Just when you though DNA couldn’t get any weirder (we’ve touched on it’s weirdness before), researchers at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered that it bursts proteins from its innards in rapid fire succession, rather than lazily churning it out as previously thought.
October 8th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
October 5th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Scientists recently measured a quantum state without changing it, and researchers discover that human beings appear to be generous when they think intuitively, and greedy when they think carefully and deliberately.
September 21st, 2012
Friday Roundup: A Room Temperature Superconductor? Evolution in the Lab, and Turning Heat to ElectricityNo Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
In today’s Friday Roundup we spot evidence of superconductivity at room temperature, and researchers beat a record for transforming heat directly into electricity. Meanwhile, the genetic evolution of a new trait in bacteria is documented in detail.
August 31st, 20122 Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
Today we learn that scientists at Johns Hopkins found a way to turn blood cells back into stem cells. Meanwhile, a longstanding theory about human pregnancy faces a formidable challenger, and a revolutionary new material comes from a surprisingly common, and renewable, resource. Finally, scientists observe evidence of gravitational waves. That’s all ahead in today’s Friday Roundup.
August 23rd, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
For today’s Friday Roundup, scientists invent a bacteria that could turn waste into fuel, and NASA discovers that Titan probably has DNA fragments in its atmosphere. Meanwhile, Harvard stores 700 terabytes of data on a DNA microchip, and a chimp solves problems using stone tools.
August 2nd, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
For this week’s Friday Roundup, actual humans (not rats) are being cured of cancer and HIV, and ancient humans bred with an unknown species. Happiness centers in the brain are being discovered, and laziness and fatness might have nothing to do with each other. A record breaking laser is blowing up atoms, Germany set a new record for green energy, and if you want to remember something: rest your eyes for a while.
July 26th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
In today’s Friday Roundup, we discover there may be habitable planets just a few solar systems away, mind control is becoming a reality, entire lifeforms are being simulated, quantum entanglement is being perfected, and more.
April 19th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
I’ve said it here before: the human mind is not infinite. We can’t perceive everything. Even those of us who realize this can still be surprised by just how limited our perception really is.
Daniel Simons has explored how our brain sifts through reality for the important bits, and how this can sometimes end up backfiring. Together with Christopher Chabris, he wrote The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us.
The book is based on an experiment he conducted, in which people failed to see a woman dressed up in a Gorilla costume.
Why? Here’s what he had to say on the subject.
March 10th, 20126 Comments, All Posts, by Carter Bowles.
The word atheism is riddled with implications.
Perhaps the strongest implication is that an atheist has to believe something is fundamentally wrong with religion. I do have my criticisms, particularly when faith goes so far that it actually causes people to dismiss evidence.
That said, I think that belief in things without evidence is a fundamentally human trait, and one that likely won’t go anywhere any time soon. There’s a case to be made that faith of this kind is important, maybe even necessary.
About a month ago, I decided I wanted to know what the latest scientific literature had to say about the subject. Here is what I found.
January 30th, 2012No Comments, All Posts, Featured, by Carter Bowles.
The brain is not yet fully understood, and this is one of the reasons why there’s almost always something to say about it. There are times when it seems like neuroscience offers up a new breakthrough every day.
By the same token, it’s important to realize that some of the stories we hear about the brain and human behavior are still in experimental territory, even when they are presented as established science.
I got a chance to talk to Tom Stafford, who coauthored Mind Hacks with Matt Webb. He has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and performs research for the Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, works as an editor for Psychologist magazine, and has done research for the BBC.
We talked about his book and some of the more experimental subjects in cognitive science.