Indeever Madireddy stands in front of a pond of angelfish, the species whose genome he sequenced
Davidson Institute

Making a scientific discovery is an incredible achievement at any age — and Indeever Madireddy made one at just 17 years old. 

The Silicon Valley high school senior, avid fishkeeper, and 2022 Davidson Fellow channeled his curiosity about his pet fish, Calvin, who recently died, into a research project. The result: Madireddy made history, becoming the first person to sequence the genome of a freshwater angelfish.

“I did it because I wanted to learn more about my fish,” Madireddy told Indica News in December, adding: “I thought I could do this cool project where I contribute something new to science.” 

Prior to Calvin’s death in March of 2022, Madireddy learned that no one had ever successfully sequenced the genome of the fish species. So with some prior experience in molecular biology, along with $2,000 — half of which  was crowdfunded — he went to work to change that. 

Davidson Institute

After spending over a month learning genomics on his own, he worked on his project at BioCurious, a community lab in Santa Clara. There, he proceeded to get the raw sequencing data with a small sequencer made by Oxford Nanopore, according to New Scientist.

Once he analyzed his data, he published his findings in an October paper in an open access journal. His work quickly caught the attention of those in the scientific field — not only for the research itself, but also for how Madireddy maximized the use of accessible community resources.

RELATED: Meet Elliott Tanner: At Age 14, He’s Pursuing His Ph.D. in Physics

“This is a wonderful example of an inquisitive spirit and what young scientists can do when you remove technology barriers like cost and complexity,” Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore, told New Scientist of Madireddy’s achievement.

Davidson Institute

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t Madireddy’s only research project. The teen was awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Davidson Institute for his research that hypothesizes that “the bacterial CRISPR-Ca9 system, which protects bacteria from viral infections, could be repurposed to function as an intracellular defense mechanism for human cells.”

“My work has a strong potential to impact people’s lives. By stably integrating Cas9 or a different RNA targeting Cas variant into the genome of humans, the body will be more equipped to handle viral infections,” he said to the Davidson Institute. 

With these projects under his belt, Madireddy has advice for other young researchers.

“Anyone can do research; you just have to get started. Find what you’re interested in and pursue it. Don’t be afraid of what other people think or even what the results will be,” he told 23andMe

Davidson Institute

As if Madireddy wasn’t busy enough making a name for himself as a researcher: He is also the founder of FireWorks, a nonprofit on a mission to “educate and to engage with the world’s youth to promote their future financial success and to preserve our environment, starting with students.” 

On top of leading his own organization and dedicating his time to research, the high school student is involved in the Boy Scouts, likes playing the Tabla (hand drums used in Indian music), “developed a patent-pending method to manufacture sustainable paper bags from kelp pulp,” and has dreams of owning a tropical fish store. We’d say he’s well on his way!

an exterior view of the new library in Wuhan, featuring a facade full of windows and sloping sides. Inside you can see the tall shelves of books forming a canyon for guests to walk through.

Library lovers may want to start planning a trip to China. Designs for a state-of-the-art, 140,000-square-meter building in Wuhan’s central business district have been unveiled, and it’s set to become one of the country’s largest — and perhaps most stunning — libraries. 

Featuring sleek, flowing facades with three walls of windows offering sweeping views of the metropolis, the library’s exterior design was inspired by the city’s location at the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Han River. Once inside, visitors will be able to walk through a “canyon of books,” according to the project’s website, with sprawling shelves connected by walkways on each level. 


“This is nature versus the city, and the building is somehow focusing on this. I think this makes it an exciting place to gather,” said Jacob van Rijs, founding partner of the Dutch architectural practice MVRDV which, along with local firm UAD, won a competition to design the library.

And once gathered, bibliophiles will find it hard to leave the location: Not only will it provide ample indoor seating for studying and working, but also a surrounding park featuring native vegetation, so books can be checked out and read al fresco.

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The element of nature also adds to the library’s goals for lowered energy consumption. The park’s tall trees will temper intense sunlight from streaming through the windows, keeping the indoor areas cool. Louvers arranged in a bookshelf pattern on the exterior of the building will also offer shade, and “openable elements” will provide ventilation  to further reduce the need for air conditioning in the city’s hot climate. Solar panels on the sloping roofs will furnish clean energy, and “the use of smart devices and an efficient lighting system” will contribute to the library’s hopefully reduced carbon footprint. 


