Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
In this issue:
Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in March including:
A. March Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. 2017 UW Brain Awareness Week Open House http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/baw17oh.html__________________________________________________________
The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for April is "brainline.org" at:
Preventing, treating, and living with traumatic brain injury (TBI): this is how brainline.org describes the purpose of their web site. With one traumatic brain injury every 19 seconds (1.7 million injuries each year) in the United States, it is important to keep informed about this common neurological problem.
In addition to describing the basics about how the brain works, the symptoms and treatments for brain injuries, and how to prevent brain injuries, brainline.org has many personal stories that show the consequences of traumatic brain injuries. Additional videos by experts discuss strategies on how to recover from brain injuries and how doctors diagnose and treat TBIs.
BrainLine is sponsored by WETA, a public TV and radio station in Washington, DC.
Last month, 750 local students arrived on the University of Washington (UW) campus for the annual Brain Awareness Week Open House. I gave a short lecture about the brain and then directed the students to exhibits set up by University of Washington departments and other organizations. For example, the UW Neurobiology and Behavior Community Outreach Program had exhibits to test the senses and materials to build neuron models. The DO-IT program, UW Department of Otolaryngology, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, Seattle Childrens Hospital, Epilepsy Foundation Northwest, Seattle Hydrocephalus Support Group, UW Department of Biological Structure, Pacific Science Center, and Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience also provided exhibits. See photos from the event here:
With the publication of our new book "Brain Bytes," my coauthor Dr. Lise Johnson and I have been busy talking about the brain. On March 16, we were invited to the Seattle studios of KING5 TV for an interview on the morning show "New Day Northwest" to discuss the book. Later that day we visited Third Place Books to speak with people about brain research and sign copies of the book. You can see our short New Day Northwest interview here:
Lise and I were also invited to Google (Kirkland, WA) for a "Talks at Google." We gave a talk similar to the one at Third Place Books and signed copies of Brain Bytes for the googlers who attended. We also had a quick tour of Google facilities and its snack bars where everything is free! The video from our Google talk should be online in mid-April.
Do you have an illusion that is simple, beautiful, counterintuitive, spectacular and helps understand the human mind and brain? If so, you could win up to $3,000 in the "Best Illusion of the Year Contest" hosted by the Neural Correlate Society. Submissions are due on May 26, 2017. Details about the contest:
A. The March 2017 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND is on newsstands now with articles about counting neurons, prekindergarten education, consciousness and anesthesia.
B. "The club drug ketamine may treat depression but the risks could be big" by Mandy Oaklander (TIME magazine, March 20, 2017).
C. The cover of the April 2017 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN magazine is "A success in the fight against Alzheimer's" by Miia Kivipelto and Krister Håkansson.
D. The cover of PARADE magazine (March 19, 2017) is titled "Sleep. You're doing it wrong."
E. "Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates" by Susan Middleton, February 15, 2017 - June 23, 2017, at the National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. (Free).
A. In the 4th century, medicine made from monkey brains and herbs was thought to increase a person's life span up to 500 years. (Source: Fabry, M., A cure for the ages, TIME magazine, February 27-March 6, 2017.)
B. Using activity monitors, researchers found that two adult female elephants slept only two hours each day. (Source: Gravett, N., et al., (2017), Inactivity/sleep in two wild free-roaming African elephant matriarchs - Does large body size make elephants the shortest mammalian sleepers? PLoS ONE 12(3): e0171903. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171903.)
C. High school student Indrani Das won the $250,000 first prize in the Regeneron Science Talent Search for her research about brain injury. (Source: https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/high-school-brain-researcher-takes-home-250000-prize)
D. The human body has approximately 37.2 trillion cells. (About 86 billion of these cells are neurons in the brain.) (Source: Bianconi, E., et al., An estimation of the number of cells in the human body, Ann Hum Biol., 40:463-471, 2013.)
E. When neuroscientist John O'Keefe (2014 Nobel Prize winner) was an undergraduate student at the City College of New York, he took classes during the day and drove a taxi in the evening.
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.