Lee O'Connor

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Mutation links bipolar disorder to mitochondrial disease

Mutations in the gene <i>ANT1</i> may confer a risk for bipolar disorder through a complex interplay between serotonin and mitochondrial signaling in the …

31 Incredible Books You Simply Must Read This Summer

Brilliant reads from July to September (UK release dates).

Michael Moore: ‘Trump inspires his side. It’s like Munich in 1932’

The documentary maker reveals how illness, divorce and his father’s death changed him and why Donald Trump really is a fascist<p>I’m not sure which Michael Moore I’m going to get when I call him in New York. Will I get the slightly cantankerous Michael Moore of the documentaries? The one who knocks on …

What does alcohol do to your body and brain?

Alcohol is one of the world’s favorite recreational drugs. After a drink, most people become more sociable, less stressed, and happier, and will probably reach for another drink before too long. For all this to occur, the alcohol in the drink has to do a multitude of things.<p>When you sip that tasty …

Humans Evolved to Believe In God, This Theory Argues

More than eight in ten people worldwide believe in some form of religion.<p>More than eight in ten people worldwide have some sort of religious belief, according to a Pew Research Center study. Approximately one third of those people are Christian.<p>Even though the percentage of people who identify as …

50 documentaries you need to see

Ten of the best nonfiction film-makers today choose their own favourites, from serial killer stories and studies in the horrors of war to meta pranks<p>• Storyville’s Nick Fraser on the power of the documentary form<p><b>The Texan director’s feature debut, The Act of Killing (2012), and its follow-up, The</b> …

Non-fiction

Reckon you were born without a brain for maths? Highly unlikely

Maths is not about learning times tables, it’s about spotting patterns in everything we experience and using them to plan and invent<p>It’s extraordinary what a badge of honour it is in our culture to declare: “I’m terrible at maths. I just don’t have the brain for it.”<p>You’d never get someone in India …

The Brain

Scientists discover how to 'upload knowledge to your brain'

Feeding knowledge directly into your brain, just like in sci-fi classic The Matrix, could soon take as much effort as falling asleep, scientists believe.<p>Researchers claim to have developed a simulator which can feed information directly into a person’s brain and teach them new skills in a shorter …

Can a Brain-Dead Teen Claim Religious Freedom? The Case of Jahi McMath

Jahi McMath was issued a death certificate two years ago. Now her parents and pro-life activists are exploiting a gray area of neuroscience for a …

Julian Assange is in arbitrary detention, UN panel finds

WikiLeaks chief, who is avoiding extradition by living in Ecuadorian embassy, has won UN backing<p>A United Nations panel has decided that Julian Assange’s three-and-a-half years in the Ecuadorian embassy amount to “arbitrary detention”, leading his lawyers to call for the Swedish extradition request …

Netflix Says It Will Crack Down On Customers Using VPNs To Access Its Global Catalog

Netflix went global earlier this month, and now the U.S. company has said it will crack down on customers who use VPN software to access content that is not available or licensed in their country.<p>“Some members use proxies or “unblockers” to access titles available outside their territory,” Netflix …

Customers

Startling new finding: 600 million years ago, a biological mishap changed everything

By Sarah Kaplan<p>, Reporter<p>If life is effectively an endless series of photocopies, as DNA is transcribed and passed on from one being to the next, then evolution is the high-stakes game of waiting for the copier to get it wrong.<p>Too wrong, and you’ll live burdened by a maladaptive mutation or genetic …

Biology

‘I went to join Isis in Syria, taking my four-year-old. It was a journey into hell’

Sophie Kasiki is one of the few women to escape from Raqqa, the stronghold of Islamic State<p>Sophie Kasiki stared at the photograph of a young English-speaking boy in a camouflage uniform and black bandana covered in Arabic calling for unbelievers to be killed in the latest Islamic State …

Paris Attacks

Just How Toxic Is Richard Dawkins?

