The podcast reviewed here is Nature Neuropod – August 2009 edition featuring Kerri Smith. The sounds quality is very good as would be expected from a Nature production. I couldn’t hear any background noise (e.g. clicks) and the dialogue is very clear and features interviews with neuroscientists. The podcast can are also displayed in segments, so that you can play individual parts of interest rather than listening to the entire podcast.
The August edition features an interview with a members of a team that is constructing a multimodal map of the brain. They have significant ambitions to replace Brodman’s map with something far more sophisticated and which will superimpose neurotransmitter data and fMRI to produce what they describe as a ‘Google Map’ and presumably means that information on different brain regions will be easier to locate. Mind Hacks also covers the podcast here. An intriguing post looks at ‘jumping genes’ or transposons/retrotransposons in the hippocampus. The transposons are genes that move about within the genome and are thought to be drivers of evolution. For instance in this Science Daily article there is a report on research into grapevine transposons and a comment on how they might have impact on genetic diversity.
In the Neuropodcast there is also a look at a study of synaptic formation in the retina. In the study, the researchers challenge the notion that competition is required for shaping synapses between bipolar cells in the retina and offer a potentially new paradigm for synaptic formation.
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