Nobel-prize winning neuroscientist Rita Levi-Montalcini has passed away at the age of 103, just a few months after publishing her last scientific study.
She won the Nobel Prize for the discovery of nerve growth factoralong with her colleague Stanley Cohen and continued worked well past the time when most people would have retired.
Her most recent scientific study was published earlier this year, at the age of 102, and extended the work for which she won the Nobel.
If you want more background on a fantastic neuroscientist and her ground-breaking work, Nature published a profile in 2009, on her 100th birthday.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Sunday, December 30, 2012
A rare vintage treasure, with stunning black-and-white illustrations and a side of controversy.
As a lover of obscure children’s books by famous authors of grown-up literature, I was delighted to discover The Wishing Tree (UK; public library) by none other than William Faulkner — a sort of grimly whimsical morality tale, somewhere between Alice In Wonderland, Don Quixote, andTo Kill a Mockingbird, about a girl who embarks upon a strange adventure on her birthday only to realize the importance of choosing one’s wishes with consideration and kindness.
But far more intriguing than the mere existence of the book is the bizarre story of how it came to be: In 1927, Faulkner gave the story to Victoria “Cho-Cho” Franklin, the daughter of his childhood sweetheart, Estelle Oldham, with whom he was still in love. He hoped Estelle would leave her unhappy marriage and marry him instead — which she did two years later.
"…if you are kind to helpless things, you don’t need a Wishing Tree to make things come true. "/.../
You Tomorrow [Kindle Edition]
|author Ian Pearson|
|If you wonder what your life tomorrow will bring, this is the book for you. It discusses how your everyday life will change over the next few decades. First it covers the various stages of life, from pre-birth genetic design of your offspring all the way through to death and potential immortality. Along the way … more…|
- Nataly Kelly, Jost Zetzsche
- Perigee Trade (10/2/2012)
[+]Translation affects every aspect of your life – and we’re not just talking about the obvious things, like world politics and global business.
Translation affects you personally, too. The books you read. The movies you watch. The food you eat. Your favorite sports team. The opinions you hold dear. The religion you practice. Even your looks and, yes, your love life. Right this very minute, translation is saving lives, perhaps even yours.
Translation influences everything from holy books to hurricane warnings, poetry to Pap smears. It’s needed by both the masses and the millionaires. Translation converts the words of dictators and diplomats, princes and pop stars, bus drivers and baseball players. Translation fuels the global economy, prevents wars, and stops the outbreak of disease. From tummy tucks to terrorist threats, it’s everywhere.
This book will help you see how the products you use, the freedoms you enjoy, and the pleasures in which you partake are made possible by translation.
Topics: Cognitive Science/Neuroscience | Social Networking/Web/Education
December 27, 2012
Investigators at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute haveinvented a way to directly image biological structures at nanometer-resolution in their natural habitats (a liquid environment).
The technique is a major advancement toward the ultimate goal of imaging biological processes in action at the atomic level.
The technique uses two silicon-nitride microchips with windows etched in their centers and pressing them together until only a 150-nanometer space between them remains.
The researchers then fill this pocket with a liquid resembling the natural environment of the biological structure to be imaged, creating a microfluidic chamber.
Then, because the movement of free-floating structures yield images with poor resolution, the researchers coat the microchip’s interior surface with a layer of natural biological tethers, such as antibodies, which naturally grab onto a virus and hold it in place./.../
December 28, 2012
Global growth from the current industrial revolution (computers, the web, mobile phones) is slowing — especially in advanced-technology economies, and long-term economic growth may grind to a halt, Robert J. Gordon, Stanley G. Harris Professor in the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Northwestern University, has argued.
Now economist Paul Krugman counters in The New York Timesthat we are moving toward a world in which “Big Data — the use of huge databases of things like spoken conversations — apparently makes it possible for machines to perform tasks that even a few years ago were really only possible for people.
“Speech recognition is still imperfect, but vastly better than it was and improving rapidly, not because we’ve managed to emulate human understanding but because we’ve found data-intensive ways of interpreting speech in a very non-human way.”
However, he warns, while smart machines may make higher GDP possible, “they also reduce the demand for people — including smart people. So we could be looking at a society that grows ever richer, but in which all the gains in wealth accrue to whoever owns the robots.”
Interestingly, neither economist considers the effects of future exponential growth of hardware and software computation (and other tools) and the technological Singularity. — Ed.
Topics: Computers/Infotech/UI | Innovation/Entrepreneurship | Singularity/Futures
One of the most controversial changes to the recently finalised DSM-5 diagnostic manual was the removal of the 'bereavement exclusion' from the diagnosis of depression - meaning that someone could be diagnosed as depressed even if they've just lost a loved on
The Washington Post has been investigating the financial ties of those on the committee and, yes, you guessed it:/.../
Daniel Kahneman (Hebrew: דניאל כהנמן) (born March 5, 1934) is an Israeli American psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics and hedonic psychology.
With Amos Tversky and others, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors using heuristics and biases (Kahneman & Tversky, 1973; Kahneman, Slovic & Tversky, 1982; Tversky & Kahneman, 1974), and developed prospect theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in prospect theory.
In 2011, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers. In the same year, his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, which summarizes much of his research, was published and became a best seller.
A selection of illustrations that reflects on the issues of 2012 using exemplary wit, incisiveness, beauty and provocation.
Published: December 29, 2012
The New York Times opinion section commissions at least 30 original illustrations each week, more than 1,500 each year. Our tradition of using art to bring an incisive, witty or provocative perspective on current affairs dates to the creation of the Op-Ed page in 1970, and expanded with the creation of the Sunday Review section (formerly the Week in Review) in 2011. Here is a sampling of illustrations from the past year.
Friday, December 28, 2012
Pauline AndersonDec 27, 2012
From existing evidence and their own clinical experience, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have come up with 6 nonpharmacologic steps to better identify and manage behavioral problems in patients with dementia.
Behavioral issues, which can include psychiatric symptoms such as depression, psychosis, apathy, agitation, aggression, delusions, and hallucinations, as well as troubling conduct such as repetitive vocalizations and wandering, are frequently difficult to manage and can both increase the risk for dangerous activities (walking out in traffic, for example) and be hugely stressful for caregivers. Physicians sometimes prescribe atypical antipsychotics to manage difficult behavioral symptoms.
Six nondrug approaches to identifying and managing behavioral problems are summed up in an article by Laura N. Gitlin, PhD, from the Department of Community Public Health, School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues. The article was published in the November 21 issue of JAMA.