Articles by Contributor

The Quantum Computer Lurking Inside Your Brain

When a particle gets small enough, it starts to behave strangely, like having the ability to be in two places at once. Protons, electrons and even whole atoms can exhibit these quantum effects and perform logic-defying acts. By studying these particles in the human brain, researchers are trying to see if processes like information storage and even decision-making are influenced by quantum effects. Is there the equivalent of a quantum computer lurking inside our brains? […]

By |September 3, 2020|Categories: Everyday Science|Tags: , , |

Xeno Nucleic Acids: Research into Modified DNA

Many of us would have heard about DNA and RNA, the two naturally occurring nucleic acid polymers that store genetic material. But we may not be quite as familiar with xeno nucleic acids (XNAs). The word is derived from the Greek ‘xenos’, meaning ‘stranger’ or ‘alien’. As one might infer, XNAs are a class of synthetic nucleic acids that aren’t found in nature. These structural analogs of DNA and RNA have many practical and theoretical uses, from helping scientists discover new drugs to providing insights into the origin of life. […]

By |August 21, 2020|Categories: Structure-Based Design|Tags: , , , |

The Cooking Ape Hypothesis: How Humans Became Intelligent

Chimpanzees are our closest cousins, yet we differ from them in many aspects—the most telling being our brain capacities. Have you ever wondered how humans diverged from apes and how we attained our (allegedly) superior intelligence? It might be hard to believe, but the reason could be as simple as the act of cooking. Known as the ‘Cooking Ape hypothesis’, many scientists today agree that cooking was the catalyst for the development of our intelligence. […]

By |July 31, 2020|Categories: Everyday Science|Tags: , , , , |

A New Hypothesis for the Increased Rates of Autism Worldwide

We observe a steady increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) mainly in developed countries, where stressors like famine, pollution, stress and chronic inflammation are at their lowest levels in recorded history. Specifically, current conditions for humans in developed countries have never been so favorable for such a prolonged period of time and they continue to improve steadily. However, stressors are still hypothesized to be the main cause of the increasing prevalence of ASD and of other mental health and neurological disorders. […]

By |March 14, 2020|Categories: Everyday Science|Tags: , , |

Chemistry For Babies and The Impact of Early Science Education

Science books for babies may have stemmed from the geeky crowd bent on buying science-themed gifts for their kid (or their friend’s children), but it has the potential to truly impact learning. Categorization skills, for example, are developed in infancy, which remains important throughout life. Nurturing them with the right tools could children grasp difficult concepts in science later in life. […]

By |August 3, 2019|Categories: Not Exactly Peer Review|Tags: , , |
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