Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
In this issue:
Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in September including:
A. September Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
New Neuroscience in the News
The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for October is "The Kavli Prize in Neuroscience" at:
Most people have heard of the Nobel Prize, but few people may know about the Kavli Prize. Every two years, the Kavli Foundation awards $1,000,000 to scientists for their work in neuroscience (and also in astrophysics and nanoscience). Last year, Drs. Eve Marder . Michael Merzenich and Carla Shatz received the prize “for the discovery of mechanisms that allow experience and neural activity to remodel brain function." The Kavli Prize web site contains biographies of the winners and details of the winning work.
Do you want to see your art on thousands of stickers? If your answer is "Yes,", then you should design an original graphic capturing the spirit of Brain Awareness Week (BAW) for a chance to see your creation become the new sticker for the Dana Foundation Sticker Contest.
The competition is open to the public worldwide, and creativity is encouraged! Submissions are due by October 31, and prizes will be awarded to the top three finalists. For more information, visit:
The Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants, publications, and educational programs.
When I travel, I try to find places that show off the science a city has to offer. Last month I visited London, England, and took in the sites, smells and tastes of this great city.
The obvious places for science are museums. London has many fantastic museums with artistic, historical and scientific collections. Perhaps the best museum in London is the British Museum. Filled to the brim with artifacts that illustrate the entire history of human culture, the British Museum cannot be appreciated in just a few hours. When I was at the British Museum, I searched for the ancient Egyptian room. Specifically, I was looking for tools used by the Egyptians to remove the brain from skulls when they created a mummy. I wasn’t disappointed. Not only did the museum have this tool, a 10-inch, corkscrew-like probe, it also had a skull to show where the tool was inserted.
The Science Museum, London, also has some great neuroscience exhibits, including a display of methods used to record activity from the brain. On the other hand, I was disappointed with the human body exhibits at the Natural History Museum because the displays were old and outdated.
In addition to having many museums, London has a good share of gardens. My favorite was Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens), a 30 minute subway ride to the west of the city. Inside Kew Gardens is Kew Palace and its medicinal garden. I was also lucky to be a Kew Gardens when the Library and Herbarium were open to the public. The Herbarium had a tour of the facility that was hosted by a researcher who travels the world to catalog plants. The Royal College of Physicians is another place I visited with a medicinal garden.
You can see my London photos, including the brain probe and skull, at:
A. "Memory: Fragrant Flashbacks" is a new exhibit at the Pacific Science Center (Seattle, WA).
A. Although jellyfish do not have a brain, they do appear to sleep. (Source: Nath et al., The jellyfish Cassiopea exhibits a sleep-like state, Current Biology, 27, 1-7, 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.014)
B. Actress Kate Walsh was diagnosed with a benign tumor (meningioma) on the left side of her brain (frontal lobe) in 2015. She had surgery to remove the tumor three days after the diagnosis and has made a good recovery.
C. Products found in seaweed may help repair damage caused by traumatic brain injury. (Source: https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2017/sep/sugar-on-the-brain-seaweed-to-heal-brain-injuries)
D. Facebook has started research on a device that would allow people to type words using a brain-computer interface.
E. October 1-2, 2017, is Mental Illness Awareness Week.
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.