THE REAL SCIENCE BEHIND:
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
It’s in our brain.
Hiding in plain view like our tiny mitochondrial guests. Doing work we don’t fully understand, but perhaps cannot live without. I know you are wondering how it’s possible to have missed something so huge. But, really, it’s no great shock that it hasn’t been found until now as the human brain is one of the last and most dense mysteries of humankind.
The brain, excised from its protective case, is an unassuming organ. Mushy, slightly gelatinous, pinkish grey, covered in veins, oozing salty liquid. There’s nothing about the brain that looks mysterious. It looks wholly animal, entirely of the flesh. And really, if we’re judging on looks, there are far more interesting organs. The constant complex movement of the heart. The impressive now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t vanishing act pulled off by the stomach. It’s no wonder we studied other organs first, that we tried to seat the mind—all the things we find most intriguing about ourselves, all the ways that we seem to rise above the planet’s other animals—in an organ more complex than the mushy white aesthetic simplicity of the brain.
~An excerpt from Sleep of Reason
THE REAL SCIENCE:
Newly Discovered Kind of Brain Cell: Scientists have learned that the newly discovered rosehip neurons in the human brain don’t closely match any previously identified cell in the mouse, suggesting they have no analog in the rodent often used as a model for humans. The discovery also raises the question of whether these neurons are key to certain brain functions that separate us from mice.
Margaret Riley is a wordsmith, slow-kayaker, slow-skiier, photographer of strange realities, and a deep believer in the magic of story time.