Tag Archives: humans

Robots, computers, humans

Conference explores ethical concerns as technology advances

The recent human-computer romance movie Her and the 1940s-era I, Robot series of short stories may have seemed far-fetched to audiences, but, according to philosophers who have considered the issue, similar situations may not be far in our future. (more…)

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A better grasp of primate grip

Scientists are coming to grips with the superior grasping ability of humans and other primates throughout history.

In a new study, a research team led by Yale University found that even the oldest known human ancestors may have had precision grip capabilities comparable to modern humans. This includes Australopithecus afarensis, which appears in the fossil record a million years before the first evidence of stone tools. (more…)

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Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites

In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual’s infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal’s ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success. Reported in the journal PLoS Biology, the finding could provide the groundwork for boosting the resilience of humans and livestock to infection. (more…)

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In Amazon Wars, Bands of Brothers-in-Law

How Culture Influences Violence among the Amazon’s ‘Fierce People’

When Yanomamö men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from marrying their allies’ sisters and daughters, rather than taking their victims’ land and women. (more…)

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Unlike people, monkeys aren’t fooled by expensive brands

In at least one respect, Capuchin monkeys are smarter than humans — they don’t assume a higher price tag means better quality, according to a new Yale study appearing in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.

People consistently tend to confuse the price of a good with its quality. For instance, one study showed that people think a wine labeled with an expensive price tag tastes better than the same wine labeled with a cheaper price tag. In other studies, people thought a painkiller worked better when they paid a higher price for it. (more…)

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Writer describes the ways humans are fueling ‘The Sixth Extinction’

“I see myself as a translator who translates science into a language that someone like me, a literature major, can understand,” said New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert during a recent talk on campus. “Science tends to be written in a very different language, one that non-scientists can’t relate to, a language that isn’t even English.” (more…)

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Fly’s Super-Hearing Power Could Aid Humans

AUSTIN, Texas — A team of researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has developed a tiny, low-power device that mimics a fly’s hearing mechanism.

The new device could be used to build the next generation of hypersensitive hearing aids with intelligent microphones that adaptively focus only on those conversations or sounds that are of interest to the wearer. (more…)

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