Smart Philosophy Idiots – Babies End Racism – 1000 Bucks For Your Genes – Magic Island On Titan – Female Computers To The Moon


Today's Science

March 06 - 2016


"It’s shocking that such brilliant scientists could be quite so ignorant, but unfortunately their views on philosophy are not uncommon. Unlike many other academic subjects (mathematics and history, for example), where non-experts have some vague sense of the field’s practices, there seems to be widespread confusion about what philosophy entails."

Olivia Goldhill from Quartz on:

Why are so many smart people such idiots about philosophy?



"It may be objected that under social mixing cultural diversity would disappear. But this would only be true for diversity that depends on the shape of your features and the colour of your skin. This is the kind of diversity that racists wish to maintain. "

Marvon Frankel from Sarah Lawrence College and Howard Rachlin from Stony Brook University in aeon on:

If babies were randomly allocated to families would racism end?


"The company said a genome test, which it will launch in April, should essentially replace every other type of genetic test since it effectively provides all the answers at once."

Antonio Regalado from MIT Technology Review on:

For $999, Veritas Genetics Will Put Your Genome on a Smartphone App


"Clouds in Titan’s atmosphere rain out liquid methane and ethane, which then collects into lakes that dot Titan’s Earth-like landscape. On Earth, however, our lakes are carved into rock, whereas on Titan the lakes of methane and ethane are carved into a shell of water ice. Beneath Titan’s icy shell may reside a global liquid water ocean. Could life have arisen on such a world? For many in the planetary science community, Titan is heralded as the place to go to look for "weird life"—life unlike life as we know it, life that may have originated in liquid methane instead of liquid water."

Eric Berger from arstechnica on:

Spacecraft finds “magic island” in hydrocarbon seas of Titan

World's tantalizing oceans may teem with "weird life" we cannot begin to imagine.


"Hired at a mere 25 to 50 cents an hour, not only were women like Fleming getting the job done, but they were saving the observatory a fair bit of money."

Natalie Zarrelli from Atlas Obscura on:

How Female Computers Mapped the Universe and Brought America to the Moon

Teams of female scientists made critical breakthroughs in astronomy and mathematics–but it was decades before they'd get credit for them.


"After being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease five years ago, comedy writer Paul Mayhew-Archer decided to find out what was being done to develop treatments." [VIDEO]

Paul Mayhew-Archer via BBC on:

Finding hope in Parkinson's disease treatments


"The research literature, as is so often the case, was unclear. Nicotine, in part through the release of adrenaline, can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Although animal studies have raised the possibility that these changes may damage the blood vessels, potentially leading to cardiovascular disease, the limited data in humans have not confirmed this risk."

Anna Fels from The New York Times on:

Can Nicotine Be Good for You?


"A 2010 Cochrane review — considered the gold standard for basing medical practice on evidence — found an addiction rate of less than 1 percent. A study of more than 135,000 emergency-room visits for opioid overdose found that just 13 percent of patients had a chronic pain diagnosis."

Maia Szalavitz from The Washington Post on:

Five myths about heroin


"The daughters are both in their early fifties; their mother, widowed early in her marriage, is fiercely proud of her success as a single mother. “They’re always offering to do this, do that, and do the other thing, and it just drives me crazy,” she said. “It tells me that they think I’m not competent.” As a result, she’s stopped telling them when she really does have a problem."

Claire Berman from The Atlantic on:

What Aging Parents Want From Their Kids

There’s a fine line between caring and controlling—but older adults and their grown children often disagree on where it is.


"The researchers, who published a paper about their work in the Journal of Spacial Science, mapped the latitudes and longitudes of 140 of Banksy’s works in England. They then used a forensic technique developed to identify potential suspects in cases of serial rape, arson and murder."

Kashmir Hill from Fusion on:

These researchers tracked Banksy like a serial killer to reveal his identity

+ "The model takes as input the locations of these artworks, and calculates the probability of ‘offender’ residence across the study area."

Direct link to the Study on:

Tagging Banksy

using geographic profiling to investigate a modern art mystery


"In the scientific paper officially christening Tan’s namesake, Siddall and his coauthors thank Tan for her support and her companionship on nature explorations and note that her book Saving Fish from Drowning mentions terrestrial leeches three times."

Susan Milius from ScienceNews on:

Is Amy Tan actually ‘thrilled’ a leech is named after her?


"We analyzed these statements for common words and patterns (omitting, of course, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, and other insignificant terms). Of 534 total inmates, 117 declined to speak; the data we’ll include here pertains to the other 417 inmates, who either spoke or wrote out a final statement."

Zachary Crockett in Priceonomics on:

What Death Row Inmates Say in Their Last Words


About Author

I am a psychologist by training and by heart. Fascinated by all kinds of scientific endeavors, I try to share with the world what I find on a daily basis. While "BrainGrain" gives people some sweet shots of strong scientific news, "OneGrain" is just about being silly.

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