Monday, June 26, 2006

and I must believe what I see

If you spend a lot of time reading about developmental biology, I imagine you could start to feel very old. Talk about stem cells and differentiation and whatnot gets you thinking that every decision was made for you when you were too young to know what you had signed up for. Not just that, but that you can never recover.

But if you happen to dork out like me and read such dangerous material, I suggest you also listen to this story that I heard on NPR this morning. At 50 years old, Susan Barry went from having stereoscopic vision to three-dimensional vision. Listening to her describe the experience of first seeing in 3-D will give you goosebumps if you are not an android. The NPR article at first brands this a miracle, but I think the important point is mentioned later:
What is especially fascinating about all these stories is they suggest that brains are more "plastic" -- more changeable and repairable in adulthood -- than many scientists and doctors had thought.

There is a lot about our minds that is still wholly unknown to the scientific community. And frankly, that thought gives me a lot of comfort. It helps me to believe in what often feels outlandish. It's not a miracle I am looking for; I'm just looking for something we haven't yet believed to be possible. It may seem a minor distinction, but it makes a world of difference in my twisted head.

In other news, Grey goose + Rob Base= it takes two to make it out of sight. I think I scared some friends of mine on Friday night.

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