What was your biggest accomplishment at 10 years-old? A good report card? Landing the lead role in the school play, or hitting the game-winning homerun for your little league team? All feats worthy of praise, but if you’re still beaming about accolades you collected in grade school, you may want to skip the latest post from Vector, Children’s Hospital Boston’s science and innovation blog. It may make you a tad jealous.
Vector writer Parizad Bilimoria reports on a group of English school kids who recently had their original findings published in the journal Biology Letters, a peer-reviewed journal from Britain’s prestigious Royal Society.
The research was inspired by their youthful curiosity about nature, specifically, how do bees decide which flowers to get honey from? The students took to the internet to learn more, but discovered there hadn’t been sufficient study on the decision making process of bees. Unsatisfied, they set out to answer the question themselves.
After designing a careful series of tests the children from Blackawton Primary School, Devon, discovered that bees use a combination of color and spatial cues to learn. Interesting stuff, made all that much more powerful when you take into consideration that no one, even adult scientists, had made this observation before. For a more detailed look at the kids’ study, as well as their fascinating results, please visit the Vector post dedicated to their work. …
An amazing new software program developed by Gil Alterovitz, PhD, a research fellow in the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program, that turns gene and protein expression data into music, could help doctors hear whether their patients’ health has taken a turn for the worse.
WBUR recently did a story on the new software. “We felt that music, in some sense, can serve as a translator,” Alterovitz said in the piece. “There’s more and more information presented, so…we need a way to present it to the brain…in a way that it can handle it.”
We recently did a story on Alterovitz’s work in Vector, our research magazine, and Technology Review did a cool audio/video presentation that compared the sounds of sickness to the sounds of health.