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Showing blog posts tagged with "SciCafe"

Podcast

Podcast: SciCafe: Debunking the Scientific Myth of Race

Podcasts

A growing body of research from the fields of physical anthropology, genetics, and genomics indicates that there’s no scientific justification for the concept of race. In this podcast from last fall, Museum curators Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle, who recently co-authored a book on the subject entitled Race? Debunking a Scientific Myth, explain why features that we consider markers of race are actually of recent biological origin or superficial. Their book recently made the longlist for this year’s prestigious Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books, whose judges called it an “important subject ripe for discussion in a scientifically reputable way.”

This SciCafe took place at the Museum on October 5, 2011.

Podcast: Download | RSS | iTunes (1 hour, 4 mins, 77 MB)

Tags: Brain, Podcasts, SciCafe

Daniela

SciCafe: Forgetting Fear with Daniela Schiller

Q&As

Fear can take many forms, from minor phobias to life-altering conditions such as PTSD. Now, new research is shedding light on how these so-called fear memories could be changed. At the final SciCafe of the season on Wednesday, June 6,neuroscientist Daniela Schiller will discuss her work on the neural mechanisms of emotional control and potential ways to modify or “erase” fear memories. Schiller recently answered a few questions about how memories are created and lost.

How did you first become interested in studying emotional memories?

It wasn’t an explicit decision. I started with philosophy and psychology, and I was interested in the brain and the mind. And the combination is the neural basis of behavior, and within behavior, emotion is fascinating because it’s the least willful process we have. We think emotions just happen to us, but they don’t just pop out of the blue. It’s interesting to look at the mechanism and see that it’s a very distinct process in the brain that you can observe and counteract and modulate.

Tags: Brain, Q&A, SciCafe

Supramap-250

Researchers Broaden Reach of Virus Tracking Software

Research posts

A web-based application that tracks dangerous viruses as they spread has been restructured to allow even wider use of the program around the world. SUPRAMAP, a program that synthesizes large, diverse datasets to help researchers understand the evolution of infectious diseases across hosts and geography, was developed in 2007 by the Museum, The Ohio State University, and the Ohio Superconductor Center. In a recent paper in the journal Cladistics, researchers from these institutions describe how they reconfigured SUPRAMAP’s server to let researchers and public safety officials develop their own applications for the program.

Tags: Our Research, SciCafe

Nina j

The Evolution of Skin

Q&As

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and one with a complex cultural and evolutionary past. At the upcoming SciCafe on Wednesday, May 2, biological anthropologist Nina Jablonski will discuss how human skin evolved, particularly as an adaptation to ultraviolet radiation. She recently answered a few questions about skin and its role in our lives.

When did you decide to study the history of human skin?

Nina Jablonski: By accident. About 23 years ago, a colleague asked me to give a lecture to his class about skin because he was going to be out of town for a conference. I obliged. In preparing for the lecture, I realized just how little had been written about the evolution and meaning of human skin.

Tags: Human Evolution, Q&A, SciCafe

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