Earlier this week, The Society for Neuroscience launched the Neuroscience Wikipedia Initiative, a call for neuroscientists around the world to “harness the power of Wikipedia and support the Society’s mission of promoting public education about neuroscience.”
We all know that wikipedia is “not a reputable source.” But I must admit that, when curiosity strikes, wikiing is my first line of defense.
I’m not alone either: Wikipedia consistently makes ranks amont the top 10 most-visisted-websites, and currently stands as the most popular reference in cyberspace. The SfN is taking advantage of this massive audience to improve people’s knowledge and understanding of neuroscience- if they’re interested.
It’s really about time. Wikipedia can’t be beat, so we might as well get it right. I hope that this initiative prompts other science organizations to edit their pages as well. This is a great opportunity for scientists to impact education and ensure that people are always getting the best and most current information available.
Also, I just wikipediaed Wikipedia.
Researchers at UC Berkeley have engineered a biomechanical remote-controlled beetle. By implanting tiny electrodes into the insect’s brain and muscles, they are able take control of all of it’s natural movements.
check out a picture of one in this Discover article:
The research is funded by the “Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,” a sector of the Department of Defense formed after the launch of Sputnik in order to promote American technological superiority.
Although these cyborgs are little more than million dollar remote-control helicopters at the moment, the DARPA sees great potential. Next, they plan to equip a beetle with a tiny recording device or other sensor to create an incredibly discrete and agile little spy- literally, a fly on the wall. Eventually, they think they will be able to produce these creature-robots cheaply and in large numbers.
The researchers are also experimenting with inserting machine components into insects at much earlier stages of development. For example, implanting electrodes into caterpillars and then letting them develop into completely normal looking butterflies.
This is really cool, but I do worry sometimes that the Department of Defense watches too much science fiction…
Apart from revolutionizing the respective fields these two gentlemen worked in: Françoise Gilot.
Gilot met Picasso when he was an old man, had two children with him and after a 9 year relationship she became one of the few women who would dump him. Yes, Pablo Picasso was dumped.
And she’s no idiot – she went to Cambridge!
After marrying and divorcing someone else, Gilot eventually met and married Jonas Salk in Paris – Salk – of the whole polio fame – was pretty old back then as well. Do we see a trend?
The coolest part? Gilot lives in NYC and Paris and she’s a painter.
Did you know Gertrude Stein was almost a doctor?
After her undergraduate years at Radcliffe College, she worked at Woods Hole Laboratory and then went to Johns Hopkins medical school for 3 and a half years.
During her time at Radcliffe, she worked with the venerable William James on Normal Motor Automatism (Craziness – Stein and James???)
Check out an interesting look at her medical student years:
She escaped before graduation and fled to Paris where she began her illustrious literary and social career.
Wiki her for more information.