The brains of the famous

The student connected the final section of tissue to the electrical sensor.  She pulled her hands from the protective gloves and walked back to the terminal on the far side of the room.  She clicked the button that started the test.  The lights dimmed and a single spark flew across the tissue.  On screen, characters started to appear H … E … L … L … O … ?  Her heart skipped a beat – she now had the chance to talk to one of the most eminent minds of the last century.

The Wellcome Collection is hosting an exhibition in London that will look at the subject of brains.   It includes artwork, images, video and samples of brains including Albert Einstein, Charles Babbage and William Burke.  The exhibition runs from 29 March to 17 June 2012.  See the press release here: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/press/press-releases/brains-the-mind-as-matter.aspx Exhibition preview here: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/whats-on/exhibitions/brains.aspx

James.

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A long, long time ago in a country far, far away

He walked from the cave, a rasping sound emanating from his throat as he struggled to breathe.  He stood at the cave entrance and looked across the landscape before him.  Deer scattered through the valleys of rolling red hills.  Below, people were starting to gather in the settlement that had been built next to the river.  He reached out his hand and felt an energy pass through it, an energy that he would use to gain power over these people.

Darren Curnoe, from the University of New South Wales, and a team of scientists have identifed and associated a set of remains from southern China that suggest a new species in the history of human evolution.  The rounded skulls and widening cheeks give a visual impression very similar to that of Darth Vader from the hit sci-fi movie franchise Star Wars.  It makes you wonder whether we were their destiny…

See a news article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17370170 and the submitted paper here: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0031918 (Buy Star Wars merchandise here: http://www.starwars.com/)

James.

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