Author Archives: Sabrina Shah

About Sabrina Shah

Student Recreation Center

Memory Technology Podcast

 

Sources:
Ellis, Marie. “Scientists Successfully Erase Unwanted Memories.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.
Lawrence, Jeremy. “Scientists Discover Way to Reverse Loss of Memory.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.
Lewis, By Tanya. “Spotless Mind? Erasing Memories Not Just Science Fiction.” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 02 Apr. 2014. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.
Yam, Philip. “Breakthrough Could Enable Others to Watch Your Dreams and Memories.” Scientific American. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2016.

Cover Letter for Sheeran Lab

9 March 2016

Sheeran Lab

Dear Sheeran Lab Coordinators:

My name is Sabrina Shah. I am currently an undergraduate student at UNC-CH pursuing a BS in Psychology and Neuroscience with a minor in Neuroscience. I would like to request an interview for the position of research assistant within your Psychology-based laboratory.

My interest in medicine began with my experience in medical scribing in the summer of 2015. I worked in documentation and procedural charting for emergency physicians in Nash General Hospital in Rocky Mount, NC. With this job I mastered medical jargon/terminology, diagnosis documentation, and coding for doctoral procedures. I learned to work quickly and accurately in the fast-paced emergency medical department. I also attained communication skills and extreme detail-orientation in dealing with patients and physicians, alike. My passion for psychology was motivated by the time I spent in the Behavioral Health sector of the ER, in recording patient health and improvement methods. Furthermore, I believe my zeal for clinical psychology will be an asset to my performance, if chosen to work in your lab.

I feel like I am a good fit for this position because my career interest lie in the field of psychology and if I am able to work on the various on-going experiments that Sheeran Lab conducts, I will be able to attain experience with the clinical and social side of psychology by doing paperwork and running participants, and the hands-on side of psychology by running software and configuring experimental products/data. I feel as though I have the analytical skills, and logical reason that the position requires through my past work experience with scribing, due to the amount of decision-making and quick chart-detailing that that I did in the job. I also have had experience with analyzing documents, so I believe I have the capabilities needed to be an asset to your lab. My acknowledged organizational methods and rewarded academic record shows my devotion to the things I pursue, and if given the opportunity I would bring these skills to the RA position.

I feel as though working in this position will allow me to increase my knowledge about the world of psychology and pursue my interest in psychology while also providing the lab with a diligent and passionate research assistant.

I hope you will review my CV and consider me for the position. I appreciate your time.

Sincerely,

Sabrina Shah

(919)-624-4702

Sheeran Lab Research Position Summary

One program that I found that I was interested in is a research assistant position at Sheeran lab on UNC campus. This lab is a psychology lab that allows undergraduate students to apply for positions as assistant to work and assist in the lab for however many semesters they would like.

The application process, firstly requires the interested party to send an email to inquire about the position and include a resume; next they conduct interviews with the interested applicants, and then they chose from the pool of candidates, who will get the positions. They did not indicate how many positions were open.

They do not require letters of recommendation, personal essays or cover letters, and have no formal application, entrance essays or application questions. They also do not require any prerequisite classes, but you can get this position without interview if you are in Psych 231 research class for an EE credit. They did require applicants have a GPA of 3.2 or above at UNC, and be in good academic standing. Once you have gotten the position they do require HIPAA training.

The lab’s current mission is to determine relationship between personality and consumer habits, however it is stated that the full intent of the experiment is not to be disclosed until the completion of the experiment in order to avoid skewed results from bias, and other confounding factors. The lab is testing the collected data certain fitness bracelet that is a pedometer and accelerometer, and it’s correlation with the results of respective peoples’ personality tests. The experiment is double blind so neither the participants nor the administers are aware of the full purpose of the experiment or what is it testing specifically.

The research assistant’s responsibility is to run participants for current experiment. This job requires the participant to read a script to the people who are testing the experimental product, to configure a test product using a computer software, to and collect data from the trial run via computer program. The lab requires seven hours/week (4 in lab running participants, 3 at home organizing data on the computer). The position said it would work around the RA’s class/work schedule, and you can schedule your weekly hours to come in to the lab, at the beginning of the semester.