A start date for construction has yet to be announced, but once standing, according to MVRDV, the library is expected to “meet [Wuhan’s] functional needs in terms of reading, learning, communication, and innovation, while enhancing the city’s urban economy.”

Close-up image of female person giving snack to a dog outdoors.
nortonrsx/ iStock

Are humans inherently good or inherently selfish? Philosophers stretching back to the times of Socrates and Plato have debated human nature and its complexities. But only in recent decades have scientists and researchers started to pull back the layers on this complicated question. According to Scientific American, a set of studies conducted in 2012 by Harvard and Yale researchers determined that humans instinctively want to cooperate with others. Now, new research shows that humanity’s altruism extends to other species as well, and both our affinity and empathy for animals may begin at an early age. 

In a study conducted at the University of Michigan’s child lab and published on January 16 in the journal Human-Animal Interactions, researchers examined whether toddler-age children would help dogs that wanted treats or toys that were just out of reach. A total of 97 children, 2 and 3 years old, participated in an experiment in which they were introduced to a friendly dog that was confined to an enclosure, with toys and treats placed outside of the pups’ reach. 

The children helped 50% of the time when the animal expressed interest in the treat or toys. Meanwhile, they helped only 26% of the time if the dog ignored the item. Interestingly, children who lived with a pet dog were more likely to help in providing the item to the dog. Throughout the study, researchers recognized that the toddlers, even at their young ages, understood the dogs’ plights and also felt compelled to act without any reward in return. 

Tatsiana Volkava/ iStock

“These findings lend support to our hypothesis that children’s early-developing proclivities for goal-reading and prosociality extend beyond humans to other animals,” the study authors wrote. 

In an interview with The Guardian, Henry Wellman, a senior author on the study at the University of Michigan, explained how the team’s recent research casts human behavior in a new light. “It’s been known for a long time that toddlers will go out of their way to help struggling humans, even strangers. [The study shows] it applies to other animals too, like dogs they will never see again,” he told the outlet.

On a larger scale, the study could provide insight into animal domestication and “how human capabilities for interspecies care evolved,” per the study. For years, researchers have been perplexed by the mystery of why early humans decided to domesticate animals. Perhaps, one reason is due to this early fundamental state of caring. 

Dr. Rachna Reddy, lead author of the study, told The Guardian, “Animal domestication was really advantageous to human survival. It really enabled us to live and thrive, there’s a huge evolutionary benefit,” adding: “Why we came to domesticate animals is a big mystery, and this is one piece of evidence that might help us to understand that mystery.”

While the study focused solely on canines, the researchers mentioned that future studies would need to be done to examine how they react to other species like barnyard animals or cats. 

an illustration of NASA's asteroid hunter telescope in space
NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

NASA is making big leaps in its goal of protecting Earth from cosmic threats. The space agency is currently working on a new telescope, dubbed the “next-generation asteroid hunter,” which promises to be a “game-changer” in identifying hazardous near-Earth objects.

In December, NASA announced in a press release that construction had begun on its Near-Earth Object Surveyor (NEO Surveyor) and outlined its goals for the telescope. The organization will send the device into space, to L1 Lagrange Point — 1 million miles from Earth, between our planet and the sun. Using two infrared heat sensors, NEO Surveyor will be able to identify both dark asteroids and comets and what NASA refers to as “Earth Trojans.”

Dark asteroids are currently harder to detect since they don’t reflect as much light. Likewise, Earth Trojans are cosmic bodies that travel from the direction of the sun. Due to the sun’s glare, it’s difficult for astronomers to identify these possible threats. Fortunately, NEO Surveyor would be able to spot these potential dangers, giving NASA early detection capabilities.

“For the first time in our planet’s history, Earth’s inhabitants are developing methods to protect Earth by deflecting hazardous asteroids,” Amy Mainzer, the mission’s survey director, said in a statement. “But before we can deflect them, we first need to find them. NEO Surveyor will be a game-changer in that effort.”

