Neuron Culture

Archives for June, 2006

Now here’s a provoking notion: PTSD in elephants .In an arresting article in Seed, Gay Bradshaw, a professor at Oregon State University, describes the implications of several studies of elephant groups in which wayward youngsters went a-wilding, essentially, murdering rhinos and creating mayhem. The young male elephants were from social groups that had been fragmented…

The Public Library of Science — the wonderful open-access journal — features a fine, thought-provoking piece by staffer Lisa Gross on Scientific Illiteracy and the Partisan Takeover of Biology. Gross takes a sobering look at how the fast pace of today’s science and the public’s lack of understanding of scientific basics and principles (like the…

In a promising experiment, Nature reports that it is beginning a trial in which it will evaluate submitted papers through two tracks, one using its current, traditional closed peer review system and another using open peer review. As the blog O’Reilly Radar notes, this is a highly encouraging and significant trial, and one with Nature’s…

The cover of the May 27 New Scientist bluntly asks, regarding climate change, “What Does It Take?” What will it take, that is, to convince our political leaders to start braking the accelerating runaway train we’ve created in global warming? I won’t review the (overwhelming) evidence here; for that, see some of the good writing…

from New Scientist, 30 May 2006: Wild birds have helped transmit the deadly H5N1 bird flu across Eurasia, a meeting of 300 scientists at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) concluded on Wednesday. But killing them to prevent further spread of the disease is not the answer, they warn. I wrote an article about…