The 10 best science blog posts of 2021

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From the evolution of consciousness to cosmic encounters, from the Brain Health Gap to palliative medicine, 2021 has been a year rich in discoveries in all scientific disciplines. On the OUPblog, we’ve posted blog posts featuring the latest research and ideas from our expert authors to the press. Make sure you’re up to date with the best of science in 2021 with our top 10 blog posts of the year:

1. Why did evolution create conscious states of mind?

“When we open our eyes in the morning, we take it for granted that we will consciously see the world in all its dazzling variety. The immediacy of our conscious experiences, however, does not explain how we consciously see.

Read the blog post from Stephen Grossberg, author of Conscious mind, resonant brain: how each brain makes a mind, to learn how and why we have evolved to consciously see.

Read the blog article ->

2. The neurosciences of human consciousness

How can studying the human brain help us unravel the mysteries of life? To go further, how can a better understanding of the brain help us fight debilitating illnesses or treat mental illnesses?

In this episode of The Oxford Comment, we focused on human consciousness and how studying the neurological bases of human cognition can lead not only to better health, but also to a better understanding of culture, of human language and society.

Listen to Episode 63 on The Oxford Comment ->

3.10 books on palliative medicine and end-of-life care

Each year, an estimated 40 million people need palliative care, 78% of whom live in low- and middle-income countries. This reading list of recent titles can help you think about palliative medicine as a public health need.

Explore the playlist ->

4. Can What We Eat Affect the Brain?

Food plays an important role in the performance and health of the brain. In general, the old adage “a healthy mind in a healthy body” is still very valid, and the overall positive results on cognitive abilities of whole diets can be summed up as: “what is good for your heart is also good for your heart. your brain.”

This blog post by journal co-author Bo Ekstrand discusses the role of diet in key areas of brain development and health from the findings published in the journal. Nutritional advice.

Read the blog article ->

5. What can neuroscience tell us about the mind of a serial killer?

Change of mind

Serial killers, people who kill others repeatedly, cause disgust but also a certain fascination in the general public. But what can modern psychology and neuroscience tell us about what might be going on in the minds of such individuals?

Read the blog post from John Parrington, author of Mind Shift: How culture transformed the human brain, to learn more about recent neuroscientific studies investigating the minds of serial killers.

Read the blog article ->

6. Does “overeating” cause obesity? The evidence is less complete

The usual way of thinking sees obesity as a problem of energy balance. Eat more calories than you spend – in other words, “overeating” – and the result will inevitably be weight gain. The simple solution, according to the current energy balance model (EBM), is to eat less and move more. New research shows that viewing bodyweight control as a problem with energy balance is fundamentally wrong, or at least unnecessary, for three reasons.

Find out about the three reasons in this blog post by David S. Ludwig, co-author of new research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Read the blog article ->

7. The Roaring Twenties of the Earth: the Creative Destruction of Cosmic Encounters

Unlike common sense, cosmic collisions aren’t just about destruction and death. It seems entirely possible that the collisions were beneficial to the development of conditions conducive to the formation of the first organisms – our distant relatives – on Earth. What do we know about these first cosmic catastrophes?

Learn about the myriad challenges facing the search for the first cosmic events by reading the blog post from Simone Marchi, author of Worlds in Collision: How Cosmic Encounters Shaped Planets and Life.

Read the blog article ->

8. What if COVID-19 emerged in 1719?

We are often told that the situation created by the attack of the new coronavirus is “unique” and “unprecedented”. And yet, at the same time, scientists assure us that the emergence of new viruses is “natural” – that viruses are always mutating or scavenging and losing pieces of DNA. But if deadly new viruses have appeared time and again throughout human history, why has dealing with this one been such a struggle?

In this blog post, Lesley Newson and Peter Richerson, authors of A Story of Us: A New Look at Human Evolution, think about what makes our ‘cultural DNA’ unique and how very different the story of COVID-19 would have been had it emerged 300 years ago.

Read the blog article ->

9. Closing the Brain Health Gap: Addressing Women’s Inequalities

There is a clear gender and gender gap in outcomes for lifelong brain health disorders, with extremely negative outcomes for women. The “Brain Health Gap” highlights and frames inequalities across all areas of the translational spectrum, from bench to bedside and boardroom to politics and economics.

Read the blog post to find out how closing the brain health gap will help economies recover and prepare our systems for future global shocks.

Read the blog article ->

10. The arguments in favor of a reorientation of the three paradigms of basic astrophysics

A long-standing misunderstanding about stellar luminosity is being corrected, thanks to a new study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society based on resolution B2 of the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU ).

Read the main findings from this blog post by Zeki Eker, lead author of the study published in Monthly notices from the Royal Astronomical Society.

Read the blog article ->

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