Read a Harvard geneticist's plan for redesigning humans

Professor George Church creates a gene "wishlist" that can lead to superhuman abilities.

  • Harvard geneticist George Church makes a list of genes that could be modified to enhance human abilities.
  • The list tracks both positive and negative effects.
  • Redesigning humans can lead to posthumans or transhumans.
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Surprising Science

Belly fat: Gut bacteria checks could lead to personalized diets

The reason one diet does not suit all may be found in our guts.

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  • New research shows that there's no one diet that works for everyone.
  • Instead, gut bacteria may hold the key to personalized diet plans.
  • A future doctor may check gut bacteria to offer diet advice.
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Surprising Science

A new spray may help treat the deadly white-nose syndrome

Bats are being subjected to a deadly plague that may be threatening their existence. However, a new bacterial spray may help fight the fungus responsible.

  • Since 2006, white-nose syndrome has killed millions and millions of bats, threatening many species with extinction.
  • Bats may not be everybody's idea of a cute and cuddly animal, but losing them would be devastating to the ecosystem.
  • Fortunately, researchers are hard at work trying to uncover a means of dealing with this fungal disease. One such treatment is the use of the antifungal bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens.
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Surprising Science

The market for wellness is more about capitalism than prolonging life

In Natural Causes, journalist Barbara Ehrenreich questions our obsession with wellness.

Photo by Darren Gerrish/WireImage
  • Journalist Barbara Ehrenreich writes that a for-profit medical system needs healthy patients — hence, the demand for yearly examinations and constant screenings.
  • Certain human cells are not in favor of our continued existence, making the concept of "wholeness" questionable.
  • Ehrenreich concludes that the market for wellness is more a function of capitalism than health.
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Surprising Science

Lunar and solar eclipses make animals do strange things

Spiders, fish, birds, and bats all break with their daily routines.

For most animals, the structure of their day – and indeed their year – depends on the light-dark cycle.

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Surprising Science