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Daily Archives: February 6, 2012
An antique cabinet acquired inadvertently by a Washington, D.C. lawyer turned out to hold Alfred Russel Wallace‘s collection of 1,700 specimens housed in 26 drawers.
A fun article at livescience.com poses an interesting question; “What happens if we all become twice as smart?” This is not a strange thought since human IQ has been steadily rising since measurements began. This is called the Flynn effect and social scientists are not sure what caused it, though improved nutrition, education and social complexity in the media age are all pinned as being factors in the increase. Interestingly, not as much would change as you think, says Richard Haier, … Continue reading
When the Piltdown Man was revealed to be a ‘cheap fraud’, several eminent men – including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – were put in the frame. Now scientists aim to put an end to the mystery once and for all. In a few weeks, a group of British researchers will enter the labyrinthine store of London’s Natural History Museum and remove several dark-coloured pieces of primate skull and jawbone from a small metal cabinet. After a brief inspection, the team will wrap … Continue reading
Physicists have demonstrated a system in which light is used to control the motion of an object that is large enough to be seen with the naked eye at the level where quantum mechanics governs its behaviour. The movement of objects is ultimately governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, which predict some intriguing phenomena: An object could simultaneously be in two places at the same time, and it should always be moving a little, even at a temperature of absolute … Continue reading
For Bradley Duchaine, there is definitely more than meets the eye where faces are concerned. With colleagues at Birkbeck College in the University of London, he is investigating the process of facial recognition, seeking to understand the complexity of what is actually taking place in the brain when one person looks at another. His studies target people who display an inability to recognize faces, a condition long known as prosopagnosia. Duchaine is trying to understand the neural basis of the condition while … Continue reading