RELATED: NASA’s James Webb Telescope Delivers Deepest and Sharpest Infrared Image of Space

According to Cosmos Magazine, Earth is pummeled by 17 meteors each day, around 6,100 a year. Most of these pose little risk to humans, falling in uninhabited areas. In 2005, NASA made it its mission to identify 90% of near-Earth objects that are more than 460 feet in size and within 30 million miles of our orbit — objects that pose a significant risk should they impact the planet. 

Last year, the organization demonstrated its first planetary defense test against an asteroid, successfully changing its trajectory. NASA is no longer leaving Earth’s chances up to a game of blindly playing cosmic dodgeball, and NEO Surveyor is the next step in its plans.

So when should we expect the asteroid telescope to take to the stars? According to USA Today, it will be set to launch by June 2028. Back in November, the project passed a key technical and programmatic review milestone. But although construction is underway, it will take some time to complete. 

“The project team, including all of our institutional and industrial collaborators, is already very busy designing and fabricating components that will ultimately become flight hardware,” Tom Hoffman, NEO Surveyor project manager, said in the press release.

It won’t be long before NASA has a better surveillance of what is going on in our cosmic backyard. Cue audible sigh of relief.

Shot of an unrecognisable businesswoman sitting alone and using her computer while working from home
Delmaine Donson/ iStock

Many of us spend large portions of our days sitting — whether we’re working, watching television, or participating in a hobby like reading or painting. While it may not come as a shock that staying seated for extended periods isn’t great for your health, a new study out of Columbia University suggests that the detrimental impact may be easily offset with a simple activity. 

Published on January 12 in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the research determined that breaking up each half-hour of sitting with a light, five-minute walk significantly reduced systolic blood pressure (the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats) and lowered blood sugar levels throughout the day.

In a news release from Columbia University Irving Medical Center, lead author Keith Diaz, who is the director of the institution’s Exercise Testing Laboratory at the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, likened the decrease in blood pressure to results “you would expect from exercising daily for six months.” 

RELATED: One-Minute Bursts of Exercise Three Times a Day Are Linked to a Longer Life, Study Finds

The study was small: Diaz and his team tested 11 individuals. Each was “prescribed” five different exercise “snacks” throughout eight-hour periods of sitting in an ergonomic chair. In addition to testing out one-minute treadmill walks every hour and five-minute walks every half-hour, participants also tried one-minute walks every half-hour, five-minute walks every hour, and no walking at all. 

“If we hadn’t compared multiple options and varied the frequency and duration of the exercise, we would have only been able to provide people with our best guesses of the optimal routine,” Diaz, who is also an associate professor of behavioral medicine at the university, said in the release. The one-minute-per-hour and five-minute-per-half-hour walks came out on top in terms of physical health impact, but all of the walking regimens resulted in decreased fatigue and increased mood. 

“The effects on mood and fatigue are important,” said Diaz. “People tend to repeat behaviors that make them feel good and that are enjoyable.”

RELATED: Doctors in England Can Now Prescribe Walking, Cycling to Improve Mental and Physical Health

And that behavior doesn’t require a ton of effort. Speaking to CNN, the researcher said the walks can be as leisurely as just 1.9 miles an hour and still make a difference, a speed he referred to as much slower than most people typically walk.

Noting that “so many” people live sedentary lives — 25% of Americans are not active at all — he went on to stress that employers should also take note of the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting.

“There are these social norms where if you are up out of your desk, people think you’re not working,” he told the outlet, adding, “Sitting is an occupational hazard and a healthy employee is a more productive employee.”

So if you find yourself feeling down about how much time you spend in a chair or on the couch each day, know that improving your health and mood doesn’t require a complete lifestyle overhaul. For more ideas on how to incorporate simple movement into your daily routine, check out these tips

Cody Powers, Bloomberg Philanthropies

It might seem too easy, but some colorful paint and a little bit of creativity could be all that’s needed to transform roads and make them safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike. Cities around the country have begun investing in asphalt art — painting murals on intersections, crosswalks, plazas, and sidewalk extensions. 

The Asphalt Art Initiative was created in 2020 by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Within its first year,  it helped cover “nearly 86,500 square feet of streets with artwork in 16 [U.S.] cities,” according to a news release by the City of East Providence, Rhode Island. It’s since expanded its grant program, and has now supported a total of 64 art projects in U.S. and European cities.

