simon grimmer

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‘Three Identical Strangers’ and the real science of nature vs. nurture

When Robert Shafran started community college in upstate New York in 1980, he was puzzled that some of his fellow students seemed unusually friendly, …

Genetics

Neuroscientists Discover a Song That Reduces Anxiety By 65% (Listen)

The soothing 8-minute tune was shown to improve heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels in the brain.The post Neuroscientists Discover a Song …

Depression

Thirty micrometres a minute: scientists discover the speed of death

<b>Name:</b> The speed of death.<p><b>Age:</b> Not sure that is entirely relevant.<p><b>Appearance:</b> Cellular.<p><b>You’re talking in riddles.</b> I’m bracing myself for some seriously hard science.<p><b>Stop beating about the bush and get on with it.</b> OK, here goes. Two Stanford University systems biologists, Xianrui Cheng and James …

Stanford University

Crows Trained To Pick Up Garbage In Exchange For A Reward Are Put To Work In French Theme Park

Rooks will be given a morsel of food for picking up cigarette butts, small trash.<p>A half-dozen feathered friends of the Puy du Fou park in western …

Birds

Think It's Hot Now? Wait Until We Reach Hothouse Earth

It’s getting hotter all over the planet.<p>This week the temperature in Bar Harbor, Maine, reached 91° F (32.8° C). In my 20 years vacationing here, this is easily the hottest weather I’ve ever experienced.<p>Up and down the U.S. east coast, cities are sweltering, and temperatures out west are even …

Climate Change

Scientists say your “mind” isn’t confined to your brain, or even your body

You might wonder, at some point today, what’s going on in another person’s mind. You may compliment someone’s great mind, or say they are out of their mind. You may even try to expand or free your own mind.<p>But what <i>is</i> a mind? Defining the concept is a surprisingly slippery task. The mind is the seat …

The Brain

Is marrying your cousin actually dangerous?

Do babies born between two cousins actually have a higher chance of having birth defects? Understanding basic genetic principles will help with this question. Following is a transcript of the video.<p>What did Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein have in common? They all married their …

Genetics

The Cognitive Biases Tricking Your Brain

Science suggests we’re hardwired to delude ourselves. Can we do anything about it?<p>I am staring at a photograph of myself that shows me 20 years older than I am now. I have not stepped into the twilight zone. Rather, I am trying to rid myself of some measure of my present bias, which is the tendency …

Psychology

Your Obsession With Cognitive Biases Is Probably Making You Dumber

A little knowledge of cognitive biases can be a dangerous thing, argues one behavioral scientist.<p>Thanks to the popularity of books like <i>Nudge</i>, as well as the Nobel Committee's recognition of behavioral scientists Daniel Kahneman and Richard Thaler, cognitive biases are having a bit of a moment. …

Critical Thinking

New Zealand rural blogger Marty Todd's genius 'free power' idea

A Kiwi rural blogger has revealed an ingenious method to generate "free power".<p>Marty Todd became famous online for his 'Angry Ram' videos, which …

Off-grid

Beyond Time

We conventionally think of time as something simple and fundamental. It flows uniformly, independent of everything else, from the past to the future, …

Physics

How language shapes your thoughts – what researchers know

Words work as a glue, allowing us to group together different experiences under one label. This is especially true for concepts that we cannot see or …

Consciousness

Marines Who Fired Rocket Launchers Now Worry About Their Brains

Chris Ferrari was just 18 the first time he balanced a rocket launcher on his right shoulder and aimed it at a practice target.<p>"Your adrenaline's going and you're trying to focus on getting that round to hit, and then you go to squeeze that trigger and, you know."<p>Boom!<p>The report is loud enough to …

Military

This Is What Happens When You Mix Alcohol and CBD

CBD is everywhere, but is it safe enough to consume in or with an alcoholic drink?<p>With CBD rising in popularity, it seems people are mixing it with everything, alcohol included. Los Angeles’ bar scene is spilling over with CBD cocktail offerings, and breweries are selling CBD-infused beer. But is …

