Lucky dip

EUSci now has a fairly extensive archive of fascinating articles- use this page to show you a random selection.

Dr McCulloch

“I don't love you for anything but who you are.”

Emily's distant words I will now more than ever hold dear. However, during these difficult times they aren't as reassuring as they might be, mainly because I have never been sure what exactly it is that made me me.

My name is Albert McCulloch, I am the Executive Director to the Institute's Scotland Central Division. Edinburgh born and educated. Top of the University of Edinburgh's Institute training program 2063 and later the youngest practitioner in the then-newly-formed Institute. Now a household name for my pioneering of the Institute's values. “It is the Institute’s aim that all men should be perfect men” –paragraph 1, preamble.

One can only try. Read more »

Dr Hypothesis (Issue 8)

Dear Dr Hypothesis,

When my sister was young she was often hyperactive. According to the adults, sweets were to blame. As my own sugar allowance was rationed, I wish to know if there is any evidence for this belief?

Feeling Sugar-High

Dear Feeling Sugar-High,

You’re right that parents are often adamant that sugar causes children to be unruly. However, in 2008 the British Medical Journal highlighted that at least twelve double-blind, randomised, controlled trials refute a causal link. Read more »

Conclusion

Since the discovery of single gene disorders associated with Autism, research into the spectrum has grown exponentially and the biggest driving force behind it are the families of affected individuals themselves. Every diagnosis of ASD is different but the aspiration for earlier detection, enhanced awareness and more funding for research is universal.

“The neural basis of autism spectrum disorders is one of the great scientific mysteries of our time. It is a complex problem and requires a sophisticated, multi-faceted approach, but the search for answers has a real and tangible benefit for parents and individuals living with ASDs.”

- Mike Tranfaglia chairman of FRAXA research foundation Read more »

Putting Our Heads Together

A surprising resource is revolutionizing how we solve problems and get information. It is available in great abundance and can be harvested for almost nothing. This resource is the simple power of human thought.

We all know that computers can beat us at chess, find enormous prime numbers and remember our friends’ birthdays. If a task involves only calculations and large quantities of information, then a computer is perfect for the job. On the other hand, ask your computer to find the photos of a lovely peacock that you took on your last holiday, and it’s likely to throw in a picture of an elderly relative. Of course, any of your friends could do a much better job, but only if you can persuade them to bother. The emerging field of human computation is doing just that by using computer games to harness human brainpower. Read more »

Close Encounters of the Wired Mind: When Cucumbers Taste Pink

When Patient X meets psychologist Dr Julia Simner, he prefers to call her by her first name Julia than by her nickname 'Jools'. Indeed, calling her 'Jools' triggers an intense gush of orange Starbust candy flavour in his mouth, a sensation he prefers to avoid when speaking to his doctor. What's wrong with Patient X? Nothing, actually; he's affected by a neurological condition called synesthesia.

In synesthesia, visual colour information merges with other senses. This condition, and colour perception in general, were the topics of the Colour My World Neuroscience Encounter I saw last May at InSpace.
The Encounters are a lecture series put on by InSpace and Edinburgh Neuroscience. This series explores topics related to informatics and neuroscience. InSpace itself is a public engagement research laboratory resulting from a research partnership between the School of Informatics and New Media Scotland.  Read more »