Why do paper cuts hurt so much, and what do they have to do with lobsters?

As SciAm's Ferris Jabr explains in the video up top, the short answer is: nociceptors. Many animals have these sensory neurons. Some animals have weird ones. Take naked mole rats, for example — NMRs have mutated sodium channels that limit physiologically "normal" nociceptor firing, thereby blunting sensations of pain. »11/08/12 3:20pm11/08/12 3:20pm

Remarkable video captures the flow of proteins inside an individual neuron

This is absolutely incredible. Molecular biologists at USC have captured video footage of a neuron so finely detailed, you can actually observe the transport of individual proteins throughout the cell's structure. This offers the researchers an unprecedented look at how neurons restore themselves on a day-to-day… »8/24/12 10:20am8/24/12 10:20am

Breakthrough in understanding primate vision could help create robots who recognize you

We know that a dog is a dog, regardless of whether it's sitting, running, or trying to comprehend escalators. But one of the tricky parts of designing an artificial vision system for a computer is getting it to recognize that an object is the same, regardless of perspective, position, ambient lighting, and a whole… »9/23/10 1:03pm9/23/10 1:03pm