It’s Monday morning and your about to head out to catch your bus for work. You’re in a bit of a rush because, when you were getting dressed, you couldn’t find a two matching socks and you had to dig through the clean laundry still sitting in your dryer to find a matching pair. As you approach the door, you reflexively pat your pockets, checking for everything you need to bring with you. Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. Cell phone? Your phone is not there. Continue reading “How Your Brain Finds your Phone When You Hear it Ringing “
Think about the last time you walked down the street or grabbed a glass of water or spoke to a friend. How cool was that? It seems silly—reaching for a glass of water? Easy peasy—I’ve been doing that since age two, no applause needed. Continue reading “How Your Brain Heals After A Stroke”
One weekend in early May, I endured one of the most confusing experiences in my life: a two-legged, 24-hour flight across 13 time zones. I took off from Chicago on Saturday evening, and 24 hours later, I arrived in Bali on Monday morning. In that 24 hour period, I ate two dinners and two breakfasts, while lunchtime didn’t exist. I couldn’t tell when I was supposed to be hungry or go to sleep, so I ate when food was placed in front of me and I tried to sleep when I got tired. Continue reading “Why Jet Lag Sucks: Your Body Clock and You”
Have you ever wondered how people develop Alzheimer’s disease? Is it something that begins before the person or anyone else around them fully realizes that someone’s memory lapses are actually a symptom of something bigger? Is it all at the mercy of our genes, or can we take actions that lower the chances, or better yet, prevent the disease from occurring altogether? Finally, if a close family member or friend is diagnosed, what can we do to help alleviate the symptoms and slow down the pace of the illness? Continue reading “Alzheimer’s Disease: Causes, Preventative Measures, and Ideal Outcomes”
Plastic pollution in our oceans, lakes, and rivers has gained vast media attention over recent months, and rightly so: approximately 8.8 million tons of plastic are released into the oceans each year.
Editor’s Note: This is Part II of Ben Marcus’ series on the science of sugar. For Part I, click here.
When was the last time you saw a processed food in the grocery store with real sugar in it? Odds are, its’ been a while. Over the past few decades, most food manufacturers have decided to forgo sugar for artificial sweeteners to save costs. Continue reading “What is Corn Syrup, Anyways?”
When I was about 12, I had a dream that children I didn’t know were chasing me and my friends around the YMCA’s playground. Normally, this dream would have been commonplace, except for a strange moment. I had just run up the jungle gym and was about to slide down, away from my pursuer, when I turned back to him and asked, “Why are you even chasing me?” He stopped, stared back into my eyes, and answered “I dunno – this is your dream after all!” In that moment, I had a short-lived realization that none of this scenario was real. Continue reading “The Science of Lucid Dreaming”
Our inner ear is the powerhouse of our hearing and vestibular (balance) senses. Hearing is part our everyday life: we play the music we love, chat with friends and family, and are aware of changes in our surroundings through sounds. On the other hand, our real “sixth sense”, the vestibular sense, often remains elusive to us, Continue reading “What’s In Your Ears Besides Wax?”
Sugar is everywhere. Kids crave it, pastry chefs live by it, and dieters avoid it like the plague. It comes naturally in our fruits, it’s added to our drinks, and it’s found in some form in virtually every packaged item at the grocery store. Some of us live by it, and for many of us, it does not love us back. But no matter what you say about it, sugar and its relatives are important for our health and well-being. Continue reading “The Reason Sugar Tastes So Darn Good”
Humans are wonderful research subjects. They can think pretty well, and they can speak, too. Our ability to speak is probably our most prized asset in research, as it is the only way scientists can find out directly how their research subjects are feeling. For all the good that humans provide in research, however, researchers can only do so much with their brethren. It would be unreasonably risky or unethical to perform certain experiments on their fellow humans. This is where animals come in. Continue reading “LSD and the Elephant”
Familial Dysautonomia (FD) is a rare, life-threatening, genetic, neurologic disease that attacks the autonomic nervous system. Continue reading “Familial Dysautonomia: A Search for A Cure”
Do caterpillars taste? Do they have tongues? Can you taste things without a tongue?
Here we are, Part III of our debriefing about the science demonstrations that you saw at the 2015 ISC cocktail party. Here, let’s delve into why you struggled to hit the bucket so much during the prism goggles bean bag toss. Continue reading “How the Prism Goggles Beanbag Toss Works”
Welcome to Part II of our ISC Cocktail Party brain illusions debriefing (check out Part I here). Continue reading “More Brain Illusions at the Science Cocktail Party”
Thank you to to everyone who came to the Illinois Science Council’s Science Cocktail party!
As you may have noticed, because we thought the food, drinks,
music, raffle, and photo booth wouldn’t be enough, we provided you with a healthy dose of science as well, in the form of brain games. What would a science cocktail party be without real, mind-blowing brain games ? In case you missed some of the demos, or if you want to learn more about the science behind them, you can read about each one here: Continue reading “Brain Games at the 2015 Science Cocktail Party”