The Hunt For “Unexpected Genetic Heroes”

The Hunt For “Unexpected Genetic Heroes”

What can we learn from people with the genetics to get sick — who don’t? With most inherited diseases, only some family members will develop the disease, while others who carry the same genetic risks dodge it. Stephen Friend suggests we start studying those family members who stay healthy.

Hear about the Resilience Project, a massive effort to collect genetic materials that may help decode inherited disorders.

Cognition: How Your Mind Can Amaze and Betray You

Cognition: How Your Mind Can Amaze and Betray You

We used to think that the human brain was a lot like a computer; using logic to figure out complicated problems. It turns out, it’s a lot more complex and, well, weird than that. In this episode of Crash Course Psychology, Hank discusses thinking & communication, solving problems, creating problems, and a few ideas about what our brains are doing up there.

What’s wrong with Heisenberg’s microscope?

What’s wrong with Heisenberg’s microscope?

Heisenberg’s microscope exists only as a thought experiment, one that was proposed by Werner Heisenberg, criticized by his mentor Niels Bohr, and subsequently served as the nucleus of some commonly held ideas, and misunderstandings, about Quantum Mechanics.

In particular, it provided an argument for the uncertainty principle on the basis of the principles of classical optics. Recent theoretical and experimental developments have now shown Heisenberg’s attempt to give an intuitive explanation of his mathematical result to be fundamentally misleading. While the act of measurement does lead to uncertainty, the loss of precision is less than that predicted by Heisenberg’s argument; the formal mathematical result remains valid, however. [via]

Lectures by professor Michael Merrifield from the University of Nottingham.

This continues from our Heisenberg’s Microscope video:

The Smelly Mystery Of The Human Pheromone

The Smelly Mystery Of The Human Pheromone

Do our smells make us sexy?

Popular science suggests yes — pheromones send chemical signals about sex and attraction from our armpits. But, despite what you might have heard, there is no conclusive research confirming that humans have these smell molecules. In this eye-opening talk, zoologist Tristram Wyatt explains the fundamental flaws in current pheromone research, and shares his hope for a future that unlocks the fascinating, potentially life-saving knowledge tied up in our scent.

Autism — What We Know And What We Don’t Know Yet

Autism — What We Know And What We Don’t Know Yet

In this calm and factual talk, geneticist Wendy Chung shares what we know about autism spectrum disorder — for example, that autism has multiple, perhaps interlocking, causes. Looking beyond the worry and concern that can surround a diagnosis, Chung and her team look at what we’ve learned through studies, treatments and careful listening.