IQ tests are ‘fundamentally flawed’ and using them alone to measure intelligence is a ‘fallacy’, study finds

The idea that intelligence can be measured by IQ tests alone is a fallacy according to the largest single study into human cognition which found that it comprises of at least three distinct mental traits.

IQ tests have been used for decades to assess intelligence but they are fundamentally flawed because they do not take into account the complex nature of the human intellect and its different components, the study found.

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Posted on December 24th at 01:12:00 source

Geraldine Hamilton

It’s relatively easy to imagine a new medicine, a better cure for some disease. The hard part, though, is testing it, and that can delay promising new cures for years. In this well-explained talk, Geraldine Hamilton shows how her lab creates organs and body parts on a chip, simple structures with all the pieces essential to testing new medications — even custom cures for one specific person.

Posted on December 14th at 11:46:44

Leonardo da Vinci as Physiologist

Posted on December 3rd at 11:03:22 with 7 notes via ,

BBC Horizon: Swallowed by a Black Hole

Posted on December 1st at 19:11:17

Terrestrial microbes on the moon?

There has been a long-lived bit of Apollo moon landing folklore that now appears to be a dead-end affair: microbes on the moon.  

The lunar mystery swirls around the Apollo 12 moon landing and the return to Earth by moonwalkers of a camera that was part of an early NASA robotic lander – the Surveyor 3 probe.

On Nov. 19, 1969, Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean made a precision landing on the lunar surface in Oceanus Procellarum, Latin for the Ocean of Storms. Their touchdown point was a mere 535 feet (163 meters) from the Surveyor 3 lander — and an easy stroll to the hardware that had soft-landed on the lunar terrain years before, on April 20, 1967.

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Posted on December 1st at 19:06:34

ELIZA: a real example of a Turing test

As part of our marking the centenary of Alan Turing, mathematician, cryptanalyst, andprogenitor of computer science, we wanted to provide you with a demonstration of one of the areas in which his work has had an influence on the English language.

The Turing test, ‘a test for intelligence in a computer, requiring that a human being should be unable to distinguish the machine from another human being by using the replies to questions put to both’, is commonly regarded as the barrier which a computer program must break to be considered an artificial intelligence. Though he didn’t use the word himself to describe it, the test was set out by Turing in his 1950 paper Computing machinery and intelligence, published in the journal Mind.

Perhaps fortunately for us, no computer has yet passed a Turing test. Turing himself predicted that by the end of the 20th century computers with about 120MB of memory – a modest specification for the time as it turned out – would be able to pass the test in front of 30% of humans, but more recent predictions have that event happening a few decades hence. This has not, however, stopped researchers in the field of artificial intelligence from creating software that attempts to simulate intelligence, and we are presenting an early example of such an attempt here.

Posted on November 28th at 20:25:23

Hormones Impact Stress, Memories, Understanding Social Cues

Research demonstrates unexpected roles that sex hormones may play in the cognitive function of females, including memory and interpreting social cues. Additionally, a chemical identified in pregnant mice may provide insight into developmental disorders, such as schizophrenia. The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Other recent findings discussed show that:
  • Tamoxifen, a drug used to treat breast cancer, may protect against cognitive loss in post-menopausal women
  • Estrogens, commonly thought of as a female reproductive hormone, are produced in the brains of males and females. In songbirds, estrogen may help process auditory social cues in both sexes and visual cues in males
"Researchers are recognizing there are more differences between male and female biologies than originally thought," said press conference moderator Catherine Woolley of Northwestern University, an expert on hormones such as estrogen. "These new studies help to show how sex differences and the actions of hormones in the brain affect how we develop, respond to the environment, and how we age. Through understanding sex differences, we can improve the way biology informs medicine."
Posted on November 28th at 19:47:25 source

Birth and death of stars captured by Very Large Telescope

A new image has captured the birth and death of stars in one of our closest galactic neighbours - the Large Magellanic Cloud.

It also shows the remnants a supernova explosion caused by the death of a massive star that has run out of fuel.

Located about 163,000 light-years away, the LMC is visible with the naked eye from the Southern Hemisphere.

The detailed image was taken by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile.

Its nebulae - the thick clouds of gas around young and old stars - house active star-forming regions.

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Posted on November 28th at 19:39:00 source
Posted on November 28th at 19:35:11 with 1 note

BBC Horizon: Playing 'God'

This documentary discusses synthetic biology and the potential of science to break down nature into spare parts and then rebuilding it back up as we wish.

Posted on November 28th at 19:22:42