This video perfectly explains why CRISPR really will change the world forever.

We’ve heard a lot about genetic engineering over the past two decades – and, lately there’s been even more hype about a new molecular tool called CRISPR, which acts like a cut-and-paste tool for our DNA.

Watch the video. URL:

But what many of us don’t realise is that, after years of talking about it, we’re on the verge of a major change for society – one where we can edit genes as easily as we give medication today.

As the latest episode of Kurzgesagt so brilliantly explains, just like no one in the ’80s believed computers would ever take over everything, most of us today don’t really think that genetic editing won’t change everything.

And we’re wrong, because of CRISPR.

So what exactly is CRISPR? After all, humans have been genetically engineering other species for millennia, by breeding food and pets to have more of the traits we like, and less of the traits we don’t.

Once we discovered DNA, we’ve been figuring out ways to tinker with this process on the back end, too.

Fast forward a few years, and we have genetically engineered mice, genetically engineered humans, and, of course, genetically engineered food.

But while genetic engineering has played an important role in medicine, the existing techniques available up until now have been expensive, slow, and incredibly complicated.

Now, that’s all changing. Thanks to CRISPR, the costs of genetic engineering have shrunk by 99 percent basically overnight, Kurzgesagt reports.

Although we’re now using CRISPR in humans and other animals, the system was originally found inside bacteria – where it’s used as a genetic weapon to stop bacteria being infected by viruses (yes, even microbes get infected, too).

As the video above explains much more beautifully than we can, after a virus has infected a bacteria once, the bacteria keeps a little portion of its DNA locked in a genetic archive called CRISPR.

If it ever gets infected again, this viral DNA is turned into RNA, and is fed into a secret weapon called Cas 9 – an enzyme that hunts down any DNA that matches the one in the archive, and then expertly cuts it out of the bacteria.

“It’s almost like a DNA surgeon,” Kurzgesagt explains.

So far, so good. But a few years ago, scientists discovered that the CRISPR system is actually programmable, which means that you can tell it any piece of DNA you want removed, put the system into a living cell, and it’ll cut that DNA right out of the genome.

Researchers are already using CRISPR to treat disease in animal models, and, as of this month, in humans.

But what we see happening now is – just like the supercomputers of the ’80s – nothing compared to what’s coming. And that’s not just hype.

To fully comprehend exactly what a future with CRISPR might look like, how the system works, and what it all means, you really need to check out the video above, because it’s not only fascinating, it’s also incredibly important.

What we will say, without giving too much away, is that, if the idea of designer babies makes you uncomfortable, then get ready, because that’s a world we’re already living in.

Here’s why you get car sick: your brain thinks it’s being poisoned.

Nothing spoils a nice drive like the creeping feeling of car sickness, but don’t get too mad – this queasiness could actually be an indication that your brain is working as it should be… sort of.

Recent research has found that car sickness could be the result of your brain responding to what it thinks is a sudden bout of poisoning.


No, the guy in the passenger seat didn’t put something in your coffee – scientists have suggested that when you’re in a car, your brain is getting conflicting messages about your immediate environment, similar to when you’ve been poisoned. And we all know that throwing up is the easiest way to flush any neurotoxins or poisons out of your system.

So what’s going on here, and why are our brains so confused?

Experts think that car sickness (or any kind of similar motion sickness) is brought on because humans have only recently started travelling in things like cars, buses, and boats, and our brains haven’t fully adapted yet.

Despite the fact that we’re travelling in a moving car, bus, or boat, the majority of our senses are still telling us that our bodies are stationery – and of course, your body is technically stationary when you’re sitting in the back seat of a car.

At the same time, your brain also knows you’re moving forward at a certain speed because of the balance sensors – little tubes of fluid – in your inner ear.

The liquid in these tubes is sloshing around, indicating that you’re moving, but in reality you’re sitting still. Your brain’s getting some seriously mixed messages.

It’s the job of the thalamus to piece together this info and figure out what’s truly going on, but it often comes to the conclusion that poisons are to blame, which is why you’ll sometimes have to stop at the side of the road to puke.

“As soon as the brain gets confused by anything like that, it says, oh, I don’t know what to do, so just be sick, just in case,” neuroscientist Dean Burnett from Cardiff University in the UK explains to Melissa Dahl at Science of Us. “And as a result, we get motion sickness because the brain’s constantly worried about being poisoned.”

Staring out of the window can actually help, because it reassures the brain that you are in fact moving and all is well. Reading a book or a map often makes matters worse, because it convinces the brain that you really are stationary and not speeding through space.

Being the driver helps too, because there’s much more visual evidence available to the brain that you are genuinely on the move, and as an added bonus, you’re the one in control of the movement. You’re probably not being poisoned, in other words.

What scientists aren’t certain about is why it affects some of us and not others, or why some people ‘grow out’ of car sickness. It’s possibly just the luck of the evolutionary draw.

A 2013 study found that those with more ‘body sway’ – people whose bodies naturally move more often, even when stationary – were more likely to get sea sick. It might be that susceptible people just move differently in general, the study concluded.