Cody Powers, Bloomberg Philanthropies

In April of 2022, the organization published research demonstrating just how much of an impact the colorful transformations have had. Data showed that implementing asphalt art projects led to a 50% decrease in the rate of crashes involving pedestrians or other vulnerable road users, a 37% decrease in the rate of crashes leading to injuries, and a 17% decrease in the overall crash rate. 

“It forces you to stop and look at your street differently,” Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City’s former transportation commissioner, told NBC News of asphalt art. “Drivers, when they see color and life on the street, they naturally slow down.” 

In an October news release announcing that Asphalt Art Initiative grants had been awarded to 19 European cities, she added: “Projects like these not only connect people, but make streets safer, and we encourage cities everywhere to paint their own transportation masterpieces.”

Eric Waters, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Matt Eich, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Jason Alden, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Volunteers help to paint the design of local artist Candy Carver as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative at the Club Crossing intersection in Durham, NC
Travis Dove, Bloomberg Philanthropies
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A similar program out of Washington D.C., called Arts in the Right-of-Way and launched by the city’s District Department of Transportation, has also been adding color to crosswalks and curbs since 2019, according to People for Bikes. The program offers a design guide to help residents learn how to paint asphalt safely and without breaking any city ordinances, and provides an “art map” on its website for those who wish to visit the painted locations around town. 

Sean Carroll, Bloomberg Philanthropies

In addition to cultivating community and promoting safety, the colorful streets add an element of beauty to once-gray pavement — and who couldn’t use an extra dose of brightness while taking a walk or drive around town?

LANGZHONG, CHINA - JANUARY 08: Performers parade at Langzhong Ancient City ahead of Chinese New Year, the year of the Tiger, on January 8, 2022 in Langzhong, Nanchong City, Sichuan Province of China.
Wang Yugui/VCG via Getty Images

Fresh off the heels of New Year’s Day in the United States, we’re quickly approaching the Lunar New Year, a holiday that begins with the first new moon of the year. For 2023 — the “Year of the Rabbit” —  the worldwide celebration will kick off on January 22, with families and friends enjoying feasts and participating in traditions and festivities

Each year, Lunar New Year is celebrated by Asian cultures around the globe — including Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean communities, among others. The holiday is commonly referred to as the Chinese New Year in the West, or the Spring Festival (Chūnjié in Mandarin) in China, Singapore, and other countries with large Chinese populations. According to National Geographic, the festival is considered to embrace overarching themes of reunion and hope.

In contrast to a solitary New Year’s Day celebration based upon the Gregorian calendar (the calendar formally adhered to in the U.S. and the majority of the world), Chinese New Year celebrations last for multiple days — typically about 15 — until the first full moon of the year. In day-to-day life, modern China follows the Gregorian calendar as well, but its holidays still follow the lunar calendar, per Nat Geo.

For those unfamiliar with this special time of the year, here’s a brief overview of what it’s all about.

The Year of the Rabbit

Each year of the Chinese Lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 zodiac animals — the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig — that repeat rotationally. This year is the Year of the Rabbit. The overall belief is that the year assigned to each animal will embody experiences and qualities similar to that animal.

According to The Japan Times, the rabbit is “historically known as the gentlest and most tender of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.”  

For those hoping that 2023 will provide a more peaceful and restful experience than its predecessor, according to the Chinese zodiac, they are indeed in luck.

Yang Bo/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

The History of the Chinese New Year

It’s widely believed that the Chinese New Year began at some point during the reign of the Shang Dynasty under Emperor Wu of Han in the 14th century, according to, with rituals conducted to mark the first day of the occasion. According to scholar Yong Chen, China’s agricultural roots at the time made this “the occasion to celebrate the harvest and worship the gods and ask for good harvests in times to come.” 

In 1949, under the Communist Party, the government opted to instead follow the Gregorian calendar and do away with celebrations adhering to the traditional Chinese New Year. In modern times, Chinese leaders displayed greater acceptance of the tradition. Beginning in 1996, the government officially declared a weeklong vacation during the Spring Festival, and it is now a state holiday.


