Jennifer Huber

Jennifer Huber is a medical imaging scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with more than 20 years of experience in academic science writing. She received her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California Santa Barbara. She is also a freelance science writer, editor and blogger, as well as a science-writing instructor for the University of California Berkeley Extension. Jennifer has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of her life and she frequently enjoys the eclectic cultural, culinary and outdoor activities available in the area. Read her previous contributions to QUEST, a project dedicated to exploring the Science of Sustainability.
Photograph courtesy of kfisto via Creative Commons licensing.

Air Pollution Lurks Inside Your Home

Californians spend over 45 billion dollars each year on health impacts due to indoor air pollution. Scientists at Berkeley Lab have identified the indoor air pollutants with the greatest health consequences, and they are now looking for ways to improve indoor air quality.

Photograph of the Cefaly anti-migraine device courtesy of STX-Medsprl via Wikimedia Commons licensing.

Nerve-Stimulating Headband May Prevent Migraines

Migraines affect about 30 million Americans, but anti-migraine medications are often ineffective or cause unpleasant side effects. New research indicates that migraines may be prevented by wearing a headband that stimulates the nerves around the eyes and forehead.

photograph of woman laying in bed.

Are Sleeping Aids Effective or Just A Placebo Effect?

Insomnia has become a major health concern worldwide. In the US, 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are issued each year and non-benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed type. However, recent scientific journal articles have raised concerns about using these sleep aids.

photograph of grapefruit

Think Before You Drink Grapefruit Juice

You should discuss with your doctor or pharmacist whether ingesting grapefruit could cause an unintentional drug overdose. Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice affects how the body metabolizes certain drugs, and the number of drugs that adversely interact with grapefruit has increased according to new research results.

colorful photograph of antibiotics

Dynamic Duo: Antibiotics and Probiotics

Scientific evidence now suggests that taking probiotics with antibiotics can reduce the risk of negative side affects. In a recent combined study, people who took probiotics with antibiotics were 42% less likely to develop diarrhea. However, further research is needed to determine the most effective probiotics and dose.

Count Dracula played by Bela Lugosi in the 1931 film Dracula, courtesy of Creative Commons license.

Science Behind Vampire Myths

Why have people around the world always been fascinated by vampires? Did vampire tales begin as a way to explain frightening phenomena actually witnessed? Although there is no scientific evidence for vampires, there is some scientific basis for vampire folklore.

Photograph courtesy of Joint Base Lewis McChord via Creative Commons

Should Men Get A PSA Blood Test To Screen For Prostate Cancer?

Medical experts disagree on whether prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests are an effective screening technique for prostate cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against PSA screening for men of any age, but recent research disagrees with this assessment.

UCB researchers exam vascular stem cells in the microscope

Newly Discovered Stem Cells Cause Clogged Arteries

Scientists thought they understood how arteries hardened and clogged, but they may have been wrong. New research indicates that a previously unknown type of stem cell is actually the underlying cause of clogged arteries. If confirmed, it could lead to new therapies.

photograph of abandoned cigarette burning.

Hope for an Anti-Nicotine Vaccine

Recent research shows that a new vaccine led to consistently high anti-nicotine antibody levels that prevented nicotine from reaching the brain. If these findings are confirmed in people, this vaccine could be an effective therapy to help prevent nicotine addiction.


New Research Hopes to Conquer Food Allergies

A food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room every three minutes. However, the 15 million people with food allergies now have hope. New clinical trials show promise for three experimental treatments: oral immunotherapy, sublingual immunotherapy and food allergy herbal formula-2. Scientists are also trying to understand how food allergies develop to help prevent them.

Mina Bissel in her lab

Why Don’t We Get Cancer More Often?

Dr. Mina Bissell of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is one of the world’s leading researchers on breast cancer. Her group recently found that normal breast cells provide an innate defense mechanism against cancer by secreting a protein to actively and specifically kill breast cancer cells without harming normal ones.