Science

Neuron Culture

Category archives for Science

Kew Gardens (that is, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew) is trying to collect and bank the seeds and pollen from 10% of the world’s plants — a nice 21st-century continuation of the stunning collecting effort that started in the 1700s and helped supply evidence, via Joseph Dalton Hooker, that proved crucial to Darwin’s theory…

More or less alongside my piece on depression’s wiring diagram, this months’ Scientific American Mind has a piece I wrote on how social hierarchies develop among rats. Darlene Francis, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, placed 80 newly weaned rats in cages of four, with cage mates matched for size, activity level and…

A few days ago I had a brief post on a team of Spanish kids who used a latex balloon and a $60 camera to take photographs of the earth from near the edge of space. My info was sketchy at the time, but an alert reader found and sent me a link to the…

“Faith” is a fine invention For gentlemen who see — But microscopes are prudent In an emergency. Emily Dickinson, poet (1830-1886) via A Word a Day, 3/17/09

The stratosphere, as photographed by a group of four Spanish schoolboys, or their balloon, anyway. Well, okay, maybe it’s citizen space photography instead of citizen science. But still. Gotta love this. From the Telegraph: Proving that you don’t need Google’s billions or the BBC weather centre’s resources, the four Spanish students managed to send a…

Evolutionary Novelties ponders placentas: For me one of the most visceral confirmations of the common descent of humans and other mammals came while witnessing the birth of my children. Having grown up on a small farm, I have vivid memories of the birth of kittens, lambs, and goats; and after the births of my children,…

Notables from my morning feedscan: The vision folks at Barrow study “Where’s Waldo?” to figure out search strategies. A virtual-reality helmet claims to to feed all five senses. Interesting if true. Winner best-and-worsrt headline writing in a press release: Prawnography shows captive bred prawns lack lust And in second place, running, um, close behind: Scatological…

The Amygdaloids at the 92d Y, 4/3/08. Music starts at about 3m. LeDoux’s the guitarist who is NOT singing. (Maybe it scares him?) A few months back I gave a heads-up that NYU neuroscientist Joe LeDoux and his band, t the Amygdaloids, were playing in NYC. Well, the virus has spread! At Rock-It Science, March…

Cute deconstructivism meets cute YouTube

Dangerous concept; successful execution: From the mediea team at Small Mammal, a cute video story that deconstructs a cute YouTube video to look at the science of cuteness. Somebody run tell Liz Spikol!

Despite the rain on my window, it’s a fine day indeed, with many wonderful celebrations of Darwin’s 200th ringing throughout the blogoshere. Most of these, naturally, focus on Darwin’s theory of evolution and its many implications and reverberations. I much admire that theory. But what I find most fascinating about Darwin is not his theory…