The strength of this program is that is can count for an EE credit. It also involves my future career interest of psychology. It is easy to apply and they get back to you quickly about whether or not you have gotten the position. Also, once you have gotten the position you can continue to be a lab assistant for as many semester as you would like without the need to reapply. What I would get out of this program is research experience, in order to work in other research labs as well as give me an idea of how carry out my own research in the future. It will also give me the networking connections with Dr. Sheeran and the lab coordinators in order to get future opportunities in different labs or to work in the lab for research proposals I would like to start on my own. There is no presentation at the end or post-internship presentations.

The weakness of this program is that it is in its final stretches and I might not be able to be as active as research assistants who applied earlier in the semester, however the lab starts a new experiment almost every semester.

There are no room/board/transportation cost, since it is on the UNC campus. There is also no stipend; it is an unpaid, volunteer position.

The One Eye Want

Photo from Flickr Images

Blue eyes are frequently found in nationalities located near the Baltic sea in northern Europe, and uncommon in places in Asia. Photo from Flickr Images.

Sabrina Shah

Do you yourself have dark brown eyes? Have you ever wished to have vibrant-colored irises? Have you ever invested in colored contacts? Imagine being able to have the bright blue colored lenses you’ve always wanted, permanently. Only about 8 percent of the human population has blue eyes. What if you could be one of that 8 percent?

The idea of cosmetic eye color alteration procedures that was once only seen in sci-fi films and novels is now a reality. With the latest technology, labs in California and India are permanently changing people’s eye color with great rates of success and ease.

The initial discovery of the ability to change one’s eye color was a result of a scientific fluke. It started in 2007 when a glaucoma patient, a 56-year-old Caucasian man, was undergoing experimental treatments. After doctors used a laser procedure in hopes of curing the man’s glaucoma, they discovered his eyes had changed in hue to a bright blue color —an unexpected side effect.

Upon the realization that the eye color change did no damage to the man’s iris after long-term observation, and that it resulted in an aesthetic change, scientist started research and development to create a similar surgery to use for cosmetic purposes to offer to the general public.

Under every brown eye is a blue eye. A Californian lab, STROMA, developed a technique of eye color change on this very idea. Scientists in this lab have created a non-invasive laser method that is pointed at a specific spot in the iris, the “sweet spot”, that causes gradual pigment-tissue degeneration over the course of a few weeks that eventually reveals the blue hue that is present under every brown eye.

This operation has occurred so far only in California and clinical trials have been done on 20 individuals in one eye each to see the success rates and possible long term side effects. So far the operation has yielded great success and no issues have come up however, one known flaw is that the procedure only works to turn brown eyes blue, and furthermore, the blue hue varies in shade depending on the individual’s own base blue eye pigment.

This surgery is not yet available to the general public however, the lab offers an application process to be a participant in their trials; participants are able to get the operation done in one eye and they must attend follow-up consultations to see the effectiveness and potential side effects of the surgery before the lab is able to release the procedure for public consumption.

A different technique in its trial stages is a permanent implantation of a colored lens over the iris. The procedure, so far, has only had one trial performed on a New Zealand woman; the surgery took place in a lab in India.

This procedure is invasive as it requires a physical cut and insertion of a lens over the iris however, it is more manipulable; surgeons are able to change any base eye color to any other desired eye color, much like colored contact lenses do. During the procedure, doctors implant a colored artificial lens over the person’s natural eye color. The color change is immediate much like colored contacts but without the hassle of having to remove the contacts on a nightly basis.

No negative side affects have been noted by the New Zealand participant thus far, and the surgery was successful in altering her brown eyes to her desired shade of bright teal blue. Further observation is being carried out in order to ensure the safety and permanence of the implants. Surgeons want to ensure that the lenses will not need to be replaced and that they do not have issues with movement within the eye, years after the procedure. This lab did not offer any opportunity to register as an experimental participant, and is only observing the one known participant so far. It is not yet offered on the market to the masses.

The implications of these two surgeries are potentially monumental.

