Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
Here is what you will find in this issue:
1. What's New on the Neuroscience for Kids Web Site
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest - Results
4. SfN at the National Science Teachers Association Meeting
5. New Science Museum
6. Brain Awareness Week
7. Getting Degrees: A Closer Look at PhDs in the U.S.
8. Media Alert
9. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
10. Support Neuroscience for Kids
11. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. February Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. April Neurocalendar
D. Juggling Juggles the Brain
E. Seeing with New Sight
F. On-line Hand Dominance Test
G. Right/Left Confusion?
H. Drinking and Driving Affects Kids Too!
In February, 31 new figures were added and 78 pages were modified.
Have you wondered how scientists look inside the living human brain? One method they use is called Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Staff at the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging (University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine) have created "Let's Play PET!" to let you know all about this amazing technology.
When you enter the web site, you have the choice of a static WWW version or a Shockwave WWW version. Choose the Shockwave WWW version because it's more interactive than the static version. Although PET is a complicated technology, the creators of the web site explain each aspect of the technique slowly and with simple language. Buttons at the top of each screen advance and reverse your direction through panels and a text box at the bottom of each screen explains what you are seeing.
The neurology section in chapter 6 lets you be a doctor as you examine neurological PET scans. Is it epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease or something else? You make the diagnosis!
Here are some of the winning poems:
Kindergarten through Grade 2 (poem; any style):
From Leslie M., a first grader in Miamiburg, OH:
My brain helps me read and write,
It even works at night.
It helps me think,
And is like a computer.
With my brain I can play and run,
And also think about fun.
Grade 3 to Grade 5 (poem; must rhyme):
From Sarah V., a fifth grader in Sterling Heights, MI:
My name is Sarah, can't you see.
I'm a kid with Epilepsy.
Don't be afraid, I'm not seizing
But if I do, please no teasing.
Grade 6 to Grade 8 (must be a haiku):
From Brandon F., a sixth grader in Medina, MN:
An uncharted land
An infinite realm of thoughts
And all in your head.
Grade 9 to Grade 12 (must be a limerick):
From Hillary B., an eleventh grader in Etna, NH:
A man mistook his wife for a hat.
Could it get much more crazy than that?
He lived in abstraction -
Drove him to distraction!
But much better a hat than a cat.
A list of winning poets and some of their poems can be found at: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/contest03.html
Thank you to the generous donation of books from the following companies and organizations allowed multiple winners in the contest:
Capstone Press for "Your Senses" by Helen Frost
Capstone Press/Bridgestone Books for "Your Brain" by Terri DeGezelle
Compass Point Books for "Sound" by Darlene R. Stille
Picture Window Books for "Sound: Loud, Soft, High, and Low" by Natalie M. Rosinsky
The Society for Neuroscience for "Brain Facts" edited by Joseph Carey
The Dana Press for
"States of Mind" edited by Roberta Conlan
The National Science Foundation analyzed trends in science PhDs from 1993 to 2002. As March is Women's History month, let's check in and see how women have fared. In all fields of science, women made gains during these 10 years. Psychology was the most popular field for women (more than 60% of PhDs in this fields were awarded to women).
Other conclusions from the survey:
* Almost half (49%) of the newly minted PhDs in 2002 had plans to go on to postdoctoral position (called a "postdoc").
* Biology PhDs accounted for 29% of the science PhDs in 2002 (compared to 26% in 1993).
* For PhDs granted in 2002 in the biological sciences, neuroscience PhDs ranked third, behind molecular biology (2nd) and biochemistry (1st).
* A total of 490 neuroscience PhDs were granted. Molecular biology netted 617 and biochemistry topped out at 781.
Interestingly, though, the number of PhDs in biochemistry had decreased slightly over the 10 years (down 8%) while molecular biology creeped up 6% and neuroscience leapt forward by a whopping 78% increase. The only field that saw a larger increase in numbers was the biomedical sciences, charting a 133% increase in PhDs over the past 10 years.
(Source: Survey of Earned Doctorates, National Science Foundation)
(Source: The Scientist, January 19, 2004)
B. "Headstrong Hominids" by Noel T. Boaz and Russell L. Ciochon (Natural History magazine, February, 2004) discusses the skull of Java man and Peking man.
C. "The Secret Killer" (cover story of the February 23, 2004, issue of Time Magazine) discusses inflammation and how it may be related to disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
D. "The Other Half of the Brain" by R. Douglas Fields (Scientific American, April 2004) discusses the roles of glia cells.
E. Dr. Keith Black, a neurosurgeon and brain cancer researcher, is
profiled by Le Anne Schreiber in Discover magazine (April, 2004).
B. The human brain uses 15-20% of the body's oxygen supply. The brain of the African elephant nose fish uses 60% of its body's oxygen supply! (Reference: Nilsson, G.E., Brain and body oxygen requirements of Gnathonemus petersii, a fish with an exceptionally large brain. J. Experi. Biol., 199:603-607, 1996.)
C. Impressionist painter Claude Monet (1840-1926) had cataracts and was almost blind by 1922. He had cataract surgery on his right eye in 1922. (Reference: Stelle, M. and O'Leary, J.P. Monet's cataract surgery. American Surgeon, 67:196-198, 2001.)
D. Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone in 1876, suffered from headaches (probably migraines) that lasted hours to days. (Reference: Doherty, M.J., The headaches of Alexander Graham Bell, Arch. Neurology, 60:1805-1808, 2003.)
E. In 1993, 276 doctoral degrees were awarded in neuroscience.
In 1998, 413 doctoral degrees were awarded in neuroscience.
In 2002, 490 doctoral degrees were awarded in neuroscience.
(Reference: The Scientist, January 19, 2003, page 43.)
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.
"Neuroscience for Kids" is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center of Research Resources.