Meanwhile, researchers continue to look for a cure to the ailment that’s spoiled the start of many a family holiday. Based on what we know so far, listening to your favourite music can help some of the time, as can eating a light meal high in protein before the trip (it apparently helps to calm your stomach).

Asking the driver to pull over so you can throw up is never fun – but at least now you can explain some of the science behind your car sickness.

FDA Approves Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Combat Zika in Florida 

Amid news of a Zika outbreak in the Miami area, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM) has cleared the experimental release of genetically modified (GMO) mosquitoes in the Florida Keys to help combat the virus.

The agency also concluded that the proposed field trial “will not have significant impacts on the environment”—on the food chain, for instance—after considering thousands of public comments.

Oxitec is calling for a release of thousands of its GMO mosquitoes in the Florida Keys to combat the Zika virus.Oxitec Twitter

The purpose of the investigational trial is to determine the efficacy of Oxitec’s GMO mosquitoes for the control of the local population of Aedes aegypti in Key Haven, a small community about a mile east of Key West. County residents will vote this November on whether or not to allow the field tests to proceed.

The mosquitoes in question were created by Oxitec, a UK-based biotech firm that specializes in insect control. Pending approval, Oxitec will release its “self-limiting OX513A Aedes aegypti,” a male GMO mosquito that does not bite or spread disease, to mate with wild female Aedes aegypti, the primary vector that carries the Zika virus. The lab insects carry a gene that’s fatal to offspring, meaning the local population will dwindle over time at the release site.

“We’ve been developing this approach for many years, and from these results we are convinced that our solution is both highly effective and has sound environmental credentials,” Oxitec’s CEO Hadyn Parry said. “We’re delighted with the announcement today [on Aug. 5] that the FDA, after their extensive review of our dossier and thousands of public comments for a trial in the Florida Keys, have published their final view that this will not have a significant impact on the environment. We are now looking forward to working with the community in the Florida Keys moving forward.”

Parry estimated to the Guardian that 20 to 100 mosquitoes per person will be released on the island.

Prior efficacy trials in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands reduced the Aedes aegyptipopulation by more than 90 percent—”an exceptional level of control compared to conventional methods, such as insecticides,” Oxitec said.

As The Verge noted, Oxitec’s rate is much more successful compared to efforts by the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District. The program, which utilizes conventional control methods such as pesticides sprayed from trucks and planes and mosquito traps, reduced mosquito populations by 30 to 60 percent.

Oxitec’s trial in Florida will run for between six and 22 months.

“Oxitec is responsible for ensuring all other local, state, and federal requirements are met before conducting the proposed field trial, and, together with its local partner, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, to determine whether and when to begin the proposed field trial in Key Haven, Florida,” the FDA said.

The FDA also said that its decision to approve Oxitec’s Florida field trials does not mean the GMO mosquitoes are approved for commercial use.

The Zika virus has spread with alarming speed throughout South and Central America. The island of Puerto Rico has more than 8,000 confirmed cases of Zika with officials estimating that cases will skyrocket. The state of Florida now has 422 cases—more than any other state in the nation, asPOLITICO pointed out.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly, a rare neurological condition which leads to abnormal brain development in babies. The World Health Organization has declared the situation an international public health emergency.

Scientists have suspected that climate change is exacerbating the problem of longer mosquito-active seasons. As the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote:

A new analysis by Climate Central highlights that the number of days hot and humid enough for mosquitoes to be active and biting has increased in many big U.S. cities—and climate change will further increase those numbers, in most locations. In their analysis, the ten cities with the biggest increase in the length of the mosquito season over the last 30 years were: Baltimore, Maryland; Durham, North Carolina; Minneapolis; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina; Portland, Maine; St. Louis; Pittsburgh; Worcester, Massachusetts ; and Albany, New York. These cities cover a huge swath of the eastern U.S. Nationwide, 76 percent of major cities have seen their mosquito season get longer over that time.

This adds a whole other dimension to the public health challenges of Zika: climate change could make more areas of the U.S. more susceptible to this and other mosquito-borne pathogens in the future. Increased heat, disrupted precipitation patterns and higher humidity can allow mosquitoes to thrive in new places, as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported in our Fever Pitch report about dengue fever, another infectious viral disease that can be carried by the same two Aedes mosquito species. Warmer temperatures enable mosquitoes to develop more quickly and to incubate viruses that can infect people faster. Thus, climate change can hasten the spread of many infectious diseases, including Zika.

Besides Zika, the Aedes aegypti transmits other viruses such as dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.

Critics are voicing concerns over the Florida GMO mosquito project. A release from Common Dreams highlighted Oxitec’s connection to its parent company, Intrexon, which produces non-browning Arctic apples and fast-growing AquaBounty salmon—two highly controversial GMO food products.

Some public health advocates have also pointed out that the long-term environmental effects of GMO mosquitoes are unknown.

