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. 2008 Society for Neuroscience Meeting
4. Neuroscience For Kids Drawing Contest - Now Open
5. UW Brain Awareness Week Open House
6. Holiday Lectures on Science
7. The Strange and Unusual
8. Media Alert
9. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
10. Support Neuroscience for Kids
11. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. November Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Neuroscience Tools of the Trade
C. Tyrannosaurus Rex: Dinosaur Nose King
In November, 5 new figures were added and 30 pages were modified.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) recently launched the "It's a Noisy Planet" program to help protect the hearing of children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. The program is designed for parents to teach their kids how to avoid hearing loss from overexposure to loud noise.
The "It's a Noisy Planet" Web site offers information about the causes and
prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, how to recognize when a child's
hearing is at risk, and ways to reduce noise exposure. For kids, the site
has games, free posters and pens, and interactive information about noise
and hearing loss.
Read the press releases about new research discussed at the 2008 annual Society for Neuroscience meeting:
Greg Miller, who writes for the Science magazine blog, collected some interesting statistics that illustrate the size of the annual SfN meeting:
All entries must be received by February 1, 2009. Students from all
countries are welcome to enter the drawing contest.
To read about last year's BAW Open House at the University of Washington, please see:
If you cannot download the application form for the Open House, contact me
by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A. The Japan Times (11/21/2008) reported that a 41-year-old man was found guilty of illegally keeping 51 venomous snakes in his Tokyo condominium. The venom in at least some of the snakes (cobras, pit vipers) is neurotoxic. The snakes were discovered when the man called an ambulance after he was bitten by a cobra.
B. KING5 TV (11/19/2008) in Seattle (WA) reported that a woman found a black widow spider in a 5-pound package of grapes she bought at her local Costco. The neurotoxin in black widow spider venom is called latrotoxin. Latrotoxin works by causing the release of the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.
C. FOXNEWS (11/17/2008) reported that a 15-year-old boy in Brazil is only the third person to live after contracting rabies. The boy was bitten while he slept by a bat infected with rabies. Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that attacks cells of the nervous system; it is almost always fatal.
D. The Daily Mail (11/12/2008) reported that filming of the Disney movie "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton and Ben Kingsley was interrupted after a scorpion was found on the set near London. It is thought that the scorpion made its way to England hidden in some props that were used in Morocco. Some scorpions contain a neurotoxin that blocks potassium channels on neurons.
E. The Tampa Tribune (11/21/2008) reported that the sheriff's office in
Brooksville (FL) received a bloodhound dog who will use its sense of smell
to "...track children who wander from home, the missing Alzheimer's
patient and the bank robber who bails out of the getaway car."
B. "Magic and the Brain: How Magicians 'Trick' the Mind" by Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik (Scientific American, December, 2008).
C. "The Year in Medicine: From A to Z" (Time Magazine, December 1, 2008) mentions several discoveries related to the nervous system.
D. The December 2008 issue of Scientific American MIND is now available. This issue has articles about procrastinating, using deep brain stimulation to treat brain disorders, making major life changes, intelligence in the animal kingdom, mild traumatic brain injury and emergency room therapies for severe traumatic brain injury.
E. "Wired for Sound" by Oliver Sacks (O, The Oprah Magazine, December, 2008) describes how music affects the brain.
F. Free "The Five Senses" Nanooze magazines for teachers; see:
B. A "polyglot" is a person who can speak, read or write several languages.
C. Siderodromophobia is an irrational fear of trains.
D. The brain of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov was placed in the Moscow Brain Research Institute in 1989. (Source: Vein, A.A. and Maat-Schieman, L.C., Famous Russian brains: historical attempts to understand intelligence, Brain, 131:583-590, 2008.)
E. St. Giles is the patron saint of paralysis.
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.