Thursday, 19 February 2015

Best of AAAS 2015

Last week saw the 2015 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Jose, California. As always at the AAAS meeting, there was a lot of new science and hot debate, with more than a few stories spilling over into mainstream media, like should we send a message into outer space?

Here's a run down of the more interesting stories that caught my eye, and links for you to read more since we couldn't be in sunny California. You can read more on Science, and the full programme here.

Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

Global climate change may be a hot topic in political debate, but heated exchanges between scientists on the matter rarely occur since it's an accepted fact that humans are artificially and negatively impacting the atmosphere with carbon and methane emissions. Now another solution is under discussion: scrubbing the atmosphere clean.

Using cannabis to treat more than pain

Forgoing the argument on recreational cannabis use, cannabinoid compounds have a variety of therapeutic uses - more of which are being discovered every year. A discussion at the AAAS considers that the scientific community should be more willing to explore these therapeutic uses in pain management and treating mental disorders. Read more on Science.

Development of the teenage brain

Teenagers are painted as more impulsive than adults and more likely to make poor life choices at this stage in their lives. New research reveals that teens are actually almost as good at making "executive" decisions as adults are, but their brains' desire to seek "thrill" and "reward" sensations can overrule more often than in adults.

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