Science & Technology

When will I be able to upload my brain to a computer?

We don’t know how much information the human brain can store. agsandrew/Shutterstock Guillaume Thierry, Bangor University READER QUESTION: I am 59 years old, and in reasonably good health. Is it possible that I will live long enough to put my brain into a computer? Richard Dixon. We often imagine that human consciousness is as simple as input and output of …

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Decisive people don’t make better decisions – new research

Shutterstock Wojciech Zajkowski, Cardiff University I’ve always been an indecisive person. What to wear, which menu item to pick, when to do house chores; always thinking through scenarios before committing to even the most trivial of choices. If this sounds like you, you’re certainly not unusual: many people struggle with these issues. Our new research may not be able to …

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Psychedelics: how they act on the brain to relieve depression

The evidence is mounting for the effectiveness of psilocybin in treating depression. Cannabis_Pic/Shutterstock Clare Tweedy, University of Leeds Up to 30% of people with depression don’t respond to treatment with antidepressants. This may be down to differences in biology between patients and the fact that it often takes a long time to respond to the drugs – with some people …

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Are you a bully without even knowing it? Here’s how to tell

Ollyy/Shutterstock Chantal Gautier, University of Westminster From the playground to parliament, bullying exists everywhere. In fact, a recent report into bullying in the UK’s parliament revealed just how serious this problem is, urging behavioural change among MPs. But why is bullying so widespread and difficult to tackle? Part of the problem is that bullies sometimes don’t even realise that they …

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The standard model of particle physics may be broken – an expert explains

The storage-ring magnet for the Muon G-2 experiment at Fermilab. Reidar Hahn/wikipedia, CC BY-SA Roger Jones, Lancaster University As a physicist working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is “When are you going to find something?”. Resisting the temptation to sarcastically reply “Aside from the Higgs boson, which won …

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Gambling: what happens in the brain when we get hooked – and how to regain control

The brains of gambling addicts activate in specific ways. GoodIdeas/Shutterstock Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian, University of Cambridge; Christelle Langley, University of Cambridge; Henrietta Bowden-Jones, University of Cambridge, and Sam Chamberlain, University of Southampton Many people turned to online gambling during the pandemic. And while a large proportion of us are able to gamble recreationally, without serious negative impact, the pandemic has …

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How ancient plants ‘learnt’ to use water when they moved on to land – new research

Focal point/Shutterstock Alexander Bowles, University of Bristol “Plants, whether they are enormous, or microscopic, are the basis of all life including ourselves.” This was David Attenborough’s introduction to The Green Planet, the latest BBC natural history series. Over the last 500 million years, plants have become interwoven into every aspect of our lives. Plants support all other life on Earth …

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