Stories about evolution are compelling because they fit with our very human need for a linear narrative, but evolution possesses distinctive non-linearities driven by its agent, natural selection. Continue reading
Somewhere between single-celled organisms and human beings, brains evolved. Just why and how is still shrouded in mystery. Continue reading
For the star-studded cast who made up two panels at this year’s Kavli Prize award ceremony (available via webcast) at the World Science Festival in New York City today, special significance was attached to the death in November of the Norwegian-born Fred Kavli, the benefactor of 17 institutes in various parts of the world, including five dedicated solely to neuroscience.
Anguish grips the country with news of another horrific mass murder. From local police to the Secret Service, law enforcement worry about the “lone wolf.” These are individuals with no criminal record, feeling alienated and angry, plotting spectacular murder and violence in secret. “Experts” lament that there is no way to track lone wolf killers, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The lone wolf is perhaps the easiest of all potential murderers to identify and stop before they act. Continue reading
Dana Alliance member Thomas R. Insel has been a staunch trailblazer in neuroscience and psychiatry with an amazing capacity for doing it with, as a recent New York Times article states, “a reflexively earnest good nature.” As the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the priorities and mission he has developed and continues to develop guide the activities of an influential federal organization that has a large impact on public health and policy.
What were the biggest neuroscience stories of 2013? It may be years before we gain the perspective to know for sure. But here’s a list of top contenders, and one of dubious value.
Guys who need it have Viagra; Ladies with the similar needs have nothing now that the FDA has denied approval of a new drug, flibanserin, which would treat sexual dysfunction in women. What’s interesting from a neuroscience perspective is how the drug works. What’s interesting from a social perspective is how difficult it is to address this medical concern in women pharmacologically. Continue reading