! Something that is suitable for the lab might not be flexible enough to also walk into a stakeholder meeting. So how do you strike the right balance?

It’s a question I’ve actually asked myself many mornings. During my PhD days, there was a level of professionalism that was expected, especially as many days saw me meeting with industrial collaborators and supervisors in the morning and conducting experiments in the afternoon. Many of the other awesome women in STEM I follow on twitter/ instagram have also addressed this issue in one way or another too, so it was refreshing to see a society taking the issue on in a fun and engaging way!

Next week, Women in Bio, Seattle will host evening focusing on creating a wardrobe that reflects the flexibility and practicality needed for long days at the bench and conference table. The event is happening Thursday, September 14, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. -8:05 p.m. PST, and you can register to attend here.

Alongside this being a great chance to enhance your work attire, it’s also a great opportunity to get to know others working in the biology fields here in Seattle, and really grow your network in an engaging and non-intimidating environment!

Hoping to see you there!

*full disclosure here, I’m now on the WIB, Seattle programs committee! (yippee)