SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Nature vs. Nurture: Outcome Depends on Where You Live
from the Telegraph (UK)
Both nature (meaning our genes) and nurture (the environment we grow up in) are known to significantly affect traits like our height and weight, our IQ, and our chance of developing behavioural problems or autism. But how strong environmental factors are in determining each characteristic, compared with the influence of DNA, differs significantly across the country, scientists have found.
Researchers from King's College London studied 45 childhood characteristics in 6,759 pairs of identical and non-identical twins across the UK, to determine whether their genes or their environment was more important.
A new series of "nature-nurture" maps produced by the team revealed that some areas are "environmental hotspots" for particular traits, but in other places the same attribute is mainly governed by genetics.
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Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.
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