The participants were asked to focus on the correct answer and count the number of times its frame flashed. The brain patterns from the flickering answers together with the detection of another kind of brain signal that occurs when someone counts, enabled a computer to tell which answer, if any, the person was focusing on.
Most of what we learn about gunshot wounds, we learn from watching television. A small sliver of this programming is actually educational, like the ballistics tests performed on Mythbusters. (Some lessons: Bullets fired into liquids will stop or disintegrate rather than slice through seawater a la Saving Private Ryan, and a weapon that would blow a victim backwards would also blow the shooter back.) But these examples are outliers. Depictions of gun violence in fictional shows and movies are routine, and often wildly imaginative. Those depictions are distorting understanding of what bullets can—or can’t—do to bodies.
Quite soon I made the basic discovery that even very simple programs can show immensely complex behavior—and over the years I discovered that all sorts of systems could finally be understood in terms of these kinds of programs.
Sometime in the next few years, an entirely new fish will appear on American plates. After several decades of biotech research and a final upstream push past the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month, the AquaBounty AquAdvantage salmon, a genetically engineered species of fish, will go into commercial production. While modified plants like corn and soy abound in the American diet, this will mark the first time in history that an engineered animal has been approved for human consumption. The new fish’s genetic code is comprised of components from three fish: base DNA from an Atlantic salmon; a growth gene from a Pacific Chinook salmon; and a promoter, a kind of “on” switch for genes, from a knobby-headed eel-shaped creature called an ocean pout.
A research team, led by Kaiyu Guan, a postdoctoral fellow in Earth system science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences, has developed a method to estimate crop yields using satellites that can measure solar-induced fluorescence, a light emitted by growing plants. The team published its results in the journal Global Change Biology.
The Western microbiome, the community of microbes scientists thought of as “normal” and “healthy,” the one they used as a baseline against which to compare “diseased” microbiomes, might be considerably different than the community that prevailed during most of human evolution.
Scientists, like myself, who study this amazing physiological feat have reached the same conclusion: That is, all hibernating mammals use the same genetic architecture to hibernate. Hibernation happens from genes being turned on and off—much like a light switch—in very unique patterns throughout the year to modulate physiology. And, importantly, these genes are shared among the entire mammal family tree. They are not genes that evolved specifically for hibernation. Therefore, it seems as though all mammals—including humans—might actually have the genetic capacity for hibernation. It’s literally written in our DNA.
Whitlock gathered some of these good bacteria, which neutralize dangerous organisms and hazardous substances on the skin, and made them into a spray that he’s been using since for his daily hygiene. Among other things, it breaks down ammonia: the compound that makes human sweat stink in the first place.
A new study from the University of Portsmouth looked at how wildlife in the area had coped over the past 29 years. The team found that a huge range of plants and animals weren’t just surviving, but actually thriving. The research was published in the journal Current Biology.