The Long Road to Brain Donation
Donating your brain to science is no easy decision. After consent is given, interviews are held at the donor's home in order to gather information on their mental functioning during life.
What's the Latest Development?
When Albert Webb decided to donate his brain to science, his late wife didn't know what he was getting himself into. Deciding to go without one's brain after passing on is but the first step in a lengthy donation process. Unlike other organs, donating a brain requires that information be gathered on the donor's mental functioning during life which means plenty of cognitive tests and personal interviews. Many donors' stories have become part of a collaborative art exhibition on death and the brain called Mind Over Matter.
What's the Big Idea?
Developed as a joint project between artist Ania Dabrowska and social scientist Bronwyn Parry, Mind Over Matter displays the pioneering work accomplished by some of the world's first brain donors. Many aging donors' brains will be studied to benefit sufferers of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. For Carol Brayne, an aging specialist at Cambridge University, what is most remarkable about the project is that it pulls away the veil for the public. "It shows that it can be done with respect and appreciation", she says.
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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