Ants on the Brain

Researchers are learning about the human brain from a system that is more similar to our gray matter than you may think: ant colonies. Just as neurons navigate through your head in a choreographed but mysterious dance, ants work together in a complex ways in order to make the colony far exceed any individual ant’s potential. Seed reports on how the research of computer scientist James Marshall and biologist Nigel Franks into ant colonies is leading to answers about the general principles of organization of the human brain.


Several experts on the mind have talked to Big Think, including Oliver Sacks, “Welcome to Your Brain” author Sam Wang, and Philosopher Daniel Dennett of Tufts University.

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
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  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
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A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

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Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
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Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

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Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

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Heatwaves significantly impact male fertility, says huge study

As the world gets hotter, men may have fewer and fewer viable sperm

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Surprising Science
  • New research on beetles shows that successive exposure to heatwaves reduces male fertility, sometimes to the point of sterility.
  • The research has implications both for how the insect population will sustain itself as well as how human fertility may work on an increasingly hotter Earth.
  • With this and other evidence, it is becoming clear that more common and more extreme heatwaves may be the most dangerous aspect of climate change.
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