Hank Greely, Professor of Law at Stanford, talks to us about the potential impact of biotechnologies on human sexual reproduction. Continue reading
“Turns out he wasn’t kidding,” said Ray. “He really couldn’t remember last week’s puzzler.” (1) On Monday Tom Magliozzi, co-host of NPR’s ‘Car Talk’ died of Alzheimer’s disease. For his many fans the dreaded disorder suddenly became personal. For many, it comes as a shock to learn that the mind-robbing disease can be fatal.
A few weeks ago the Nobel Prize Committee announced that John O’Keefe, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser would be the recipients of the 2014 prize for Physiology and Medicine for their work in deciphering the neural code in the rat hippocampal region.1 The work is frequently summarized as revealing the functioning of the brain’s GPS system. While the GPS part is true, the work is far broader, giving insights into the neural substrate of broad areas of cognition that include memory, planning, creativity and internal thought. Continue reading
This month, thousands of neuroscientists around the world are preparing for our annual Big Event: The Society for Neuroscience conference. If last year is any indication, then by thousands, I mean more than 30,000 neuroscientists are getting their geek on to showcase the latest and greatest neuroscience research next month in Washington DC. Continue reading
Recently scientists have been exploring part of the brain that has been relatively unexplored in learning–white matter, comprising half of the human brain. Here new research is detecting cellular changes during learning that are entirely different from the synaptic changes between neurons in gray matter. A new study shows that learning a new motor skill requires generation of new myelin, the electrical insulation on nerve axons.
Nita Farahany, Professor of Law and Philosophy at Duke University is a leading scholar on the ethical implications of biosciences and emerging technologies. She joined us to discuss how neuroscience is currently being used in the courtroom. We also talked about potential issues brought by emerging technologies on the invasion of privacy for individuals. Continue reading
On September 23, 1976, while the nation’s attention was focused on the battle between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter for President of the United States, a 42-year-old woman half way around the world was engaged in a personal battle. Outside the limelight of world view, her struggle for life in a remote third world country marked the crossing of a threshold for our species. Continue reading