Neurophilosophy

Archives for September, 2007

The archives of the American Eugenics Movement

The word eugenics immediately makes one think of the racial hygiene programs of the Nazis and the experiments performed by Joseph Mengele on those held in the concentration camps, but far fewer are aware that there was a large and powerful eugenics movement in the U.S. during the first half of the 20th century. For…

Below are a few quotes from this interview with theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson, whose new book, A Many-colored Glass, is about to be published. On science, religion and Richard Dawkins: I think it’s only a small fraction of people who think that [science and religion are at odds]. Perhaps they have louder voices than the…

Will the U.S. attack Iran?

According to Pullitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, the answer is yes.

For sale on eBay: A nuclear missile base

The former Larsen Air Force Base Complex 1A Titan ICBM Facility is listed on eBay. The facility comes complete with 16 underground buildings, including three 160 ft. tall missile silos, three 4-storey terminal equipment buildings, two antenna silos and a 100 ft. diameter control dome building. That amounts to 45,000 square feet of useable space,…

Neuroengineering blog by a pro

Ed Boyden, leader of the Neuroengineering and Neuromedia Group at MIT, has just started a blog. I wrote about some of Boyden’s work earlier this year. His is one of several groups that have used a light-sensitive bacterial protein called channelrhodopsin to develop an “optical switch” that can activate or inhibit neurons.

Weekend photoblogging

I took this photograph about three years ago, while on holiday in the Charente region of central France.

“Brain-eating” amoeba kills 6

Over the past few days, there have been numerous scary news stories about a “brain-eating” amoeba that has killed six boys and young men this year (three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona, the most recent case being that of 14-year-old Aaron Evans, who died on September 17th). The amoeba in question…

Craig Venter advocates cognitive enhancement

At Wired, filmmaker Ridley Scott discusses the forthcoming remastered final cut of Blade Runner. This classic 1982 film depicts a dystopian futuristic society based on artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, and was recently voted as the best science fiction film ever made by 60 top scientists.  The interview includes quotes about the film from various…

Today’s issue of Science contains the winners of the 2007 Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, and the journal’s website has an online exhibit that features all of the winning images. The competition is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation, who created it with the editors of Science five years ago. The aim of the competition…

Google Earth reveals swastika-shaped navy barracks

This image from Google Earth shows the swastika-shaped barracks at the Coronado Naval base near San Diego. Following objections from the Anti-Defamation League, the U.S. Navy has set aside $600,000 of its 2008 budget for landscaping and rooftop adjustments that will camouflage the shape of the building. “We told the Navy this was an incredibly…