January 11th, 2013
05:44 PM ET

The Next List: Neuroscientist comes up with an innovative way to inspire future generations

Greg Gage is a globe-trekking neuroscientist, engineer, teacher and entrepreneur. He's the co-founder of Backyard Brains, a Michigan-based company that wants to revolutionize how science is taught by putting neuroscience in the hands of young people. Watch Greg Gage's full 30-minute profile this Sunday at 2 P.M. ET. on CNN’s “The Next List.” 

Why he matters: Gage has come up with an innovative way to inspire future generations in neuroscience. As the co-creator of Backyard Brains, Gage created the “SpikerBox,”a small DIY kit that helps young people understand the electrical impulses that control the nervous system. He brings cool hands-on experiments to schools so students can see and hear brain signals, or “spikes” from the living neurons of insects like cockroaches.

Gage is passionate about coming up with ways to change neuroscience education, because, he says “when it comes to the brain, we’re in the dark ages. One out five of us will be diagnosed with a brain disorder that still has no cures. By getting more people involved ... we can inspire those interested to become neuroscientists, and perhaps cure brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”

Why he cares: The inspiration for Gage's work as an educator came from a realization that the advanced equipment he used as a PhD student could be made at home for a fraction of the price, in less than a day.

"Our equipment that we were using cost $40,000," he said. "We set off on a self-imposed engineering challenge to see if we could replicate our expensive lab equipment with something affordable by consumers.”

Gage ended up with the $100 "SpikerBox. It can be used with a smartphone, iPad or computer to monitor brain activity in real time. After a few minutes, amateurs can begin to understand the basic principles of how neurons encode information, and how remarkable the brain can be.

Topics: CNN • Dr. Sanjay Gupta
January 11th, 2013
05:20 PM ET

The Situation Room: Exclusive Report from Egypt Airs, Sat., Jan 12

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will present a one-hour special on his travel to Egypt and his exclusive, one-hour interview with Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, President Mohamed Morsy on CNN at 6 p.m. ET, Saturday, Jan 12. Blitzer spoke with Morsy at the presidential palace in Cairo about a wide range of topics including the Arab Spring, democracy in Egypt, his support for calls that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be tried for war crimes saying, “…the Syrians want it and we support the Syrian people.” Pres. Morsy also told Blitzer on the democracy of Egypt, “Anyone can say from the opposition whatever they want for the sake of the interests of the nation and no one should be afraid of the opposition.

The one-hour special will air on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. ET on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on CNN and at 4 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET on CNN International. A full transcript of the program will be available on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sitroom.html.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Highlights from the full interview:
•    Release of the blind Egyptian clericI want him to be free, but I respect the law and the rule of law in Egypt and the United States. What I am talking about isn't a violation." http://on.cnn.com/US68br
•    Democracy in Egypt, “I think our grandchildren will take it [freedom] for granted.  But we have been suffering together and then we’re moving together to the new position, real freedom, democracy, good welfare.http://on.cnn.com/XiiSaY
•    On the Arab Spring, “The Arab Spring will win over. And this area shall civilize. But of course, we can't work in isolation from the world. We love this world and we want to live in peace.” http://on.cnn.com/XldALN
•    Morsy wants al-Assad tried for war crimes, “This phase is the phase of the people,” Morsy said. “Similar to what the Egyptian people wanted, the Syrian people want it. And we support the Syrian people, and they're going to win, and they have the will to win.” http://on.cnn.com/URUe0f


Behind-the-scenes photos from Wolf Blitzer's trip to Cairo. (Photo credit: CNN's Linda Roth)
January 11th, 2013
09:55 AM ET

Bill Richardson: North Korea is hostile, unpredictable; Schmidt a "rock star there"

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson describes his trip to North Korea emphasizing that it’s best for as many people as possible to engage in foreign policy, not just “officials in the State Department.” Richardson went with Google’s Eric Schmidt to discuss missile activity, detained American Kenneth Bae and internet openness.

Richardson says, “Kenneth Bae is way up in the northern part of the country. It was not accessible to us, but we made the point very strongly that he should be treated properly. We were assured that the judicial proceedings on his case would happen soon. That's sometimes a good sign because it means it may be wrapping up and hopefully, he'll be released. But, you know, nobody had been - we do have a Swedish representative there. We don't have representatives in North Korea, advocating for him.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
January 11th, 2013
08:53 AM ET

Ind. Firearm Owners Assoc. Pres. on gun task force meeting: Anyone who expects 180 degree turn is not a player

Independent Firearm Owners Association President Richard Feldman reflects on the meeting with Vice President Joe Biden for gun task force. He says there was “a lot more agreement” on the problem, even though some differences remain.

When CNN’s Soledad O’Brien asks what he thinks about the NRA’s statement that the meeting was an attack on the 2nd amendment, Feldman says, “Well, anyone that came to that meeting yesterday and thought that minds were going to be turned around 180 degrees, isn’t a player. But we got to air our positions. The National Rifle Association was very effective in stating their beliefs.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.

Topics: CNN • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
January 11th, 2013
12:10 AM ET

AC360: Newt Gingrich: Biden should go to Chicago

As the White House looks into gun control orders; Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke with Anderson Cooper about gun legislation and suggests Vice President Biden visit Chicago to understand what hasn't worked. “Chicago has very strict gun laws. It is also the deadliest city in America”

Video link to their interview –

Topics: AC360 • Anderson Cooper