Alzheimer's is a devastating neurodegenerative disease that slowly erases the very thing that makes us who we are—our minds. While major advances in neuroimaging have allowed us to visualize structural, functional and temporal features of the brain in great detail, researchers are limited in their abilities to target specific brain functions. Current interdisciplinary research combining techniques from genetics, biochemistry and photonics to control the functions of single neurons, however, may be the key to unlocking targeted treatments and much more.
Sci on the Fly
When I first met my husband, I belittled his science. I was a toxicologist, studying the impacts of coastal pollution on our beloved winter flounder. He was an ecologist, studying, as far as I could tell, minnow poop.
Scientists of all backgrounds are fighting back against anti-science rhetoric sweeping American politics. They are speaking out, planning runs for office, and organizing a worldwide March for Science on Earth Day 2017. One point of particular focus is anthropogenic climate change, a settled fact in the scientific community, but an issue that remains subject to partisan debate.
"Data Scientist" is listed as the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” by the Harvard Business Review, but what is data science and what do data scientists do? Claire Schulkey investigated the question at International Data Week speaking with Amy Nurnberger and Sarah Callaghan, two data professionals, and she heard from the chief data scientist at the New York Times to figure out what makes a data professional, how people get into the field, and what they do all day.
This post accompanies the Sci on the Fly podcast “Data Science.”
In the last Sci on the Fly podcast on data science, several data scientists were asked “What is data science?” Although each data scientist thinks of data science differently, one conversation that continues to be discussed is how the data science community should share data.
Ever thought about taking a career sidestep to write a novel? Seriously. Issac Asimov was a biochemistry professor before he started to write science fiction (I, Robot; Fantastic Voyage; and 500 more novels). The astronomer Carl Sagan wrote Contact. Michael Crichton was a physician before he became a best-selling author (Jurassic Park and Andromeda Strain, among others). Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who wrote under the pen name Lewis Carroll, was a mathematician (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland).
For centuries, we’ve survived with wristwatches that kept time accurate to within a few minutes per year. Yet early in 2016, a timing signal broadcast an error of only 13 microseconds, which in turn disrupted telecommunications and other networked computers around the globe. How could such a small error, an amount of time equivalent to 1/25,000 of an eye blink, cause such problems?
Our Reading List
Welcome to a new feature of the Sci on the Fly Blog! Are you looking for your next great read? Are you in the middle of a great read and want to tell everyone about it? Please do!
The DIFFUSION mini-blog series looks back through the unexplored history of revolutionary ideas to help us imagine what the future might look like. If you have an idea you want to share, contact the editors!
More than eight million children in Indonesia suffer from stunted growth. Stunting increases a child’s risk for infections, delayed brain development, and reduced academic achievement and earning potential, leading to a lifetime of missed opportunities.