Here are a few items that have leapt onto my web-feeds in the last week:
Brain Initiative Update:
So this week begins the NSF Physical and Mathematical Principles of Brain Structure and Function Workshop, also known as the first in a series of planning meetings for President Obama's BRAIN Initiative. Portions of the event will be live-streamed on the above website (go register!) and can be followed on the twitter @nsfBRAINpols.Also, each of the over 100 leading PIs invited to the meeting submitted a 1-page white paper about the principal challenge they see facing neuroscience. All of these white papers are available online (for the moment) and make fascinating (if sometimes frustrating) reading: . If this link goes down, get in touch – I have the PDF.
Stylin' New Science Magazine, Nautilus, Debuts:
I came across this in a tweet by Ed Yong - Nautilus is a brand new online science magazine which will cover a different Big Idea in science each month, with a "chapter" reflecting a particular theme within that Big Idea released every Thursday. For the first month's issue they've modestly selected "The Puzzle of Human Uniqueness" as an easy starter-topic. Check it out – so far, I'm a big fan (also the website is just pretty, if maybe a little too busy).
Art and Athletics:
Robert Krulwich of RadioLab has one of my favorite blogs on the whole wide web, called KrulwichWonders. Last week he posted some beautiful images and videos highlighting the precision and subtlety of motor coordination in great athletes created by aligning many individual feats into a single composite.
NIMH Abandons DSM:
On April 29, NIMH director Thomas Insel announced the surprising but overdue decision that the institute will move away from using the venerable DSM, whose new edition (drama!) is due to come out in two weeks. As Insel noted in his announcement: "The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity." (discovered via MindHacks)
MindHacks also recently posted a nice list of quality Neuroscience podcasts (seemingly accompanied by a photo of LeeAnn Perry, if I don't look very closely). I'll keep my eye out for more of the same, and post them in this space next time!
Until next time, see you on the internet! (or in reality, that's cool too...)
PS: I absolutely loved the video of the hunting barn owl that Astra posted last week. Like a beautiful and terrible angel of death. Looks totally adorable when it's hopping around on the grass at normal speed though...