A Kickstarter launched a couple of days ago is already half way to letting you control a cockroach with your phone, but is this ethical?
Simon Oxenham covers the best and the worst from the world of psychology and neuroscience. Formerly writing with the pseudonym "Neurobonkers", Simon has a history of debunking dodgy scientific research and tearing apart questionable science journalism in an irreverent style. Simon has written and blogged for publishers including: The Psychologist, Nature, Scientific American and The Guardian. His work has been praised in the New York Times and The Guardian and described in Pearson's Textbook of Psychology as "excoriating reviews of bad science/studies”.
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I'm not sure where to begin on the ethics of this. On the up side, inspiring kids to learn about technology such as this could directly lead to promising careers resulting in the next generation of treatments. On the down side, we're seeing completely uncontrolled experimentation on the brains of animals, which leaves a pretty bad taste in the mouth, to put it mildly. Does it matter that this is being conducted on creatures we routinely exterminate? If you're intrigued by this debate, check out the University of Pennsylvania's free upcoming online course on neuroethics. It won't be long before the debate moves on to humans, see the paper just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics (OA) which discusses how "Swiss Army knives of human neuroscience" such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can be cracked together with "only a 9 V battery, about $50 worth of easy-to-source electronic parts and basic instructions"...
To be continued...
Fitz N.S. & Reiner P.B. (2013). The challenge of crafting policy for do-it-yourself brain stimulation, Journal of Medical Ethics, DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2013-101458
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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