The holiday celebrates “household and heavenly deities,” and ancestors, marked with feasting and other special activities, per Fish is a traditional New Year’s Eve last course, which is considered to bring good luck. Other traditional foods that mark the occasion include rice ball soup, moon-shaped rice cakes, and dumplings. Some celebrants hide a clean new coin inside a dumpling, also for luck. As noted by Nat Geo, the New Year’s eve meal — considered “the year’s most important meal” — is a time for family reunions, and it’s traditionally held in the house of the family’s most senior member.

The color red dominates celebrations due to its affiliation with prosperity; red envelopes, or “hongbao,” filled with cash are typically exchanged.

The last day of the 15-day holiday is the Lantern Festival, during which time houses are adorned in colorful lanterns, gifts are exchanged, and parades, dances, games, and fireworks all bring the festivities to a close. 

In Mandarin, traditional greetings used to wish others a happy New Year include “Xīnnián hǎo,” which means “New Year Goodness” or “Good New Year,” and “Xīnnián kuàilè,” which translates to “Happy New Year,” per

Check out these photos from last year’s Lunar New Year celebration, the Year of the Tiger, and click here to find out which animal corresponds to the year you were born and what it means.

dog training: corgi puppy on a leash from a woman
fotografixx/ iStock

If you’ve insisted your canine companion can tell when you’re upset, even without any external indication of your emotions, you’ve got some science to back it up. Research suggests that dogs can pick up on human stress by using the strongest tool they have: their sense of smell. 

Published in September, a study out of the United Kingdom tested whether four pet dogs — named Treo, Fingal, Soot, and Winnie — could detect stress hormones in sweat and breath samples taken from 36 human participants. In 675 out of 720 trials, the dogs were able to differentiate the “stressed” samples from the baseline samples. 

“This study has definitively proven that people, when they have a stress response, their odor profile changes,” lead author Clara Wilson, a doctoral student at Queen’s University Belfast, told The Guardian, later adding, “It was pretty amazing to see [the dogs] be so confident in telling me ‘nope, these two things definitely smell different.’” 

To collect the stress samples, Wilson and her team had its human participants count backward from 9,000 in units of 17, out loud and in front of researchers (either via a video call or in person). To up the ante, the researchers spoke to participants sternly as they counted, insisting that it was important they perform the test accurately. If an incorrect answer was given, the researcher would interrupt with the word “no.” 

Unsurprisingly, almost 80% of participants reported feeling stressed by the task, and increased blood pressure and heart rate were recorded in 27 of the people who performed it in the lab, according to The Guardian. Samples that reflected an increase of at least two points from a participant’s baseline stress level were provided to the dogs about three hours later. 

Though this study may be one of the most recent examples, it’s far from the first time canines — whose senses of smell are 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than ours — have used their noses to detect changes in humans’ physical states. 

According to Diabetic Alert Dogs of America, certain canine companions are trained to pick up on the smells released when changes in blood sugar levels occur in their owners. Additionally, a study published online in 2016 showed that dogs were able to detect certain cancers via exhaled breaths, while another from 2019 demonstrated that they could identify the disease by sniffing blood samples. 

The September research may have similarly useful implications. Canines who assist people with PTSD are typically taught to look for visual signs, such as crouching down or self-injurious behaviors, but the new evidence could offer additional cues. “There is definitely a smell component, and that might be valuable in the training of these dogs in addition to all of the visual stuff,” Wilson told The Guardian. 

Just one more reason to appreciate (hu)man’s best friend!

researchers working on the black box extrusion process smile as they hover above the box in low-gravity on a flight test
Steve Boxall, MIT

First we go to the moon, and then we go to Mars — that’s the impetus behind NASA’s ongoing Artemis missions. And as the goal to send more people to live, work, and learn in space seems increasingly in our reach, it may be helped along by an experimental manufacturing process that the space agency calls “black box extrusion.” Scientists hope that the process, which was recently tested aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time, will one day capitalize on the microgravity in space to create parts and structures that are impossible to build on Earth. 

For now, the magic happens inside a microwave-sized metal box, which, along with a number of other experiments, was launched via SpaceX’s 26th commercial resupply mission on November 26. After spending around 45 days aboard the ISS, where it was used to manufacture various small parts, the box is set to return to Earth early Wednesday morning, and scientists will begin testing the integrity of its space-made creations.

