Great Apes & Us
Jon Cohen’s new book reminds us that, for all the claims that apes and human beings are ‘98.5 per cent the same’ in terms of genetics, there is still an unfathomable gap between us.
The differences between humans and chimps are vast. ‘We have bigger and more complex brains, fully-fledged language and writing, sophisticated tools, the control of fire, cultures that become increasingly complex, permanent structures in which to live and work, and the ability to walk upright and travel far and wide’, Cohen writes. And we differ not only in terms of our behaviour and how we live, but also in terms of our anatomy and susceptibility and resistance to different diseases. Chimps miscarry much less frequently than humans, and males ejaculate far more sperm. ‘A one per cent genetic difference accounts for all this?’, Cohen asks.
International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.
"I was so moved when I saw the cells stir," said 90-year-old study co-author Akira Iritani. "I'd been hoping for this for 20 years."
- The team managed to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes, but not cell division.
- Unless better technology and DNA samples emerge in the future, it's unlikely that scientists will be able to clone a woolly mammoth.
- Still, studying the DNA of woolly mammoths provides valuable insights into the genetic adaptations that allowed them to survive in unique environments.
An MIT study predicts when artificial intelligence will take over for humans in different occupations.
While technology develops at exponential speed, transforming how we go about our everyday tasks and extending our lives, it also offers much to worry about. In particular, many top minds think that automation will cost humans their employment, with up to 47% of all jobs gone in the next 25 years. And chances are, this number could be even higher and the massive job loss will come earlier.
The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.
- Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
- This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
- Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.