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Category: Life: Humans

TED-Ed: Why do we itch?

The average person experiences dozens of individual itches each day. We’ve all experienced the annoyance of an inconvenient itch — but have you ever pondered why we itch in the first place? Is there actually an evolutionary purpose to the itch, or is it simply there to annoy us? Emma Bryce digs deep into the …

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TED-Ed: Why do we feel nostalgia? – Clay Routledge

Nostalgia was once considered an illness confined to specific groups of people. Today, people all over the world report experiencing and enjoying nostalgia. But how does nostalgia work? And is it healthy? Clay Routledge details the way our understanding of nostalgia has changed since the term was first coined in the late 17th century. Lesson …

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TED: What will humans look like in 100 years? | Juan Enriquez

We can evolve bacteria, plants and animals — futurist Juan Enriquez asks: Is it ethical to evolve the human body? In a visionary talk that ranges from medieval prosthetics to present day neuroengineering and genetics, Enriquez sorts out the ethics associated with evolving humans and imagines the ways we’ll have to transform our own bodies …

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TED ED: Is there a reproducibility crisis in science? – Matt Anticole

Published scientific studies can motivate research, inspire products, and inform policy. However, recent studies that examined dozens of published pharmaceutical papers managed to replicate the results of less than 25% of them — and similar results have been found in other scientific disciplines. How do we combat this crisis of scientific irreproducibility? Matt Anticole investigates. …

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DNews: Why Do We Have Baby Teeth?

Most mammals have deciduous teeth (baby teeth or “milk teeth” that are shed). Turns out that dentition is super important for mammals, as they diversified thanks to very specialized teeth, to eat many different foods. We humans are mammals, but what are the specific point of us humans having baby teeth? Do they serve a …

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Science Magazine: We Don’t Know: Pain

Pain has evolved to motivate us to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future. Perhaps the same is true for emotional pain? Even if it isn’t avoidable in the first place. Science magazine latest “We Don’t Know”, a series on things …

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TED: The beauty of what we’ll never know | Pico Iyer

Almost 30 years ago, Pico Iyer took a trip to Japan, fell in love with the country and moved there. A keen observer of the human spirit, Iyer professes that he now feels he knows far less about Japan — or, indeed, about anything — than he thought he knew three decades ago. In this …

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American Museum of Natural History: Human Population Through Time

It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion—and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 11 billion?  

ASU Origins Project: Mariette DiChristina & Lawrence Krauss: An Origins Project Dialog (2/2)

Join us for an evening with trailblazing science journalist and Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina and Origins Project director Lawrence Krauss for an enlightening evening on the role of science in our life. Watch as DiChristina and Krauss discuss how to better fuse the relationship between science and journalism in the digital age, the importance …

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ASU Origins Project: Mariette DiChristina & Lawrence Krauss: An Origins Project Dialog (1/2)

Join us for an evening with trailblazing science journalist and Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina and Origins Project director Lawrence Krauss for an enlightening evening on the role of science in our life. Watch as DiChristina and Krauss discuss how to better fuse the relationship between science and journalism in the digital age, the importance …

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TED-Ed: How does the Nobel Peace Prize work?

Among the top prestigious awards in the world, the Nobel Peace Prize has honored some of the most celebrated and revered international figures and organizations in history. But how does the nomination process work? And who exactly is eligible? Adeline Cuvelier and Toril Rokseth detail the specifics of the Nobel Peace Prize.  

Nature Video: Where to put the next billion people

A paper published this week examines this very question. As the world’s population is set to increase by one billion by 2030. Urban region planning requires a new mix of expertise. Essential are experts in: ecosystem and landscape ecology, water quantity and quality, agricultural soil quality and productivity, economics, transportation infrastructure engineering and community development. …

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TED: A new way to study the brain’s invisible secrets | Ed Boyden

Neuroengineer Ed Boyden wants to know how the tiny biomolecules in our brains generate emotions, thoughts and feelings — and he wants to find the molecular changes that lead to disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. Rather than magnify these invisible structures with a microscope, he wondered: What if we physically enlarge them and make them …

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Natural History Museum: How does the human eye work?

Dr Ben Price explores the inner workings of human and dragonfly eyes and vision. Comparing them offers a new perspective on the visual capabilities of both.  

Nature Video: The ultimate brain map

A new map of the human brain could be the most accurate yet, as it combines all sorts of different kinds of data. This might finally solve a century of disagreements over the shapes and positions of different brain areas.  

PBS: It’s Okay To Be Smart | Is Your Brain Too Old For Video Games?

It turns out that scientists use video games like StarCraft 2 to study how our brains age, so next time someone asks you why you’re playing so many video games, tell them it’s FOR SCIENCE!  

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Are musical tastes cultural or hardwired in the brain?

A new study out of MIT and Brandeis University – we have written about earlier this week – suggests musical preferences are cultural in origin and not hardwired in the brain.

GreshamCollege: Conspiracy Theories: A Threat to Democracy? – Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA

In this talk Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA looks at recent and current conspiracy theories research to come up with some surprising answers. Conspiracy theories seem to be everywhere nowadays, encouraged by the internet, and perhaps also by postmodern scepticism. But are they really more common than they used to be, and if so, do …

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American Museum of Natural History: Addiction and the Brain

Only a small percentage of people who try an illicit drug will go on to develop addiction. What makes one more vulnerable to addiction than another? Theories abound, from troubled childhoods to work stress to genetics. Psychiatrist Edmund Griffin explains how epidemiology, cocaine-addicted rats, and molecular neuroscience all help to shed light on one of …

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Mind Warehouse: What Would Happen If Humans Disappeared?

Imagine that all people suddenly disappeared from the planet. The reason is irrelevant, just imagine the result. Now we are going to tell what is going to happen after we are gone.

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