Humans

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Explaining consciousness is one of the hardest problems in science and philosophy. Recent neuroscientific discoveries suggest that a solution could be within reach – but grasping it will mean rethinking some familiar ideas. Consciousness, I argue in a new paper, may be caused by the way the brain generates loops of energetic feedback, similar to
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Neanderthals are often depicted as barrel-chested, hunched-over cavemen, but a close inspection of their fossils is telling a different story. For the first time, an international team of researchers has reconstructed the ribcage and upper spine of a Neanderthal man who died roughly 60,000 years ago. The findings suggest that contrary to popular images, these
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Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking passed away earlier this year, but his final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, only came out this week. In it, Hawking makes a number of bold claims about the future of gene editing, artificial intelligence, and even religion. Here’s how experts evaluate his predictions. Superhuman Overlords Hawking raised eyebrows when he claimed that
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Unassuming farmland in Østfold County, Norway, was hiding a secret for centuries – and now it’s been rumbled. Using high-resolution ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists have found an ancient Viking cemetery, complete with what appears to be a well-preserved ship burial. A popular mode of interment among the Norse Vikings, ship burials consisting of a longboat covered
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A revolution in genomics is creeping into economics. It allows us to say something we might have suspected, but could never confirm: money trumps genes. Using one new, genome-based measure, economists found genetic endowments are distributed almost equally among children in low-income and high-income families. Success is not. The least-gifted children of high-income parents graduate
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Biologists have grown human retina tissue from scratch to learn how the cells that let us see in color are made. The work may lay the groundwork for therapies for eye diseases such as color blindness and macular degeneration. It also establishes lab-created “organoids”—artificially grown organ tissue—as a model to study human development on a cellular