Premium Science & Questions on Humanity, in Our Picks of the Week

[9 – 13 June 2014] The editors’ note about your science week

What can we consider human? What make us differ from robots or animals? What originally made us become human? Does human necessarily mean humane? The least we can say is that the news this week are dealing a lot with humanity and make an excellent food for thoughts. Feed on, simple humans, and let us lead you to our picks of the week!

What can we consider human? What make us differ from robots or animals? What originally made us become human? Does human necessarily mean humane? The least we can say is that the news this week are dealing a lot with humanity and make an excellent food for thoughts. Feed on, simple humans, and let us lead you to our picks of the week!

Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

On the MyScienceWork Menu:

 

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Another not-so-small step for science is to take place on June 18th to 20th in AXA headquarters in Paris: the AXA Pop Days. Organized by the AXA Research Fund, this event will be the occasion for young researchers of many nationalities to learn how to communicate their science to citizens.

Connect Your Science with Society, at AXA Pop Days

 

Some favorites from around the web:

 

We promised you humanity. But before humanity, there was the Earth, the Earth and the Moon. These two big ladies might actually be even older than previously thought, by about 60 million years.

Earth and the Moon are 60 Million Years Older Than Previously Thought

 

Apparently, we humans were not really well raised as children since we do not show these old ladies the respect they surely deserve. Proof is: we generate so much trash that a new rock has comes out of it: plastiglomerate.

Pollution forms a new kind of rock, “plastiglomerate”

 

No wonder that we are no more than little punks: we, or at least our faces, may apparently have evolved for fighting.

Human Faces May Have Evolved to Take a Punch

 

Fortunately enough, we have changed since the time we used to punch one another for any reason (or have we?), but we might be taking it a bit too far in the game of becoming superhuman. Researchers in Pittsburgh have begun a clinical trial consisting in killing a patient to save his/her life. No, there is no mention of a Dr Frankenstein in the team.

Killing a Patient to Save His Life

 

Here is another piece of news which is not going to put an end to the myth of crazy scientists. Researchers have created a deadly virus very similar to the Spanish flu, stirring up much debate. Still no mention of a Dr Frankenstein.

Scientists condemn 'crazy, dangerous' creation of deadly airborne flu virus

 

Maybe you think that what makes you more human than all those crazy-as-hell people are your feelings, emo kid. Let me tell you that you are wrong: it is just making you more animal. Yes, there are things you regret in your life. Bad choices and all, we all know that song. But if rats could sing, they may sing it too!

Like Humans, Rats Experience Regret, Study Suggests

 

But – said the emo kid – what of all our sophisticated cognitive activity and speech? Isn’t it what makes us different from the other animals? Indeed - the anonymous narrator answered – but maybe then it makes us closer to computers and software. Then, the emo kid started to cry. Don’t fret, young thing – said the narrator – although the Turing test has allegedly been passed by a computer program, this is not official.

Claims that the Turing test has been passed are nonsense

 

I know that your feelings have been quite hurt already but here are more bad news for science fans: this is the end of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”. But it ended on a high note, with a call for devotion to science.

‘Cosmos’ closes with a tough call for faith in science