The lens implantation surgery can be used for people who are afflicted with genetic diseases such as albinism, birth defects that cause a lack of iris pigmentation, and other individuals who lack color in their irises for unexplained biological reasons, since the surgery is able to change any one eye color to another. With the implantation method, people who lack pigment in the iris will be able to get any color lenses implanted over their own colorless lenses.

Both procedures, STROMA and lens implantation, can also be used on people who just do not like their dark eyes and want an everlasting eye color change. Imagine plastic surgery/body modification for the eye balls.

This new technology may be the very future of body modification for people around the world. Although it is not available in the market yet, once it is tried and tested by experimenters and health agencies, eye color alteration may become the next big obsession in first world nations that strive to attain physical beauty.

Since only about 8 percent of the population has blue eyes, colored eyes are vied for by people in places where blue eyes are uncommon, like Asia where the colored contacts industry is particularly booming. Marketing for these procedures will most likely take place in regions with high frequency of brown eyes (55 percent of the population of the world currently, has brown eyes). These procedures will likely decrease that statistic dramatically.

After these surgeries become established procedures, what body part do you think will be up for modification next?

The One Eye Want

Sabrina Shah

Boyd

ENGL-105i

4 February 2016

Dear Ms. Boyd

According to your agency’s website, you are actively seeking an article regarding new scientific technology so I’m pleased to introduce my article “The One Eye Want”.

Do you yourself have dark brown eyes? Have you ever wished to have vibrant-colored irises? Have you ever invested in colored contacts? Imagine being able to have the bright blue colored lenses you’ve always wanted, permanently.

The idea of cosmetic eye color alteration procedures that were once only seen in sci-fi films and novels is now a reality. With the latest technology, labs in California and India are permanently changing people’s eye color with great rates of success and ease. My article is an informative piece regarding the new eye color alteration surgeries; it goes on to give in-depth descriptions of two different procedures in eye color-changing technology, the tests and trials that have been recorded for both surgeries, and real world implications of the procedure to everyday people.

The article will include a brief narrative of how scientists initially became interested in eye color alteration. The discovery of the ability to change one’s eye color was found when a glaucoma patient was undergoing experimental treatments. After scientists and doctors used a laser in hopes of curing the man’s glaucoma, they discovered his eyes changing in hue to a bright blue color— an unexpected side effect. Upon the realization that the eye color change did no damage to the man’s iris, and resulted in an aesthetic change, scientist started research and development to create a similar surgery to use for cosmetic purposes.

Under every brown eye is a blue eye. This is the basis of the idea a Californian lab developed its own technique on to attempt cosmetic eye color change.  They have created a non-invasive laser method that is pointed at a specific spot in the iris, the “sweet spot”, that causes gradual pigmented tissue degeneration over the course of a few weeks that eventually reveals the blue hue that is present under every brown eye. This operation has occurred so far in California and clinical trials have been done on 20 individuals in one eye each to see the success rates and possible long term side effects. So far the operation has yielded great success and no issues have come up however, one known flaw is that the procedure only works to turn brown eyes blue, and the blue hue varies in shade depending on the individual’s own base blue eye pigment.

A second technique in its trial stages is a permanent implantation of a colored lens over the iris. This has so far only had one trial performed on a New Zealand woman; the surgery took place in a lab in India. No negative side affects have been noted by the participant thus far, and the surgery was successful in altering her brown eyes to her desired shade of bright teal blue. This surgery, unlike the previously mentioned one, can change any person with any eye color to any other desired color.

The implications of these two surgeries are monumental. They can be used for people who are afflicted with genetic diseases such as albinism, birth defects, and people who lack color in their irises, for medical purposes. They can also be used on people who just do not like their dark eyes and want an everlasting eye color change. Imagine plastic surgery/body modification for the eye balls.

If you and your audience would be interested in learning even more about the exciting future of eye color alteration surgery I hope you will consider featuring “The One Eye Want” in your magazine.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sabrina Shah

Shah, Sabrina Annotated Bibliography Color Color Alteration Surgery

Sabrina Shah

Prof. Boyd

ENGL-105i

26 January 2016

Works Cited

“Stroma Medical Procedure – Stroma Permanent Eye Color Change Laser.” Stroma Medical Procedure – Stroma Permanent Eye Color Change Laser. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2016. <http://www.stromamedical.com/page/physician-info>.

