Thursday, February 4, 2010

Notes and a photo

  • The good news is that a line of communication may have been opened between those who are superficially in a vegetative state. The bad news is: Holy cow, we don't necessarily know who is really in a vegetative state. The brief brief summary. 4 people (out of 23 tested) who were believed to be in a vegetative state were able to respond to questions by altering their brain wave patterns. Does this mean those people are conscious? I think it does...but I'm not certain. I can't help but notice that the ages of those who seemed most responsive were all under 28 (22, 22, 23, 27). I also can't help but remember the dead salmon that cause an MRI response. Still the odds are ridiculously against this happening by chance.
  • Toads are, by their very nature, awesome. Just like every other amphibian. However, I apparently don't know as much as I need to about them. Apparently they evolved in S. America? I didn't know that. Anyway, this paper looks great (someone please send it to me!). More on toad invasions here.
  • The more about crayfish I read, the more I like them. Turns out they can probably sense electrical fields as well. Uh...duh? I mean, I understand, but why wouldn't they be able to?
  • I love stuff like this. How did the animals in New Zealand get there? Remnants of Gondwana? Or much more recent immigrants? I'm always excited that we can actually figure out things that happened millions of years ago.

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