Car accidents. Suicide bombers. Earthquakes. Death of a spouse. Why do some people bounce back from traumatic events while others do not? Is there a biological profile of resiliency?
For all we understand about the universe, 96% of what’s out there still has scientists in the dark. Astronomical observations have established that familiar matter—atoms—accounts for only 4% of the weight of the cosmos. The rest—dark matter and dark energy—is invisible to our telescopes.
Immanuel Kant, who coined the term genius in the 1700s, defined it as the rare capacity to independently understand concepts that would normally have to be taught by another person. Since then, the spectrum of abilities that we call genius has widened, but pivotal questions remain: What exactly is genius?
How far would you go to improve your focus, memory, or even learning ability? Would you be willing to strap on headgear that delivers electrical shocks to targeted areas of your brain? You may soon have that option.
Powerful new genetic tools allow scientists to alter the DNA of any organism—with tests on human embryos already underway. Even more ambitious, synthetic biologists on the verge of creating the genetic material for a living organism from scratch are setting their long-term sites on fashioning a fully synthetic human genome.
As computers become progressively faster and more powerful, they’ve gained the impressive capacity to simulate increasingly realistic environments. Which raises a question familiar to aficionados of The Matrix—might life and the world as we know it be a simulation on a super advanced computer?
Researchers are racing to uncover the implications for the Arctic of rapidly vanishing polar ice – and they’re enlisting help from the very creatures that stand to gain the most from their discoveries: the Narwhal, Bowhead and Beluga whales, three of the most elusive species on Earth.
The World Science Festival’s Pioneers in Science program gives high school students from around the globe rare and intimate access to some of the world’s most renowned scientists in a …