“Science is hard.”

This is what third-year graduate student Sarah Adkins was told by a science professor as an undergraduate when she developed test anxiety that caused spasms in her hands – turning them blue!

Did you know that protein is related to cancer? Many of us know that protein aids in muscle growth, but fewer of us know that overproduction of protein by our bodies’ cells can enable cancerous growth, once started, to continue. This, along with other reasons, makes it incredibly important for researchers here at UAB to learn more about protein production in our cells. And that’s just what Catie Scull, a UAB doctoral student in biochemistry, is doing.

If you are one of the many people that wear glasses or contacts, you know what it feels like to experience the world as a blurry place. You’ve squinted your eyes, trying to read a word that looks like a squiggle. You’ve seen colors and lines bleed into a hazy fog. As you watched your eyeglasses prescription strengthen year after year, you may have wondered, could there have been a way to prevent this?

Everyone has, at some point in their life, held a baby in their arms. They could be your children, grandchildren, niece or nephew or siblings. Have you ever stopped to wonder how many things must have happened perfectly in sync from the time the baby is a single cell in the mother’s womb to the time that you hold it in your arms? There is an unimaginable number of tiny things that can go wrong in the process, even in a single organ like the heart. When that occurs, the baby is said to have the congenital heart defects (CHD).

Few of us realize the amount of electronic waste (E-waste) the world population is generating. New laptops, computers, smart phones and iPhones are replaced so fast by users looking for more capacity, speed, better resolution. In today’s world, most of our technological devices are replaced as the fast-changing technology has a better version. Ever wondered what happened to all those devices after they are thrown out?

Usually when we think about our eyes, we think about the things our eyes are doing when we’re awake – such as the things we see. But what happens when our eyes are closed, such as when we’re sleeping? In fact, we sleep for about one-third of our lives, which means that our eyes are closed for one-third of the time, as well. So, what is happening during that time to our eyes? Cameron Postnikoff, a fifth-year doctoral student in the UAB Vision Science Graduate Program, is interested in this very question. In particular, he’s interested in understanding what happens to the ocular surface during sleep, which is the outermost surface of the eye.

Have you ever thought you heard footsteps behind you, only to turn around and see that no one is there? How about phantom buzzing -- when you’re convinced your phone is vibrating, but it’s only your imagination?

The KURE (Kidney Undergraduate Research) Program is a summer long internship where undergraduates are paired with mentors to engage in kidney-related research. In addition to working in a research lab, students have the opportunity to complete professional development sessions, shadow physicians and present their summer research. At the June 24th Discoveries in the Making, three trainees presented research from KURE-affiliated laboratories in the Division of Nephrology at UAB.

Imagine driving along I-20 west headed to Tuscaloosa for an Alabama football game.

Suddenly, a car slams on the brakes in front of you and you can’t avoid it. You crash into it. Both you and the other driver survive the crash and are taken to the hospital with broken bones, scrapes and bruises.

After the accident, you have normal feelings of fear, anxiety and anger, but over time, these feelings dissipate and you are left with a healthy respect for the dangers of the road. You are looking forward to a better drive to the next Alabama football game.

You are at a dental clinic because of a terrible toothache. After examination, your dentist gives you two choices – extracting all the teeth that are causing pain or taking temporary pain killers. You are also warned about the impossibility of getting dentures if you pick the former.

“Pain relief” being your number one priority, the former would be your obvious choice, in spite of knowing the chewing difficulties the extraction might cause you in the long run.