A founding father of behavioral economics — a research school that has popularized the practice of “nudging” people into making decisions that authorities deem to be in their best interests — has won the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Richard Thaler, of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, received the award October 9 for being the leader of a discipline...
Earlier this year, General Electric asked a brilliant question: What if scientist Mildred Dresselhaus was treated like a celebrity? The idea, aired as a TV commercial, had many of us smiling at the possibility. In the ad, fans stop the nanoscience pioneer in the street to take selfies, a young girl receives a Dresselhaus doll as a birthday gift and a student sends a Millie emoji after acing a...
M. Ehsan Hoque, 35Computer scientistUniversity of Rochester10/04/2017 - 13:51 Computing, Technology, Psychology, Science & Society
A growing band of digital characters that converse, read faces and track body language is helping humans to communicate better with one another. While virtual helpers that perform practical tasks, such as dealing with customer service issues, are becoming ubiquitous, computer scientist M. Ehsan Hoque is at the forefront of a more...
Like anything else in life, there is a lot of luck in scientific success. Astronomers searching for new worlds have to pick the right sections of sky. Biologists cross their fingers that their cell lines will survive long enough for an experiment. Two paleontologists are excavating at a field site in Montana — both skilled, both committed. One turns up a T. rex skeleton; the other, nothing but...
For Daily Use
People in the United States who wear contact lenses share an eye-opening characteristic. Roughly 85 percent report regularly taking at least one risk when wearing or cleaning their lenses. In the Aug. 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe results from a 2016 national survey of more than 6,000 people.
Confusion over effects
No one knows whether chronic marijuana smoking causes emotional troubles or is a symptom of them.... This dearth of evidence has a number of explanations: serious lingering reactions, if they exist, occur after prolonged use, rarely after a single dose; marijuana has no known medical use, unlike LSD, so scientists have had little reason to study the drug…. Also,...
For the first time, researchers have disabled a gene in human embryos to learn about its function.
Using molecular scissors called CRISPR/Cas9, researchers made crippling cuts in the OCT4 gene, Kathy Niakan and colleagues report September 20 in Nature. The edits revealed a surprising role for the gene in the development of the placenta.
Researchers commonly delete and disable genes...
The Science Life
Craft brewers are going wild. Some of the trendiest beers on the market are intentionally brewed with yeast scavenged from nature, rather than the carefully cultivated ale or lager yeast used in most commercial beers.
Matthew Bochman is in on the action. By day, he’s a biochemist at Indiana University Bloomington who studies how cells keep their DNA intact. On the side, he can be found...
Reviews & Previews
Big ChickenMaryn McKennaNational Geographic, $27
Journalist Maryn McKenna opens Big Chicken by teasing our taste buds with a description of the succulent roasted chickens she bought at an open-air market in Paris. The birds tasted nothing like the bland, uniform chicken offered at U.S. grocery stores. This meat had an earthy, lush, animal flavor. From this tantalizing oh-so-European...
Science & the Public
Every day, it seems like there’s a new natural disaster in the headlines. Hurricane Harvey inundates Texas. Hurricane Irma plows through the Caribbean and the U.S. south, and Jose is hot on its heels. A deadly 8.1-magnitude earthquake rocks Mexico. Wildfires blanket the western United States in choking smoke.
While gripping tales of loss and heroism rightly fill the news, another story...