Quantum war, cancer research and other science stories of the week

Welcome to your weekly science update – a curated list of this week’s most interesting stories in science.

The state of cancer research. Departing thoughts from the outgoing Director of the US National Cancer Institute on cancer research and the need to take risks trying to solve the really big questions.

Human enhancement. A battery-free exoskeleton boot reduces the energetic cost of walking by 7%.

Precision Medicine Expert Panel. The US National Institutes of Health announced the expert panel tasked with designing President Obama’s $215m Precision Medicine Initiative. The initiative will drive forward medical applications from today’s cutting edge genomics research.

Genomic tipping point. A timely op-ed likens genomics today and the internet circa 1994, we are just waiting for that “killer app.”

Brain Inequality. A study shows a relationship between socioeconomic status and the size of your brain.

Economic Inequality is worse than we think. Useful review of studies shows how difficult it is for people to actually wrap their heads around the massive scale of income inequality today.

Do you have the emotional intelligence of a rat? Rats get a bad rap, but a study published this week shows that rats can read facial expressions and body language of other rats, raising questions about the ethics of using rats in research. Don’t forget we learned in 2014 that rats also show empathy and do what they can to help other rats, friends and strangers alike, (even though they may be a little racist at first).

The dark side of genius. A study finds that common but misguided perceptions around “brilliance” or innate special talents may be what’s keeping many women from pursuing science.

Meanwhile, maybe it’s time to shut up about Marie Curie. Op-ed argues there are plenty more science heroines to choose from, but we ignore so many great women scientists.

Quantum war. Physicists and political scientists come together to reflect on the entanglement of quantum physics and our means of waging war in Einstein’s day and what it means for our near future.

Speaking of entanglement. Researchers have smashed a record entangling over 3,000 atoms together with implications for the future of GPS.

But what is quantum entanglement anyway? This video does a great job of explaining an effect which Einstein called “spooky”

ICYMI – DNA hacking controversy. Looking back over March, one of the most interesting though perhaps under-reported developments involved our ability to edit genomes and create mutated species and the debates this has sparked within the scientific community.

Author: David Gleicher is Senior Programme Manager, Science and Technology, at the World Economic Forum.

Image: Sample analysis tubes are seen in a lab at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Leave a Reply