Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
Here is what you will find in this issue:
1. What's New on the Neuroscience for Kids Web Pages
2. The Neuroscience for Kids Page of the Month
3. Spring Has Sprung
4. Science Fair Help - "Create a Graph" Web Site
5. Neuroscience for Kids Poll Results
6. The Case of the Disappearing Links
7. Media Alert
8. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
9. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. April Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
C. June NeuroCalendar
D. Getting Tough with Ecstasy
E. Interactive Visual Illusions (requires Shockwave plug-in)
F. 1,4-Butanediol (BD): Danger!
G. Don't Jump to Conclusions
H. Too Hot! Does Overheating Contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?
I. Conjoined Twins Separated at Head
In April, 17 new figures were added and 89 pages were modified.
The Neuroscience for Kids "Page of the Month" for May is the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at:
The NINDS is one branch of the National Institutes of Health located in
Bethesda, Maryland. The NINDS web site should be one of your first stops
for investigating neurological diseases and disorders. Click on the
"Disorders" bar at the top of the opening page to visit a page listing
over 100 neurological disorders. Each entry contains a brief description
of a disorder, along with references and support group information. The
opening page also has news items related to advances and discoveries in
Perhaps the most common plant with a "neuroactive" ingredient is tobacco. The tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum) contains nicotine, a stimulant. Other examples of plants with neuroactive chemicals:
Common Name (Scientific Name) - Neuroactive Chemical ----------------------------- -------------------- Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium) - scopolamine Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum) - scopolamine Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) - coniine Water hemlock (Cicuta maculata) - cicutoxin Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) - opiates Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) - atropine
Many herbs contain chemicals that act on the nervous system, for example: St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Gingko biloba, Ephedra (ma huang), Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), Ginseng (Panax ginseng) and Valerian (Valeriana officianlis). Researchers are studying some of these herbs to see if they can be used to treat people with depression and memory problems.
Did you know? During the Italian Renaissance, women used the nightshade plant to enlarge the pupils of their eyes. During this time, people thought large pupils were attractive. The nightshade contains the chemical atropine, which dilates pupils.
Did you know? Socrates may have been poisoned to death by poison hemlock. This plant contains the neurotoxin called coniine.
References: Ford, M.D., Delany, K.A., Ling, L.J. and Erickson, T., Clinical Toxicology, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 2001.
For more on herbs and health, see: http://www.herbs.org/
First, select the type of graph you want to make, then enter your data.
You can label the X and Y axes of your graph and give it a title. You can
also select the colors you want to use for the bars and background. When
you finish, click on the "Printable Version" button to print your graph.
The amount of data you can enter is limited, but for a quick and easy way
to display your data, "Create a Graph" may be just what you are looking
Poll Question - What is your favorite brain structure?
Response - Cerebral cortex (21%); Medulla (16%); Cerebellum (15%)
Poll Question - What is your favorite lobe of the brain?
Response - Frontal (45%), Occipital (19%), Temporal (18%), Parietal (16%)
Poll Question - About how many hours of sleep do you get each night?
Response - 7 hrs (24%); 8 hrs (22%); 6 hrs (19%); 9 hrs (11%); 3-5 hrs (11%); 10 hrs (5%)
Poll Question - How many cans and bottles of caffeinated soda or drinks do
you consume each day?
Response - 1 (28%); 2 (17%); none (19%); 3 (10%); more than 10 (9%); 4 (6%); 5 (4%); 6-10 (4%)
Poll Question - Which sense is most important to you?
Response - Vision (70%); Touch (10%); Hearing (8%); Taste (7%); Smell (4%)
Do any of these responses surprise you? If you would like to find out
what people think about other "brainy topics," send me
(email@example.com) a question and I may turn it into a new web
The Neuroscience for Kids site contains many links to other web pages. All
of the links were checked before they were added to the site. However,
because of the changing nature of the Internet, it is possible that linked
sites have disappeared or changed. Because the Neuroscience for Kids site
contains so many links, I could use your help. If you come across any
broken or inappropriate links, please send me an e-mail
(firstname.lastname@example.org) with information about the link and I will fix
B. The cover story of the April 9, 2001 issue of Newsweek magazine is titled "Playing with Pain Killers."
C. "Ecstasy Crackdown" in the April 9, 2001 issue of Time magazine discusses possible new laws against the drug ecstasy. On-line at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,104604,00.html
D. "Australia's Little Assassins" - PBS Television NATURE show scheduled for broadcasting in May will feature venomous animals from Australia.
E. Two articles in the May 2001 issue of Scientific American: "What's Wrong with this Picture?" by Scott Lilienfeld, James Wood and Howard Garb, about psychological tests like the inkblot being less informative than supposed, page 80 and "Mad Cow's Human Toll."
F. "Brain Games" (Alzheimer's gene therapy) in the April 23, 2001 issue of Time magazine. On-line at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101010423-107272,00.html
G. The cover story of the April 30, 2001 issue of Time magazine discusses
the issues about making kids smarter. One article available on-line is
titled "The Quest For A Superkid" at:
B. Pteronophobia is the irrational fear of feathers; linonophobia is the irrational fear of string; nephophobia is the irrational fear of clouds.
C. In the season finale (May 14, 1998) of the TV show "Seinfeld," Jerry Seinfeld says, "Maybe if we lie down our brains will work."
D. A jellyfish has no brain.
E. The word "cochlea" (a structure in your ear) comes from the Latin word
meaning "snail shell."
Your comments and suggestions about this newsletter and the "Neuroscience for Kids" web site are always welcome. If there are any special topics that you would like to see on the web site, just let me know.
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
"Neuroscience for Kids" is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center of Research Resources.