Where science meets society at Emory University, through thought-provoking stories about basic science and the personalities that drive it, written for a range of readers interested in the natural world and human nature.
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The emotional appeal of facilitated communication is "very powerful and understandable," says psychologist Scott Lilienfeld. "The problem is, it doesn't work."By Carol ClarkThe communication struggles of children with autism spectrum disorder can drive parents and educators to try anything to understand their thoughts, needs and wants. Unfortunately, specialists in psychology and communication disorders do not always communicate the latest science so well.These factors make the autism community […]
Cleopatra's suicide from the bite of an asp, as depicted in an early 19th-century drama. (Image via Folger Shakespeare Library.)Why did Cleopatra choose to be bitten by a poisonous snake when she had access to any number of plant poisons to commit suicide?In the video below, Emory ethnobotanist Cassandra Quave explains how the Egyptian queen experimented before picking her poison. She also describes how the myth of Cyclops may have originated from the effects of a medicinal herb.Poison has […]
“Wherever you go, you should always pay close attention to your environment because you never know when you could come across something really cool," says Emory graduate Meredith Whitten, shown basking in the winter sun of the Bahamas.By Carol ClarkNobody knew better than Christopher Columbus that knowledge and experience, guided by luck and the right conditions, are key to making a discovery – even an accidental one. On October 12, 1492, he found what he thought was a shore of the […]
Satellite data can map waterways that harbor snails that spread schistosomiasis, and where these snail environments overlap with people.BBC Science Correspondent Jonathan Amos wrote about a session of the recent annual meeting of the AAAS on the use of satellites to track infectious diseases, such as those spread by water snails. Below is an excerpt of his article:"It is not possible, of course, to see individual snails from orbit, but specialists will have a very good idea of where these […]
Thermophiles, a type of extremophile, produce some of the bright colors of grand Prismatic Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Extremophiles may provide clues about how life formed in the extreme environmental conditions of early Earth. (Photo by Jim Peaco, National Park Service.)Emily Conover attended the session at the recent annual meeting of the AAAS on "Searching for Alternative Chemistries of Life," co-organized by Emory chemist David Lynn. She wrote about the session's panel […]
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