Inspiring Science- Top Picks 29.03.17

As a science enthusiast I’m constantly looking for articles and blog posts that reaffirm my love for science. Here are just a few of my favourites for this week:

Food for Thought: Do We Owe Our Large Primate Brains to a Passion for Fruit?

Primates (humans included) are known to have rather large brains in comparison with their body size. Up until now, the most common theory for this was that our emphasis on social interaction has driven our increase in brain size. This article in Scientific America however summarises a paper suggesting that the increase may in fact be down to our diet rather than our social behaviour.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/food-for-thought-do-we-owe-our-large-primate-brains-to-a-passion-for-fruit/

Salary survey: What are you worth?

This post on New Scientist looks at the average wage one can expect in different scientific fields and how this has changed over the years. It also nicely highlights the discrepancies between male and female wages in the UK, EU and North America.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129554.800-salary-survey-what-are-you-worth/

Gene editing of human embryos yields early results.

Scientists in both Texas and China have succeeded in genetically engineering viable human embryos to remove disease causing genes. Previous attempts using the same technique(CRISPR/Cas9) failed to produce viable embryos but these researchers have reportedly managed to avoid this problem. To learn more about the technique they used, check out my blog post on CRISPR.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gene-editing-human-embryos-yields-early-results?tgt=nr

Smartphones may be changing the way we think.

In the digital word that we live in, smart phones have become a staple of almost every adult and teenagers life. Access to the internet and the world of social media that comes with it is but a fingers breath away but could this constant access to technology be altering the way your brain works? This article explores some of the research that suggests just that.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/smartphones-may-be-changing-way-we-think

Let me know what you thought about my top picks in the comments or on Twitter and please send me any articles that piqued your interest this week!

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5 thoughts on “Inspiring Science- Top Picks 29.03.17

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    1. There’s a book called ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari about how humans climbed to the too of the food chain. One of the reasons for this was the ‘cognative revolution’ where our brain size grew and grew and the book suggests that a few of the reasons for this were our social behaviour but also the invention of cooking which allowed us to get more energy from less food. We may never know the actual reason but these are all compelling theories.

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