February 02, 2014

Suspended Animation: The Resurrection

"Video killed the radio star" went the famous song by The Buggles. Well, to put it into context it would be only fair to say that after more than 3 long years of inactivity on this blog, that I  finally summon myself together to write yet another blog post. True, I was goaded by some of my readers particularly PC, a doctor and a little girl who was only in her 10th standard then, who got inspired to become a radiologist after going through my blog, yet I was still reluctant to oblige. Like almost everyone else, I was into the nebulous domain of Facebook, Twitter and the like. I was also doing numerous courses, now widely known as MOOCs, offered by different Universities across the world. I did electronics course, genetics, statistics and lots other courses which I thought was relevant to my subject of  interest and research activities. Surely, I learned a lot. But learning isn't all. You've got to educate, think over what you have learned and write about it. Only that shows the potential weaknesses of ones understanding when you start explaining them to the masses.

And this ultimately catapulted me into writing blogs again. The Phoenix is raising its head now. My immediate plan was to share the solutions that I developed for Innocentive, a global network of millions of problem solvers who combine to help their clients to find rapid and financially viable solutions to varieties of challenging tasks encompassing the broad gamut of economics, physics, chemistry, agriculture and many diverse fields. They also offer huge sums for those who meet the clients' demands. I was drawn to it because of the challenges (innovation) and not for the incentive part. Albeit, no denying, that would definitely be nice too! I obtained permission from them so that I could share my own solutions with my readers in my blog. I got their approval in Aug-Sept 2012, still 'microblogging' held its overwhelming sway! Not any more.

In the next few articles I will write on my theoretical and experimental approaches towards probing the physiological responses in nerves and muscle tissues in reaction to different stimuli. The instrument SpikerBox (figure appears below), that I'll be using has been provided for free by Harvard University,
and it has been elegantly designed and manufactured in beautiful Michigan by smart guys who have formed a company called Backyard Brains. Their objective is to bring neuroscience to the masses at a nominal cost.
A schematic circuit diagram for one of the electronic appliance is given below for the circuit enthusiasts.
The course that is offering neuroscience education for free is being taught by Prof David Cox and other bright fellows goes by the fancy name MCB80x.

The next few posts would thus elaborate my tryst with SpikerBox. The articles will undergo tremendous revision and improvisation with time as these experiments/protocols are very dynamic by nature. So, the next offerings will be rather a draft than a full blown article. I also have only 2-3 days to report to the overseers of the project, mainly an energetic and bubbling Greg Gaze.

So, watch out my next post and do suggest any modification. We all love feedback.

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