“Releasing GMO mosquitoes into the environment without long term environmental impact studies is irresponsible and frightening,” Zen Honeycutt, director of the anti-GMO group Moms Across America, said in reaction to the FDA’s decision. “What about the creatures who eat the mosquitoes and all the life forms up the food chain? The impact could be irreversible … Allowing uncontrollable genetically altered life forms into the wild is not justified.”

A petition, signed by nearly 170,000 people, has called on government officials to reject Oxitec’s trial involving “mutant mosquitoes,” the petition states.

Study Shows That Living Near Water Is Linked to Better Mental Health.

For many people, the crashing ocean waves are a way to unwind and more importantly, relieve stress. Being on the water makes you feel good, and it’s now backed by science. According to a report published by the journal Health & Place, living near a shoreline is good for your well being—even if you live in a bustling urban environment.

The authors of article were specifically interested in studying how water (blue space) affects those in cities—does it actually reduce stress? To find the answer, they focused their research on Wellington, New Zealand, a city with nearly half a million residents. They pulled topographic information from national databases and mapped forested areas, parks, and coastlines that are visible to people. Then, they looked to a 2011/2012 survey that questioned health, lifestyle, and other factors of the Wellington citizens. Afterwards, they combined the two sets of data.

“Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress,” Amber L. Pearson, one of the report’s authors, concluded in a press release. “However, we did not find that with green space.” These finding were regardless of sex, wealth, age, and other neighborhood factors such as crime.

Before you plan on moving to open water, however, unrefined green space could be just as beneficial. “It could be because the blue space was all natural, while the green space included human-made areas, such as sports fields and playgrounds, as well as natural areas such as native forests,” Pearson explained. “Perhaps if we only looked at native forests we might find something different.”


The US Air Force wants to detonate plasma bombs in the sky

Radio communication is a weak point for most military operations — it is often not long enough or strong enough to adequately meet soldiers’ needs.

The U.S. Air Force’s “go big or gohome” solution to improve their long-distance calls? Supercharge the atmosphere by detonating aerial plasma bombs attached to tiny satellites, reports New Scientist.

This undated artist rendering provided by NASA shows the Jason-3 satellite. The latest in a series of U.S.-European satellites designed to detect ocean events like El Nino is scheduled for launch Sunday, Jan. 17,  from California. If successful, the Jason 3 satellite will continue more than two decades of sea level measurements. (NASA via AP)

The Air Force is asking for help in developing plasma bombs, which would be delivered to the atmosphere by tiny cube satellites and then detonated to release ions upon arrival.

The Air Force is working with several research teams, each of which is tasked with coming up with their own design for the plasma bombs. The first stage of the project is theoretical, requiring researchers to come up with an atmospheric plasma delivery method.

Selected researchers then will be invited to test their proposal in a vacuum chamber simulator and eventually on exploratory flights.

One team, comprised of researchers from Drexel University and General Sciences, is developing a controlled bomb that uses a chemical reaction to heat a piece of metal beyond its boiling point. Once vaporized, the metal will react with atmospheric oxygen to create the ionized plasma.

Another proposal under development by researchers from the University of Maryland and Enig Associates also uses vaporized metals to supercharge the atmosphere.

This proposal is much more explosive, though, using mini-detonations to heat pieces of metal rapidly, causing them to vaporize. The amount of plasma produced in this latter reaction can be controlled by changing the intensity and form of the explosion.

Though using plasma bombs may be unconventional and even controversial, the science behind the Air Force’s plan is sound. By releasing plasma bombs into the atmosphere, the Air Force would increase the quantity of ions in the layer of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere, which starts at an altitude of approximately 60 kilometers. Radio waves interact with this layer when they travel, so modifying it can have a significant effect on radio communications.

plasma rocket mars concept nasa

Radio signals released by a ground source travel upward until they hit the ionosphere and bounce back to earth in a zigzag pattern.

Radio waves that bounce between the ionosphere and ground are able to travel longer distances. This bounce-back effect is influenced by the number of ions in the ionosphere. By using plasma bombs to increase the number of charged particles in the atmosphere, the Air Force expects to improve this bounce-back effect and boost communications.

As a side effect, the Air Force also notes that this dense ion layer also will neutralize incoming solar storms, protecting sensitive networks such as GPS from disruption.

The idea of artificially ionizing the atmosphere to improve radio communications is nothing new and is already being used in Alaska.

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program uses ground-based antennas to bombard the ionosphere with radiation. This radiation produces radio-reflecting plasma that, in turn, improves radio communication.

The plasma bomb idea builds upon the HFAARP program by modifying the ionosphere directly instead of relying on ground-based technology. Despite its promise, though, it is not known whether these plasma bombs will be powerful enough to make any significant changes in atmospheric ionization.

Garlic gets the girl: Forget aftershave – just eat garlic to attract women, study finds.

