September 11, 2014
Alien Worlds and Androids, which closes Sunday, unveils the innate human desire we all possess to travel and experience the universe. Alas, we are all tethered to our material bodies… or are we?
Dr. Robert Lanza extracted a cell from a banteng (an ox-like creature) that went extinct 25 years ago. The cell was implanted into a female cow, which then gave birth to a banteng.
It is only a matter of time before humans will be cloned.
A cloned individual is, of course, genetically the same as the original with a significant difference. It does not possess the memories of the original and it i… Keep reading.
July 23, 2014
Alien Worlds and Androids brings guests face to face with worlds far beyond their own. Or are these worlds really that far away after all?
One of the many fascinating topics explored in the exhibition is cybernetic organisms — cyborgs, for short. A cyborg is an organism that has restored function or enhanced abilities due to the integration of some artificial component or technology that relies on some sort of feedback.
In this day and age, people and cockroaches can both be cyborgs. Both are already sensational in their own ways.
A cockroach can live for a week without its head. They b… Keep reading.
September 04, 2013
Last winter I had a really bad cold. I think I blew my nose 15 times an hour! OK, so what I am about to share may be disgusting but I know I am not the only one.
I looked carefully at what was in my tissue.
Call it curiosity or call it what you will — I could not believe the palette of colors and consistency of my snot. What a beautiful visage I had blown onto the canvas of my bathroom tissue! It was yellow and green, with reddish tinged spots distributed throughout, a virtual landscape of boogers.
Had I discovered a new art form? Gastro-respiratory-impressionism, perhaps? Could this be … Keep reading.
July 02, 2013
One of the "Random Acts of Science" that Discovery Place does to accompany Animal Grossology involves asking guests to try chocolate covered bugs.
Frequently the response is unadulterated revulsion. I must admit that I do not want to eat bugs either. I also find mayonnaise repulsive.
At least the scientist in me recognizes that these feelings are irrational.
For example, did you know that avoiding insect parts in your food is next to impossible? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the acceptable level of insect fragments in chocolate is not more than 60 per 100 grams. And… Keep reading.
January 31, 2012
Lev Vygotsky contends that human beings are simultaneously the product of biology and their human cultures. His principal premise is that human beings are products not only of biology, but also of their human cultures. Part of the explanation for how we function intellectually can be explained by our social history. The sharing of this social history with adults and other children is how students learn higher intellectual functions.
Vygotsky espouses the idea of inner speech. Children learn when they have dialog with more capable peers. Vygotsky demonstrates that … Keep reading.
July 01, 2010
Driving through the Discovery Place parking deck one morning, I noticed a van had just hit a moth. Interested in identifying what type of moth had just suffered this unfortunate fate, I quickly parked and headed toward the scene of the hit and run with the intention of collecting the critter and getting it to my office. But as I approached, an uninvited guest swooped down and stole the object of my wonder, carrying it just out of my reach. As the thief started to peck vigorously at his prey my insect friend bounced in small arcs over and over in a brave attempt to escape. The attacker wa… Keep reading.