Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Waxing Political

Count me in.

I'm joining the call for a Presidential Debate devoted to science and technology. How can our leaders make informed decisions about the multitude of issues that face us if they are ignorant (or worse, misinformed) about the science and technology behind them?

Some of these issues (plucked from the ScienceDebate site) include:

The Environment

  • » Climate Change
  • » Conservation and Species Loss
  • » The Future of The Oceans
  • » Fresh Water: Drought, Pollution, Ownership
  • » Population Growth and Its Effect on Environment
  • » Renewable Energy Research

Health and Medicine
  • » Global Diseases and Pandemics
  • » Stem Cell Research
  • » Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
  • » Drug Patents, Generic Drugs
  • » The Genome
  • » Bioethics
Science and Technology Policy
  • » Scientific Innovation and Economic Growth
  • » Improving Science Education
  • » Space Exploration
  • » Preserving Scientific Integrity in Government
  • » Energy Policy
Decisions must be made based on solid scientific evidence-- not economic self-interest and not partisan politics.

Join me and spread the word.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Mice on Drugs!

Look inside the brains of mice on drugs!

This is a cute animation from the University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center. It shows mice on various recreational drugs--heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, methamphetamine, alcohol, cocaine, and LSD.

I think the mouse on ecstasy is supposed to be dancing. The mouse on cocaine looks pretty nervous.

You can pick up each doped-out mouse and "look into its brain." The descriptions of the effects of the drugs on neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain are very well done.

Who says neuropharmacology can't be fun?