All posts by LL

Nature Internship 1: My first week

nature_cover_0904021I’m doing a reporting internship at Nature’s London office for the next few months. Because the frequency of individual stories will be higher than usual for me, I’ll be rounding up each week’s stories into one handy update.

In my first week, I’ve blogged about the EU emissions trading scheme, Earth Hour, 100 Hours of Astronomy, a Swedish house on the moon, a giant laser, written news items about the Abel prize for math, researchers who think they can cut down on the number of animal tests, and summarized a report of a newly discovered halo of stars in our galaxy [pdf].

Working in an office full-time has been as illuminating as I hoped it would be, so far. I’m soaking up all kinds of newsroom wisdom culture and have even learned how to operate a cafetière, which one of my editors assures me is the path to winning friends and influencing people.

Looking Up Your Career at the Library

librarystacks_eflon_160 David Osterbur spent a decade pursuing an academic science career before tiring of the “never-ending cycle” of unfunded grant applications, he says. When his wife, like him a developmental biologist, accepted a job offer in Massachusetts, he took advantage of the change in location to weigh a change in career. He was considering a career in public health so he could continue using his science background, when his wife suggested he become a science librarian. “I had always enjoyed being in the library. In graduate school, people would always come to me when they couldn’t find something,” he says.

Continue reading Looking Up Your Career at the Library

A Memorable Device

science_cover090313It was over drinks at a local pub in the spring of 2006 that cognitive psychologist Martin Conway of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom first told his colleague Chris Moulin about using a wearable camera for memory research. But it took more than a few pints of beer to convince Moulin that SenseCam, a camera that periodically takes still photos while worn on the user’s chest, might be a game-changer in the study of what psychologists call autobiographical memory. Although skeptical of the small device’s usefulness, Moulin did finally agree to take one for a test drive.

Continue reading A Memorable Device

Horseshoes, Hand Grenades–and Slot Machines?

nearmissBefore the reels on a slot machine stop spinning, a gambler’s brain is already anticipating the potential rewards. And although two bananas on the pay line with a third just barely visible won’t pay a gambler any more than three random fruits, such near misses have the well-documented, if irrational, effect of enticing gamblers to try again. The reason, according to a new study, is that these near misses activate the same reward signals in the brain as a win.

Read the original on Science’s online daily news website, ScienceNOW: [html] or [pdf]