A chef and a professor are teaming up to create a dining experience that capitalizes on synaesthetic perception that links tastes to certain sounds. Synaesthesia is the association of different sensory perceptions -- hearing shapes or seeing music.
A neuroscientist carves up brains to investigate the presence of unique brain cells found only in humans, primates, elephants and a handful of marine mammals -- species that are characterized by large brains, a long childhood spent learning from their elders, and sophisticated social interaction, reports Smithsonian.
In his Caltech lab, John Allman slices off the thinnest slivers of an elephant's brain, looking for the presence of von Economo neurons -- and possibly a glimpse into the evolution of human behavior.
The world's changed a lot since 1994, and some of the signs of modern times -- obesity, Internet addiction - may find their way into the book that describes -- and guides diagnosis of -- psychiatric disorders. The latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, better known as DSM-V, will be landing with a massive thunk on physicians' and researchers' desktops in 2012, but until then, the American Psychiatric Association still has a lot of work to do in determining how the guide will be updated, the L.A. Times reports.
All pet owners will happily explain to you their dog or cat's character traits -- probably in far more detail than you ever wanted to know. But the idea of animal personality is not one that's been formally studied all that much.
A new study has classed a species of bird into groups of more and less aggressive males. Researchers gauged the response of male collared flycatchers to female birds, to a strange object, and to other males. They found that each type of individual displayed consistent behavior in each of these situations.
To all the parents and potential doctoral students who worry a Ph.D in political philosophy will lead to a lifetime of waiting tables, here's a counter-argument: it could lead to jobs running your own motorcycle shop and writing about how the trades -- good old-fashioned working with your hands -- are slipping away from us.
A new map of the spread of HIV infection in Europe indicates that the virus traveled from major holiday destinations -- Greece, Portugal and Spain -- to northern European countries, New Scientist reports. A virologist determined how the virus evolved by sequencing parts of the virus genome from subjects throughout Europe -- 1,337 people from at least 11 countries. While a number of Mediterranean countries appeared to be sources for the virus, the UK, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and Israel appeared to be hubs, through which the virus both came and went.
Researchers can figure out who was the Flava Flav of ancient Mesoamerica by checking out skeletons' teeth. Dentists who lived up to 2500 years ago (who actually sound like they might be more talented than many tooth jockeys I've ever gone to) used to do an early version of grills -- drilling into teeth and implanting gems like jade. Be sure to check out the picture of a skull decorated in this way.
Also in today's links: baby flamingos never see the light of day, an EPA manhunt gets underway and more.
An FBI agent who posed as a cybercriminal named for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character talks about how he helped bring down a worldwide network of identity thieves, got a rep as a most-wanted spammer without having to spam, and dealt with all the egos in the world of Internet thugs.
Also in today's links: swimming in chemicals, rescuing frogs and more.
There has been one beneficiary of flu madness: the elbow. Handily bendy, usefully pointy, the joint is seeing its moment in the sun. Rubbing elbows together in greeting has been suggested as a way to avoid spreading infection, but if that doesn't work for you, here are some other options.
Also in today's links: ringtones for cars, a beetle that better be funny, and more.