Friday, October 30, 2009

MEDIA: We've Got Charlie Rose on the Brain!

Charlie Rose began his series of episodes about neuroscience with his show last evening, the 29th of October. Go to his website to watch the full episode from the 29th and to check in for the additional episodes: Charlie Rose homepage

From the website:

"Charlie Rose Brain Series Episode One. Tonight’s introductory topic-- The Great Mysteries of the Human Brain: consciousness, free will, perception, cognition, emotion and memory with a roundtable of brain researchers. Co-Host Eric Kandel from Columbia University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Cornelia Bargmann from Rockefeller University, Tony Movshon from New York University, John Searle from University of California Berkeley and Gerald Fischbach of the Simons Foundation."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nature's NeuroPod: New Edition Available

The October 2009 issue of Nature's NeuroPod podcast is available for listening and download. It can be found at NeuroPod homepage.

This edition includes reports about gaming mice and the relation between sleep problems and memory function.

From the homepage:

"About NeuroPod

"NeuroPod is the neuroscience podcast from Nature, produced in association with the Dana Foundation. Each month, join us as we delve into the latest research on the brain, from its molecular makings to the mysteries of the mind. We'll also be bringing you the latest news from neuroscience conferences around the globe, along with special reports on hot areas in neuroscience.

"For complete access to the original papers featured in NeuroPod, subscribe to Nature, Nature Neuroscience, and Nature Reviews Neuroscience."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Extremes of Memory

Like a Skyline Is Etched in His Head
The New York Times
Published: October 28, 2009

"Stephen Wiltshire, working only from the memory of a helicopter flight over New York, has been rendering the city’s 305 square miles along an arc of paper that is 19 feet long."

Read the full article

View the slideshow, "Portrait of the Artist," which shows parts of his amazing work

A Perspective on the Future of Neuroscience


Prospects and Perils of the New Brain Sciences: A twenty year timescale
Royal Society Science Policy Lab
20th October 2009
by Steven P R Rose

Read the full paper


A Molecule of Motivation, Dopamine Excels at Its Task
The New York Times
Published: October 27, 2009

"A view has emerged to counter the image that a neurotransmitter is the little Bacchus of our brain."

Read the article

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cardiff Neuroscience

The Cardiff Neuroscience Centre

Read about neuroscience research activities in and around Cardiff and their collaboration with Bristol via this virtual centre.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Does the Brain Like E-Books?"

From The New York Times:

Room for Debate: Does the Brain Like E-Books?
By By The Editors
Published: October 14, 2009

"How the reading experience differs between paper and screen."

Read the entry and the debate

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Fourth Plinth One & Other Project Ends: Chiari Malformations

The One & Other Antony Gormley project ended today in Trafalgar Square, London.

Among the many media reports and summaries of the project, Laura Hickman who represented Chiari Malformation awareness efforts during her hour on the Fourth Plinth has received additional attention.

The Times (UK) cites her hour as being on of the best of the 2400 individual hours in the project and says this about her:

"Laura Hickman: held up placards carrying the words of 30 sufferers of rare brain condition Chiari Malformation. Has since persuaded the NHS to recognise the condition, started work for Chicago's Chiari Centre Foundation, and plans to open a UK branch of the charity."

Excellent work!

Here is a link to the full report: Best of the Trafalgar Square plinthers (14th October, 2009).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

iPhone Neuroscience App (Dana Foundation Blog)

Follow the link to the Dana Foundation Blog for a posting about a pretty-decent looking intro neuroanatomy app for your iPhone:

Brain browser comes to iPhone (5th October, 2009).

Upcoming Online Event: Malcolm Gladwell (14th October, 1430 hrs ET)

From The New Yorker:

Author Malcolm Gladwell has a live chat about brain injuries and sports tomorrow at 1430 hrs ET.

The chat can be found at the link found below. If you wish to submit a question for the essayist and author, go to that link and you can submit a question in advance of the event.

Questions for Gladwell/Live Chat

Parkinson's Disease: DATATOP

A news release from the NIH:

Investment in Parkinson's Disease Data Bank Yields Potential Therapy

12th October, 2009


Individuals with Parkinson's disease who have higher levels of a metabolite called urate in their blood and in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) have a slower rate of disease progression, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. A clinical trial is under way to examine the safety and potential benefits of supplemental urate elevation for recently diagnosed Parkinson's patients who have low urate levels.

Investigators demonstrated the link with urate by mining a repository of clinical data and tissue samples collected from Parkinson's patients more than 20 years ago as part of a pioneering study called DATATOP, funded by NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The new study appears in Archives of Neurology. It was funded primarily by NINDS, with additional support from the Department of Defense and private organizations.

"This study speaks to the value of saving data and biospecimens from large clinical studies, and making them available to the research community to pursue new, unanticipated ideas," said Michael Schwarzschild, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who lead the study together with Alberto Ascherio, M.D., Dr.PH, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fourth Plinth: Cara and "Shift Multiple Sclerosis" Virtual Community for Young People with MS

In the final several days of Antony Gormley's One & Other project on the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square, London, Cara is going to ascend the plinth in support of Multiple Sclerosis awareness.

Her plinth hour is 1900 hrs BST, Monday the 12th of October.

She writes in her bio:

"I thought that this project was an unusual and unique opportunity and so put my name forward. During the hour on the plinth, I am going to try to bring awareness to - an online community for young people with Multiple Sclerosis. When I was diagnosed with MS, I found the website to be a source of support and reassurance during a weird and shocking time.

So, if anyone who is affected by MS, or anyone who'd like to know more about it, you are welcome to become part of the community!"

Bests wishes, Cara!

Cara's plinth hour can be viewed live at If you miss it live, a refeed of the hour is available on the One&Other website within a couple of hours of the plinter's descent.

Give Cara a note of support at Cara's One&Other homepage

From the "" homepage:

" is a community for young people affected by Multiple Sclerosis. Users can share, support and interact with each other throughout the site. Register now to create a profile, plot yourself on the map and start adding your voice to the community."

Monday, October 05, 2009

Multitasking: Cons

If you only do one thing this week … avoid multitasking
Often considered the pinnacle of efficiency, multitasking can actually be a negative practice, according to latest research. So stop what else you're doing and concentrate, says Giles Morris

Giles Morris
Monday 5 October 2009 11.33 BST

Read the full article

The 2009 Nobel Prize For Medicine

Read details about this year's awardees at The Nobel Prize website

Awarded to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase."

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fourth Plinth: Epilepsy Action on the One & Other Plinth

Di Flatt, manager of the fundraising team at Epilepsy Action, has her hour on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square at 1700 hrs, Saturday. She is one of the 2400 taking part in Antony Gormley's One & Other project.

You can read about Di and view a refeed of her plinth hour at DiFlatt.

You can watch her live at One&Other.

Read all about the 60th anniversary of Epilepsy Action.

Fourth Plinth: Alzheimer's Research Trust's Memories Matter

Thomas G., a member of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, was on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square this afternoon to promote Memories Matter. He was one of the 2400 plinthers of Antony Gormley's One & Other project.

Watch Tom and listen to his message at Thomas_G.

Take a look at the Trust's Memories Matter website.