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. Golfer Ear
4. Your Name Here
5. Northwestern College Neuroscience Camp
6. Book Review
7. Media Alert
8. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
9. Summer Email Changes
10. Support Neuroscience for Kids
11. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. May Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Good News on the Lead Front
C. Scorpion Antivenom: Taking the Sting Out
In May, 4 new figures were added and 21 pages were modified.
Created by the Discovery Channel as part of the "Human Body: Pushing the Limits" video, "The Human Body Learning Experience" is an interactive web site exploring vision, memory, strength and sensation. Each of these four sections has games and videos to help you learn about the nervous system. Although I don't like the many advertisements on the site, I think you will still enjoy the activities that have been created.
The researchers asked a professional golfer to help them measure the sound made by twelve different golf clubs as they hit golf balls. All thin-faced clubs, like the King Cobra LD, produced louder sounds than thick-faced clubs. The loudest noisemaker (sorry, I mean, golf club) was the Ping G10, making a sound of 120 decibels! No word on whether the golf pro used ear protection during the tests. The paper also did not mention if the hearing loss suffered by the 55 year old golfer was permanent.
Did you know? Thin-faced clubs, such as the King Cobra LD, have been banned from competition by the US Golf Association. The structure of these clubs gives players an unfair driving distance advantage.
Buchanan, M.A., Wilkinson, J.M., Fitzgerald, J.E. and Prinsley, P.R., Is golf bad for your hearing? British Medical Journal, 337:1437-1438, 2008.
US Golf Association Rules
Tract of Goll, fields of Forel, foramen of Magendie, foramen of Luschka, foramen of Monroe, radiations of Zukerkandl, Meynert's fasciculus, basal nucleus of Meynert, Broca's area, Wernicke's area, stripe of Gennari, Rexed laminae, Edinger-Westphal nuclei, circle of Willis, aqueduct of Sylvius, arteries of Adamkiewicz, organ of Corti (in the ear), Betz cells, Purkinje cells, Brodmann's areas, Schwann cells, Heschl's gyrus, bundle of Rasmussen, Probst's commissure, bundle of Turck, tract of Barns, Clarke's column, Darkschewitsch's nucleus, Schwalbe's nucleus, Bekhterew's nucleus, lamina of His, Sylvian fissure, cells of Martinotti.
So the next time you discover something, don't be afraid to name it after yourself.
Reading level: Grade 5 and up
National Geographic publishes one of my favorite magazines. The stories in National Geographic are always interesting and the photographs are incredible. The magazine occasionally has medical related articles, some about the brain and nervous system. In addition to the magazine, National Geographic publishes books about various topics, so it was just a matter of time before they created one about the brain.
"The Human Brain: Inside Your Body's Control Room" is a new book with
sharp, colorful photographs and illustrations that you expect from
National Geographic. I even recognize the book's cover photograph as one
from the magazine. I recommend this new book to anyone interested in an
introduction to the structure and function of the nervous system. It is
organized into short chapters and answers questions about brain
development, neuroplasticity (brain changes, memory), sleep/dreams,
emotions and brain surgery. At only 64 pages, the book cannot cover every
topic, but it is a good overview. Author Kathleen Simpson ends her book
with a glossary, bibliography and resources for further information -- she
even mentions the Neuroscience for Kids Web site!
B. "Why Does the Vaccine/Autism Controversy Live On?" by Chris Mooney (Discover magazine, June, 2009).
C. The National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health is working with HBO Documentary Films to present "The Alzheimer's Project." The Alzheimer's Project uses television, the Internet, DVD, and print material to help the public understand Alzheimer's disease research and care. The main feature of the project is a four-part documentary film series that debuted last month on HBO. All of the films can be seen for free at:
D. Winners of the "Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest" were announced last month; see:
E. "How Autism Ages" (Growing Old with Autism) by Karl Taro Greenfeld (Time magazine, May 25, 2009).
G. "Brains of Beauties" by Paul S. Katz and James N. Newcomb (Natural History magazine, May, 2009) discusses the nervous system of the sea slug.
F. The 2009 Art and Mind Festival will be held at the Winchester Discovery Centre (Winchester, Hampshire, England) on June 24, 26-28 and July 6, 2009. For more information, see:
G. "Brain Cells for Socializing" by Ingfei Chen (Smithsonian magazine, June, 2009) discusses a particular type of nerve cell found only in humans, great apes, elephants, dolphins and whales.
H. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Sharon Begley (Newsweek magazine, June 1,
2009) discusses the brain and placebos.
B. A newborn elephant has a brain that is 50% of its adult brain weight; a newborn human has a brain that is 25% of its adult brain weight. (Source: Shoshani, J., Kupsky, W.J. and Marchant, G.H., Elephant brain. Part I: Gross morphology, functions, comparative anatomy, and evolution, Brain Research Bulletin 70:124?157, 2006.)
C. Neuroscientist Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini, who won the 1986 Nobel Prize for her discovery of nerve growth factor, was the first Nobel laureate to reach 100 years old when she celebrated her birth on April 22, 2009.
D. The eye of the spookfish does not have a lens. Rather, light is focused on the retina by tiny crystals that act as mirrors. This makes the spookfish the only vertebrate (animal with a backbone) with an eye that uses mirrors for vision. (Source: Wagner, H., Douglas, R., Frank, T., Roberts, N. and Partridge, J., A novel vertebrate eye using both refractive and reflective optics, Current Biology, 2008, DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.11.061)
E. June is National Aphasia Awareness Month and Vision Research Month.
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.