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Stories by Karen Hopkin

What All the Screaming Is about

An analysis of the acoustical characteristics of screams found that the sounds are unusually rough, that is, they rapidly change in frequency, which has an alarming effect on the listener's brain   ...

July 29, 2015 — Karen Hopkin

Color You Remember Seeing Isn't What You Saw

People tend to remember a color they saw, for example green-blue teal, as being closer to a more stereotypical variant, such as straight blue or green. Karen Hopkin reports  

June 9, 2015 — Karen Hopkin

Genes Orchestrate Musical Ability

It might take practice to get to Carnegie Hall but scientists found that it takes a set of dozens of genes in the brain working together to make that practice pay off.  

June 2, 2015 — Eliene Augenbraun, Karen Hopkin and Benjamin Meyers

Musical Performance Activates Specific Genes

Blood tests on 10 professional musicians before and after playing showed that specific genes got turned on by performance, some of which are also active in songbirds. Karen Hopkin reports

April 27, 2015 — Karen Hopkin

Animals Can Be Given False Memories

Two studies, one with bees and one with mice, show that the brain can be manipulated into having a memory of an occurrence that did not in reality happen. Karen Hopkin reports  


March 9, 2015 — Karen Hopkin

Preindustrial Pollution Pestered Peru

Ice cores show a sudden rise in heavy metal air pollution in South America 240 years before the industrial revolution, probably due to metallurgy and mining. Karen Hopkin reports

February 11, 2015 — Karen Hopkin

Newton Figured Out How Tree Sap Rises

Buried in one of Isaac Newton's college notebooks is a page on which he fairly accurately theorizes on the process of transpiration in plants, two centuries before the concept was elucidated...

February 9, 2015 — Karen Hopkin
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