Posted on September 11th, 2009 by Ginger Campbell, MD
Episode 61 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with Allan Jones, PhD, the Chief Science Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Research in Seattle, Washington. The Allen Institute is a non-profit research organization founded by Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) and is best known for its Mouse Brain Map, which is being used by researchers around the world. The Institute has several other on-going projects including a project to create a map of the human cortex that shows which genes are active in each area.
In this interview we discuss both the mouse brain project and the human cortex project with an emphasis on the importance of these projects to neuroscience research. All the maps created by The Allen Institute are freely available on the internet. Dr. Jones also shares his own story and the challenges and rewards of pursuing a career in the non-profit biotech world.
Episode Transcript (Download PDF)
Previous Episodes mentioned in this podcast:
- BSP-59: Interview with Guy Caldwell, PhD who studies the dopamine neurons in C. Elegans.
- BSP-60: Interview with Stuart Brown, MD about the importance of play. This is an excellent episode for new listeners.
- Next’s month’s episode will be an interview with Warren Brown, PhD, co-author of Did My Neurons Make Me Do It? which was discussed in Episode 53.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
We live in an imperfect world. Poverty, disease, lack of education, environmental destruction - the problems are all too obvious. Many people don't have clean water, let alone enough food, and the unsustainable lifestyle of the wealthy few is storing up catastrophic climate change.
Can we do anything about it? You bet we can. Technology is a double-edged sword, but science and reason have made our lives immeasurably better overall - and only through science and reason can we hope to make a real difference in the future. So here and over the next three weeks, New Scientist will explore diverse ideas for making the world a better place, and the evidence backing them.
This week, we look at some radical ideas for transforming society and changing the way countries are run. We also examine the state of the world as it is today, to see whether things are getting better or worse (see image).
Next week, we'll report on what you as an individual can do to make a difference. Then we'll explore what many see as the fundamental problem: overpopulation. And finally, we'll ponder the profound and long-lasting changes we are making to our home planet.
"The best way to make the world a better place is to make it not the only place for us. We should establish a self-supporting colony on Mars."
J. Richard Gott
"One of the biggest problems we face today is a feeling of helplessness. It is desperately important for us to understand that each one of us does make a difference."
Read moreThe four-day week could boost employment, save energy and make us happier
KINDNESS, CLARITY, AND INSIGHT
25th Anniversary Edition
by the Fourteenth Dalai Lama
His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso,
edited and translated by Jeffrey Hopkins,
co-edited by Elizabeth Napper
...the world is becoming smaller and smaller, providing the peoples of the world with good opportunities to meet and talk with each other. Such contact provides a valuable chance to increase our understanding of each other's way of living, philosophy, and beliefs, and increased understanding will lead naturally to mutual respect. Because of the world's having become smaller, I have been able to come here today.
As we meet, I always keep in mind that we are the same in being human beings. If we emphasize the superficial differences, I am an Easterner and furthermore a Tibetan from beyond the Himalayas, with a different environment and a different culture. However, if we look deep down, I have a valid feeling of "I," and with that feeling, I want happiness and do not want suffering. Everyone, no matter where they are from, has this valid feeling of "I" on the conventional level, and in this sense we are all the same.
With this understanding as a basis, when I meet new people in new places, in my mind here is no barrier, no curtain. I can talk with you as I would to old friends even though this is the first time we meet. In my mind, as human beings you are my brothers and sisters; there is no difference in substance. I can express whatever I feel, without hesitation, just as to an old friend. With this feeling we can communicate without any difficulty and can contact heart to heart, not with just a few nice words, but really heart to heart.
Based on such genuine human relation--real feeling for each other, understanding each other--we can develop mutual trust and respect. From that, we can share other peoples' suffering and build harmony in human society. We can create a friendly human family.
--from Kindness, Clarity, and Insight 25th Anniversary Edition by The Fourteenth Dalai Lama, His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, edited and translated by Jeffrey Hopkins, co-edited by Elizabeth Napper, published by Snow Lion Publications
Friday, September 11, 2009
From The National Interest, Alan Wolfe reviews books on God. Joshua Leach on Judith Shklar and materialist mercy: If appeasing God is what matters most, then our relations with one another seem insignificant at best. From Philosophy Bites, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues that God isn't necessary for morality (and more and more on Morality Without God). Imagine no religion: An article on sustaining morality without God. The language of morality has been hijacked by the Right and the religious — it’s about time those who value reason took it back. An interview with Scotty McLennan, author of Jesus Was a Liberal: Reclaiming Christianity for All. A review of William Donohue's Secular Sabotage: How Liberals Are Destroying Religion and Culture in America. Jay Michaelson writes in defense of spiritual vulgarity. Do shamans have more sex?: New Age spirituality is no more pure than old-time religion. An interview with Linda Harvey, author of Not My Child: Contemporary Paganism and New Spirituality. An interview with cult survivor Timothy Wyllie on The Process Church, and a review of Love Sex Fear Death: The Inside Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgment. What are the criteria for a cult and can they be meaningfully applied? Gregory Paul on the chronic dependence of popular religiosity upon dysfunctional psychosociological conditions.
See the whole catalog.