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Latest Posts

Is A New Kind Of Human Intelligence Evolving?

I woke up this morning, tapped my digital signal, and found this from Brian McGowan on Twitter: “What happens when complexity races ahead of the mind’s ability to adapt? When progress outpaces evolution? We need new solutions.”

Like a slow hunch, a version of this idea has been rattling around in my head for some weeks.  Specifically: Is there a new kind of human intelligence evolving?  Will our ability to work with knowledge in the face of limitless information select for a new kind of thinker in the 21st century?  I suspect it will.  Thinking and the creation of new ideas will require Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Scientists Study The Shape Of The Nose And Its Relationship With Climate

The basic function of the human nose is to warm and humidify the air before it reaches the lungs. Because of the wide variation of human habitats from the polar cold and dry air to the equatorial hot and humid weather, one would expect the nose to accommodate to these climate extremes accordingly through evolutionary pressures.

In essence, logically one would expect the nose to change shape to enhance time that air is in contact with the warm and moist nasal interior in cold and dry climates compared to the opposite environmental extreme.

German scientists evaluated this hypothesis through Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

The Natural Evolution Of Science: As Knowledge Grows, Treatments Change

I read with interest a blog post by Robert Krulwich of NPR fame on why there is so much public resistance to accept changes in truth with new scientific discoveries (some of which was new to even me)…

1) Triceratops with their beautifully placed 3 horns is actually the teenage dinosaur version of the adult Torosaurus (who had ugly asymmetric horns). Now… a decision had to be made regarding which name to stick with. Ultimately, “Triceratops” won out, perhaps because of the “Save the Triceratops” Facebook page???

2) The same unfortunately is not true for the Brontosaurus. It was clear that Apatosaurus is the same dinosaur and as such, the “Brontosaurus” name is no more much to the dismay of many lay public… Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Fauquier ENT Blog*

Scitable: A Shared Learning Space For Science

I recently come across Scitable, a Nature Education initiative, that aims to bring together a library of scientific overviews with a worldwide community of scientists, researchers, teachers and students. From Scitable:

[Scitable is] a free science library and personal learning tool brought to you by Nature Publishing Group, the world’s leading publisher of science. Scitable currently concentrates on genetics, the study of evolution, variation, and the rich complexity of living organisms.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Do Human Brains Become Larger By Using Tools?

From RIKEN Research:

Scientists from RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Wako, Japan and the Institute of Neurology at University College London have discovered that the brains of macaque monkeys undergo significant development when they are taught how to use tools. This finding may imply that our advanced human brains got as big and powerful as they did thanks to using tools, rather than the other way around.

The researchers used a technique called voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to classify areas of brain tissue in their MRI images as grey matter, white matter, or cerebro-spinal fluid, and to compare the volume of each tissue at different stages of learning. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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