Ask The Naked Scientists

Ask the Naked Scientists SA episode

Fri, 16th Jan 2015

Is there such thing as a 'baby brain'?

Baby (c) Andrew Beeston - flickr

Should I let my child run up and down stairs? Is crocodile bile deadly? Why don't animals in the wild bleed to death during child birth? Will there come a time where we stop breaking any new sport records? Is there such a thing as a "baby brain"?

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1. Yes, if he is capable of doing so without falling. How else will he learn?

2. Yes, if you are inside the crocodile.

3. They sometimes do - the downside of evolution.

4. If we pursue selective breeding - the upside of evolution - we could probably optimise our descendants until they can swim like seals or run like,.... er, there's a problem: do they have to be bipeds?....anyway, we could breed a biped with legs more like a greyhound. The question is, would these descendants be human or seals/biped greyhounds? We already have separate records for men and women, and weight classes within those divisions for weighlifting, boxing, etc., plus dozens of classes for disability sports. So it all depends on what you call a record, and a human being. 

5. Dunno. There is certainly a senescent brain, as evidenced by this text. alancalverd, Sat, 17th Jan 2015

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