Monthly Archives: March 2011

“This is Your Brain on Art”

The Smart Set of Drexel University (why didn’t we know about this site before?!) has a fascinating piece about the research version of Oliver Sacks – V. S. Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at UCSD – … Continue reading

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Filed under Neuroscience, Research

Portrait of a bacterium as copyright infringement

Cried the estate of James Joyce to scientist J. Craig Venter. Back in May 2010, geneticist J. Craig Venter announced the creation of the first synthetic life form, having replaced the genetic code in a Mycoplasma capricolum bacterium with DNA he … Continue reading

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Filed under Genetics, Literature, Research

Wonders & Marvels

With the start of the NYT’s digital subscription (which we’ll probably eventually purchase), we’re searching for additional venues for intellectual procrastination. Enter – Wonders & Marvels. The site, edited by Professor Holly Tucker of Vanderbilt  University, is a forum for … Continue reading

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Filed under History of Medicine

“Hold a Hand”

When we see a large scale disaster, like Hurricane Katrina or the tsunami in Japan, we tend to forget that the event itself is not just one tragedy, but hundreds or thousands of individual tragedies. In Storyteller Doc’s post this … Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Humanism, Physician-patient relationship

Life imitates art

Usually it’s the other way around. House, Fox’s wildly successful medical mystery show, was originally based on Lisa Sanders’ mystery diagnosis column for the NY Times. Today, Dr. Sanders is holding a competition to “Think Like a Doctor,” and deduce … Continue reading

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Filed under Uncategorized

“Beauty of the Brain”

The Smithsonian is featuring some breathtaking new images of the brain from neuroscientist Carl Schoonover’s book, Portraits of the Mind. Above, an MRI tracking water flow into cells. The brain remains mysterious, but the patterns in these images—rich whorls of neural … Continue reading

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Filed under Neuroscience

“The surprising truth about what motivates us”

RSA Animate’s thoroughly entertaining look at what really motivates human beings. Hint: it’s not money. CliffsNotes version: sociological and economic studies have shown that increased pay can actually lead to decreased performance. What three factors are real people-movers? Autonomy, mastery, … Continue reading

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Filed under Research

The Brave and Few at Fukushima

Each hour, the urgency of headlines from Japan heightens. All but fifty workers have evacuated the nuclear plant, where pools covering spent fuel rods evaporate and threaten renewed fission.  Without names or faces, these fifty heroes are protecting an island … Continue reading

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Filed under Cancer, Public health

On neurons and narrative

In this week’s Speakeasy, Dr. Oliver Sacks discusses what it’s like to have his works adapted in Hollywood. On being a neurologist and writer: I love writing when the writing goes well, which is far from always. It’s not only … Continue reading

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Filed under Physician authors

Science as art

Before the calendar changes from Pi Day to the Ides of March, take a few minutes to listen to this stunning musical representation of pi, “What Pi Sounds Like.” We think a lot these days in medicine about the integration … Continue reading

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Filed under Music