Alex Kim

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Alex is a third year student at UC Berkeley studying Molecular and Cell Biology and Public Health and minoring in Music. He hopes to go to medical school and to pursue a career in surgery. In his free time, Alex enjoys playing piano and guitar, running, golfing, eating (everything), and watching movies.

Alex has written 22 post(s)

If you have spent some time in scientific circles in the past year or so, it is more than likely that you have heard the term “CRISPR/Cas” being thrown around, and for good reason. CRISPR, or clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, refers to parts of the bacterial DNA that paired with proteins called Cas, allows the bacteria … Read More

Imagine if cancer could be monitored by simple blood tests. Rather than through invasive bone marrow biopsies, which risk infection and can be extremely painful, cancer could be monitored by periodic blood tests, which provide detailed information for the creation of more effective personalized treatments tailored to an individual’s needs. This dream may now be … Read More

Among other things, Apollo is the Greek god of medicine and music. Maybe the Greeks were onto something with this particular designation. Throughout the history of medicine, it has been thought that music has a significant influence on health. Ideas about music therapy have been traced back as far as to the writings of Plato … Read More

Millions of people around the world suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disease most commonly associated with a loss of memory. It is estimated that Alzheimer’s Disease is the third leading cause of death for the elderly, behind cancer and heart disease. To this day, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Embed from Getty … Read More

Each day, millions of people around the world use plastic products, especially for food and drink, but new research suggests that not just the food and drink make their way into our bodies. In 2004, a chemical called di-2-ethylhexylphlatate (DHEP) was banned in Europe when research confirmed that it had negative human health effects. DHEP was used as … Read More

While there have been safety concerns about surgeons listening to music during their procedures, a new study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal this July suggests that it is in everyone’s best interest for surgeons to continue to “rock on” in the operating room (OR). While it has been previously shown that music can reduce stress … Read More

In April 2015, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that a 49-year-old woman’s melanoma tumor disappeared after one round of a new two-drug treatment, disappearing so quickly that it left a cavity in its place. The woman was part of a larger study that sought to test the effectiveness of a combination of two melanoma … Read More

Exciting research from the University of Coimbra in Portugal suggests that watching what we eat may reduce the speed at which we age. The research sought to determine the role of Neuropeptide Y (NPY, structure below) in aging and its role in what is called autophagy in the hypothalamus. NPY is a type of protein-like compound found in … Read More

Kids, when mom says it’s time for bed, know that she’s only trying to make you smarter. New findings by a group of Canadian researchers add to the growing body of evidence that sleep plays a crucial role in mental development. The study shows that quality of sleep can have a direct effect on intelligence and … Read More

Good news teenagers: a little extra sleep might have more benefits than previously thought. New research with fruit flies shows that a few extra hours of shut eye might hold the key to restoring the memory lost to neurodegenerative diseases. Fruit flies have traditionally been used for scientific studies because they have a well mapped genome (DNA) … Read More

High heels burst onto the internet spotlight recently in response to the lead female character in the Jurassic World movie running through the entire movie (including the jungle) in, yes, high heels. In addition to the humorous jabs and the more serious discussions about gender representation, the question of the effect of high heels on the body also resurfaced. … Read More

Despite hundreds of years of research on the human body, a new discovery at the University of Virginia just goes to show that there are still parts of the body yet to be discovered. For the first time, researchers have discovered that the brain is directly connected to the immune system, overturning the well-established notion that no … Read More

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by slowed or impaired movement, tremors, and a general loss of motor control. Affecting millions of people worldwide, the disease is still without a cure; however, new research from Gabriela Caraveo Piso at the Whitehead Institute provides real hope that a cure for Parkinson’s disease is within reach. … Read More

A wave of new research suggests that depression and stress play a significant role in the development of cardiovascular diseases and that both factors should be considered when diagnosing and treating cardiovascular diseases. Research from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute tracked over five thousand patients with moderate to severe depression over the course of three years. These patients did … Read More

With ear plugs pushed in, shades draped over his eyes, and seat fully reclined, the weary, jet-lagged traveler pulls out a sleeping pill hoping for a good night’s rest. While this scene may sound familiar to many of us, melatonin, the hormone in that sleeping pill, may be a little less familiar. Naturally produced by … Read More

Marijuana use has been notoriously associated with a phenomena that has been affectionately named “The Munchies”–when suddenly the body craves food, and a lot of it. New research from the Yale School of Medicine shows us what exactly may be going on in our brains to cause these bouts of hunger, and helps to explain the underlying … Read More

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized most notably by motor impairments: shaking, trouble walking, and an overall slowing of movement. While there is no cure for Parkinson’s yet, a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge has taken a big step towards understanding the underlying mechanisms behind the disease’s progression. Embed from Getty Images  Vesicle … Read More

Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine at USC have made another step in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease, a type of dementia that causes memory loss and cognitive dysfunction. Our brains are protected by something called the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), a semi-permeable membrane that protects the brain from toxins, bacteria, hormones, neurotransmitters, and other … Read More

Exciting new research from the Wake Forest School of Medicine shows that an insulin nasal spray may be effective in treating Alzheimer’s Disease, a type of dementia that causes loss of memory and cognitive degeneration, as seen in the bottom right image. While previous studies have shown that insulin may be effective in treating people with … Read More

You may have heard the phrase “nature versus nurture” before. This is the debate between whether a person’s behavior is shaped more by genetics (nature) or more by experiences and environmental influence (nurture). New research from Stanford University sought to resolve this debate and see whether differences in the human immune system could be attributed to genetics (heritable influences) … Read More

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