“SM” is a bit of an emotional anomaly. The 44-year-old mother isn’t scared of snakes. She doesn’t shriek when she sees a scary movie. Even haunted houses don’t give her chills. SM is pretty much fearless — and now scientists think they’ve figured out why. She lacks amygdala, clusters of neurons in the brain that play a role in fear and anxiety. Research on her might lead to new therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder, such as new forms of psychotherapy that hinder the amygdala’s activity. Still, fear is an important emotion, notes neurobiologist David Anderson.
Far from practicing witchcraft, the experimentation of medieval alchemists helped bring about the Scientific Revolution.
Innovative thinking has done away with problems that long dogged the electric devices — and both scientists and environmentalists are excited about the possibilities.
Along with gravitational lensing and ALMA’s incredible long-wavelength spectroscopy, JWST is reshaping our view of the early Universe.
Adopting a healthy scepticism towards inherited ideas means “emptying the container of the Self.”