I think I have mentioned here, before, that my mother and brother are both experimental biologists, leading to a certain "that's not real science" inferiority complex on my part. Like any schoolchild, I know about the Hodgkin-Huxley equations for nerve impulse propagation, and vaguely remember that this was derived from studies of the squid's "giant axon". But I've never actually prepared the giant axon, or clamped the voltage across its membrane to measure the current flow, etc. To help people like me keep it real, then: a nice series of video clips taken from The Squid and its Giant Nerve Fiber, made at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the mid-1970s, featuring performances by Alan Hodgkin on the voltage clamp and J. Z. Young on the dissecting table — actually it's a squid on the dissecting table, rather than the author of Doubt and Certainty in Science, but you understand what I mean.
(Via Light Reading.)
Posted at August 04, 2007 19:40 | permanent link