Humans are not born as blank slates when it comes to most inherited characteristics, and that certainly applies to intelligence, often roughly crystallized as IQ. But to understand how intelligence forms in each individual you have to know more than just your inherited genetic characteristics.
There has been a recent flurry of news and excitement about tracing the the genetics of athletic ability, effects of diets, personality and a range of diseases and behaviors. All are promising. But perhaps the most hopeful, and challenging, research is focused on addressing aging—how to help us live longer, but retain our health.
The unusually poor effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine calls for renewed efforts to create better vaccines, faster. What do we need to know about human biology?
It’s been the stuff of science fiction: Sending miniaturized machines through the human body to repair organs internally, without the need for invasive surgery. Now the first version of one of these nanotechnologies has been realized.
What are the risks of altering our biological clocks with long term rotating shift work? Can the biolgical clock be reset? New research offers promise.
The neonics ban in Europe may be backfiring as farmers turn topesticides that had been phased out because of potentially harmful impacts on beneficial insects, such as bees, and also because they posed possible dangers to humans and the environment. And yields are dropping too.
The blog “10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful To Human Health” has gotten a lot of play on cyberspace . A scientist takes a hard look at the claims and finds the “studies” tell a different story than anti-biotechnology activists believe.
“What could be more basic to freedom than food freedom and food democracy?” declared Indian anti-GMO activist megastar Vandana Shiva at a rally in Hawaii. Is Shiva a progressive idealist or a reactionary sensationalist, threatening global food security?
Anti-GMO activists and even some media reports claim that farmers growing GM crops “douse” their fields in “dangerous chemicals,” glyphosate in particular. Iowa farmer contributing writer unmasks the farce of that claim. It would improve dialogue if people who write about farming knew how it worked.
Dairy-free genetically modified milk and cheese products could appeal to vegans’ environmental sensibilities. But they also face pushback over concerns about GMOs and what constitutes “natural” food.
China views its preponderance of men with increasing alarm, but it is not the only place in the world that favors males. The social implications of this population altering strategy remain unknown…and controversial.
No system is perfect. Organic production is the one and only path to sustainability. But rather than dismissing organic standards as arbitrary restrictions and the organic market as a distraction that overshadows conservation agriculture, we should recognize the role that they play in guiding sustainable behaviors and decisions.