You’re walking down a busy street on your way to work. You pass a busker playing a song you haven’t heard in years. Now suddenly, instead of noticing all the goings on in the city around you, you’re mentally reliving the first time you heard the song. Hearing that piece of music takes you right back to where you were, who you were with and the feelings associated with that memory.
In 1906, Alois Alzheimer, a psychiatrist and neuroanatomist, reported “a peculiar severe disease process of the cerebral cortex” to a gathering of psychiatrists in Tübingen, Germany. The case was a 50-year-old woman who suffered from memory loss, delusions, hallucinations, aggression and confusion – all of which worsened until her untimely death five years later.
The Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for 2022 has been awarded to Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, “for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution”.
If you look different to your close relatives, you may have felt separate from your family. As a child, during particularly stormy fall outs you might have even hoped it was a sign that you were adopted.
As our new research shows, appearances can be deceptive when it comes to family. New DNA technology is shaking up the family trees of many plants and animals.