Scientists finds that sweat of men who had eaten the bulb smelt more attractive to women because it suggests the person is healthy


It might sound like the most unlikely of dating tips, but a study has found that men should forget the aftershave and try eating some garlic instead.

sweaty back 

Scientists found that the sweat of men who had eaten the bulb smelt more attractive to women. The researchers suggested that women might have evolved to prefer the type of smell that eating garlic – which is a highly nutritious food – produces in armpit sweat, because it suggests the person is healthy.

Garlic has antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties and studies have suggested it canhelp reduce the incidence of colds, and even high blood pressure and some cancers.

Or, it could simply be that the antibacterial action of the garlic makes the armpits smell sweeter by reducing the density of the microbes which cause the nasty odours, the researchers from theUniversity of Stirling in Scotland and Charles University in the Czech Republic sai

“Certainly, breath odour plays a crucial role in most social interactions, but human axillary (armpit) odour is also an important factor in intimate relationships,” the researchers wrote in the journal Appetite.


“Our results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on perceived body odour hedonicity (the pleasure derived from it), perhaps due to its health effects, for example antioxidant properties and antimicrobial activity.

“From an evolutionary perspective, formation of preferences for diet-associated body odours was possibly shaped by means of sexual selection.

“Obviously, garlic negatively influences the individuals’ breath on account of sulphur-containing gases which does not seem to apply to the body odour”

“As the health benefits of garlic consumption include antioxidant, immune-stimulant, cardiovascular, bactericidal, and anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) effects, it is plausible that human odour preferences have been similarly shaped by sexual selection.


“Obviously, garlic negatively influences the individuals’ breath on account of sulphur-containing gases which does not seem to apply to the body odour,” the researchers added.

“The compounds contributing to garlic odour might not reach the skin glands in perceptible quantities, because the sulphurous constituents are highly volatile and many leave the body through the mouth.”

For the study, 42 men were asked in rotation to eat raw garlic, garlic capsules, or no garlic, and wear pads in their armpits for 12 hours afterwards to collect body odour.

Then, 82 women were asked to sniff the odour samples and judge them on their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity.

The body odour of the men was perceived to be “significantly more attractive and less intense” when they had eaten the garlic in bulb and capsule form than when they (the same men) hadn’t eaten it.

The effect only came into play once the men were eating a substantial amount of garlic, the researchers found. In the first experiment, when the men ate 6g of garlic – the equivalent of two cloves – with bread and cheese – there was no difference in the ratings between then and when they simply ate the bread and cheese on its own.

But when the dosage was doubled to 12g, or four cloves, the men were judged to smell more attractive than when they hadn’t eaten it.

In the third experiment, when the men ate the same amount (12g) of garlic but in capsule form (12 x 1,000mg garlic capsules), their odour was also perceived as more attractive.

Previous studies have shown that garlic consumption can also affect the odour of human breast milk, increasing the time infants spend on their mother’s breast and feeding more vigorously.

 40 Studies Proving GM Foods Are Destroying Our Health

GMO labeling seems like a relatively common sense move given the numerous studies that have called into question the safety of GM foods and the requisite, carcinogenic herbicides necessary for their cultivation.


The following is a list of 40 rodent studies conducted using either Roundup Ready or Bt-toxin GM feed. When you see this sort of evidence, it really is quite mind-boggling that our elected officials are seemingly putting corporate interests and profiteering above public health by recently making the United States the first country in the world to ban GMO labeling. (Read more about that here.)

The following studies, compiled by GMO Free USA, prove how the rats suffered a wide assortment of ailments including:

-Increased intestinal infections
-High cholesterol
-Birth defects
-Weight-increase and higher incidence of mortality
-Organ pathologies in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, ovaries, testes, and adrenals
-Major issues with both the intestinal tracts and immunity of the animals tested

1. E. Abdo, et al. “Feeding Study with Bt Corn (MON810: Ajeeb YG) on Rats: Biochemical Analysis and Liver Histopathology,” Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 5 No. 2, 2014, pp. 185-195.

2. Battistelli S., Baldelli B., Malatesta M. (2008), Influence of a GMO-containing diet on pancreatic acinar cells of adult mice: effects of a short-term diet reversion, “Microscopie”, 10, pp. 36-43

3. S. Battistelli, B.Citterio, B. Baldelli, C. Parlani, and M. Malatesta (2010) Histochemical and morpho-metrical study of mouse intestine epithelium after a long term diet containing genetically modified soybean Eur J Histochem. September 26;54(3): e36

4. Brasil FB, Soares LL, Faria TS, Boaventura GT, Sampaio FJ, Ramos CF.(2009) The impact of dietary organic and transgenic soy on the reproductive system of female adult rat. Anat Rec(Hoboken).292(4):587594.

5. B Cisterna, F Flach, L Vecchio, SML Barabino, S Battistelli, TE Martin, M Malatesta, M Biggiogera (2008) Can a genetically modified organism-containing diet influence embryonic development? A preliminary study on pre- implantation mouse embryos.Cisterna.Vol.52(4)

6. Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, François Roullier, Dominique Cellier, Gilles-Eric Séralini (2009) A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health Int J Biol Sci; 5(7):706-726.

