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How data is changing our brains

October 27, 2014

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Anything data driven is all the talk of journalism — and the rest of the world — these days. But how is all that data affecting us physically?

This weekend, the Ted Radio Hour on NPR took a look at how our species is evolving. One particularly interesting segment featured Juan Enriquez, author of the “Homo Evolutis,” and managing director of Excel Medical Ventures.

As he said in his Ted talk, “When you think of how much data’s coming into our brains – we’re trying to take in as much data in a day as people used to take in in a lifetime. Here’s the bottom line – what I think we are doing is were transitioning as a species.”

Instead of homo sapiens, simply conscious and reactive to our environment, humans are beginning to “directly and deliberately control the evolution of its own species, of bacteria, of plants, of animals.”

That has enormous economic, political and social impact, Enriquez says. It will affect business, cities, farming — you name it.

Says Enriquez: “I think that’s such an order of magnitude change that your grandkids or your great grandkids may be a species very different from you.”

Check out the entire segment and the show here.


Juan Enriquez’ bio

National Human Genome Institute

The Centers For Disease Control


  • Micheline Maynard

    Micheline is a contributing columnist at the Washington Post concentrating on business and culture. She has written about flooding in Detroit, tainted water in Benton Harbor, nationwide shortages of restaurant staff, and vaccine hesitancy.

    View all posts

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