Brain Science Is Our Modern Bible
At least in the sense that it is overturning old doctrines, like folk psychology, and attracting legions of people seeking answers to contemporary philosophical and spiritual questions.
What's the Latest Development?
The force with which brain science has come to frame the debate around many age-old questions—queries about ethics, free will, the mind-body problem, etc.—is partly the result of how two of its most passionate advocates explain their point of view. Paul and Patricia Churchland, who are husband and wife as well as professors at UC Berkeley, often speak "on the importance to ethics of the neurochemicals associated with mammalian emotions, such as oxytocin, dopamine, vasopressin, serotonin and adrenalin."
What's the Big Idea?
The idea that brain chemistry determines many of the thoughts and actions we typically consider to be made freely, after a mixture of reason and emotion points us in a particular directions, has wide ranging consequences for society. Our justice system, for example, is premised on the idea that individuals are free to choose between right and wrong behavior. And we hardly think of love as the emergent property of the brain chemical oxytocin. Still, when it comes to human motivation, Churchland says: "There is only the brain."
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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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