If you followed him on Twitter, you might think Dawkins was just a loudmouthed incendiary. Read his science writing and you encounter a brilliant …

6 Simple Changes That Will Make Your Brain Work Better in 2016

Spend this year taking care of your brain. You'll be amazed at the results.<p>That 3 lb. organ between our ears controls everything we do. We depend on it for literally everything from deciding which holiday presents to exchange to keeping us breathing. Yet most of us spend more time and energy trying …

Creationism Whistleblower: ‘Academic Freedom’ Is Sneak Attack on Evolution

The ‘intelligent design’ push in public classrooms failed a decade ago, but since then Darwin’s haters have returned with a new strategy disguised as …

Does ‘The Force Awakens’ Opening Crawl Hold A Secret For The Next Two ‘Star Wars’ Films?

There have been plenty of great theories to pop out of <i>Star Wars: The Force Awakens</i>, some full of spoilers pertaining to events that happen in the movie. But what about the possible spoilers that hit you before the movie even begins? One theory over at Mic says there is a spoiler right in the …

Apple's Terrible Plan To Ditch The Headphone Jack Would Make iPhones Even More Expensive

My colleague, Gordon Kelly wrote about Apple’s possible plans to abandon the standard 3.5mm headphone jack recently. There are some plus points here of course, both for Apple and iPhone owners before I start my dishing out my scathing criticisms. Firstly, as Gordon rightly pointed out, the removal …

Mobile Technology

Universal sent 'Star Wars' an awesome congratulations for beating the 'Jurassic World' box-office record

Both numbers shattered records "Jurassic World" set earlier this year when it premiered in June with an unexpected $208.8 million domestic opening. It beat out Disney and Marvel's "The Avengers" which held the record since 2012.<p>Universal doesn't seem too upset, though.<p>"Jurassic World" producer …

Box Office

How to spot a liar: it’s not what you think

If someone looks you in the eye and gives a straightforward answer, they may be lying, a new study suggests<p>If you think you can spot a liar by their shifty gaze and hesitant manner you might need to think again.<p>New research suggests that the most untruthful people are likely to look you straight in …

The incredible plan to make money grow on trees | Sam Knight

One of the most cutting-edge projects to tackle climate change is being pioneered in one of the most remote, undeveloped countries on earth. Does it have any hope of succeeding? By Sam Knight<p>One day about five years ago, Frank Nolwo, a compact, quietly spoken boat skipper from the upper reaches of …

Papua New Guinea

20 fascinating facts that make you think twice

Luckily, the folks over at Reddit have a collection of true facts about life, and we've combed through them to find our favorites.<p>From a creature that can survive the harsh vacuum of space to the odd state sport of Maryland, you're bound to learn something that makes you think twice.

Wikimedia

Why ISIS Looks Very Different Today Than A Month Ago

The Islamic State's claim of responsibility for a trio of major attacks, including the assault on Paris, has led to a rapid reassessment of the extremist group and its aspirations.<p>Until a couple of weeks ago, ISIS appeared focused on building its self-declared caliphate, or Islamic empire, in its …

Leading Harvard professor offers new theory on how humans came to exist

A Harvard professor has offered a new theory on how and why humans came into existence. While many scientists will argue that the mass extinction of …

DNA from Inca boy sacrificed 500 years ago shows how humans spread to South America

It sounds like something straight out of a “Hunger Games” novel: The rulers of a sprawling empire select beautiful children from throughout their vast territories and kill them in a ritualistic event to reinforce their power.<p>During the Inca civilization, which thrived in South America before the …

Death-Row Inmate Says Hole in His Brain Means He Can't Be Executed

A Missouri death row inmate days away from execution is arguing that his life should be spared because a brain tumor that left a hole in his head could cause seizures during a lethal injection.<p>Ernest Johnson, 55, is scheduled to be put to death Nov. 3 for a gruesome triple homicide. He used a claw …

Inside the world's most haunted theatre

Shadowy presences in the wings, glimpses of long-dead performers … ghosts have long plagued the theatre. We descend into the bowels of the West End’s spookiest playhouse – home to the fearsome Man in Grey – to find out. Join us if you dare

The Theatre

22 Things That Will Teach You Earth's Entire History In One Day

Grab a nice, warm drink, and curl up with a fluffy blanket — it's time to get your science on!

The First Humans Moved From Africa to China — Not Europe

It’s hard not to feel slightly superior when you belong to the only human species on the planet. Behind us there is a long track of extinct relatives …