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    Researchers Balance Passion for Pop Culture and Science

    Dr. Maral Tajerian and Dr. Sebastian Alvarado are a power couple, if there ever was one. They received a grant to do their lab on neuroplasticity at Queens College and are conducting groundbreaking research here.  This isn’t the first project they’ve worked on together either; their interest in pop culture and video games led them to co-found Thwacke!, a consulting firm that helps the entertainment industry develop plausible fictional science. This scientific plausibility can help foster interest in STEM fields; Tajerian believes,“It helps suspend disbelief and often serves as a source for inspiration for writers, artists and designers.” Alvarado credits “comic books and 90s cartoons” for sparking his interest in…