Science Really Wants Your Data
Science wants your data! More specifically, Eric Dishman, the director of the National Institutes of Health’s All of US research program is trying to convince at least one million of Americans to donate their sensitive personal information to science. From electronic medical records to genetic data and residence history.
Eric Dishman has one goal and that is to build a database that can help scientists to make a connection between how and why people are affected by a disease and what biographical and medical differences they might have. This type of information can lead to more personalized treatments. Basically, this would be a great database of data donors which could be helpful to an expert. However, participating in any research carries a lot of risks, especially when the data is so interconnected. From the other side, data donation is definitely in high demand, and as any other donation, it can help health experts while conducting research, finding a connection between diseases and medical history and finding the best approach to a patient.
There are many similar platforms, from OurDataHelps where donors can share their social media for suicide prevention research. Or the app called Bitmark that presents a great connection between donors and researchers. A private company, Dateva is petitioning governments to make it mandatory for any healthcare organization to share their data for research. Needless to say, many are skeptic and not willing to share their personal medical history even when the goal sounds noble and helpful to society.
Ancient Deer Skeleton May Reveal How Neanderthals Hunted for Prey
The deer was approximately six years old when it died almost 120, 000 years ago on a lake shore in Germany, Europe. The skeleton of the deer was recovered by archaeologists who realized that the skeleton belongs to an extinct type of deer, not a deer that we see today.
The whole in its skeleton doesn’t look like it came from a fight with another deer or some other predator. The particular injury observed on the deer is a mark made by a human-made tool during a hunt.
The only known species of humans at that particular time in Germany were Neanderthals. Archaeologists have found ancient spears in the United Kingdom and Germany, but they were not sure how hunters used them. There are a few options. Maybe hunters throw them at the prey from a long distance or they catch the animal and stab them at a closer range. Scientists have recreated a spear used by Neanderthals in Germany 300,000 years ago which could have been used in attacking the deer. They found out that this kind of injury could not be made by throwing the spear. It’s more probable that they had to kill the animal from close range which gives us information on how Neanderthals hunted 120,000 years ago. What does this tell us? It gives us information that hunters had to organize in order to ambush the animal. Neanderthals had to cooperate to take down their pray adding complex social behavior to their capabilities and intelligence.
Scientist Have Found 1000 Genes Associated with Intelligence
Speaking about intelligence, scientists have recently found more than 1000 genes connected with intelligence, a capability that is common and unique to humans.
Brain, behavior, emotions, and intelligence have been complex notions that are hard to explain. However, researchers have identified 1016 genes associated with intelligence which were unknown to science before. An international team of researchers has conducted a large-scale genetic study of intelligence and they have expanded our understanding of genetic bases when it comes to cognitive functions.
The lead researcher of the study said:
“These results are important for understanding the biological underpinnings of cognitive functioning and contribute to an understanding of related neurological and psychiatric disorders.”
According to the team, it may take some time to fully understand the implication of the research. However, now they have a good base of discovering the potential of the brain and its direct connection with different emotions, psychological states of mind and cognitive processes that we all share.