“This experiment leverages the microgravity environment to extrude both common and complex branching shapes,” principal investigator Ariel Ekblaw said in the November NASA news release about the mission. “Our method reduces the time to produce key parts needed for daily mission use and it may support future space construction of large structures like trusses and antennae.” Ekblaw is the founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Space Exploration Initiative, responsible for developing the novel process.

In an interview with NASA, her colleague, MIT engineer Martin Nisser, who is working on his doctorate, further explained the motivation behind the project: “Our ability to manufacture structures in space is really key to the success of sustainable, long-duration future space missions,” he said. 

An example of the silicone skins that contain and shape the liquid resin Rapid Liquid Printing

The method involves filling flexible “skins” in the shape of whatever part is needed, a nut or a bolt for example, with liquid resin that is then hardened under a UV light. Both the skins and resin can be sent to space in a compact manner. Researchers also hope that the process could one day be used to create large parts that would fail under Earth’s gravity, such as very long beams that would sag if built on our planet. 

But taking advantage of microgravity isn’t the only reason extrusion could prove useful. The process of flying large parts to space can be difficult and expensive, as anything that goes up must fit aboard a rocket. For instance, the James Webb Space Telescope’s massive sunshield — the size of a tennis court — had to be built to meticulously fold up into a much smaller size for launching, Popular Science explained in a piece about the experiment. 

And extrusion is just one of multiple projects designed to investigate space construction. According to The Washington Post, others involve creating both individual tiles that can self-assemble and “origami-shaped” connected tiles that can unfold themselves.

Speaking to the Post last Friday, Ekblaw expressed her excitement about the project’s potential. In addition to enabling astronauts to work on building and improving space stations more quickly, and with “less complexity” and cost, she said, “It starts to unlock more opportunities for exploration.”

Shot of an adorable baby boy at home
LaylaBird / iStock

It starts with acrobatic kicks and somersaults while still inside the womb, and progresses after birth to a never-ending stream of wiggles, wriggles, flailing arms, and jerking legs. When they’re not sleeping, babies certainly seem to always be on the move, long before they’re actually crawling or walking. And new research coming out of the University of Tokyo has determined that these seemingly purposeless movements are actually anything but.

In a recent study, published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this past December, shines a light on how the random exploratory behavior of newborns and babies plays a critical role in their ability to later perform deliberate sequential movements. 

The research team utilized detailed motion capture of newborns and young infants and combined that information with a musculoskeletal computer model to study how their muscles and sensations communicate throughout their entire bodies.

Prior to the study, knowledge of how newborns and infants learn movement had been limited. Project assistant professor Hoshinori Kanazawa, from the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, explained how the new research has expanded awareness of how babies learn to control their muscles and movement, and develop coordination, which is the function of the sensorimotor system. 

“Previous research into sensorimotor development has focused on kinematic properties, muscle activities which cause movement in a joint or a part of the body,” Kanazawa stated via a press release.  “However, our study focused on muscle activity and sensory input signals for the whole body. By combining a musculoskeletal model and neuroscientific method, we found that spontaneous movements, which seem to have no explicit task or purpose, contribute to coordinated sensorimotor development.”

The research team first developed a whole-body, infant-scale musculoskeletal computer model. They next used motion capture technology to record the joint movements of 12 healthy newborns and 10 young infants, which provided data that allowed the team to estimate the babies’ muscle activity and sensory input signals. From there, computer algorithms made it possible to analyze interaction between the input signals and muscle activity.

“We were surprised that during spontaneous movement, infants’ movements “wandered” and they pursued various sensorimotor interactions. We named this phenomenon ‘sensorimotor wandering,’” said Kanazawa, later adding that the “results implied that infants develop their own sensorimotor system based on explorational behavior or curiosity, so they are not just repeating the same action but a variety of actions. In addition to this, our findings provide a conceptual linkage between early spontaneous movements and spontaneous neuronal activity.”

These findings may eventually allow doctors to diagnose developmental disorders much earlier than is currently possible. The team also hopes to study how these early movements impact later development, “such as walking and reaching, along with more complex behaviors and higher cognitive functions,” per the press release. 

For Kanazawa, the goal “is to understand the underlying mechanisms of early motor development and to find knowledge that will help to promote baby development.”