Innate Genius is a Myth
Mozart was a slow learner, Michael Jordan played junior-varsity, and Ted Williams refused dates to practice baseball. It all goes to show innate genius doesn't actually exist, says David Shenk.
What's the Latest Development?
New scientific findings support the idea that success is the result of disciplined practice, not an irrepressible natural genius, says author David Shenk. The findings support anecdotal evidence easily found about the most obvious of "natural" talents. While Mozart was a precocious composer, his early work demonstrated practically no originality, according to Temple University's Robert Weisberg. Consider Michael Jordan: the youngest of five siblings, he was also the laziest, until he reached a point where he wanted to practice basketball at all hours. It is evidence, says Shenk, that drive is an acquired trait.
What's the Big Idea?
We live in an age of very invasive scientific research. Neurons and gene pairs now move the border line of scientific advancement, telling us more and more often of the immutable qualities within in us. "Genetic differences do matter," says Shenk, "and we all have different levels of potential; but the vast majority of us don't actually get to know what those limits are. For that, we need great mentoring resources, an eagerness to fail and learn from those failures, and an awful lot of time. Talent is a process, not a thing."
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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