Exposure to flame retardant chemicals or PBDEs during pregnancy can affect children’s neurodevelopment. Environmental health scientist Tracey Woodruff of the University of California, San Francisco, found ten-fold increases in a mother's PBDE levels could lead to a drop of 3.7 IQ points in her child. While that may sound like a small number… "If you look at it over a population, it becomes very significant, because you have everybody exposed to PBDEs at a smaller risk. The small risk over a large population means that you can have a relatively large number of people who can have some type of effect." If this happens, the population level IQ could get shifted. This means there will be more people with an IQ score of about 70, which is considered a mentally-impaired category. “It can also decrease the number of people who are in the mentally-gifted categories." PBDEs can be found in many household items from furniture to toys to electronics. So, Woodruff says buying flame retardant-free products could make a big difference in your children’s health.
Believe it or not, neuroscience is still considered a relatively new field of medical research. That’s because there’s still a lot of the unknown about our brain. For instance, how do brain cells wire up and function? To answer this question, John Ngai, a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is creating a brain catalogue or - as researchers call it – an atlas. “So the idea behind this brain atlas project is to identify all the cell types in the mouse brain as a model for understanding the human brain and then to understand their physiological properties, how they connect with other so this can be used as a basis for understanding not only normal function of the brain, but also how diseases might progress and eventually how you might treat those diseases in human neurological conditions." The effort is part of the federal government’s BRAIN Initiative, which launched four years ago. Its ultimate goal is to understand brain circuits well enough to devise new therapies for diseases of the human brain and nervous system.
From password management to encrypted messaging to VPNs, tips on how to steer clear of getting hacked.
Mary Shelley’s classic science fiction horror story turns 200 this year—and it’s more relevant than ever to how we talk about science.
As large as 1,000 Earths, Jupiter is the heavy hitter of the solar system. Even its Great Red Spot is larger than Earth, yet it’s shrinking! In this episode of Gravity Assist, Planetary Science Director Jim Green talks with Jared Espley of NASA’s Juno mission about how Jupiter got to be so big, what may lie beneath Jupiter’s cloud tops, and its four remarkable and diverse Galilean moons—from icy Europa to volcanic Io. We’ll also hear eerie sounds around the giant planet from Juno’s Waves instrument.
Glaucoma is the world’s second-leading cause of blindness, and it affects about 80 million people worldwide and has no cure. But vision scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have discovered molecules that could probably halt the progression of the disease. Gronert: “We identified a novel factor, a new factor that potentially protects the optic nerve against damage, which is one of the underlying causes of glaucoma. That’s Karsten Gronert, a professor of optometry at UC Berkeley. He says, for decades, academic labs and pharmaceutical companies were trying to find treatment for glaucoma, but couldn’t show any promising results. This is probably because they were targeting the disease when it was already too late. "Once you have a degeneration of the optic nerve head, which is what causes glaucoma and eventually leads to blindness, that process is irreversible and cannot be stopped.” So Gronert and his colleagues took a different route. Instead of trying to fix what has been permanently damaged, they focused on prevention - protecting the mechanism that stops nerve degeneration.
A new way of thinking about hearing loss offers new opportunities for treatment.
A relaxing dawn chorus featuring a softly gurgling brook and the songs of American Robin, Hermit Thrush and Dark-eyed Junco. Recorded in a wet grassy meadow in the high country of Oregon's Cascade Mountains. 6:30am, 20 June 2017, along the McKenzie Scenic Highway. NOTE: this is a binaural recording. Please use headphones for a realistic 3D listening experience.
In the first episode of our Questioning Artificial Intelligence mini-series, Ian Sample explores some of the key hurdles for machine learning, including reasoning and social intelligence
Lucas Joppa, chief environmental scientist at Microsoft, says that artificial intelligence has the potential to help answer big environmental questions.
Plus: News of ancient migrations, strange dimensional physics, and the silliness of ‘raw water.’
Hurricane Maria knocked out the Puerto Rican factory that produces a large amount of IV bags and fluids. How do hospitals adapt?
Skin is a complex organ that we still can’t grow completely in the lab. But one group got over a big hurdle: the humble hair follicle.
Ponder living on Mars in this Martian mashup as we explore “The Martian,” food and sports on Mars, and more. With Neil Tyson, Bill Nye, Mike Massimino, Buzz Aldrin, Andy Weir, Mary Roach, John Oliver, Eugene Mirman, Chuck Nice, Gary O’Reilly and many others. NOTE: StarTalk All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: https://www.startalkradio.net/all-access/life-on-mars-mashup/
Sustainability, alternative energy, profitability and competitiveness; concepts that considered together provide a thought-provoking discussion with Western University’s Dr. Matt Davison about Canada’s energy economy from the perspective of the consumer, government and business.
This was an amazing close range encounter allowing me to captured a male Cassowary feeding with his two chicks. The high pitched whistle is the sounds of the chicks the low frequency thumping sound is the call of the male Cassowary. This is a low res preview of the recording, if you are interested in the full recording please contact me. I hope you enjoy this recording! Copyright Tai Inoue at Nature Sounds 2017
Le mercredi 29 novembre 2017, Agatha Liévin-Bazin est venu nous parler à nouveau d’éthologie et plus précisément d’émotions et d’empathie chez les animaux. Encore aujourd’hui, le grand public a une vision assez violente et parfois négative du monde animal, souvent véhiculée par une formule attribuée (à tort) à Charles Darwin : « la survie du plus apte » (“the survival of the fittest” en réalité formulée par Herbert Spencer en 1864). On peut alors facilement imaginer une lutte âpre, sanglante et compétitive pour la survie laissant peu de place à l’altruisme et à l’entraide entre individus. Cependant, et Darwin s’y intéressait déjà en son temps, d’autres observations contredisent cette vision individualiste de la survie et suggèrent que les individus se préoccupent aussi du bien-être des autres et font preuve de « sympathie » ! Certains vont même jusqu’à se blesser gravement ou se mettre en danger de mort pour porter assistance à l’un de leur congénère. Un animal stressé transmet son état émotionnel à ses voisins proches et un animal serein, au contraire, va diminuer le stress ressenti par son compagnon inquiet. Comme chez l’humain, certains comportements liés à l’empathie seraient contagieux, et se transmettent d’un individu à l’autre, comme le bâillement. Il y aurait dans ces comportements une partie d’imitation et de similarité, qui activeraient les mêmes zones du cerveau entre celui qui baille et celui qui regarde l’autre bailler, le faisant bailler à son tour. On sait aussi que les chimpanzés, les corbeaux et les éléphants consolent un compagnon en détresse après un conflit et viennent l’enlacer. Tout ne serait donc pas que sauvagerie et égoïsme dans la lutte implacable pour la survie ?
Happy new year! It’s a bonus podcast: episode one of the second season of Indre’s other podcast, Cadence. Subscribe to Cadence here: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cadence/id1207136496 RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/cadence-podcast This season, we’re going to focus on music as medicine—telling the stories of people whose lives have been immeasurably improved with music. In this episode, we talk about William’s Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes heart problems, intellectual disabilities and a profound love of music. We hear from 31-year-old Benjamin Monkaba, who has the condition, his mother Terry, and Jennifer Latson, author of The Boy Who Loved Too Much, a book about William's Syndrome.