Posts Tagged ‘biology’

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“2013’s Nobel Prize Winners” — Podcast 11: James Rothman, Randy Schekman & Thomas Südhof

On Episode 11 of The Connectome Podcast, I’m joined by all three of 2013’s Nobel Prize winners in the Physiology/Medicine category — James Rothman, Randy Schekman and Thomas Südhof! All three of these guys contributed crucial pieces to a longstanding puzzle: How, exactly, do our brain cells communicate with each other? See, biologists had known […]

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Deciphering Sleep: Our Interview with David Rye

Why do we need to sleep? In all of human biology, few questions are more persistent – or more mythologized – than this one. Almost as puzzling as sleep itself are sleep disorders like narcolepsy and insomnia, which make us wonder why some of us need so much more sleep than others do. David Rye, […]

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Q&A: Can We Preserve Our Brains After Death?

As promised, here’s the first-ever official Connectome Q&A! We’ve been getting lots of incoming questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages – some of them on the technical side; others of the more “general interest” variety. Most of these questions require pretty involved answers – and it’s important to me that each of them gets […]

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“Using Worms to Crack the Human Brain” — Podcast 4: Scott Emmons

On episode 4 of the Connectome podcast, I chat with Scott W. Emmons, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Emmons talks about his cutting-edge connectomics research, which may help us understand how neural circuits “decide” on a particular behavior. Though his recent work focuses on the nervous […]

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The Lurking Lizard

He has haunted us for more than fifty years – this strange scientist, with his theory of primal reptiles embedded in each of us. And for years I wondered, Could this bizarre hypothesis be true? Might it explain the ancient instincts – so contrary to my intentions – which I felt arising from the depths […]

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The Listeners from Below

Deep within your brain, they are listening. In still silence, they await signals from afar – dim echoes of distant calls. And when they hear what they’ve been waiting for… they will awaken. They are known as neural stem cells – and not only are they real; researchers have just made some major discoveries about […]

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Sexy Neuroscience III

Female orgasm is a topic shrouded in mystery – not just for sexually awkward boyfriends, but for biologists too. We know, for example, that lots of animals have clitorises, yet a surprising number of female mammals don’t seem to experience orgasms at all. This has led researchers to some new discoveries and debates – and […]

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Aliens in the Lab

Researchers are creating new lifeforms that are chemically unrelated to any other life on earth. In fact, for the first time ever, scientists in Japan have built an artificial synapse, from the molecules up. What?! How can this be? Read on, intrepid voyager of the unknown, and discover for yourself. The basic idea is that […]

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Skin Into Brain II

For the first time in history, scientists have reprogrammed a whole batch of skin cells into a self-organizing, functioning network of brain cells, says a new study. That’s right, y’all – Dr. Sheng Ding at UCSF is blowin’ up the stem cell research game once again – except this time, instead of just reprogramming individual […]

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Whisperers in Darkness

Last night I awoke with my head under the covers, to the sounds of strange chitterings and scratchings in the darkness around me. For a few seconds I lay frozen, hoping the sounds would fade – but they only grew louder and drew nearer – until at last, unable to stand it any longer, I […]

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