Glad to hear you like Dennett. I've read those two books as well, and have begun reading Consciousness Explained, too. He's a brilliant man. My good friend works with him and is mentioned in the intro to Breaking the Spell. Any book recommendations for me?
Nice! I am envious in the extreme! I would like to talk to Adam for just 10 minutes.
I tried the pop up chat thing on this site, but I am unsure of how effective it is.
Medical Physics has become a very broad field. It is defined by 2 primary directions: Imaging and Radiation therapy. I do a variation on the imaging portion. Physicists and Med Physicists developed all modern imaging modalities, and continue to improve their spatial resolution, contrast, and useability. In the legal frame work mammography and fluroscopy need to be accredited legally to be used. The other imaging modalities have minimum quality standards laid down by our professional society we join that allows accredited facilities to charge more for their services (sad I know, we say it's good and people get billed more). The research side of what I do is trying to bring a new level specificity to the imaging modalities. Most imaging modalities have excellent sensitivity, but very poor specificity. so we can yes there is a lesion there, but we typically have no idea what type of lesion or disease it is. So label various compounds, liposomes, and antibodies or enzymes with radionuclides and then using specialized instrumentation we can image to 1mm to sub mm resolution in vivo in various animal models. I do MicroSPECT imaging of osteolytic lesions caused by multiple myeloma in a transgenic mouse model. Essentially I am trying to find a correlation in radiotracer up take into bone with or without tumor burden. Once I have a baseline we have some new drugs that one of the theoretical side effects is proliferation of osteoblasts and a return of healthy bone regeneration. So after application of the drug we should see an increase in radiotracer uptake. We then take samples of the subject and correspond them to the images to make sure we are correlating things correctly and then the radiologists transition them into the clinic for human use. So we do a large amount of translational and preclinical work. We also work on cancer treatment with radionuclides in combination with new drugs and new therapies that have been recently developed that are proving to have amazing results. A good friend is working on a new radiotracer for use in PET imaging for cancer detection that is much more sensitive than the current tracer used with fewer imaging artifacts from various misc biological uptake. The other thing we do is functional brain imaging with MRI and PET. They have done white matter water track mapping and grey matter distribution maps, but areas of activation and looking at upstream and downstream effects from different paradigms is the big thing right now. A good friend uses magnetic fields to drive neurons and produce various effects in the brain that are just mind boggling to watch. Applying the fields at different frequencies and areas of the brain make people speak or hear gibberish but they can write or read the information correctly and repeat it correctly in another way.
If you would like to know more or see images of the lab/work and some of the papers we do let me know.
I wish you the best
discrediting pseudosciences and fighting against those who want to teach mythology as fact in science classes.
After you complete your degree I suggest a career with the Mythbusters.
I really dislike pseudosciences and the perpetuation of stupid urban legends and myths based on dogma and stupidity, and really just plain ignorance/laziness to try and discover the truth (which is often simple) for themselves.
I am 3rd year Ph.D candidate and just passed my qualifying exam. I can definitely relate to the challenges you face ahead. Good luck with your studies and research!
Hope you are doing well. Keep up the good work in defending science!
Do they have any science cafes near you?
Some friends and I are organizing one in Atlanta: http://www.AtlantaScienceTavern.com. It's based on PBS Science Cafes: http://www.ScienceCafes.org
Oh thats cool. I was interested in psych and neuropsych back in high school. But my ambitions and true calling took over and now I'm an artist and a writer.
Well, I'm beginning my career as a writer. For now I just write about different stuff on my blog. I wrote some scifi, you might find it interesting its about how religion disappeared from our culture. I'm getting myself into reviewing documentaries. Actually, I just received a screener copy of a new documentary film. So I'll be writing a review soon.
Primarily, I write about atheism, religion, and working on some philosophical stuff. I'm sort of working on my voice and style write now. The best way to get better at something is to do it, that's what I'm doing. =)