Blog Review: Brain Windows

The blog reviewed here is ‘Brain Windows‘ by Dr Andrew Hines.

Appearance and Design

There is an outer grey background with a central white background. The black title pane features brain-related photos and micrographs. The articles are typically several paragraphs long, referenced and feature illustrative photos or micrographs. Comments are enabled and articles also use category tags. In the right hand pane, there are links to other blogs, labs, recent posts, comments. Articles are indexed according to categories but I wasn’t able to identify a chronological index at the time of writing.

Content

The blog is described in the about section thus:-

Brain Windows is a blog devoted to reporting, analyzing and interpreting the latest results in the field of brain imaging technologies, particularly at the levels of systems, circuits, single cells and below

In this post for instance, a new experimental technique is described which is quite esoteric and was undertaken in hippocampal neurons. The hippocampus is an area that plays an important role in the pathology of Alzheimer’s Disease and therefore this area of research may directly or indirectly have applications in this area. A number of the articles are highly specialised and will probably appeal to a highly selective audience. However there are other articles such as this which features notes taken at meetings giving a broad overview of some of the research that has been presented. Hines explains the methodology in this PNAS paper and I was able to understand most of it, which is testimony to his skills given that my unfamiliarity with this specialised area of complex and highly technical research. Hines looks at another PNAS paper in this article which in contrast is a top-down computational model by Edelman and colleagues. There are links to a number of movies on cellular biology here.and also in this post (this one worked in my browser without the need for further plug-ins).  An interesting philosophical concept is discussed in this article – can a biologist reverse engineer a radio. This was a particularly useful post and the issue of how to rapidly get up to speed in a very specialised area is an important one.

Conclusions

I thought this was well written and that many of the posts are highly specialised. I particularly liked the posts which explained tricky experiments in detail as well as the links to resources that are useful to readers such as myself with a limited knowledge of this area of research i.e videos and review articles.

Index

You can find an index of the site here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order.

Twitter

You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link

Podcast

You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast).

TAWOP Channel

You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link

Responses

If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk

Disclaimer

The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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