7. O. P. Dolaychuk, R. S. Fedoruk (2013) Biological Effects of Different Levels of Soybeans Conventional and Transgenic Varieties in the Second-Generation Female Rats Ration. The Animal Biology, 2013, vol. 15, no. 2

8. Thanaa A. El-Kholy, Mohammad Abu Hilal, Hatim Ali Al-Abbadi, Abdulhalim Salim Serafi, Ahmad K. Al-Ghamdi, Hanan M. Sobhy and John R. C. Richardson (2014) The Effect of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Soybean on DNA, Cytogenicity and Some Antioxidant Enzymes in Rats. Nutrients, 6(6), 2376-2386

9. El-Shamei ZS et al. Histopathological changes in some organs of male rats fed on genetically modified corn (Ajeeb YG). J Am Sci. 2012;8(10):684–696.

10. Ermakova IV (2006) Genetically modified soy leads to weight loss and increased mortality of pups of the first generation. Preliminary studies. EkosInform. Federal Environmental Law Gazette. a | -1,, p. 4-10.

11. Ermakova IV (2007) New data on the impact of GMOs on physiological state and the higher nervous activities mammals. All-Russia Symposium TRANSGENIC PLANTS AND BIOSAFETY Moscow, October 22 – 25, pages 38-39

12. Irina Ermakova (2007) GM soybeans—revisiting a controversial format NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY VOLUME 25 NUMBER 12 DECEMBER 1351-1354

13. Ermakova IV, IV Barskov (2008) Study of the physiological and morphological parameters in rats and their offspring using a diet containing soybean transgenic EPSPS CP4 Biological sciences. 6. p.19-20.

14. Ermakova IV (2009) Influence of soybean gene EPSPS CP4 on the physiological state and reproductive functions of rats in the first two generationsContemporary Problems in Science and Education Number 5, p.15-20.

15. Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, Monastra G, Ambra R, Turrini A, Mengheri E. (2008) Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice. J Agric Food Chem. Dec 10;56(23):11533-9.

16. Gab-Alla AA et al. Morphological and biochemical changes in male rats fed on genetically modified corn (Ajeeb YG). J Am Sci. 2012;8(9):1117–1123.




20. G.I. Gubina-Vakulik, S.A. Denisenko, T.V. Gorbach, N.G. Kolousova, A.V. Andreev (2014) Morphofunctional Adrenal State in Adults Descendants With the Diet by Genetically Modified Soy. ЕКСПЕРИМЕНТАЛЬНА І КЛІНІЧНА МЕДИЦИНА. 2014. № 2 (63)


22. Kiliç A, Akay MT. (2008) A three generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Mar;46(3):1164-70.

23. Hasan Kiliçgün, Cebrail Gürsul, Mukadder Sunar, Gülden Gökşen (2013) The Comparative Effects of Genetically Modified Maize and Conventional Maize on Rats J Clin Anal Med ;4(2): 136-9

24. MA Konovalova, VA Blinov (2006) Influence of genetically modified soybean in mice and their offspring. Commercial Biotechnology 2006

25. Konovalova, MA, VA Blinov (2007) Morphometric parameters and features of the spectrum Blood enzymes mice receiving GENETICALLY MODIFIED SOY. All-Russia Symposium TRANSGENIC PLANTS AND BIOSAFETY Moscow, October 22 – 25, page 48

Given this overwhelming evidence, labeling is only a start. Ultimately, we must pursue a ban. These poisonous ‘foods’ have no business on our tables or in our bodies. We do need to grow food with carcinogenic herbicides.

Get involved and help fight for our food supply, public health, and the environment. Pledge to March Against Monsanto everywhere May 21, 2016. This is a global event happening in hundreds of cities. Find your local event here. For questions or to register a city not on the list, email

To view the full list of over 40 studies proving the harm GMOs are wreaking on our bodies, visit here.

Article Source: GMO Free USA

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Scientists are trying to predict which babies will grow up to become criminals.

Real-life Minority Report.

Is it possible to predict whether someone will commit a crime some time in the future?

It sounds like an idea from the 2002 science-fiction movie Minority Report, but that’s what statistical researcher Richard Berk, from the University of Pennsylvania, hopes to find out from work he’s carried out this year in Norway.

 The Norwegian government collects massive amounts of data about its citizens and associates it with a single identification file. Berk hopes to crunch the data from the files of children and their parents to see if he can predict from the circumstances of their birth whether a child will commit a crime before their 18th birthday.

The problem here is that newborn babies haven’t done anything yet. The possible outcome of Berk’s experiment would be to pre-classify some children as ‘likely criminals’ based on nothing more than the circumstances of their birth.

This could be the first step in making Minority Report a reality, where people could be condemned for crimes they haven’t even committed.

The art of prediction

Berk’s work is based on machine learning. This involves data scientists designing algorithms that teach computers to identify patterns in large data sets. Once the computer can identify patterns, it can apply its findings to predict outcomes, even from data sets it has never seen before.

For example, the US retail giant Target collected data about the shopping habits of its customers and used machine learning to predict what customers were likely to buy and when.

