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Biology

Elon Musk’s Neuralink: Both an evolution and a plan for radical change

Elon Musk introduces the world to Neuralink Neuralink Neuralink’s magic will start with this small (4mm x 4mm) chip… Neuralink …which the company hopes to implant (along with its associated wiring) into the brain of patients/customers. Neuralink When Elon Musk first started talking about launching a brain-computer interface company, he made a number of comments …

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Researchers figure out how to grow a relative of the first complex cells

Enlarge / A eukaryotic cell has a lot of complex structure that bacteria and archaea lack. NHGRI The cells of all animals, plants, and fungi have an impressive complexity, with a variety of compartments specialized in various tasks, like generating energy, digesting proteins, or holding DNA. If you look at bacteria or archaea, however, their …

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When it comes to moral decisions, testosterone doesn’t seem to do much

Enlarge / The trolley problem brought to (after) life. NBC The Trolley Problem is a staple of ethics courses and has even made its way into prime-time television. It’s a “problem” because it forces people to decide between two options that are both considered highly ethical: not choosing to kill someone and minimizing the total …

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Musk’s newest startup is venturing into a series of hard problems

Enlarge / Elon Musk in Idaho in 2015. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images Tonight, Elon Musk has scheduled an event where he intends to unveil his plans for Neuralink, a startup company he announced back in 2017, then went silent on. If you go to the Neuralink website now, all you’ll find is a …

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Test tube embryo transfer may give near-extinct rhinos a second chance

Sponsored Links TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images Lab-made embryos are one step closer to saving a virtually extinct species. Scientists have successfully transferred a test tube rhino embryo back into a female for the first time, implanting the creation into a southern white rhino in Poland. The effort supports a theory that scientists can repopulate the near-extinct …

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Physics indicates some of Earth’s earliest animals helped each other feed

Enlarge / The result of a fluid mechanics simulation with multiple Erniettas. Dave Mazierski What drove the evolution of the earliest animal life? In modern animals, it’s easy to infer a lot about an organism’s lifestyle based on its anatomy. Even back in the Cambrian, with its large collection of bizarre looking creatures, these inferences …

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We may have inadvertently selected for muscles on dogs’ faces

Enlarge / A muscle flex raises the inner portions of the eyebrow at right. Waller et al. Humans domesticated dogs about 30,000 years ago. Since then, we’ve worked with them, hunted with them, played with them, and come to rely on them for companionship. And, in the process, we’ve bred them for everything from general …

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Why haven’t genetically engineered crops made food better?

Enlarge / Normal rice (bottom), the first version of golden rice (right), and the current strain (left). Environmental Health Perspectives/NIH One of the arguments that has been advanced to promote genetically engineered crops is that the techniques have the potential for improving the food we eat. Crops could be engineered so that they provide nutrients …

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Test performance, gender, and temperature

Nest As we move from a season marked by unstoppable heating units and into one dominated by aggressive air conditioning. Figuring out how to optimize the thermostat involves a balancing of individual comfort and energy efficiency. But a new study suggests that there’s an additional factor that should feed into decisions: the performance of any …

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