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Neuron Culture

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I’ve moved to Wired

This blog has moved. I am now cultivating Neuron Culture at Wired Science Blogs. Main link above. Please adjust your bookmarks, subscriptions, or RSS reader settings accordingly. You can read subscribe to the feed here.You can also follow me at Twitter. Thanks, David Dobbs

Many significant human pleasures are universal,” Bloom writes. “But they are not biological adaptations. They are byproducts of mental systems that have evolved for other purposes.” Evolutionary psychologists like Bloom are fond of explaining perplexing psychological attributes this way. These traits emerged, the argument goes, as accidental accompaniments to other traits that help us survive…

  The photo above isone of several posted by NeuroDojo, who has a lovely post on them. Genetic Future ponders the 23andMe Oops-wrong-data event. Turns out it was a flipped tray. “I’m frankly astonished that this was possible at an accredited genotyping facility – plate-flipping is an age-old problem, but trivial to prevent with good plate/machine…

A biological basis for acupuncture, or more evidence for a placebo effect? Ed Yong ponders acupuncture, placebos, and context. This I like, and there’s a nice meta dimension here as well: placebos being all about context. Abel Pharmboy reports on Marking the magnificient memory of Henrietta Lacks. A nice account of what sounds like a lovely…

The Tax Foundation recrently ranked the states according to their tax load, with low taxes generating high rankings. My home state of Vermont did not fare well. Enter my friend David Goodman (Davidgoodman.net) who has written several books with his famous radio-host sister, Amy, and whose wife, Sue Minter, is a Vermont state legislator. David…

What grabbed people at Neuron Culture this month? Hands-down winner: Does depression have an upside? It’s complicated, which looked at the uproar raised by Jonah Lehrer’s NY Times Magazine story on “Depression’s Upside.” Depression and evolution: two very complex dynamics there. Much rich ground to explore, this got some great comments. I’ll do more, eventually…

Greg Hickok thinks so.  http://talkingbrains.blogspot.com/2010/03/mirror-neurons-unfalsifiable-theory.html (via Instapaper) Posted via email from David Dobbs’s Somatic Marker

Double helix, courtesy NIH/National Genome Research Institute It’s the 10th anniverary of the coding of the human genome. Snuck up on me — but not on Nature or Reuters. Both of these outfits — two of the best science/med reporting teams out there — published big, beautiful, multipart packages today. They’re worth a look even…

How new, then, is bloggery? Should we think of it as a by-product of the modern means of communication and a sign of a time when newspapers seem doomed to obsolescence? It makes the most of technical innovations—the possibility of constant contact with virtual communities by means of web sites and the premium placed on…

There will always be a Britain

RT @AlexConnor At UK space launch. There is an astronaut, a load of well-badged kids, a couple of lords and a soldier wearing gold rope. Sent from Echofon – http://echofon.com/ David Dobbs Typos courtesy of thumbs and iPhone Posted via email from David Dobbs’s Somatic Marker