But it got into hot water in 2012 when it accurately used its pregnancy-prediction model to predict the pregnancy of a high school student in Minnesota.

It is hardly surprising, given the potential use of machine learning to avoid crime, that the field of criminology has turned to machine learning in an attempt to predict human behaviour. It has already been used, for example, to predict whether an offender is likely to be a recidivist.

Predicting criminal behaviour

The ability to use machine learning to inform risk assessments in the criminal justice system has been a focus for Berk for a long time now.

For example, earlier this year he looked at whether a person on bail for alleged domestic violence offences was likely to commit another offence before their next court date.

Whether the algorithms used in machine learning can accurately predict human behaviour is dependent on having as much contextual data as possible. Target used metadata from shopping routines. Berk, on the other hand, uses predictors specific to crime and demographics.

This includes the number of prior arrests of a person, age of first arrest, type of crime or crimes committed and number of prior convictions. It also includes prison work performance, proximity to high-crime neighbourhood, IQ and gender.

In some of his studies Berk has used as many as 36 predictors.

Low-risk and high-risk individuals

In each of Berk’s experiments, the algorithm was able to predict quite accurately who would be a low-risk individual.

For example, he identified 89 percent of those people unlikely to commit domestic violence, 97 percent of inmates unlikely to commit serious misconduct in prison and 99 percent of past offenders unlikely to commit a homicide offence.

The trouble, though, is that the algorithm was nowhere near as accurate in predicting who would be a high-risk individual. There was only:

  • a 9 percent accuracy in predicting which inmates engage in serious misconduct
  • a 7 percent accuracy in predicting which offenders on parole or under community supervision would commit a homicide offence
  • a 31 percent accuracy in predicting which defendants on bail for domestic violence offences were likely to commit another offence before their next court date.

There are two ways of using the results of Berk’s experiments. First, we could divert resources away from low-risk individuals. This might involve placing less onerous supervision conditions on domestic violence defendants who are at low risk of committing another offence.

Alternatively, we could target more resources towards high-risk individuals. This might involve placing inmates at high risk of serious misconduct into higher-security prisons.

But there are two apparent issues with using the data to target high-risk individuals. First, there has been relatively little success in predicting who actually does pose a risk (in comparison to predicting who does not pose a risk), a limitation that Berk himself concedes.

Second, our criminal justice system is premised on the idea that people have free will and might still make the right choice to not commit a crime, even if they only do so at the last possible moment.

How is all this different to what the Australian criminal justice system does when it makes predictions about high-risk individuals?

A lot of the justice system’s work already involves spending a good deal of time making educated guesses about whether someone is an unacceptable threat to public safety or poses a high risk of future danger.

These assessments contribute to officials’ decisions about whether to grant bail, whether to grant parole and how harshly a person should be sentenced.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently asked states and territories to push for new legislation to allow ‘high risk’ offenders convicted of terrorism offences to be held in detention even after their sentences have been served.

Generally, though, such decisions are based primarily on past behaviours of a particular individual, not data about past behaviours of other individuals.

Using predictive behavioural tools to decide whether (or for how long) someone should be in prison, based on something that has not yet even happened, would represent a substantial philosophical shift.

We would no longer consider people to be innocent until proven guilty, but would instead see them as guilty by reason of destiny.

Science Says: This Is The Ideal Body Of A Woman.

Every woman wants to have an ideal body shape, which is why every woman makes constant changes, in order to achieve perfect and healthy look.

A group of scientists tried to give us the answer to how the perfect body should look like.

When it comes to the ideal figure, as we grow up, we come across many different challenges and opinions. In addition to those opinions and challenges, the fashion industry also imposes that skinny bodies are the perfect ones.

However the real truth is that these models are being tortured every day in order to fit these “skinny” creations. In fact, they are not even aware that they are living in a world where only they can wear their tinny little skinny dresses.

Now that you know what the real truth is you should also know that we are against all of this.

Even though we cannot tell the fashion people how to do their job, we can surely focus on the science and prove them wrong.


Every woman wants to have an ideal body shape, which is why every woman makes constant changes, in order to achieve perfect and healthy look.

A group of scientists tried to give us the answer to how the perfect body should look like.

When it comes to the ideal figure, as we grow up, we come across many different challenges and opinions. In addition to those opinions and challenges, the fashion industry also imposes that skinny bodies are the perfect ones.

However the real truth is that these models are being tortured every day in order to fit these “skinny” creations. In fact, they are not even aware that they are living in a world where only they can wear their tinny little skinny dresses.

Now that you know what the real truth is you should also know that we are against all of this.

Even though we cannot tell the fashion people how to do their job, we can surely focus on the science and prove them wrong.

 Namely the University of Texas conducted a study and the results of this study showed that the ideal body for a woman who is 1.68m tall is 99-63-91 bust/weight/hip measurements.

Many of you probably know her, but for the ones that do not know her, this is a Kelly Brook. She is a model and she comes from England. According to many people she is the so called “plump” model, however as you can notice, she looks amazing.

