Tag Archives: actors and mirror neurons

Mirror neurons and music, part II: the discovery

I know.  You’re waiting to hear about mirror neurons and music and we’ll get to that.  But the story of the discovery of mirror neurons is really too good to pass up because it was one of those serendipitous discoveries that has sometimes happened in the history of science.  Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin is probably the best-known, but other revolutionary discoveries that happened quite by chance include insulin, quinine, the smallpox vaccine, nitrous oxide and ether as anesthetics, and the invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).  In case you don’t know about PCR, it’s sometimes called “molecular photocopying,” and it is used to amplify a single strand of DNA, generating the significant amounts of a sample DNA that are necessary for molecular and genetic analysis, for detection of viruses and bacteria, and of course, for matching criminals to crime scenes as we regularly see on television and in movies.

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