Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Archives for August, 2006

A few days ago, I issued a challenge to my fellow ScienceBloggers: “Are you for or against the death penalty, or (if its conditional), in what cases? Furthermore, do you believe that societies that sanction war are hypocritical for opposing the death penalty?” Quite a few of my esteemed cohort stepped up to the plate…

The concept of “zero” is a tricky one, as it denotes an appreciation of what nothingness is. Although quite a few species have demonstrated a recognition of numbers (monkeys, pigeons, rats, dolphins, crows, lions, among others) and a few have demonstrated rudimentary counting skills (higher apes and Grey parrots), the extent to whether these same…

Water is good for a lot of things, from quenching your thirst to reducing the BO levels of your scuzzy roommate. But recent work from the University of Michigan, to be published next week in PNAS, shows that water is also an essential part of a type of cell enzyme called a ribozyme. Ribozymes accelerate…

If You Write It, They Will Come

Ok, this isn’t much of a post at all, except to direct you all over to Dr. Bushwell’s abode to read this bit of unmitigated hilarity. Some people should just be denied internet access. Although, how would we bloggers stay entertained? I also just noticed that I’ve made two unabashed references to Kevin Costner movies…

Orac of Respectful Insolence is on vacation this week, and in the hiatus is posting some “classic” Insolence from the old blog. In his absence, I feel the need to continue the fight against woo (and also, I happened to receive this story via email—Hat tip Darkman). The 35-year-old high school teacher named Bheki was…

Shelley Does The Dentist

Ugh, in a few short hours (8am Wednesday) I’ll be under the nitrous gas at the dentist. I really hope I don’t get loopier than absolutely necessary, as I *do* need to go to lab today/tomorrow. As to what I’m getting done, well just a simple teeth cleaning. Why nitrous for a silly cleaning, you…

As reported in Forbes, many pro-stem cell billionaires are picking up the cause and heavily donating to research projects to develop stem cell therapies. Following the Bush Administration’s further constraints of funding, and limited federal stem cell lines (which now contain a woeful number of defects), universities and foundations were forced to set up off-site…

So, similar to how the guys over at the World’s Fair have posed us ScienceBloggers with a couple questions, I have one of my own that I hope my brethern will undertake to answer: “Are you for or against the death penalty, or (if its conditional), in what cases? Furthermore, do you believe that societies…

It is truly a challenge to write both scientifically, informatively, and accessibly. However, Christiane Nusslein-Volhard is able to strike a remarkable balance in her new book on developmental biology, Coming to Life. She succinctly summarizes crucial discoveries and experiments in the field, spanning from Darwin and Mendel to very recent work in cloning and gene…