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Do your genes determine your entire life? | Julian Baggini

Some scientists claim that new discoveries have proved free will is an illusion. Nonsense, says Julian Baggini<p>Whenever you read stories about identical twins separated at birth, they tend to follow the template set by the most remarkable of them all: the “two Jims”. James Springer and James Lewis …

baggini

This Neuroscientist Is Trying to Upload His Entire Brain to a Computer

Randal Koene wants to move humanity from Earth to the The Cloud, making us part-robot and completely immortal.<p>Humans, if you hadn't already noticed, have stopped evolving. As David Attenborough recently reminded us, our species is the first – by our free will – to remove itself from the process of …

Singularity

Study Suggests Milk May Actually Increase The Risk Of Bone Fracture

Despite what most people have heard their entire lives, milk may not be so good for bones or for longevity, according to a new study in the journal BMJ. The research found that consuming more milk was linked to greater risk of bone fractures and to earlier mortality. Meanwhile, cheese, yogurt, and …

New Study Uncovers Why Stress Leads To Depression In Some, But Not Others

In response to stress, some people cope easily while others succumb to depression or other mood disorders. While depression can develop from a wide variety of biological and genetic factors, stressful events are often a major trigger. But why does stress make some people develop mood disorders …

Suspended-animation trials to begin on humans

This month, the world's first attempts at placing humans in suspended animation using a new technique will take place at the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- not for space travel, but to save lives.<p>The technique will initially be used on 10 patients whose wounds would …

Pigs

Insects With 'Female Penis' May Hold Clues To The Evolution Of Genitalia

This is a female insect -- and scientists say that is her "penis."<p>That's right. Scientists say they've discovered four species of Brazilian cave insects with sex-reversed genitalia. The females possess a penis-like organ, the males a vagina-like organ.<p>This is the first documented example of animals …

Nanoparticles found to violate second law of thermodynamics

It may be a little late for April Fool's, but some skepticism is nonetheless warranted when reading that researchers have shown nanoparticles to …

We may already know how we will cure death—but should we?

A pair of advocates—they do legitimate research too, but their ardor is so intense, it’s hard to call them scientists—believe that they will, within their lifetimes, make ours the first generation of humans to live forever.<p>Their quest is elegantly laid out in <i>The Immortalists</i>, a new documentary …

Singularity

Watch out Kinect, AllSee does gesture control without a camera

What if you could turn the music down on your phone by just waving your hand? That's the idea behind AllSee, a new gadget under development by computer scientists at the University of Washington. Built by the same guys who created the gesture-recognition in the Galaxy Nexus, the tiny sensor works …

Can stem cells make old muscles strong again?

Skeletal muscles are some of the most important muscles in the body, supporting functions such as sitting, standing, blinking, and swallowing. As …

Stem Cells

How Nutrition In One Generation Can Change The Genetics Of The Next

A Cambodian case study finds that people developing diabetes today have parents who went hungry in the 1970s.<p>So many adults in Cambodia are getting diabetes at such a young age, it's unbelievable. "You can go to every village with me and see it," endocrinologist Lim Keuky told PRI. "When I go …

Google Translate Can Now Sing to You in Japanese, Sort Of

Japan is often hailed as the world headquarters of cute pop culture and the Internet memes they generate, but a new online trick brings the Japanese …

How to tell you are a good liar in five seconds

A clever trick for testing the truthfulness of your nearest and dearest<p>Ever wondered if you friends, family or work colleagues are telling you little white lies?<p>Here's a handy way to test them. All you need is five seconds and a bit of hand-eye coordination - you can even try it out on …

Stephen Hawking declares: 'There are no black holes'

Wait, so my life may not have disappeared down a black hole after all?<p>There is a chance for it to emerge and bloom like the career of David Hasselhoff?<p>It's charming when a phrase enters the language and we think we all know what it means. In the case of "black hole," we think of an infinity of …

Stephen Hawking

Archaeologists find remains of previously unknown pharaoh in Egypt

The 3,600-year-old remains of a forgotten pharaoh unearthed this month in southern Egypt may be the first of several significant discoveries in a previously ignored burial ground that rivals the Valley of the Kings, the find's lead archaeologist said on Wednesday.<p>The discovery of King Senebkay is …

Sugar batteries could be greener, cheaper and store more energy than lithium-ions

Even today's best rechargeable lithium batteries do lose their ability to hold a charge after a while, and are considered toxic waste once discarded. …

Starfish Can See!

If you were a starfish, you'd have eyes on the ends of your legs.<p>The phrase "seeing stars" has a whole new connotation: Research suggests that sea stars, a type of five-legged starfish that usually appears blue in color, can see images with the tiny compound eyes at the ends of their legs. The eyes …

How to make petrol with bacteria

Scientists have found a way of harnessing bacteria found in our stomachs to make petrol<p>Researchers in South Korea have harnessed the <i>Escherichia coli</i> bacteria that help us to digest food – and sometimes cause food poisoning – to produce a replacement for petrol from fossil fuels.<p>As this video from …

Soda bottles & trash bags could one day come from natural gas, if a startup has its way

The dirty secret of almost anything made out of plastic — from your soda bottle to a trash bag — is that there’s a good chance it was made with …

Organic flow battery could transform renewable energy storage

Researchers at Harvard have developed an inexpensive, high capacity, organic battery that uses carbon-based materials as electrolytes rather than …

Leukemia treatment given shot in the arm by artificial bone marrow development

European researchers have announced a breakthrough in the development of artificial bone marrow which expands the ability of scientists to reproduce …

SD Cards Aren’t As Secure As We Think

The hardware hacker Bunnie Huang gave a talk at the Chaos Compute Club Congress where he offered some good news and some bad news. The good news? SD cards contain powerful, handy micro controllers that are useful to hackers and hobbyists. The bad news? SD cards are woefully insecure.<p>In a detailed …

Inuit Families Photographed At The End Of The Earth

Imagine a world far far away from the bright lights and hustle and bustle of the world's major cities, a place so harsh and isolated that only a few …

Game of Thrones Beats Breaking Bad as Most Pirated TV Show

The season finale of HBO’s <i>Game of Thrones</i> was named the most pirated television show by episode for the second year in a row, besting the critically …

A Scientific Miracle: Theories of Mary's Virgin Birth

<i>Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. - Matthew 1:18</i><p>Merry Christmas, scientists! It's that time of year again when all rational human beings shake our …

Radiation Physicist Beautifully Colorizes X-Ray Images of Nature

<b>Hanging Begonia, Chameleon</b><p>In late October, at the TEDx event in Groningen, Netherlands, one man stood on the stage and gave a fascinating talk about how his life's work had taken him on a journey to becoming an artist. Arie van't Riet studied radiation physics at Delft University of Technology and …

Read the message your dog sends with his tail

Tail-wagging is a reflection of what’s happening in your dog’s brain. Learn to read your dog’s tail signals, and you’ll know if he’s happy … or …

Pets

Bill Gates is Santa for one lucky Reddit user

Bill Gates is no stranger to Reddit, but he’s swapping 80-inch Windows 8 displays and meme pictures this time for a role as secret Santa. 24-year-old Reddit user "NY1227," identified only as Rachel, participated in this year's Reddit annual online gift exchange and was left shocked by her unlikely …