Insects as Model Animals
Jeremy Niven spends his days at Cambridge University running locusts across ladders and through mazes, trying to figure out how bugs think. Dr. Niven, 34, studies the evolution of brains and neurons in insects and other animals, like humans. We spoke during a break in last month's World Science Festival in New York, where he was a guest presenter, and then again later via telephone. An edited version of the two conversations follows:Stargazers in awe as total eclipse arcs across Pacific
ANGA ROA, Chile (AFP) – A total solar eclipse drew an 11,000-kilometer (6,800-mile) arc over the Pacific Sunday, plunging remote territories into darkness, but drawing thousands of curious tourists and their dollars.
The skies grew black in the middle of the day as the Moon slipped in front of the Sun and aligned with the Earth, blotting out the sunshine that just moments earlier had swathed the island's silent, ancient stone guardians.
A solid, square farmhouse stands dark in the night in the Scottish Borders. Inside, the woman of the house is dreaming.
She dreams that her favourite horse, who is sleeping in a field outside, is dead. She is not used to dreaming -- or maybe she dreams but never remembers. This dream, however, makes her sit bolt upright in bed.
What happens to the biggest clock in your body when the light never sinks into the sunset (e.g., Schwartz 1996)? When the fuel that feeds your heart never varies and the panic perceived by sleep loss never ends?
So many things you can't even imagine.
And not one of them is good.
A sweat lodge is a sauna-like dome structure constructed from willow branches and heavy canvas. Inside, more than a dozen participants surround a pit of hot stones on which a ceremony leader pours water. A "sweat" consists of four rounds, each lasting about five minutes. The leader of the ceremony drums and conducts prayers in the form of song before opening the door, returning participants to fortifying fresh air. According to recovered addicts, the dense steam and heat created by the stones become a substitute for the effects of drugs.