The explosion of data — in meteorology, genetics, spying and physics — requires new storage technology. DNA has been storing data for billions of years. Could life’s “hard disk” help tame today’s data explosion?
We spend ever-more hours with TV, cellphones, tablets and computers, is it rude or necessary to always answer your phone? Does distraction make you dumb? What about multitasking?
A crash course in “sink or swim” teaches computerized robots to adapt to changing circumstances. When taught by “directed evolution,” robots that started without legs learned to walk sooner than robots that started with legs! Can you explain?
Can pigeons learn an abstract mathematical rule? Apparently, according to a new study, which asked pigeons to place, five blue dots and eight green squares, in ascending order. Now we know birds and primates can both do this, but where and why did this ability originate?
In just a moment, our brains can go from calm, deliberate and focused, to alert, agitated and aroused. New neural networks get activated during the transition. Now a study of the fight-or flight-response fingers a common hormone in triggering the brainwide changes.
Plain-tailed wrens in the Andean cloud forest sing a complex, two-part song, where timing is everything. New research shows that both parties keep a memory of the full song in their brain, even though they only sing half of it.
A combined nerve-graft and enzyme treatment restored breathing to 9 of 11 rats. The bacterial enzyme dissolves a molecule that separates tissues and prevents growth of nerves and blood vessels. Could this lead to the treatment that finally breaks the logjam in spinal-cord repair?
Military technology supports atmospheric and ocean science! 1: a robot sub smart enough to find stuff in the deep ocean 2: a metal fish glides for weeks under the ice 3: an electric sinker-bobber that never needs recharging 4: a research jet that flies miles above airliners.
Charges that NFL “deliberately and fraudulently concealed” … link between head impacts and brain damage. What is the science of traumatic brain injury?
Changes in the junctions between nerve cells determine how well a bird will learn to sing. Regular change in these junctions helps the bird remember the song of its species, which it needs to learn to reproduce that song. Study could explain why older people have such trouble learning a new language.
The long rise may be inflated by redefinition of autism, social acceptance of the disabled and desire for services. If this is a real epidemic, it’s even more critical to find the cause.
Why do women have better sense of touch? It’s all in the size, and big isn’t better…
MRI scans of older people show major differences between searchers and non-searchers. After seven hours of Internet experience, those differences disappear. Honest? Could changing the brain be this easy?
Texting already banned for truckers, etc. What do research and reality say about the danger of hitting the keys or yakking on the mobile?
As the day wears on, both sleep pressure and the brain’s alerting signal rise, until sleep pressure triumphs. [Nod]. New brain study explains why night owls don’t get as sleepy during the day.