Alcohol

Axon to Axon

Fly like an action potential, the electrical impulses that charge down axons in your brain at speeds up to five times faster than a cheetah.<p>The neurons in your brain are connected by some 150 trillion synapses. A single cell can have thousands, even tens of thousands of connections. Together these …

Neuroscience

Noam Chomsky Defines The Real Responsibility of Intellectuals: “To Speak the Truth and to Expose Lies” (1967)

The novel medium of social media—and the novel use of Twitter as the official PR platform for public figures—allows not only for endless amounts of …

Noam Chomsky

Memory Study Casts Doubt on the First Thing You Recall From Your Childhood

Your first memory is probably a lie.<p>Recently, BBC Radio 4 listeners were invited by a team of scientists to go to a website and describe their …

The Brain

Genetically modified babies given go ahead by UK ethics body

The creation of babies whose DNA has been altered to give them what parents perceive to be the best chances in life has received a cautious green light in a landmark report from a leading UK ethics body.<p>The Nuffield Council on Bioethics said that changing the DNA of a human embryo could be “morally …

Genetics

Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics

Alfred Korzybski (1879-1950)<p>On July 3, 1879, Polish-American independent scholar <b>Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski</b> was born. Korzybsky developed a …

A Serious New Hurdle for CRISPR: Edited Cells Might Cause Cancer, Find Two Studies

Editing cells’ genomes with CRISPR-Cas9 might increase the risk that the altered cells, intended to treat disease, will trigger cancer, two studies …

This Tiny Fern Is the "Most Economically Important' Fern On Earth

Meet the plant nicknamed 'green manure.'<p>Much like Frodo in <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>, the fern <i>Azolla filiculoides</i> proves that the small can certainly pack …

'Forest Bathing' Really May Be Good For Health, Study Finds

‘Forest bathing’ or <i>shinrin yoku</i>—spending time in a forest or other green space to reap the health benefits—has become an increasingly popular activity in recent years, especially in some countries, like Japan, which take it pretty seriously. And with good reason—the practice isn’t some new-age form …

Immune System

Epigenetics study finds fathers pass cold weather "experience" down to kids

While your genes are more or less set in stone, the way they're expressed can be changed by environmental or lifestyle factors, and there's evidence …

Not so black and white: zebra stripes do not keep them cool, study finds

Of all the many hypotheses purporting to explain why zebras are striped, it is perhaps the most enticing.<p>The distinctive black and white hide - so the theory goes - provokes an intricate pattern of air currents and eddies that keeps the beast cool under the relentless African sun.<p>Because they …

Zoology

25 Interesting DNA Facts Most People Don't Know

• DNA is a double-stranded molecule, with the two strands running anti-parallel to each other, often called the DNA duplex forming the twisted ladder …

Thousands of Swedes Are Choosing to Have Microchips Inserted Into Their Bodies. Here's Why

So much faith in technology.<p>Thousands of people in Sweden have inserted microchips, which can function as contactless credit cards, key cards and …

Singularity

New technique could help scientists create a gene in just 1 day

Creating a new gene in a single day could soon be possible, thanks to a new technique that mimics the way the body copies its own DNA. Though the …

Meet the microbe that breaks the "universal rule" of DNA

In a similar way to the binary code of ones and zeroes that tell a computer program what to do, living cells follow instructions encoded in DNA to …

The Stanford Prison Experiment was massively influential. We just learned it was a fraud.

The most famous psychological studies are often wrong, fraudulent, or outdated. Textbooks need to catch up.<p>The Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most famous and compelling psychological studies of all time, told us a tantalizingly simple story about human nature.<p>The study took paid …

The Weird, Ever-Evolving Story of DNA

Carl Zimmer’s sprawling new book, She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, forces readers to reconsider what they think they know about genetics and heredity.<p>In 1555, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V announced his plans to abdicate, and his 28-year-old son, Philip II, became the king of Spain the following year. …

Genetics