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. Unanswered Questions
4. Quick Reminders
5. Media Alert
6. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
7. Support Neuroscience for Kids
8. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. July Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Newborn Dolphins and Orcas Don't Sleep
C. New Hope for People with Parkinson's Disease
D. Star Trek Actor Dies After a Battle with Alzheimer's Disease
E. Color Neurons and Synapses Online
In July, 12 new figures were added and 64 pages were modified.
Science and medicine are filled with many new words and phrases to
describe diseases, disorders, symptoms, tests, and measurements. Often
the terms are abbreviated. This makes it difficult to understand what is
written. Now there is help: the "Biomedical Acronym Resolver." Just
enter an abbreviation into the Biomedical Acronym Resolver search box and
you will get a definition of the abbreviation and a research paper that
uses the term. So, if you have a QUES about an ABBREV, use the BAR to
find the ANS.
What is the biological basis of consciousness?
How can a skin cell become a nerve cell?
What genetic changes made us uniquely human?
How are memories stored and retrieved?
How do prion diseases work?
What synchronizes an organism's circadian clocks?
Why do we sleep?
Why do we dream?
Why are there critical periods for language learning?
Do pheromones influence human behavior?
How do general anesthetics work?
What causes schizophrenia?
What causes autism?
To what extent can we stave off Alzheimer's?
What is the biological basis of addiction?
Is morality hardwired into the brain?
What are the limits of learning by machines?
How much of personality is genetic?
What gave rise to modern human behavior?
What are the evolutionary roots of language and music?
These are great research questions that will keep neuroscientists busy for
a long time!
B. There may still be space for the "Neuroscience and Research in the High School Classroom" workshop on August 17, 2005, in Washington, D.C. Registration information and description of the workshop are available at:
C. The annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting will take place in Washington, D.C., between November 12 and November 16. Apply for the Neuroscientist-Teacher Partner Travel Award to attend the meeting:
D. The new school year will start for many people in the next few weeks.
If you have a new e-mail address and would like to continue to receive
this newsletter, make sure I have your new address (e-mail:
B. Visit the Exploratorium in San Francisco (through October 2, 2005) for an exhibit about the more than 700 people who have won the Nobel Prize. To learn about the neuroscientists who have won the award, see: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/nobel.html
C. If you like visual illusions, visit the Orlando Museum of Art (through October 30, 2005) to see "M.C. Escher: Rhythm of Illusion."
D. Discover magazine (August, 2005) has several interesting neuroscience-related articles including "No Rest for the Snooze Guru," "Hitting the Sweet Spot" and "Why Can't He Speak."
E. "When Gambling Becomes Obsessive" by Jeffrey Kluger (Time magazine, August 1, 2005) describes how scientists are studying why some people become addicted to gambling.
F. "Sleeping Pills: The Next Generation" by Jennifer Barrett (Newsweek magazine, August 1, 2005).
G. "The Meth Epidemic" is the cover story of the August 8, 2005 issue of
B. The highest blood levels of caffeine are reached in 30-45 minutes after it is consumed. (Source: Juliano, L.M. and Griffiths, R.R. A critical review of caffeine withdrawal: empirical validation of symptoms and signs, incidence, severity, and associated features. Psychpharmacol., 176:1-29, 2004.)
C. In 1998, the US government required breads and grains sold in the US to be fortified with folic acid. Since then, the number of fetuses at risk for birth defects (such as neural tube defects) caused by folic acid deficiency has decreased by 32%. (Source: "For Babies, Going with the Grain," by John O'Neil, The New York Times, March 2, 2004.)
D. "The Scientist" magazine asked scientists what they'd like to be, if they were not a scientist. The survey results:
18.3% writer or journalist 13% doctor 10.7% musician 9.9% teacher 6.5% businessperson 5.1% professional athlete 2.7% lawyer 32.4% other (Source: The Scientist, February 10, 2003.)E. Do you know what causes "red eye" when you take a flash photograph? The choroid is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye that contains a large number of blood vessels. Red eye usually happens when a flash photograph is taken in dim light. In dim light, the pupil of the eye is dilated and allows plenty of light to enter the eye. Red eye is caused when the choroid reflects the light of the flash. The pupil does not constrict fast enough to reduce the amount of light that enters the eye. Therefore, the flash of light reflects back out of the eye and is recorded on film. Some cameras use red eye reduction methods that send out a short burst of light before the film is exposed. The brief burst of light allows the pupil to constrict and thus reduces red eye.
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.