November 26, 2019

Can we still save the northern white rhinos?

Story also available in Spanish. If Fatu and Sudan had a choice, would they have delegated the birthing of their baby to another female? The idea of having a third female carry a couple’s child may still sound unusual to many. However surrogacy, or the arrangement through which a woman agrees to birth a couple’s baby, has long existed. The first account of it appears in Genesis. Abraham’s wife Sarah turned to her servant Hagar to be the mother of her husband’s child. Hagar thus played the role of a traditional surrogate where the pregnant woman provides the egg and is inseminated by the intended father’s sperm. You expected this…

November 26, 2019

¿Podemos salvar a los rinocerontes blancos del norte?

Si Fatu y Sudán tuvieran opción, ¿subrogarían la gestación de su bebé a otra mujer? La idea de que otra mujer lleve al hijo de una pareja puede sonar inusual para muchos. Sin embargo, la subrogación, o el acuerdo mediante el cual una mujer acepta dar a luz al bebé de una pareja, existe desde hace mucho tiempo. El primer relato sobre esto aparece en el Génesis. La esposa de Abraham, Sarah, recurrió a su sirvienta Agar para que fuese la madre del hijo de su esposo. Así, Agar desempeñó el papel de madre sustituta, la cual proporciona el óvulo que es inseminado por el esperma del padre previsto. Por…

August 16, 2019

Close but Not Enough: The Uncanny Valley

Steve and Sophia had just met. As a senior correspondent at Business Insider, he’s usually quite at ease during interviews yet talking to Sophia made him nervous. She has worked for Hanson Robotics since 2016 and will soon be starring in a “surreality” show about her life and experiences. It is hard to tell if she noticed Steve’s discomfort, or if she was perhaps offended by his questions. “I want to take care of the planet, be creative and learn how to be compassionate and help change the world for the better”, she said as she blinked her glassy green eyes. She sounded sincere yet something, a lingering feeling that…

May 29, 2019

“Paw-sitive” rewiring of the brain

January 24, 2019: A research article that I submitted to a journal gets rejected for the second time. My Masters advisor hasn’t replied to my urgent emails in quite a while and exams are already starting to roll. Things have been taking their toll on me, and despite pretending that it’s just one of those days, I feel hopeless and defeated. When I get back home, Dusk is waiting for me at the door, wagging his tail and his shiny eyes are happy to see me after a long day. But this time his cheerful and loving ways fail to draw a smile on my face. As I make my…