As the government shutdown nears the two week mark, it’s worth examining the effect of this latest political showdown on American science, and what this says about our collective values. This value conversation is relevant on the heels of Nobel prize winning scientists being placed on furlough while the congressional gym remains open. Continue reading
In any major mapping expedition shouldn’t the first priority be to survey the uncharted regions? In mapping the brain, that would be charting the neglected half–glia.
The Brain Mapping Initiative announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year seeks to map and monitor the function of neural connections in the entire brain of experimental animals, and eventually in the human cerebral cortex. Several researchers have raised doubts about the project, cautioning that mapping the brain is a far more complex endeavor than mapping the human genome, and its usefulness more uncertain. Continue reading
In this episode, we talk about neural simulation, the relation between the mind and the brain, ion channels that make neurons excitable and neuroscience research in fly larvae. Participants are Erin McKiernan, Jean-François Gariépy, John Kubie, Leanne Boucher and Steven Miller. Continue reading
Beyond the Brain, David Brooks’ op ed in today’s NY Times (June 18), argues that Neuroscience will never explain everything. According to Brooks
The brain is not the mind. It is probably impossible to look at a map of brain activity and predict or even understand the emotions, reactions, hopes and desires of the mind.
While his conclusion may, or may not, be correct, his argument is flawed from top to bottom.
I thought I would share some of the interesting stuff I read this month on the web. Continue reading
When anyone wants to support science, I’m in. These are trying times, when the scientific enterprise is facing severe cuts as budget sequestration looms, creating even more uncertainty and angst among research institutions – not to mention young scientists who might be questioning whether they want to enter a career with such a high level of risk. Continue reading
According to news sources, on Friday morning, December 14th 2012, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and slaughtered 26 people – 20 precious children (6 and 7 year olds) and 6 heroic adults who worked at the school. Continue reading