It's the age old question for animal lovers: what are my pets thinking? Researcher Virginia Morell explores animal cognitive science in her new book Animal Wisdom.
From Morrell's interview with National Geographic:
The point I try to make at the end of the book is we're on this new frontier—we're recognizing that there are minds in every animal around us on the planet, and how remarkable that is. I would sit and think about that: The little jumping spider in my office, the birds in my yard—everyone has a brain, their neurons are firing, they're making decisions. If nothing else they have places to go and things to do. They're not just stumbling through life as zombies.
Anyone who has ever given in to a dog's pouting face watching the dinner table knows that. As Morrell points out, the field still has a long way to go:
Certainly showing animals are conscious is still a challenge: First we have to find neurons that create consciousness in people, then [we] can do comparative studies with animals. But right now we don't have a framework in which to study emotions—it's easier to find out if an animal can count.
For more on her research, head to National Geographic.
Image credit: Beverly & Pack/Flickr
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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