Popular Science

Researchers John Tooby and Leda Cosmides, codirectors of the
Center for Evolutionary Psychology and professors at UCSB,
performed a study on more than 600 people that sought to identify a
“sibling detection mechanism” in the human brain that would create
a natural revulsion toward incest. Their findings
contradict Freudian theory that human sexuality stems directly from
family members. Instead, they found that positive family
interaction is triggered by behavioral cues – either seeing a
younger sibling raised from infancy or general childhood
coexistence. The study was published February 15 in the science
journal Nature.

Representative Lois Capps hosted a roundtable discussion on
stem cell research on February 20 at the Sansum
Diabetes Institute in order to educate interested parties on how
related congressional bills have fared. Though Congress passed a
bill encouraging further research into medical uses for stem cells,
President Bush vetoed the measure in July 2006. Emily Kryder,
Capps’s spokeswoman, said a two-thirds congressional majority could
overturn the veto, so Capps explained in her address how lobbying
congressmembers currently voting against stem cell research is
integral to swinging the vote in favor of it.

The Santa Barbara-based Nanoethics Group announced that its
research director, Patrick Lin, PhD has been invited to speak at a
March 8 symposium on the social impacts of
nanotechnology
, or the science of manipulating materials
on an atomic scale. The convention, which will be held in
Sacramento, is being planned by the California Environmental
Protection Agency and the Department of Toxic Substances Control.
Lin said he will present arguments for and against further research
into nanotechnology. Established in 2003, the Nanoethics Group aims
to educate people on the pros and cons of the emergent
technology.

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