She and her work came much before Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish Naturalist responsible for the modern system of naming and classifying organisms, and even before Charles Darwin. And, even though she is less famous than these great scientists, Maria Sibylla Merian – a painter – contributed to Science primarily with her paintings on caterpillars in their natural environments depicting the relationships between the insects and their environment. Linnaeus used her paintings for his classification. Moreover, this seventeenth century woman was far ahead of her time: in her quest to find tiny organisms in their environment, this courageous woman – now well in her fifties – travelled to South America and funded her journey by selling her paintings. The fruit of her endeavor was perhaps her magnum opus.
Individually ants don’t make much of a difference but a colony of ants can accomplish complex tasks through simple manoeuvres. Studying these systems provides ideas/algorithms for creating complex computer networks. For example, rather than working with one expensive fire-fighting robot, a well-programmed group of cheap fire-fighting robots can get the job done well – this lesson too comes from ant colonies which can afford to lose a few individual ants and yet accomplish the larger goal. Here’s more:
If one wants help for anxiety or depression, to improve his motor skills or attention span, to get rid of his migraine or get smarter, to learn a new language quickly, or to increase confidence, he can choose to zap his brain with some electric current using a device called transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS). Users of the device/method claim that it helps them with their troubles such as relieving anxiety or assisting them to concentrate better. The author of the article sets out to investigate this “neuroscientific” trend:
And, here are some ridiculous findings:
Science is facing a problem of flawed data and flawed analysis and hence flawed results. Researchers are under pressure of being productive – churn out as many papers as possible: more the published papers, the better is the reputation of a scientist. Funds are granted on the basis of how productive a research lab is. What takes a beating in the process is science. To quicken the scientific process, data is cooked, and mediocre processes and methods are applied with the sole aim of getting result (however incorrect or badly researched it might be) as fast as possible. And, these are not the only issues plaguing science. The article talks about the problems and possible solutions.