Predictions for the future of gene therapy as told by the “God” of geneticists, George Church.
By studying how moral behavior works in the real world, scientists are tackling an ancient subject that was previously the domain of religion and philosophy: whether human beings are inherently cooperative or competitive. In other words: how selfish are we? The news is good.
A lively profile of Robert Trivers, a renegade scientist lauded as one of our greatest thinkers—despite a career peppered with mental breakdowns, public feuds, and near-death experiences.
Why people can feel someone staring at them, experience deja vu, and other paranormal experiences:
“One of the most common anomalous experiences is the sense of being stared at. When you see someone gazing directly at you, emotions become activated—it can be exciting or comforting or creepy—and this visceral charge can give the impression that gazes transfer energy. Further, if you feel uncomfortable and check to see whether someone is looking at you, your movement may draw attention—confirming your suspicions.
“Another common experience is déjà vu, a phenomenon two in three people report. Most of us shrug it off as a mental hiccup. Indeed, researchers propose it’s a sense of familiarity without a recollection of why something is familiar, or perhaps a timing issue in the brain where thoughts are experienced twice because of a slight wiring delay, lending the second occurrence an odd sensation of repetition. But some people believe it’s a glimpse into a past life.
“While anomalous experiences may be associated with stressful circumstances, personal pathologies, or cognitive deficits, the experiences themselves may not always be so bad, and may actually be healthy inventions. They’re just our attempts to make sense of a weird situation. After all, there’s nothing the mind likes better than a good story.”