HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM NEUROSCIENCE FOR KIDS!
In this issue:
A. December Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Mercury in Canned Tuna
C. March and April 2011 NeuroCalendars
In December, 5 new figures were added and 60 pages were modified.
The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) has put together this
great site where kids (preschool to grade 6) can learn about macular
degeneration, a disease of the eye. Start your visit to the Web site with
"Learn about Macular Degeneration" by choosing the appropriate grade
level. The preschool to K and grades 1-4 materials use FLASH while the
grade 5-6 material is a PDF file. You can also play games related to the
eye in the "Fun and Games" section. "Magic Goggles" is an interesting way
to show how different stages of macular degeneration affect vision.
Visit the "Library" section of the site to find some good tips if you are
doing a project about macular degeneration.
Entries must be received by February 1, 2011.
I strongly encourage you to participate in BAW. Your BAW activities do not
have to be complicated. Perhaps your class can develop a "Brain Fair" for
other students, parents and teachers. There may be neuroscientists who can
visit your class with a presentation about the brain. BAW is a time when
many neuroscientists are looking for classes to visit. The Society for
Neuroscience maintains a list of neuroscientists interested in K-12
Stink bugs do not bite or sting and they do not appear to carry any diseases. However, these insects can cause tremendous damage to plants and crops and some people just don't like bugs.
So, why do stink bugs stink? Stink bugs have glands between the first and second pair of legs. These glands contain a stinky liquid with chemicals called aldehydes. Some people think that stink bugs smell like sweaty feet. The insects can release the liquid for protection. If you squash a stink bug, the liquid could get on you and you don't want to smell like sweaty feet!
More information about stink bugs:
A. Digestion of cheese fondue is slower when the food is eaten with wine or schnapps than with tea or water.
B. Alcohol cannot be absorbed into the body through the feet.
C. People who are sleep deprived are rated as less healthy, more tired and less attractive than they are after a normal night's sleep.
D. Pencils from the IKEA furniture store make excellent marks on bone to help guide surgeons.
E. People with red hair are not susceptible to increased bleeding during surgery and do not have a higher rate of hernias than people with other hair colors.
You can read many of these studies on the BMJ Web site at:
B. "High Society" is a new museum exhibit that chronicles the history of illegal drugs. The exhibit is open until February 27, 2011, at the Wellcome Collection in London (UK). For more information about "High Society," see:
C. "Fractures and Bindings of Consciousness" by Don M. Tucker and Mark D. Holmes (American Scientist, January-February, 2011).
D. "100 Trillion Connections" by Carl Zimmer (Scientific American, January, 2011) tries to explain how billions of neurons may give rise to consciousness. Also in this issue are "Why Sleep Is Good for You" by Carrie Arnold, "Breaching the Brain Barrier" by Jeneen Interlandi and "Donate Your Brain, Save a Buck" by Gary Stix.
E. A new issue (January, 2011) of Scientific American MIND is on newsstands now.
F. "The A.I. Revolution Is On" by Steven Levy and "Inside the Battle to
Define Mental Illness" by Gary Greenberg are both in Wired magazine
B. An X-ray of Albert Einstein's skull was auctioned last month in Beverly Hills for $38,750. (Source: MercuryNews.com, via Associated Press, December 5, 2010)
C. Don Meredith, a former National Football League player and Monday Night Football TV announcer passed away on December 5, 2010, after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 72 years old.
D. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month.
E. Last month, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed A-2743, a new state law intended to protect and prevent concussions in student athletes. Read the law at:
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.