Trillions of microbes, a galaxy’s worth of prokaryotes, inhabit the human GI tract.Figuring out what the microbiome does, as this Brobdingnagian collection of critters is known, remains a grand challenge of biology.As always, scientists try to make a difficult problem tractable by conducting studies in a simpler version of the organism or environment they wish to observe: a mouse, rat, fruit fly or roundworm as stand-ins for humans...
Predictive analytics—lumped under the faddish banner of Big Data—is the high-profile set of techniques that tame numeric deluges to deduce that a new epidemic is starting to break or that a last-minute steal of an airfare has just popped up...
The question of whether brain scanning can detect the intentions of a criminal defendant fascinates cops, lawyers and John and Jane Doe. It's probably still a theoretical question and may remain so for a long time to come.Even so, Alan Alda moderated a panel of experts whose members spend a lot of time on the issue of scanners and criminal intent...
Unraveling the mystery of consciousness remains perhaps the biggest challenge in all neuroscience, so big and amorphous that most brain scientists won't go near the topic, leaving philosophers to speculate about the a prioris ...
The Obama administration’s Big Brain project—$100 million for a map of some sort of what lies beneath the skull—has captured the attention of the entire field of neuroscience.
On May 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing that suicide among middle-aged Americans has risen substantially.
I went to a panel discussion at the New York Academy of Sciences on the evening of April 30th that addressed the topic of various forms of scientific malfeasance, ranging from plagiarism to outright manipulation of data...
ScientificAmerican.com just ran an article on smartglasses. Not just the famous Google Glass, but a whole crop of smartglasses that are supposedly going to change everything: Big things afoot for the face in Tech Land.I dunno, this technology just doesn't make sense to me...
Women in rural areas of the developing world often have to walk all day to get to a health clinic to retrieve the oral rehydration packets needed to treat their children's diarrhea, a leading killer for those under the age of five.When they arrive, however, the medicine is often gone...
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Twitter, both cultural mainstays that suffer at times from acute alphanumeric ADHD, collided at ultra-high velocity on April 23 to induce an institutional chain reaction...
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