Month: June 2018

“What matters most in doing research is enjoying the process”: an interview with Prof. Anna Akhmanova

Prof. Anna Akhmanova, a professor of cell biology at Utrecht University, has recently given a talk as part of the lecture series ‘Pioneers in Cell Dynamics and Imaging’ organized by the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM) in Muenster, Germany. In that occasion, I had the pleasure to interview her and get to know her point of view on pros and cons of a career in academia, the greatest challenges of mentorship, and the role of women in science. You can read the interview here: An interview with Prof. Anna Akhmanova 

I want to know, have you ever smelled the rain?

Going for a walk? You better ask your nose if you should bring an umbrella along (A.K.A: What is the scientific explanation for the scent of a rainstorm?). The day had started without many expectations and then had turned into a Sunday afternoon dominated by black clouds that obscured both the sky as well as any hope of finding an explanation for my melancholy. Rainy days are never a good time for me to reason life out. Rain usually brings along a heavy, gloomy desire to do nothing but look up with my eyes and back with my mind. And on that day I knew rain was about to start; I could smell it… Wait a minute, could I?! Is it true that people can smell oncoming storms? And if yes, how is that possible? People who claim (me included) that they can smell the fresh, earthy aroma of an approaching rainstorm aren’t just imagining it. Storms produce distinctive odors that can be detected by human noses and are even stronger after a dry spell. More specifically, identifiable scents are …