Author Archives: Maeve

Do dolphins have language?

I’m not a dolphin communication expert, but I have concerns with the recent paper by Vyacheslav Ryabov in the St. Petersburg Polytechnical University Journal: Physics and Mathematics. It’s garnered a huge amount of extremely positive press coverage, but my takeaway from the paper is less enthusiastic: … Continue reading

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Is My Immune System Normal?

Do three colds a year mean that my immune system is weak? When I went to the Cheltenham Science Festival, I saw an event called Is My Immune System Normal? One of the speakers was Prof. Arne Akbar of UCL, … Continue reading

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Science festivals: For debating serious societal issues or just for fun?

Researchers, science journalists and comedians all come together at science festivals to inform and entertain the public with science. Sometimes there’s overlap with history (Lucy Worsley’s Fit to Rule) or books (James Gleick’s The Information), but often researchers simply sit … Continue reading

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Dopamine and music: how enjoyment and movement are driven by the same chemical

Dopamine, one of the common neurotransmitters, underlies our ability to move, to learn, and to feel reward and euphoria. It accomplishes all of these roles by acting in four main pathways through the brain. For example, if dopamine transmission goes … Continue reading

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