Did Our Helpless Babies Make Humans Smarter?

Did Our Helpless Babies Make Humans Smarter?"Our theory explains specifically why primates developed superintelligence but dinosaurs—who faced many of the same environmental pressures and had more time to do so—did not. Dinosaurs matured in eggs, so there was no linking between intelligence and infant immaturity at birth," says Celeste Kidd.

Science Relies On Computer Modelling – So What Happens When It Goes Wrong?

Science Relies On Computer Modelling – So What Happens When It Goes Wrong?From the transforming discovery of penicillin to the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, science progressed with mind-boggling speed even before there were computers. Much of this is down to the robustness of the scientific method: scientific results are validated by being replicated and extended by other scientists.

How Email Has Survived And Continues To Thrive

How Email Has Survived And Continues To ThriveAsk around – everyone has an opinion about their email and their inbox, and it’s not always positive. From information overload, zero inbox and leaked email scandals to the much-hyped triumph of workflow software like Slack and Asana, email has certainly had a bad rap recently.

The Five Most Common Misunderstandings About Evolution

Do I resemble your great-great-grandfather by any chance? DaniRevi/pixabayGiven its huge success in describing the natural world for the past 150 years, the theory of evolution is remarkably misunderstood. In a recent episode of the Australian series of “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”, former cricket star Shane Warne questioned the theory – asking “if humans evolved from monkeys, why haven’t today’s monkeys evolved”?

Why Do We Have To Wait For Scientific News?

Peer-reviewed and published. Maggie Villiger, CC BY-ND Purposes of a press embargoExtra, extra! The embargo’s lifted, read all about it. Rumors were flying through the blogosphere this winter: physicists at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) may finally have directly detected gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted by Einstein 100 years ago in his general theory of relativity. Gravitational waves were predicted to be produced by cataclysmic...

How Computers Help Biologists Crack Life's Secrets

How Computers Help Biologists Crack Life's SecretsOnce the three-billion-letter-long human genome was sequenced, we rushed into a new “omics” era of biological research. Scientists are now racing to sequence the genomes (all the genes) or proteomes (all the proteins) of various organisms – and in the process are compiling massive amounts of data.

A Handful Of Bronze-Age Men Could Have Fathered Two Thirds Of Europeans

A Handful Of Bronze-Age Men Could Have Fathered Two Thirds Of EuropeansFor such a large and culturally diverse place, Europe has surprisingly little genetic variety. Learning how and when the modern gene-pool came together has been a long journey. But thanks to new technological advances a picture is slowly coming together of repeated colonisation by peoples from the east with more efficient lifestyles.

Homebrewed Morphine: No Poppies Required

Homebrewed Morphine: No Poppies RequiredFans of homebrewed beer and backyard distilleries already know how to employ yeast to convert sugar into alcohol. Now, bioengineers have gone much further by completing key steps needed to turn sugar-fed yeast into a microbial factory for producing morphine and potentially other drugs, including antibiotics and anti-cancer therapeutics.

What To Do About The Increasingly Noisy World

What To Do About The Increasingly Noisy WorldWe live in an increasingly noisy world. Since even low-level noise can affect quality of life, new tools to deal with noise are welcome. “Auralisation”, the audio equivalent of visualisation, is now helping to model and improve the sound of our living and working spaces, as well as recovering the acoustics of past environments.

Learning Compassion: What Happens If A Tree Falls In A Virtual Forest?

What Happens If a Tree Falls in a Virtual Forest

A woman peers through goggles embedded in a large black helmet. Forest sounds emanate from various corners of the room: a bird chirping here, a breeze whispering there. She moves slowly around the room. On the wall, a flat digital forest is projected so observers can get a rough idea of her surroundings, but in her mind’s eye...

Brains Can Make Decisions While We Sleep

Brains Can Make Decisions While We Sleep

The idea that during sleep our minds shut down from the outside world is ancient and one that is still deeply anchored in our view of sleep today, despite some everyday life experiences and recent scientific discoveries that would tend to prove our brains don’t completely switch off from our environment.

Ignore the IQ Test: Your Level of Intelligence Is Not Fixed For Life

 Ignore the IQ Test: Your Level of Intelligence Is Not Fixed For Life

We’re getting more stupid. That’s one point made in a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries... Such research feeds into a long-held fascination with testing human intelligence. Yet such debates are too focused on IQ as a life-long trait that can’t be changed. Other research is beginning to show the opposite.

Unknown Unknowns: The Amazing Secrets of Nature

Unknown Unknowns: The Amazing Secrets of Nature

Scientists are tapping into the secret wisdom of trees—even when they don't know what they're looking for. Thomas Swetnam understands how unforeseeable insights and technological developments can lead us toward new discoveries and conclusions. “There’s the known unknown,” he says, “and then there’s the unknown unknown.”

"See Through" Solar Windows Go Big

New See Through Solar Windows Go Big

The company New Energy Technologies is reporting a breakthrough in their see through solar window technology and it’s all about size. When New Energy began developing a solar glass coating several years ago, it started out as a solution in a vial before progressing to a tiny square. In the latest development...

Google's Glucose Contact Lenses Could Transform Diabetes Care

Google's Glucose Contact Lenses Could Transform Diabetes Care

Google has teamed up with researchers at the University of Washington to create a contact lens that can measure blood glucose levels in a person’s tears and display the reading on their mobile phone. If this smart contact lens project is successful, people with diabetes may be able to stop drawing blood to measure their sugar levels.

Sunspot Cycles and Human Behavior

Sunspot Cycles and Human Behavior

Since the 1800s astronomers have noted that there is an eleven and a twenty-two-year sunspot cycle; that is, for some years there would be hardly any sunspots, and then for some years the sun's face would be as blotchy as a teenager with acne. It was discovered that sunspot emissions affected a wide variety of...

First Planet in the Habitable Zone Confirmed

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NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets.

Evolution or Extinction

Had he lived today, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, would affirm with deeper conviction than ever: To be or not to be is indeed the question. This living blue-green planet, the home of humanity -- how long will it support us? Will we manage to evolve as a conscious social and cultural species -- or will we become extinct like the dinosaurs?

Genetic Engineering -- Is It Safe???

Genetic engineering -- of food and other products -- has far outrun the science that must be its first governing discipline. Therein lies the peril, the risk, and the foolhardiness. Scientists who do not recognize this chasm may be practicing 'corporate science' driven by sales, profits, proprietary secrets, and political influence-peddling.

Changing the Weather

If you choose to change the weather, you can. But why would you? Isn't there love in a storm? You see, the ego gets caught up with it. The ego judges that a storm is something bad, something not desirable. And as a result, it wants to change it. We would suggest this isn't about change as much as it is about acceptance and appreciation.

Communicating With Insects

When we consider interspecies communication we usually think in terms of human-creature exchanges or interactions in which some kind of relationship has been established. But it is not uncommon for us to experience an interaction with members of the plant kingdom...