Google Science Fair deadline tomorrow!

“Google’s worldwide Science Fair competition …is calling for entries over the next few days. It gives kids the opportunity to join in a new kind of online science competition…offering them the chance to win … prizes including a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands or a $50,000 scholarship.”

They paid us to post this video of a Rube Goldberg machine (you don’t need sound, it’s just random music):

(you won’t be able to see it if you have AdBlock enabled)

UCSB/KITP Emerging Techniques in Neuroscience videos

Friend of the blog Jacob Robinson (who himself is pioneering impressive new techniques with nanowires for neural recording) writes:

While we’re all distributing scientific resources, I thought I’d point out that the KITP has a wonderful program on Emerging Techniques in Neuroscience, currently underway at UCSB. They have a great lineup of speakers with some overlap with the Allen Institute program. Videos of the talks are being posted online here.

So many good videos from good neuroscientists (including Chuck Stevens, John Hopfield, Clay Reid, Jeff Magee, Guoqiang Bi, and many more)… it’s going to take me a while to get through these. Enjoy!

Open questions in neuroscience

The Allen Brain Institute (or is it in-situte?) has posted a nice series of video lectures from a few weeks ago with well-known scientists (George Church, Steve Smith, Christof Koch, Sydney Brenner, Catherine Dulac and others). The topic was a broad one — “What are the open questions in neuroscience?” — but one that is sure to be of interest to many who are trying to understand what the most important areas in neuroscience to work on (like those of us, for example, currently figuring out a postdoc project!) Click here for the full set of videos on YouTube.

Neural Interfaces workshop, conference, June 20-23 (student status letter due tomorrow)

1. Beyond Brain Machine Interface: From Senses to Cognition
Co-sponsored by IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and Army Research Office
June 20, 2010, Long Beach, CA
Travel fellowships, poster abstracts, and registration:

2. 39th Neural Interfaces Conference
Co-sponsored by NIH Deep Brain Stimulation Consortium
June 21-23, 2010, Long Beach, CA
Free registration for students (Faculty Advisor letter due May 21)
Program, registration, and further information:
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SfN party update

Neurodudes is out at SfN this year (well 2/3rds of us, at least!) Being from MIT, as I run into old friends on the poster floor, it seems like this year I’m getting asked more about “When and where are the MIT parties?” (which we are known to be epic) than, say, “How’s it going?” or “When is your poster?” You should be ashamed of yourselves! (And, really, don’t you want to hear about our cool images of growing axons? Come by poster B9 on Monday afternoon to see some neat stochastic modeling techniques applied to this data to find some general principles of how axons elongate.)

Then again, what is SfN without some great partying? A zoo of posters and tired feet!

Sadly, I believe the MIT Picower party has gone the way of Bernie Madoff. In fact, that’s literally the case. Happily, there are some alternatives. Almost all of them are happening on Sunday night. These include the Neuron party, a UChicago party at a local rock club, and the “unofficial” MIT party (a house party thrown by the 2nd year class). Since I’m not directly involved in any of these efforts, I’ll abstain from posting details here. But those of you who know me can check out my Facebook for details on two of them or, if you haven’t joined the social network craze, just drop me a line. Tomorrow night should be fun! And since my poster is on Monday after most of the partying is over, at least I’ll know that those of you who stop by are there for the science and not to extract party details…

Frontiers in Neuroscience Journal

The journal, Frontiers in Neuroscience, edited by Idan Segev, has made it Volume 3, issue 1.  Launching last year at the Society for Neuroscience conference, its probably the newest Neuroscience-related journal.

I’m a fan of it because it is an open-access journal featuring a “tiered system” and more.  From their website:

The Frontiers Journal Series is not just another journal. It is a new approach to scientific publishing. As service to scientists, it is driven by researchers for researchers but it also serves the interests of the general public. Frontiers disseminates research in a tiered system that begins with original articles submitted to Specialty Journals. It evaluates research truly democratically and objectively based on the reading activity of the scientific communities and the public. And it drives the most outstanding and relevant research up to the next tier journals, the Field Journals.

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Conference on Neuroprosthetic Devices

The First International Conference on Neuroprosthetic Devices will take place at National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan on March 19th and 20th, 2009. The mission of this newly founded conference is to foster West-East interaction and collaboration in the rapidly advancing clinical use of neuroprosthetics. The specific aim of the first conference is to expose unique technological and neurological research opportunities in Taiwan. National Chaio Tung University is one of the best universities in Taiwan and is located right next to the world-famous HsinChu Science Park hosting hundreds of biotechnology, semiconductor, and electronics companies.

The conference sessions will cover several key areas in the neuroprosthetic development, such as deep brain stimulation for treatment of Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, devices for restoring hearing and overcoming muscle paralysis, microelectrode biocompatibility, and novel microelectrode technologies. For detailed conference program and registration information, please visit