“How Much Sleep Do You Actually Require (and Why)?”

I’ve always wondered about people who only sleep a few hours a day. I’ve found that I need at least seven and a half hours a day to feel rested (which usually means an afternoon nap since I can rarely stay asleep more than six hours at night). But it seems that a single brain …

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“Japan, Russia in plan for elephant to birth CLONE MAMMOTH”

This sort of thing has been talked about for decades (it was the idea that spawned the book Jurassic Park, published in 1990, after all). I look forward to seeing the results, but I have to wonder how much mammoth behavior in the wild was learned and passed down from the herd. I suspect that’s …

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“Microsoft researchers build spam filter for HIV”

Speaking of unpredictable consequences, here’s another one: techniques developed to combat spam turn out to be useful against HIV. I always thought that spammers had a lot in common with viruses, in that both are annoying and potentially dangerous, but I didn’t expect the metaphor to stretch that far! 😉

“I Live in the Future and Here’s How it Works”

A small excerpt from that excerpt: A few years ago, researchers quizzed more than thirty surgeons and surgical residents on their video-game habits […] Then they put all the surgeons through a laparoscopic surgery simulator, in which thin instruments akin to extremely long chopsticks are inserted into one or more small incisions through the skin …

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“Bill Gates drops $1m on laser-based malaria fighter”

I’ve had this vision for years of a machine that identifies mosquitoes in a house or around people in a backyard area at dusk, targets them, and ruthlessly burns them down with a precision blast from a small, high-powered laser. I’m generally a peaceful person, but I have no mercy toward fleas, ticks, and blood-suckers …

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“What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?”

As a semi-related extension of yesterday’s rant, here’s some more evidence that science does have some idea what it’s talking about. If it didn’t, none of this would work. It’ll be interesting to see how humanity adapts to much longer lives. So long as life expectancy climbs slowly, I think we can handle it without …

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“Boffins place living creature under control of brain chip”

Hm… could the world of Darrell Bain’s The Pet Plague be far behind? 😉 Or more seriously, the brain enhancements of Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn trilogy, or any of a dozen similar science fiction works? Scary stuff, but ooh so exciting, too.

“Porn Then and Now: Welcome to Brain Training”

Some fascinating brain research on how the ready availability of Internet porn has changed things for younger generations — and more importantly, the medical reason why: […] Your brain didn’t evolve to handle today’s erotica-at-a-click. It doesn’t just see videos; it perceives endless fertilization opportunities, and it will use its dopamine “whip” to make sure …

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“Value, Emotions, and Survival”

I ran across an article the other day that baldly stated that the survival instinct is not the strongest and most universal instinct. Creating value is. Surprising on the face of it, but the more I thought of it, the more I had to admit that there’s something to it. Conventional wisdom (which may actually …

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