S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Science News Roundup --

WASHINGTON - MARCH 23: Susan Hockfield, Presid...Image (Susan Hockfield) by Getty Images via Daylife

We are social creatures; why is that? What history do you suppose we inherit in our DNA? "Two Studies Consider New Possiblities for Emergence of Modern Human Behavior," is from AAAS News (6/4/09). Summary: "Population growth, migration, and other demographic changes among our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have played a major role in the evolution of modern human social behavior."

There seems to be something fundamentally wrong with patenting a life form. Bioethics has not kept pace with scientific discovery, unfortunately. "Shobita Parthasarathy: Battles Brewing as Public Questions Biotech's Living Inventions," is from AAAS News (5/26/09). Summary: "More challenges to biotech patents may be in store as advocacy groups raise broad questions about the creation of modified life forms, a leading expert said at AAAS."

PET scans can reveal amazing information about brain activity. The imaging reveals what areas of the brain are engaged as we think. "Researchers Capture the Brain Activity Behind Living Vicariously," is from AAAS News (5/15/09). Summary: "Researchers look into our brains to see why we're able to relate to complete strangers and enjoy their victories as our own. (Will this explain the popularity of "American Idol"?)"

President Obama vowed to bring science back into the White House. And it is high time; we have lost valuable opportunitites to make progress as we fell behind other developed countries. "White House 2020 R and D Budget . . . Offers Significant New Investment," is from AAAS News (5/7/09). Summary: "The U.S. government would continue a significant new investment in science and technology under the 2010 White House research and development budget presented at AAAS."

Synthesizing scientific discovery multiplies the benefits of the original scientific knowledge. This explains why it is that mathemeticians and quantum physicists see beauty and artistry in their chosen scientific fields. "MIT President Susan Hockfield . . . Envisions 'Third Revolution' in Life Sciences," is from AAAS News. (5/6/09). Summary: "The convergence of life sciences with physical and engineering sciences could have dramatic human benefits, MIT President Susan Hockfield said at the AAAS Forum on S&T Policy."

Humans can purposefully change their own moods. What we tell ourselves about reality is the "truth" that influences how we feel. "Self-Affirmation Can Break Cycle of Negative Thoughts," is from AAAS News (4/16/09). Summary: "Early and subtle self-affirmation exercises can have long-lasting impacts that help people to escape from perpetuating negative thoughts, researchers say in Science."

For further links on this subject see Behind the Links: About the Human Condition, Texas Tales Raise Eyebrows,

[Post date - June 15, 2009]

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