04 September, 2019 – Episode 737 – Ethics and the Brain


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What is in the This Week in Science Podcast?

Interview w/ Dr. Veljko Dubljevic, Ancient Magma Oceans, 8th Grade Smarty Computer, Ancient Lake, Adventures in Jellyfishing, Squirrel Busy Bodies, Crystalline Nets, Cornea Transplant, Long Beautiful Hair, Super Fast Snail, And Much More…

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Throughout the history of humanity
Humans have been attempting to answer one question with only modest result
What are we?
And while the obvious answer these days is that we are upright bipedal mostly hairless apes,
With greater than usual blood flow to a larger than obvious brain…
The original questioning of what we are lingers still
And in our current age of medical technology we have new ways of answering these questions
You can loses a limb and have a prosthetic replacement
A failed heart, liver, lung or kidney? Transplants are available.
Lacking a gene here or there that’s causing an ailment?
A medication may supplement you.
The human anatomy can largely be considered as parts…
Interchangeable, exchangeable and more and more often replaceable…
There is however one part that we would hesitate to replace even if we needed to
Our brain.
For a full brain replacement would essentially be an “us” replacement
So important is your brain, that each week we find something interesting to think about
Here on this week in Science.
Coming Up Next…

First up, an interview with Dr. Veljko Dubljevic!

Veljko Dubljevic Ph.D.,D.Phil., is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and affiliate of the Science, Technology and Society program at North Carolina State University. Veljko’s research focuses on ethics of neuroscience and technology, and neuroscience of ethics. He has recently published Neuroethics, Justice and Autonomy: Public Reason in the Cognitive Enhancement Debate, the first book to address a political approach to neuroethics.

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NOAA Weather. Weather alerts are so necessary. I have a generator, bottled water and batteries. We have power trucks ready to spring into action. We have shelters to go to if the weather gets really bad. Our county is providing free sand bags. Can’t imagine experiencing a hurricane with no science!
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Check out the BIG science news stories of the week!

Ancient Magma Oceans
Did magma oceans lead to an oxygen-rich mantle in the early Earth?

8th Grade Smarty Computer
The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence has developed an AI called Aristo that finally passed 8th grade. It’s been trying to pass the test for several years, but recent advances in natural language processing and cognitive reasoning allowed it to score better than 90% on a science test geared toward 8th grade level knowledge.

Ancient Lake
It’s taking us back 1.3 million years…

And, now it’s time for Blair’s Animal Corner!… with Blair!

Adventures in Jellyfishing
A new soft technology that can only be descirbed as long fettucini fingers and a silicone palm can change the game for people who study these pelagic pals!

Squirrel busy bodies
Squirrels listen to bird songs to see if the coast is clear. This brings a whole new meaning to eavesdropping!

Now, let’s continue with more SCIENCE NEWS!…

Crystalline Nets
Water capture from the air is potentially becoming cheaper and easier thanks to chemistry and molecular cages.

Cornea Transplant
A Japanese woman is the first in the world to receive a corneal transplant of iPS cells. Apparently, all is progressing well.

Removal of pubic hair wont give you an STD
So, let’s just let that myth go.

Super Fast Snail – the ultimate oxymoron?
Nope, just a deadly cone snail, being super fast, for no apparent reason…

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