This source was relevant in describing the procedure of the eye color alteration surgery in digestible terms. It describes how the procedure is possible at all due to the layers of pigments of the eye (brown on top, blue underneath). The article continued to describe the non-invasive procedure that utilizes a laser that disrupts the first layer of pigment that causes the body to initiate a slow tissue-removal process of the upper brown-colored layer. Specifically, the patient eye is kept opened by a small device. Then the patient sits in front of the laser and their heads are stabilized. The patient is told to direct their eye toward a 1 cm x 1 cm animation that is 1 foot in distance away from their eye. The laser is activated, and the procedure is completed for that eye. The same steps are taken for the other eye, usually in the same day.

“New Procedure May Turn Brown Eyes Blue : DNews.” Discovery News. Discovery, n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2016. <http://news.discovery.com/human/health/new-procedure-may-turn-brown- eyes-blue-150312.htm>.

This Discovery News article discussed in detail the science behind how the eye color changing process is possible and even quite simple. It talked about how researchers when attempting to create the process found a “sweet spot” of the eye to target with a laser so that the body would then take over the process of tissue degeneration on its own. The sweet spot is where the pigment can be agitated that catalyzes the tissue degenerating effect, without damaging the eye. The article also discusses that the laser is green in color in order to absorb the brown hue of the eye and how the results can be apparent over weeks. It tells of 38 tester participants who received the surgery in one eye in the Stroma lab in Costa Rica; and how the only real potential health threat is glaucoma.

Ceruti, P. “Iris Colour Change after Glaucoma Surgery Associated with Haemorrhagic Choroidal Effusion.” Nature. Nature, 4 May 2007. Web. 26 Jan. 2016. <http://www.nature.com/eye/ journal/v21/n7/full/6702862a.html>.

This article is different as it gives a different vantage point of the eye color changing process and the origins to its discovery. When this article was published in 2007 people were still unaware that the process was possible so when a man received treatment for glaucoma and his iris color altered it was a surprise to the medical world, and for the general population. The procedure (a laser to the iris), was unexpected to have caused the color change in the 56-year-old man’s eye (it altered from green and cloudy to clear and bright blue in hue). It also was a shock to doctors that it did this without hemorrhaging (rupturing blood vessels) the delicate surface of the eye.

“First permanent eye colour change surgery performed in India.” India Pharma News 29 Feb. 2012. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

This article gave an alternate method of eye color change surgery besides the STROMA laser method by implanting a colored lens inside the eye over the iris. In this alternate method there was a specific procedure done in India to a New Zealand woman who wished to change her eye color from brown to olive green; it was successful. The article also discussed that even though the surgery is believed to provide safe and permanent cosmetic benefits, it is not licensed in Europe and the U.S. due to the risks involved. Furthermore people are traveling to countries like Panama and India where it can be done without restriction.

Meenakshi. (2012, Jun 22). FIRST PERMANENT EYE COLOR CHANGE SURGERY IN INDIA. EHealth, Retrieved from http:// search.proquest.com/docview/1021749842?accountid=14244

This article mostly focussed on eye color change surgery as a solution to known medical issues. The article discusses how the lens implantation technique (used once so far in India), can be used for different people afflicted with defective eye color from albinism, coloboma or other birth defects, for example. It also demonstrates how the surgery can serve as a solution to these problems in people affected with these disabilities or illnesses, versus people who just want the surgery. The article helps to give more real life implications of the surgery, for more than just cosmetic uses.

The Early History of Autism in America

The article talked about Billy who suffered with autism. He lived in a time when there was no medical terminology for the disease but people referred to autistic individuals as “idiots”. I think an interesting point to be made here is how far society has come in medical naming from slang.

Another autistic individual that was mentioned in the article was The Wild Boy of Aveyron who was found in the French forest who was a medical anomaly in the late 18th century.

Autism was around before there was even a term for the disability.