This week the first significant evidence of the long-sought gravitational wave background has been found, cytoelectric coupling describes how brain waves might be sculpting the structure of our minds, the story of a legendary monarch leads us to question if it’s possible to be immune to poison, and we investigate how the flawed BMI calculation was originally created.
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Newfound CRISPR-Like System In Animals Could Be Used To Manipulate Human Genomes
A genetic editing system similar to CRISPR-Cas9 has been uncovered for the first time in eukaryotes – the group of organisms that include fungi, plants, and animals. The system, based on a protein called Fanzor, can be guided to precisely target and edit sections of DNA, and that could open up the possibility of its use as a human genome editing tool. Read the full story here
First Significant Evidence Of Gravitational Wave Background Using Galaxy-Sized Detector
The NANOGrav collaboration, part of the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA), has announced the first significant evidence of the long-sought gravitational wave background, the low-frequency vibration of space-time that is expected to permeate the universe. This achievement comes from 15 years of work creating a gravitational wave detector that is as big as a galaxy. Read the full story here
Face Of The "Hobbit" Human That Lived 50,000 Years Ago Has Been Reconstructed
The face of one of the strongest characters in the human family tree, Homo floresiensis, has been reconstructed by a small team of archaeologists and 3D designers. Nicknamed “the hobbit” because of its short stature, H. floresiensis is a species of archaic human that stood around 1.1 meters (3 feet 7 inches) in height and is thought to have gone extinct around 50,000 years ago. Read the full story here
Cytoelectric Coupling: How Brain Waves Sculpt The Structure Of The Mind
An intriguing new hypothesis suggests that electric fields generated by neurons in the brain could, in turn, be influencing its molecular infrastructure, allowing our brains to functionally adapt to the world around us. Bringing together evidence from their own and other labs, the authors present their theory as an explanation of how high-level thought processes can emerge from a concert of millions of individual cells. Read the full story here
Mithridatism: Can You Really Become Immune To Poison By Taking Microdoses?
Like a comic book supervillain, the legendary monarch Mithridates VI Eupator, king of Pontus from 120 to 63 BCE, is said to have made himself immune to the effects of poison by obsessively training his body on small doses of lethal substances. His enemies, on the other hand, were very much susceptible to toxins, and it was Mithridates’ tendency to exploit this fact that earned him the nickname "The Poison King". Read the full story here
Feature of the week:
People Are Just Figuring Out How BMI Was Originally Calculated
BMI may claim to be a health indicator, but it's more like "Bogus Measurements Incorporated" when it comes to accurately assessing many people’s wellbeing. Despite being a simple calculation to work out, how BMI was originally created may come as a shock to some people. Read the full story here