Archives for January, 2012

Ritalin’s Fallacy

Diffusion MRI Tractography in the brain white matter. Some drugs work well because they are designed to hit a single, well understood target. Consider penicillin. In a simplified sense, penicillin destroys a single enzyme that bacteria need to divide and to infect you, thereby killing the harmful bacteria. But what about psychiatric drugs? Is there…

Mass Arrest in Occupy Oakland

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at I’ve been following use of social media in freedom of speech throughout the Arab Spring…but something is going on in Oakland, California that deserves some attention.

OpenYale courses. Looking for free, open source learning materials about any subject, from top experts in the world? I used to think that MIT’s OpenCourseWare and Yale’s OpenYale courses were a “one stop shopping” source for this, until I came across this stunning, worldwide, multi-lingual collection of course materials.

How Romney is Underpaid at $57,000 per day

Photo AP. The release of Gov. Mitt Romney’s tax returns on Tuesday highlights the Presidential candidate’s wealth and the low 14% tax rate that investors enjoy, far less than the 25-35% tax rate that the average American pays for wages. Yes, Gov. Romney’s annual earnings of about $20 million indicate that his dividends and interest…

Down Syndrome’s Dolls. One of this year’s top finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search is a High School student studying self image of children with Down’s Syndrome, using dolls.

Photo: :The New York Giants in a December 2008 game against the w:Cincinnati Bengals (Flickr tedkerwin) In 2004, I had a memorable evening dining with NY Giants player Michael Strahan (see “Football Helmet Hits and Brain Injury – What Should Be Done?“) With a repeat match of the NY Giants battling with the New England…

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach en:Joe Paterno on the sideline during warmups prior to the 2006 Homecoming game versus the University of Illinois on Friday, October 20, 2006. Joe Paterno at Penn State was one of the most successful, and controversial, football coaches at the University level. What will his real legacy be?

Dirty Dancing for a Greener Planet

A dung beetle performing a dance on top of its dung ball. The little jig apparently helps the pea-brained beetles navigate. CREDIT: Emily Baird; Baird E, Byrne MJ, Smolka J, Warrant EJ, Dacke M / PLoS ONE Do you have a favorite animal? Chemist Sir Harold Kroto does. It is the dung beetle. Why?

Plant Sends Tweets for Water

Can a plant send tweets for water? It is possible, using a “do your own biology” approach.

A “holy grail” in spinal injury research is to repair the spinal cord with newly minted nerve cells. This study published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience takes us a major leap forward, with the first evidence that cells from an umbilical cord — not from a fetus — can be transformed into active nerve…