Sheyna Gifford

Sheyna E. Gifford, MSc, MD, MSJ (MBA)

Los Angeles, CA, USA, Earth

Sheyna Gifford

Frederick Douglass said, "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." So why aren't we focusing on building strong children, improving infrastructure, expanding our horizons, doing the right and difficult things? I'm going to ask these questions and write about the answers.
Also, I'm going to keep saying, "We are better than this - We are smarter than this," until it comes true.



Why Mouthguards Are a Good Call for Child Athletes

We all know that sports are a great potential outlet for kids: They promote physical fitness and provide the opportunity to exercise social skills. As parents, we encourage our children to play sports and to play them safely, but even when caution is used, sports-related activities cause numerous injuries – many to the mouth and teeth, as the American Dental Association (ADA) reports.

Right in the Stinger: How to Avoid, Identify, and Treat Insect Bites and Stings

Warm weather brings us into contact with many insects, inside and outside, and this leads to a higher likelihood of bites and stings. Our bad reactions to bugs range from merely unpleasant to occasionally fatal, so it's important to know how to avoid, identify, and treat the most common insect-derived problems.

The Importance of Prenatal Vitamins

Many people take vitamins, even if they may not really need them. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that half of U.S. adults take vitamin supplements on a regular basis. One demographic that clearly benefits from daily nutritional supplements is women, especially before, during, and just after pregnancy.

All in the Family: Stress Management for Children

Has your son or daughter been acting gloomy or closed off lately? It's easy to write off child moodiness as a phase, hormones, or just another episode, but kids feel stress just as much as adults do. In some circumstances, even the most resilient child strains to adapt, causing stress for both the child and his or her guardians, so it's important to know the best stress management techniques for when your child deals with new and challenging situations.

Small Steps, Big Results: Helping a Friend or Loved One Quit Smoking

We want our loved ones to be healthy and happy, so when one of them wants to quit smoking, we should support them in every way possible. Kristi Schaible, a certified smoking-cessation facilitator at Mercy Medical Center Redding, has some tips on how to get that conversation going and the best ways to be supportive throughout the quitting process.

How to Make Use of Google Health Information

The Internet is an amazing source of information for almost anything you can think of, including health topics. The same tool you use for looking up a local pizza place or dry cleaner is also a helpful means of discovering facts about health conditions – when you know where and how to look. If you're one of the millions who regularly uses Google, health information is now more available than ever.

Our Ocean’s Cosmic Origin

Most of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, half of which may be older than the Sun itself. The origin of the Earth’s water – the source of life on our planet and likely off of it – is a wellspring of debate. For a long time, our abundant oceans were attributed to comets, which may have delivered water to the surface after our planet cooled.
Astrobiology Magazine Link to Story

In the Zone. The Venus Zone: Seeking the Twin of our Twin Among the Stars

What if, in our quest to find another Earth, we happen upon another Venus? We should celebrate, of course. Venus is often called Earth’s “twin” because it shares of lot of our home planet’s physical characteristics: surface area, composition and density. Also, roughly speaking, both planets inhabit the area around the Sun’s habitable zone – though Venus is near the inner edge, while we on Earth occupy the relative center.
Astrobiology Magazine Link to Story

Curtains of Fire: Peering into Io’s volcanic Laboratory

The volcano-warmed fields of Earth might have been a great place to survive an ice age, but the lava-filled fissures of Io are no place for life to hang out. Io hosts the first lava-producing volcanoes discovered outside of Earth. However, after their initial discovery in 1979, the eruptions have proved elusive.
Astrobiology Magazine Link to Story

Bright like a Diamond: Lasers and Compressed Carbon Recreate Jupiter’s Core

While missions like the Kepler can tell us quite a bit about other worlds, to actually look into the heart of a planet we had to put a diamond through a pretty rough road-test. Last week a team of scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) announced that they recreated the pressures found in Jupiter’s core by applying consistently increasing the level of compression on a sample of carbon.
Astrobiology Magazine Link to Story

Resurrected Proteins, Alternate Histories and A Sure Path to Modern Physiology

He doesn’t bring back people, or pets, or even proteobacteria. Thornton specializes in the science of re-engineering long-gone proteins. His artful attempts to recreate the path by which we arrived in the present-tense have terminated with the following revelation: there is no other path to the here and now.
Astrobiology Magazine Link to Story

A Swing and A Near-Miss — Comet Siding-Spring Clears the Fence Over Mars’ Satellite-filled Outfield

Like a runner rounding third base on his way to home plate, comet Siding Spring will sprint past Mars this October while making a beeline for the Sun. Siding Spring’s buzz of the red planet will afford us not only an unprecedented peek at a fresh comet, but also front-row seats for a historical look back at the ancient Solar System.
Astrobiology Magazine Link to Story


Sheyna Gifford

I started out in Journalism at a now-defunct newspaper in Vermont in 1996, where we inked an actual press. My next stop was the Daily Californian in Berkeley, where the copy was cut and pasted on a board. In 1997, I ran my first science journalism piece on Comet Hale Bopp. I went on to earn degrees in English, Neuroscience, Biotechnology and Medicine (MD). After leaving medicine, I went (back) to work for NASA as a contributor to Astrobiology Magazine. Nowadays, I am at USC Annenberg studying specialized journalism. I hope to bring together my first-hand knowledge of medicine, my experience in science and my career as a journalist to improve health literacy, assist physicians to communicate with their patients and to break the ice around the image of modern-day researchers.



  • Fencing
  • Fighting
  • Chases
  • Escapes
  • True Love
  • Miracles
  • Storytelling
  • Magic Bean Buying
  • Science Journalism
  • Medicine
  • Neuroscience
  • Photography