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Big Think 02/22/2020 14:00
The Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED) would cut off the North and Baltic Seas from the Atlantic Ocean. It would save 15 countries, and up to 55 million people, from sea level rise—but at a cost. The idea is a warning more than a plan: NEED will be necessary if we don't stop global warming now. Unprecedented scale. Climate change is real, and it's bad.
Big Think 02/21/2020 13:08
Using a machine-learning algorithm, MIT researchers have identified a powerful new antibiotic compound. In laboratory tests, the drug killed many of the world's most problematic disease-causing bacteria, including some strains that are resistant to all known antibiotics. It also cleared infections in two different mouse models. The computer model, which can screen more than a hundred million chemical compounds in a matter of days, is designed to pick out potential antibiotics that kill bacteria using different mechanisms than those of existing drugs. "We wanted to develop a platform that would allow us to harness the power of artificial intelligence to usher in a new age of antibiotic drug discovery," says James Collins, the Termeer Profess.
Big Think 02/21/2020 12:50
On April 13, 2029, an icy chunk of space rock, wider than the Eiffel Tower is tall, will streak by Earth at 30 kilometers per second, grazing the planet's sphere of geostationary satellites. It will be the closest approach by one of the largest asteroids crossing Earth's orbit in the next decade. Observations of the asteroid, known as 99942 Apophis, for the Egyptian god of chaos, once suggested that its 2029 flyby would take it through a gravitational keyhole — a location in Earth's gravity field that would tug the asteroid's trajectory such that on its next flyby, in the year 2036, it would likely make a devastating impact. Thankfully, more recent observations have confirmed that the asteroid will sling by Earth without incident in both 20.
Big Think 02/21/2020 12:09
Talking to yourself is a healthy, widespread tendency among children and adults. Research suggests the practice supplies a bevy of benefits, from improved mental performance to greater emotional control. Self-talk is most beneficial when it combines thought and action or reinforces instructional framework. Our culture views talking to yourself as a habit for crazies and eccentrics.
Big Think 02/19/2020 15:58
Methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas, and it's far more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. A recent study analyzed ice core samples from the pre-industrial era to measure the extent to which industry has played a role in increasing atmospheric methane levels. The researchers note that their results suggest action can be taken to stem methane pollution. Methane is the second most abundant greenhouse gas.
Big Think 02/18/2020 15:19
Stanford's Human Behavioral Biology course explores the interconnections between physiology and behavior. Most of the course is taught by Robert M. Sapolsky, a professor of biology, neurology and neurosciences at Stanford, and also an and contributor to . Check out some highlights from the course below. Imagine a 40-year-old man in the U.S. who's leading a quiet, suburban life.
Big Think 02/18/2020 05:25
A fetish is a sexual fixation on a specific object, activity or body part that becomes absolutely necessary to a person's sexual satisfaction. According to recent research, 1 in 7 people have fantasized about feet in a sexual way at least once in their lives. Prominent researcher , who established the "body image map" in the 1950s, explains that the sensory perception for our feet is located directly adjacent to the sensory perception area for our genitalia - which can explain the sexual fascination many people experience with feet. A brief introduction to fetishes. "Fetish" and "kink" are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are some key differences that are important to discuss when we're talking about the psychology of a specific sex.
Big Think 02/16/2020 17:30
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek thinks we are not searching for aliens correctly. Instead of sending out and listening for signals, he proposes two new methods of looking for extraterrestrials. Spotting anomalies in planet temperature and atmosphere could yield clues of alien life, says the physicist. For noted theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek, finding aliens is a matter of figuring out what exactly we are looking for.
Big Think 02/16/2020 09:36
Residents of the small Alaskan town Kongiganak can no longer bury their dead. Their. , sucking graves into the once frozen ground. On the island of Sarichef near the Bering Strait, the village of. locals are considering relocating it entirely. Global warming has shown that permafrost is not so permanent after all. And as it begins to melt, it is reshaping the Arctic. The rapidly thawing ice layer is creating great sinkholes and hollows across the region as the ground begins to collapse in on itself. Erosion and landslides have become a problem without the ice that once held the soil together. Permafrost – any area of land that remains – can vary from less than a metre thick to more than 1,500 metres. Some of it is tens of thousands of years o.
Big Think 02/14/2020 14:09
Scientists electrically stimulated the brains of macaque monkeys in an effort to determine which areas are responsible for driving consciousness. The monkeys were anesthetized, and the goal was to see whether activating certain parts of the brain would wake up the animals. The forebrain's central lateral thalamus seems to be one of the "minimum mechanisms" necessary for consciousness. New research suggests a tiny part of the brain plays a key role in enabling consciousness.
Big Think 02/13/2020 13:33
The 2019-2020 flu season, which began in late September, is estimated to have already killed 12,000 to 30,000 people in the U.S., according to the CDC. The death toll for the new strain of coronavirus remains far lower, prompting some people to argue that the public's concern about coronavirus is misplaced. Still, there are valid reasons to be concerned about the new virus. The new coronavirus has so far killed more than 1,300 people around the world, and it's infected at least 15 people in the U.S. But meanwhile, the flu has killed at least 12,000 people in the U.S. alone, with flu activity hovering above baseline for 12 weeks straight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this flu season (which started September 29.
Big Think 02/12/2020 07:48
Scientists in Canada discover a new species of dinosaur. The species is named Thanatotheristes degrootorum, which stands for "Reaper of Death". The dinosaur lived about 79 million years ago. A new dinosaur species was found in Alberta, Canada. Related to Tyrannosaurs, the Thanatotheristes degrootorum is the oldest dinosaur ever found in the country, roaming its lands about 79 millions years ago. The newly-discovered species, the first such find in the last 50 years, shares. a lineage with the fearsome T.rex, which came about 11 million years later. Thanatotheristes degrootorum, whose name translates ominously as the "reaper of death,". had the length of two cars and the height of about 2.4 meters. It lived during the. Cretaceous period, when it.
Big Think 02/11/2020 11:56
In the early 2000s, it was reported that some cancer patients being treated with chlorin e6 were experiencing enhanced night vision. Using a molecular simulation, researchers discovered that a chlorin e6 injection under infrared light activates vision by changing retinal in the same way that visible light does. Researchers hope that this chemical reaction could one day be harnessed to help treat certain types of blindness and sensitivity to light. In the early 2000s, it was reported that a certain kind of skin cancer treatment called photodynamic therapy, which uses light to destroy malignant cells, had a bizarre side effect: It was giving patients enhanced night time vision. An essential component to this therapy is a photosensitive compou.
Big Think 02/11/2020 04:41
In the first days and weeks of fatherhood, a man's testosterone and cortisol levels decrease and oxytocin, estrogen and prolactin levels surge, promoting an important bonding experience between a father and his newborn child. One of the most significant changes in a new father's brain is the new neurons that are formed that have been proved to be directly linked to the time spent with their newborn child. This neurogenesis (forming of new neurons in the brain) happens in the areas that are linked to long-term memory and navigation. What happens in a man’s brain when he becomes a father...

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