According to many scientists her body is the ideal regarding fertility and attractiveness. In addition the study came to a conclusion that most of the men are more attracted to the facial and body characteristics like hers and connect them with good health and youth.

Now let us take you to a journey and show you how the perfect female body evolved throughout history.

However, we are against all of this. We cannot tell the fashion people how to do their job, and instead we will focus on the science. According to a study from the University of Texas the ideal body is the one of a woman who is 1.68m tall ad has 99-63-91 bust/weight/hip measurements.

This is a model named Kelly Brook and she comes from England. People see her like “plump” model, nevertheless, she looks amazing. Scientists say that her body is the ideal regarding fertility and attractiveness. Men are more attracted to the facial and body characteristics like hers and connect them with good health and youth.


19 Foods Proven To Lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension affects about 30% of adults worldwide. While most people try to cut back on salt to lower their pressure, a better strategy may be to add these healthy foods to the menu.   

Hypertension affects about 30% of adults worldwide. Among dietary factors salt has taken the brunt of the blame.  But sugar may be the real culprit in high blood pressure.

A meta-analysis of 12 trials in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sugar intake over a period of two months or more could on average spike systolic blood pressure by 6.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 5.6 mmHg.

One of the biggest problems is fructose in sodas.  Just last year another analysis of six prospective cohort studies found those drinking the most sugar sweetened beverages increased the risk of hypertension by 12 percent compared to those who drank none.  And with every additional serving of the sugared drinks risk shot up 8.2 percent.

Children are particularly at risk.  In a study of over 15,000 Iranian children and adolescents, those who drank over 90 ml per day (one-third of a serving) had a 2.74 fold increase in risk of hypertension.

So when it comes to blood pressure, avoiding processed foods high in fructose is the first step to lowering risk.

The next step is adding the right foods to your diet.  Here are 19 foods proven to lower blood pressure.

1. Chocolate

Many studies prove that cocoa products can lower blood pressure.  In aGerman meta-analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials the mean drop in blood pressure was 4.5 mmHg for systolic pressure and 2.5 mmHg for diastolic pressure over 2 to 18 weeks.

Dark chocolate is particularly effective.  An Australian meta-analysis of 13 randomized studies concluded that dark chocolate is more effective than a placebo in lowering blood pressure.  Among hypertensive or pre-hypertensive patients, eating chocolate dropped systolic pressure as much as 8.0 mmHg and diastolic pressure as much as 4.9 mmHg.

And it doesn’t take much dark chocolate to make a difference.  In a randomized, controlled study published in JAMA 44 patients with hypertension or pre-hypertension were given one small square of dark or white chocolate with just 30 calories.  After 18 weeks the dark chocolate reduced mean systolic pressure by 2.9 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 1.9 mmHg.  There were no changes in the white chocolate group.

Researchers give credit to flavanols (primarily epicatechin) for the blood pressure lowering effects of chocolate.[i]  In a study in the journal BMJ21 volunteers were given either a high flavanol (701 mg) or low-flavanol (22 mg) cocoa beverage.  After a 10-minute exercise session, mean blood pressure increases were 14 percent lower for those drinking the high-flavanol chocolate.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that chocolate also contains procyanidins that increase nitric oxide production and relax blood vessels.

Chocolate also saves lives.  A study of 470 elderly men in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that those eating the most chocolate didn’t just lower their blood pressure compared to those eating the least.Chocolate slashed the risk of cardiovascular death in half.

2. Olive Oil

The SUN Project is a prospective cohort study in Spain whose members are all university graduates. Data from 6,863 participants, with at least two years of follow-up, showed that among men, hypertension was up to 75 percent lower for those eating more olive oil compared to those eating the least.

And in a randomized, single-blinded and placebo-controlled trial from the University of Massachusetts, 41 overweight or obese participants were asked to replace their regular dietary fat with either olive oil or a control mixture of corn, soybean oil and butter.  After three months the olive oil group dropped their diastolic pressure by an average of 3 mmHg and systolic pressure by an average of 6 mmHg.

3. Beets

Beets lower blood pressure significantly thanks to high levels of dietary nitrates. The British Heart Foundation funded a study of 68 patients with hypertension.  Half the patients received 250 ml (about a cup) of beetroot juice or a placebo juice containing no nitrates.  Blood pressure in the nitrate group dropped a mean amount of 8.1/3.8 mmHg.  In addition, endothelial function improved by about 20 percent and arterial stiffness was reduced in the nitrate group but not in the placebo group.

Another recent prospective study of 1546 non-hypertensive subjects, aged 20-70 years, collected data on the amount of nitrate-containing vegetables people ate every day. After three years those who ate the most nitrate-rich veggies cut the risk of hypertension by 37 percent compared to those who ate the least.

4. Garlic

Adding garlic to your diet can help reduce blood pressure.  In a meta-analysis of seven randomized, placebo-controlled trials researchers found a significant blood pressure effect of garlic.  On average systolic pressure dropped 6.71 mmHg and diastolic pressure dropped 4.79 mmHg.

