A remote control for neurons

A team led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University has created a new technology that enhances scientists' ability to communicate with neural cells using light. Tzahi Cohen-Karni, associate professor of biomedical engineering ...

Geometry of intricately fabricated glass makes light trap itself

Laser light traveling through ornately microfabricated glass has been shown to interact with itself to form self-sustaining wave patterns called solitons. The intricate design fabricated in the glass is a type of "photonic ...

Next frontier in bacterial engineering

From bacteria-made insulin that obviates the use of animal pancreases to a better understanding of infectious diseases and improved treatments, genetic engineering of bacteria has redefined modern medicine. Yet, serious limitations ...

The most common organism in the oceans harbors a virus in its DNA

The most common organism in the oceans, and possibly on the entire planet, is a family of single-celled marine bacteria called SAR11. These drifting organisms look like tiny jelly beans and have evolved to outcompete other ...

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Materialism

In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance. To many philosophers, not only is 'physicalism' synonymous with 'materialism', but they use both words to describe a position that supports ideas from physics which may not be matter in the traditional sense (like anti-matter or gravity). Therefore much of the generally philosophical discussion below on materialism may be relevant to physicalism. Also related are the ideas of methodological naturalism (i.e. "let's at least do science as though physicalism is true") and metaphysical naturalism (i.e. "philosophy and science should operate according to the physical world, and that's all that exists"). The philosophical alternatives to materialism are some forms of monism (besides the materialistic monism), dualism and idealism.

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