Monthly Archives: Kolovoz 2011

Bioethics Forum blog – Boy or Girl? Down Syndrome? What to Expect When You’re Testing

Što donose novi testovi trudnica preko majčine krvi? Bioethics Forum blog – Boy or Girl? Down Syndrome? What to Expect When You’re Testing.

Još jednom – sažetak prošlog posta…

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London riots: Why are Britons rioting? – By Anne Applebaum – Slate Magazine

London riots: Why are Britons rioting? – By Anne Applebaum – Slate Magazine.

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Schumpeter: Think different | The Economist

Schumpeter: Think different | The Economist.

Izvrsna recenzija dvaju knjiga Claya Christensena s Harvarda – “Innovator’s Dilemma” i “Innovator’s DNA”, ali nadilazi format recenzije. Ovo bacam kao rukavicu svima onima koji se zalažu za jače državno financiranje znanosti (i tzv. “fundamentalnih” – za razliku valjda od “efemernih” istraživanja)…

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Raw materials: The revenge of Malthus | The Economist

Raw materials: The revenge of Malthus | The Economist.

Maltuzijanci v. “kornukopijanci” – iz perspektive 2011. Sedamdesetih godina Paul Ehrlich i Julian Simon kladili su se da se Ehrlichova crna predviđanja budućnosti, tj. rastu cijena osnovnih dobara, neće ostvariti. (Epizoda se inače prepričava u knjizi Invisible Gorilla…) Bila je to glatka pobjeda Simona i “kornukopijanaca” (danas bi rekli – globalista). Economist međutim kaže da je to bio loš timing za Ehrlicha i da bi se “oklada” drukčije završila kada bismo je pomaknuli prema 2010…

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Economics focus: Why the tail wags the dog | The Economist

Economics focus: Why the tail wags the dog | The Economist.

Emerging economies scored another first last year by attracting over half of all inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI). Foreign firms are increasingly lured by these countries’ fast-growing domestic markets as much as lower wages. Their share of outward FDI was a more modest 29% but it is rising rapidly, thanks partly to China’s ample financial resources and its need for raw materials. Commodity consumption is where emerging economies really dominate the world: they consume 60% of the world’s energy, 65% of all copper and 75% of all steel. Yet there is plenty of room for growth. Emerging markets use 55% of the world’s oil but average oil consumption per person is still less than one-fifth of that in the rich world.

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Drive to Impress Females Pushes Males Toward Early Graves | LinkedIn

Drive to Impress Females Pushes Males Toward Early Graves | LinkedIn.

While the findings do support an evolutionary trend toward sacrificing long-term health for short-term benefit, “Another possibility is that there’s more than one way to have a successful reproductive life, by playing either the short or the long game,” said Preston. “It’s possible that less gaudy males enjoy more limited reproductive success but do so over a longer period of time.”

Reproductive imperatives and metabolic consequences might follow the same rules in Houbara bustards as in humans, among whom female life expectancy tends to be significantly longer.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes: a review of brain-boosting research. – By Torie Bosch – Slate Magazine

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: a review of brain-boosting research. – By Torie Bosch – Slate Magazine.

So I wondered: What kind of neuroenhancers are actually in the real-world pipeline right now? Not many. Scientists with a knack for brain chemistry tend to focus on treatments for illnesses like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and stroke, rather than on just-for-kicks enhancements.

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Sex selection in the United States: The ethical dilemmas for doctors. – By Sunita Puri – Slate Magazine

Sex selection in the United States: The ethical dilemmas for doctors. – By Sunita Puri – Slate Magazine.

Unlike their Chinese and Indian counterparts, who cannot legally offer sex selection, American doctors are left to decide on a case-by-case basis whether to perform these procedures, without any consistent ethical guidelines. The reasons American women undergo them are complex, from situations that don’t seem particularly troubling (the upper-middle-class woman who wants a daughter to “balance out” her three boys) to those that are deeply concerning (the immigrant woman who wants a son to avoid emotional abuse by her in-laws).

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Why Tyrants Love the Murdoch Scandal – NYTimes.com

Why Tyrants Love the Murdoch Scandal – NYTimes.com.

Thus Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, who is trying to salvage a career fueled in part by Murdoch’s support, has given comfort to tyrants everywhere by proposing to constrain a press that is already hemmed in by draconian libel laws and an official secrets act. Visiting Nigeria — which, to its credit, recently emulated the good side of Great Britain by passing a freedom of information act — the prime minister called for some kind of “independent” press regulator to deal with abuses like phone hacking. There is another, less drastic option, of course: simply getting the police to enforce existing laws.

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Fooled by Science by H. Allen Orr | The New York Review of Books

Fooled by Science by H. Allen Orr | The New York Review of Books.

you might expect The Social Animal to be a dry recitation of facts. But Brooks has structured his book in an unorthodox, and perhaps unfortunate, way. Instead of a chapter on evolutionary psychology, followed by one on child development, and so on, he tells a story. Following Rousseau’s approach in Émile, Brooks makes his larger points within a fictional narrative. This literary conceit is presumably intended both to keep the reader’s attention and to provide a natural frame for all the research that Brooks reports. So as the characters in his narrative live through childhood, we hear about the science of child development, and as they begin to date we hear about the biochemistry of sexual attraction. Nothing if not thorough, Brooks carries this conceit through to the death of one of his characters.Although Brooks’s scientific message is frustratingly unfocused, he emphasizes that the new sciences of human nature have revealed, among other things, the importance of the unconscious. Indeed “the central evolutionary truth is that the unconscious matters most.”

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