Garlic’s effects on blood pressure are dose dependent. An Australian study looked at 79 patients with uncontrolled systolic hypertension.  Patients were divided in four groups and every day received either a placebo, or one, two, or four capsules of aged garlic extract (240, 480, or 960 mg per day).  The dose of 2 capsules per day (480 mg) was most effective, lowering mean systolic blood pressure by 11.8 mmHg.

In fact, garlic rivals blood pressure medications.  In a study of 210 hypertensive patients, garlic tablets significantly reduced blood pressure compared to the drug atenolol. And unlike drugs, garlic is safe and well tolerated.

5. Watermelon

Studies show that watermelon lowers blood pressure. A pilot study from The Florida State University gave 9 pre-hypertensive people six grams a day of the amino acid L-citrulline from watermelon extract.  All of the patients showed improved arterial function and lower aortic blood pressure.

Because it is rich in potassium, watermelon also helps keep salt from raising blood pressure. It also contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant associated with heart health, healthy arteries and blood flow. Other studies show that watermelon extract improves aortic blood pressure.

6. Pomegranate Juice

In an Israeli study 101 kidney disease patients were randomized to receive 100 cc (a little over three ounces) of pomegranate juice or a placebo drink every day.  After one year systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the pomegranate juice group but not in the placebo group. Researchers concluded that drinking pomegranate juice regularly reduces systolic blood pressure and may reduce atherosclerosis.

Another Israeli study found that one year of drinking pomegranate juice reduced systolic blood pressure by 12 percent.

7. Chokeberry Juice

Studies also prove polyphenols in fruit juices have a positive impact on blood pressure.  In one study drinking 400 ml (about 13 ounces) ofchokeberry juice significantly lowered blood pressure after just four weeks.

8. Pistachio Nuts

A meta-analysis of 21 randomized controlled trial concluded that nuts lower blood pressure. Pistachios had the strongest effect on reducing systolic and diastolic pressure.

9. Coconut Water

In a study from the West Indies hypertensive patients who drank coconut water had significant drops in blood pressure in just two weeks. Of those drinking coconut water, 71 percent had significant decreases in systolic pressure, and 29% had significant decreases in diastolic pressure.

10. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fats, lignans, and fiber that provide benefits to patients with cardiovascular disease.  A meta-analysis of 11 studies found that eating flaxseed products reduced blood pressure.

In one prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, 110 patients consumed a variety of foods that contained 30 grams of milled flaxseed or placebo each day.  After six months systolic pressure went down about 10 mmHg and diastolic pressure dropped about 7 mmHg in the flaxseed group.  The effect was even greater in patients with systolic pressure above 140 mmHg at the start of the study. Researchers concluded that flaxseed induced one of the most potent antihypertensive effects achieved by a dietary intervention.

11. Whole Grains

Diets rich in fiber may lower blood pressure.  In one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people eating three portions of whole-grain foods per day decreased their systolic pressure by 6 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 3 mmHg after just 12 weeks. Researchers estimated that the blood pressure improvement from whole grains could decrease the incidence of coronary artery disease by more than 15 percent and stroke by more than 25 percent.

12.  Sesame Oil

In a study of 50 hypertensive patients in India, switching to sesame oil for 45 days brought blood pressure levels back to normal.  And when patients stopped using sesame oil their blood pressure returned to their higher levels in 45 days.

Another study from Greece found that using 35 grams per day ofsesame oil decreased systolic blood pressure in just 15 days.  It decreased central and peripheral diastolic pressures in just one hour following meals.

13. Hibiscus Tea

In a double-blind randomized controlled trial 60 diabetic patients were assigned to drink two cups of hibiscus tea or black tea a day.  After 30 days the hibiscus tea lowered systolic pressure by a mean of 22 mmHg and pulse pressure by 18 mmHg.  Black tea drinkers saw their pressure increase.

Many other studies prove the power of fruits and vegetables to improve vascular function as well as to lower blood pressure.  Researchers credit phytochemicals and potassium among other things for the hypertensive benefits of fruits and vegetables.

A Harvard analysis of data from more than 180,000 people in the two Nurses’ Health Studies and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study compared people who ate four or fewer servings of fruits and vegetablesa week with those who ate four or more servings a day.  People eating more whole fruits were eight percent less likely to develop hypertension.  Those who ate more vegetables were five percent less likely to have high blood pressure.

Fruits and vegetables that have been proven to lower blood pressure include:

14. Gazpacho Soup

15. Kiwi Fruit

16. Blueberries

17. Concord Grapes

Spices can also regulate blood pressure.

18.  Cinnamon

In a British study of diabetics, taking two grams of cinnamon significantly reduced blood pressure in just 12 week.

19. Cardamom

In a study from India, patients with stage one hypertension were given three grams of cardamom powder a day in two divided doses.  After 12 weeks the cardamom significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Researchers also reported that all of the patients experienced a feeling of well-being without any side-effects.