Yohan John

31 Flips | 2 Magazines | @yohanjohn | Neuroscience PhD

Stop Editing Human Embryos For Now, Say Geneticists

There are some ethical issues to work out first<p>It’s no secret that scientists can now edit genes. Resolving disease-causing mutations could help cure some of the world’s most deadly diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hemophilia. In the past, these modifications have been limited to genes in …

Genetics

Junk and Jewels in the Genome

In this Sunday’s issue of the <i>New York Times Magazine</i>, I have a feature about clashing visions of the genome. Is it overwhelmingly made up of “junk”–pieces of DNA that provide us with no useful function–or is it rife with functional pieces that we have yet to understand? Or is the reality of the …

My atheist search for God: We’re debating science and religion all wrong

<b>(Reuters/Fiona Hanson/Alessandro Bianchi/Photo montage by Salon)</b><p>I’m not interested in believing in God. My God has to exist, like matter and gravity. Here’s what I found<p>Nancy Ellen Abrams<p>March 7, 2015 7:00pm (UTC)<p>Excerpted from “A God That Could Be Real: Spirituality, Science, and the Future of Our …

“It’s just a shock”: India’s new Gilded Age and the trauma of capitalism

Novelist-cum-sociologist Rana Dasgupta on the transformative — and often devastating — effects of globalization<p>Lynn Stuart Parramore<p>March 6, 2015 9:15am (UTC)<p>This article originally appeared on AlterNet.<p>Novelist Rana Dasgupta recently turned to nonfiction to explore the explosive social and …

Globalization

Music Makes You a Better Reader, Says Neuroscience

It’s known as the “musician’s advantage.”<p>For decades, educators, scientists, and researchers have observed that students who pick up musical …

Flute

Why Thousands Of People Are Willing To Die On Mars

More than 200,000 aspiring space explorers volunteered for a one-way trip to Mars. Are they insane?<p><i>Editor's note: Mars One recently narrowed its pool of candidates to 100 people--many of whom we featured in the November 2014 issue (part of which exists here). We've reposted this story for your</i> …

Fundraising

Is the Many Worlds hypothesis just a fantasy? – Philip Ball

In July 2011, participants at a conference on the placid shore of Lake Traunsee in Austria were polled on what they thought the meeting was about. …

Quantum Mechanics

Why Tesla's battery for your home should terrify utilities

Elon Musk's electricity empire could mean a new type of power grid<p>Earlier this week, during a disappointing Tesla earnings call, Elon Musk mentioned in passing that he’d be producing a stationary battery for powering the home in the next few months. It sounded like a throwaway side project from …

16 Things Grammar Pedants Get Wrong

Pedants are always telling us about the “grammar mistakes” we all make, such as saying “nearly unique” or using “impact” as a verb. But the pedants are wrong.<p>The use of "anticipate" to mean "expect" drives grammar pedants insane. Instead, they say, "anticipate" should be used to mean "acting in …

Why You Might Find It Harder to Make New Friends

In an intriguing essay, <i>Boston Globe</i> correspondent Jaci Conry captured a perplexing yet very common dilemma:<p>"I am grateful to have cherished friends …

The US is about to drop its decades-old warning against cholesterol

'Cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.'<p>Every five years, the United States government updates a set of Dietary Guidelines intended to help its citizens make healthier food choices. These guidelines also help inform how companies package and market their products. …

Were dinosaurs tripping on hallucinogens?

Scientists discover fungus from which LSD is derived on ancient grass<p>Researchers have claimed that dinosaurs may have been tripping on hallucinogens.<p>They have discovered a perfectly preserved amber fossil that contains the oldest grass specimen ever found, on top of which was a 100 million-year-old …

This digital map will help improve your history and improve your pronunciation of words

Interactive platform lets users learn about history and pronunciation of spoken word across Earth's terrain<p>Basic communication relies on one’s innate …

Here's why you shouldn't drink coffee before 9:30 a.m.

Earth's Inner Core Found To Have A Core Of Its Own

An international team of researchers has discovered one of Earth's deepest, darkest secrets: our planet's inner core -- once thought to be a ball of solid iron -- has a hidden inner core of its own. And this so-called "inner-inner core" seems to have some very peculiar properties.<p>“The fact that we …

No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning

(Phys.org) —The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein's theory of …

Crows Understand Analogies

People are fascinated by the intelligence of animals. In fact, cave paintings dating back some 40,000 years suggest that we have long harbored keen …

Doctors turning away unvaccinated children

When the mother of an 18-month-old visited Dr. Charles Goodman's practice last week, he explained that under his new policy, the toddler would have to be immunized to remain a patient.<p>The mother walked out of his office.<p>Amid the current measles outbreak, Goodman and a growing number of other …

Radio, Radio: How Formats Shaped, Splintered And Remade Pop Music

Music critics these days love to argue about "rockism," the unexamined prejudices we bring to our musical judgements, and "poptimism," an effort to celebrate commercial stuff that some think goes way too far. My book, <i>Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music,</i> aims to get us out of …

Striving For The Perfect Diet Is Making Us Sick

One cannot live on kale alone<p>Americans today have a complicated relationship with food, to put it kindly. Sure, mega-portioned processed meals and spiking rates of diabetes still dominate headlines. But in a climate that now includes $70-a-day juice cleanses, four gluten-free lifestyle magazines, …

Nutrition

Love Hot Sauce? Your Personality May Be A Good Predictor

A Myers-Briggs personality test can help you determine whether you're an extrovert. But could your love of hot sauce reveal something about your temperament, too?<p>As we have reported, back in the 1980s, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania named Paul Rozin documented a connection …

Birds flying in a V take turns in the top spot, study finds

It take a flock to fly. Over grueling, dangerous flights, Northern bald ibises will take turns at the toughest job during their migration -- leading the V-shaped formation, a new study finds.<p>The findings, described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shed fresh light on how …

MPs vote in favour of 'three-person embryo' law

In historic debate Commons votes for controversial change to genetics law to allow mitochondrial transfer<p>MPs have voted in favour of making Britain the first country in the world to permit IVF babies to be created using biological material from three different people to help prevent serious genetic …

The hidden hit makers: how indie singers become pop songwriters

The former stars of bands such as Aqualung and Athlete are writing hits for One Direction, George Ezra and Lianne La Havas – and enjoying making music more than ever<p>Shortly before Christmas, the busker delivering a slapdash performance of George Ezra’s Budapest in a London shopping centre might …

The Trip Treatment

Research into psychedelics, shut down for decades, is now yielding exciting results.<p>On an April Monday in 2010, Patrick Mettes, a fifty-four-year-old television news director being treated for a cancer of the bile ducts, read an article on the front page of the <i>Times</i> that would change his death. His …

Psychedelia

People are quicker to dismiss evidence from psychology than neuroscience

Imagine a politician from your party is in trouble for alleged misdemeanours. He’s been assessed by an expert who says he likely has early-stage …

Psychology

You are a remarkable musical expert, you just don’t know it – Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis

Twenty years ago, a pair of psychologists hooked up a shoe to a computer. They were trying to teach it to tap in time with a national anthem. …

Flute

Using iPads to pacify children may harm their development, say scientists

Children throwing tantrums should be given time to calm down on their own rather than distracted with tablets or smartphones, say researchers<p>It might be tempting to hand over an iPad to a screaming child when all else has failed to calm them down.<p>But child psychologists say it may be stunting …