Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
Here is what you will find in this issue:
1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Neuroscience for Kids Drawing Contest - Judging has Begun
4. 2009 Brain Awareness Week
5. Neurosurgeon as Surgeon General?
6. Book Review
7. Media Alert
8. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
9. Support Neuroscience for Kids
10. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. January Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. 2009 Yearly Calendar
C. Smelling A Shoe to Treat Epilepsy?
D. Brain Explorers
E. March and April 2009 Neurocalendars
In January, 9 new figures were added and 45 pages were modified.
NeuroPod is a neuroscience podcast hosted by Kerri Smith and produced by
the journal Nature and the Dana Foundation. Each podcast discusses new
brain research and often includes interviews with neuroscientists and
patients. Recent programs include: "Dozy Drosophila" (Why study sleep in
flies?), "HM Remembered" (The contributions of patient HM to neuroscience)
and "Brain Banking" (donating brains to science).
A detailed list of BAW events is available at:
According to the Web site of the Office for Surgeon General:
"The Surgeon General serves as America's chief health educator by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. The Surgeon General is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States Senate for a 4-year term of office."
I will be interesting to see if Dr. Gupta gets the "top doctor" job if the brain will move to the front and center of public attention.
For more information:
Office of the Surgeon General
Sanjay Gupta, CNN biography
Sanjay Gupta, Emory Neurosurgery biography
Reading Level: Kindergarten to Grade 3
The author of "The Secret Code," Dana Meachen Rau, has a brother named Derek who is blind. Derek taught Dana to read Braille, the system of bumps for each letter of the alphabet. In "The Secret Code," Dana shares this experience through a story about Oscar and Lucy. While in class, Lucy sees Oscar reading a book with his fingers. Oscar then teaches Lucy to read Braille. "The Secret Code" is a great way to introduce young children to people who are blind and to the Braille alphabet. The book also shows that reading, with your eyes or fingers, can be fun!
After reading "The Secret Code," students may want to go to the library and check out a book written in Braille. Students can also make their own Braille alphabet code sheet; see:
then scroll down to "The Braille Alphabet" activity.
B. "Sculpting the Brain" by Claus C. Hilgetag and Helen Barbas discusses the shape of the brains folds and their relationship to autism, schizophrenia and other mental disorders (Scientific American, February, 2009).
C. The "Body Worlds & The Brain--Our Three Pound Gem" exhibit opens at the San Diego Natural History Museum on March 5, 2009.
D. "Hard Knocks" by Sean Gregory (Time magazine, February 2, 2009) discusses the importance of keeping young athletes who suffer a concussion on the bench and giving them time to recover.
E. The February 2009 issue of Scientific American MIND magazine is on newsstands now. This issue includes the following articles:
F. "How the Coming Revolution in Stem Cells Could Save Your Life" is the cover story of the February 9, 2009, issue of Time magazine.
G. "Of Voodoo and the Brain" by Sharon Begley (Newsweek magazine, February 9, 2009) discusses how neural activity may or may not be linked to thoughts and feelings.
H. I'll be visiting the Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus in Seattle to see the new exhibit called "Coffee: The World In Your Cup" (January 24, 2009 to June 7, 2009). From the exhibit Web site:
"Learn about the impacts of caffeine, the world?s most commonly-used drug, on your body, discover coffee's early controversial reputation as a 'revolutionary drink,' and consider the culture that surrounds coffee in the twenty-first century."
For more information about the exhibit, see:
B. The earliest known piece of art that displays eyeglasses is a portrait painted by Tommaso da Modena in 1352. (Source: Corson, R., Fashions in Eyeglasses, London: Peter Owen Limited, 1967).
C. Anemophobia is an irrational fear of wind.
D. New Caledonian crows, birds that use tools, have brains that weigh an average of 7.56 grams. (Cnotka, J., et al., Extraordinary large brains in tool-using New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides), Neuroscience Letters 433:241?245, 2008.)
E. The brain of Russian chemist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev (born 1834;
died 1907) weighed 1570 grams. Mendeleev is credited with creating the
first version of the periodic table of elements. (Source: Vein, A.A. and
Maat-Schieman, L.C., Famous Russian brains: historical attempts to
understand intelligence, Brain, 131:583-590, 2008.)
Help Neuroscience for Kids
Your comments and suggestions about this newsletter and the "Neuroscience for Kids" web site are always welcome. If there are any special topics that you would like to see on the web site, just let me know.
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.