Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Archives for November, 2007

Stem Cell Issue Resolved? ‘Fraid Not

Time has a great article about the recent breakthrough in stem cell research (that certain types of skin cells can regain pluripotency)–specifically on whether this so-called resolution to the stem cell debate might help the GOP. Stem cell research has been the albatross around the neck of Republicans for a while now. Its getting harder…

Worrisome news: A Cairo human rights activist and blogger, Wael Abbas, posted videos of torture by Egyptian police on YouTube. YouTube received some “complaints” about the material and responded by suspending Abbas’ account there, citing his material was “inappropriate.” One of these videos depicted the sodomy of a restrained political prisoner by police, and resulted…

Cuttlefish for a Cuttlefish

During the Thanksgiving break, a friend of mine took this great photo of a cuttlefish at the New England Aquarium. A few days ago, a really cool website called Digital Cuttlefish was brought to my attention by a comment someone left here. This blog epitomizes something I really like and admire–the intersection of art and…

Gene therapy is the isolation of a gene, which is then packaged into a vector for introduction into the body in hopes that it can correct some aspect of genetic disease. Often this “vector” is a type of virus which had been specifically engineered to be safer than its original version. This usually involves removing…

Boy’s Brain Impaled By Deer Antler

In a response to a “What are You Thankful For” request by ABC4.com, a rare and interesting neurological case study was described: penetration of the brain by a deer antler. CNN.com also has a video describing the event and the injury. In a nutshell, 5-year-old Connor Schick found a deer antler during an outdoor vacation…

The Machinery of Hair Cells

The Scientist has a fastastic illustrated feature on the workings of cochlear hair cells in their current online issue. In addition to pointing out the different cell types in the inner ear, there are a few informative blurbs about mechanotransduction and how stereocilia are organized and linked. This is part of the larger theme “Focus…

Well I arrived back in Michigan after a deep-fried Thanksgiving in Florida, hope you all had an as opulently greasy and delicious a meal as I did. I have to share a funny anecdote from my drive to the airport yesterday. My parents drove me to the Orlando airport, and we had to drive through…

The “Odd Duck” at Thanksgiving

The South is a great place to spend Thanksgiving. There’s pecan pie and fried ocra, green-bean casserole, and ham AND a turkey, and lots and lots of gracious hospitality. Except for my parents, my entire extended family lives in the epicenter of small-town Florida, surrounded by the orange groves they depended on for their livlihood.…

A Japanese whaling fleet recently set sail amidst much local fanfare, but Greenpeace is yet again determined to interfere with the hunt by placing themselves in between the whales and the Japanese harpoons. Unlike some other whaling protest groups, Greenpeace relies strictly on peaceful non-violent protesting despite the Japanese government labeling them “dangerous animal rights…

Florida Makes Shelley Sad

I have a love-hate relationship with Florida. The “hate” part of the equation comes from their shameful treatment of the manatee issue, their conservative Republican politics, their wanton destruction of the Everglades, and now, giving consideration to putting intelligent design in schools. As a product of the Florida public school system, I’m intensely grateful to…