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What's the Best Age Gap in a Relationship?

2 July 2017 - 1:33pm
Soumaya Keynes, 1843
When a friend opts to date someone who is old enough to be their parent, a common response is to see if the decision passes the half their age plus seven test. The rule, whose origins remain mysterious, has been passed down through generations as a way of justifying or, more commonly, pouring scorn on other people's couplings.
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Are Humans Significant in the Cosmos?

30 June 2017 - 11:14pm
Nick Hughes, Aeon
Humanity occupies a very small place in an unfathomably vast Universe. Travelling at the speed of light 671 million miles per hour it would take us 100,000 years to cross the Milky Way. But we still wouldn't have gone very far. By recent estimates, the Milky Way is just one of 2 trillion galaxies in the observable Universe, and the region of space that they occupy spans at least 90 billion light-years. If you imagine Earth shrunk down to the size of a single grain of sand, and you imagine the size of that grain of sand relative to the entirety of the Sahara Desert, you are still...
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Examining California's Very Expensive 'Free' Healthcare

30 June 2017 - 9:11pm
Science 2.0
What will cost $400 billion, a giant leap over California's total health care budget for 2018 of $179.5 billion, yet is not mentioned by California lawmakers? California's free "single-payer" healthcare proposal.Clearly providing greater health care access to American poor people, at giant cost, has been a failure. A few million people not already eligible for Medicaid did get access, but they were primarily young people forced into plans they neither wanted nor needed in their early earning years. Those without private health care due to pre-existing conditions did get access, though many of...
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Robots Taking the Finance World by Storm

30 June 2017 - 9:11pm
Kendall & Alam, Conversation
The year is 2030. You're in a business school lecture hall, where just a handful of students are attending a finance class.The dismal turnout has nothing to with professorial style, school ranking or subject matter. Students simply aren't enrolled, because there are no jobs out there for finance majors.Today, finance, accounting, management and economics are among universities' most popular subjects worldwide, particularly at graduate level, due to high employability. But that's changing.
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Bee Pesticide Study Yields Mixed Results

30 June 2017 - 9:11pm
Erik Stokstad, Science Mag
Europe's largest field trial of controversial insecticides called neonicotinoids has delivered a split verdict on the danger they pose to bees. The 2.8 million, 2-year-long study of 33 sites in the United Kingdom, Hungary, and Germany, described this week in Science, provides the first real-world demonstration that agricultural use of these common pesticides can hurt both domesticated honey bees and wild bees. But on German farms, the honey bees did just fine, suggesting that in some situations colonies can weather the toxicity.
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Pressure-Cooked Food Waste Produces Biofuel

30 June 2017 - 9:11pm
Prachi Patel, Anthropocene
Around one-third of the food produced around the world today is wasted. That includes everything from produce that rots in trucks during transit to meat that doesn't sell in stores to leftovers at home and in restaurants. This wasted food is an untapped energy resource.Engineers at Cornell University have now come up with a fast, effective way to convert foodstuff into fuel. Their two-step process, detailed in the journal Bioresource Technology, extracts nearly all the energy present in trashed food.
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Nuclear Fission May Power Mars Colony

30 June 2017 - 9:11pm
Irene Klotz, Space.com
As NASA makes plans to one day send humans to Mars, one of the key technical gaps the agency is working to fill is how to provide enough power on the Red Planet's surface for fuel production, habitats and other equipment. One option: small nuclear fission reactors, which work by splitting uranium atoms to generate heat, which is then converted into electric power. NASA's technology development branch has been funding a project called Kilopower for three years, with the aim of demonstrating the system at the Nevada National Security Site near Las Vegas. Testing is due to start in September...
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Antipsychotic Meds May Help New Brain Cells Grow

30 June 2017 - 9:11pm
Alex Berezow, ACSH
Depression is something of a black box. Its underlying causes aren't completely understood, nor why particular medications work for some people but not others. Even worse, treatments are not fully successful in up to 60% of patients. Learning more about the molecular details of mental illness will go a long way toward designing better drugs.With these ends in mind, a team of Portuguese researchers examined the effects of two antipsychotic medications (which can also be used to treat major depression) on the behavior and physiology of rats. Their results are published in Translational...
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