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Lately, my lovely nerdy scibling Christie has been collecting examples of genius and almost-genius inventions, contraptions, and ideas. I humbly offer the following, to be included under “absolutely freaking genius”...

May 5, 2010 — Jason G. Goldman

Almost winning is just as exciting for problem gamblers

Oh, so close. Just one more try.

It's hard to understand what keeps problem gamblers betting after a long losing streak. But a new study published May 5 in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests their brains' reward centers, part of the dopamine system (so-called because the neurons release the neurotransmitter dopamine), react the same way to a "near miss" as they would to a win...

May 5, 2010 — Katie Moisse

Where’s the other half?

I just read this article from the LA Times. Emphasis added: For months, the rafts that ferry Disneyland guests across the waterway to Tom Sawyer Island have been idle.

May 5, 2010 — Jason G. Goldman

Carnival of the Blue #36

Carnival of the Blue 36 is up at Observations of a Nerd! Carnival of the Blue includes all things wet and salty, and there are some interesting offerings this month, so go check it out!

May 4, 2010 — Jason G. Goldman

How the immune system's T cells seem to improve learning

The immune system's cells work hard to fight off infections. But new research is uncovering their important role in cognition, and a study published online May 3 in The Journal of Experimental Medicine reveals how the immune system's T cells, which aren't present in the brain, can impact learning and memory...

May 3, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

Monday Pets: Where Did Cats Come From?

Why were cats domesticated in the first place? And how? Given their relatively poor ability to socially engage with humans, it isn't exactly clear why or how they were domesticated, or how they came to play such a significant role in human culture...

May 3, 2010 — Jason G. Goldman

Name That Scibling

I’ve got some pretty talented sciblings. Sure, they’re all talented scientists or writers, or both. But, did you know there are some additional talents around here?

May 2, 2010 — Jason G. Goldman

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