“All that’s separating you from him, from the
other person, is your skin. Remove the skin, you
experience that person’s touch in your mind.
You’ve dissolved the barrier between you and
other human beings. And this of course is the
basis of much of Eastern philosophy, and that
is, there’s no real independent self aloof from
other human beings, inspecting the world and
inspecting other people. You’re in fact connected.
Not just via Facebook and the Internet.
You’re actually quite literally connected by your neurons.... There’s no real
distinctiveness of your consciousness from somebody else’s consciousness.
And this is not mumbo jumbo philosophy, it emerges from our understanding
of basic neuroscience. — UNIVERSI TY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO NEUROLOGIS T V. S. RAMACHANDRAN
IN A TALK ON MIRROR NEURONS AND “EMPATHY NEURONS” POSTED IN JANUARY AT WWW. TED. COM
A warming climate has
central Europe buzzing
with extra insect generations, as in the common
blue butterfly (shown).
See “Warming has already
boosted insect breeding.”
Science Past | FROM THE ISSUE OF JANUARY 30, 1960
SAFE SEASONINGS NAMED — Some 150 seasonings and fla-
vorings — ranging from the familiar cinnamon to exotic
“ylang-ylang” — have been put on the safe list, the Food
and Drug Administration has announced.
Manufacturers who use these flavors in
their food products need not furnish fur-
ther proof of their safety. The list includes
cloves, nutmeg, thyme, vanilla ... and bal-
sam of Peru.… Seven flavoring substances
are on the “wait and see” list, however.
Safe usage for these is not “sufficiently well established
among qualified experts to permit a formal determination
by FDA that they are generally recognized as safe.” They
include quinine, red and yellow cinchona barks, two forms
of orris root ... wintergreen and methyl salicylate.
Free science discussion sessions and demos are open to
the public at the AAAS annual
meeting in San Diego. See
computer powers to identify fake works of art. Read
“Teaching a computer to
spot a bogus Bruegel.”
The International Stroke Conference 2010 is held in San Antonio. See strokeconference.org
SCIENCE & THE PUBLIC BLOG
Never mind the venom, a
tarantula can prove an eyesore. Read “Pet tarantulas
can pose a hairy threat.”
New nomination deadline for
the 2010 National Medal of
Science. Get forms at www.nsf.
ATOM & COSMOS
A new study on the origin
of comets may also help
solve a cosmic riddle. See
“Comets don’t all start out
on the fringe.”
By analyzing a skeleton and
the surrounding tomb (shown)
found in western Honduras,
researchers have identified
what could be the remains of
the first king of the ancient Mayan city of Copán. Hiero-
glyphics had suggested the ruler was named K’inich Yax
K’uk’ Mo’, or KYKM. Bone analyses led the researchers to
conclude that the skeleton could belong to KYKM, they
report in an upcoming Journal of Anthropological Archaeol-
ogy. But KYKM wasn’t native to Copán. Isotopic evidence
now shows that he likely grew up northwest of the city and
became king around 430 during Mayan colonization efforts.
Number of identi;ed
cases per 1,000 children
Science Stats | AUTISM IN AMERICA
Autism and autism-spectrum disorder, or ASD, cases rose between 2002
and 2006. Estimates now are that 1 in 110 U.S. kids has autism or ASD.
Autism and ASD among 8-year-olds at monitoring sites
AL AZ CO
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: TED/JAMES DUNCAN DAVIDSON; F. ALTERMATT; COURTES Y OF THE EARLY COPÁN
ACROPOLIS PROGRAM/U. OF PENN. MUSEUM, INSTITUTO HONDUREÑO DE ANTROPOLOGÍA E HISTORIA
GA MD MO NC PA SC WI
State of study site