Nautilus
18 min read
Self-Improvement

Why Your Brain Hates Other People: And how to make it think differently.

As a kid, I saw the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes. As a future primatologist, I was mesmerized. Years later I discovered an anecdote about its filming: At lunchtime, the people playing chimps and those playing gorillas ate in separate groups. It’s been said, “There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t.” In reality, there’s lots more of the former. And it can be vastly consequential when people are divided into Us and Them, ingroup and outgroup, “the people” (i.e., our kind) and the Others. The core of Us/Them-ing is
New York Magazine
3 min read
Society

This Isn’t Fun Anymore

Unfulfilling Forty-one years before Maureen O’Connor dove into Pornhub’s user data for this issue’s cover story, Molly Haskell found herself in her local movie theater on 86th Street, two seats away from a man who was enthusiastically masturbating. Onscreen was an X-rated movie titled Inserts, which had made its way into conventional distribution channels. We’ve all read stories about the gradual mainstreaming of porn, but the early 1970s were really when it first happened: The explicit films Deep Throat and I Am Curious (Yellow) had survived legal challenges to their exhibition, and the old d
NPR
4 min read
Society

Why You Should Think Twice About Those DNA-By-Mail Results

In a new book, University of North Carolina-Charlotte anthropologist Jonathan Marks says that racism in science is alive and well. This stands in sharp contrast to creationist thinking, Marks says, which is, like racism, decidedly evident in our society but most certainly not welcome in science. In Is Science Racist?, Marks writes: "If you espouse creationist ideas in science, you are branded as an ideologue, as a close-minded pseudo-scientist who is unable to adopt a modern perspective, and who consequently has no place in the community of scholars. But if you espouse racist ideas in science,
Bloomberg Businessweek
5 min read
Society

THE ROBOTS ARE COMING (But You’ll Still Need to Work)

The world’s workers seem to be in a bad spot: A recent study found that each new industrial robot displaces six employees. Automation is on the rise in fields from radiology to volleyball coaching (page 50 of this special Jobs Issue). Workers in poorer manufacturing-reliant nations are especially vulnerable, it’s said, because their jobs could soon be done by robots. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the new book Homo Deus, speculates in a recent Bloomberg View column about the rise of a huge, embittered “useless class” living on the dole. But if work is being automated out of existence, how do yo
The New York Times
8 min read
Science

An Ancient Cure for Alzheimer's?

This article is accompanied by an illustration by Eleanor Davis that is available at no charge to clients of The New York Times Op-Ed service. In 2011, Ben Trumble emerged from the Bolivian jungle with a backpack containing hundreds of vials of saliva. He had spent six weeks following indigenous men as they tramped through the wilderness, shooting arrows at wild pigs. The men belonged to the Tsimane people, who live as our ancestors did thousands of years ago — hunting, foraging and farming small plots of land. Trumble had asked the men to spit into vials a few times a day so that he could map
STAT
3 min read
Science

Grappling With Cancers Like John McCain’s Glioblastoma That Break All The Rules

Arizona Sen. John McCain’s recent diagnosis of the hard-to-treat cancer glioblastoma stands in contrast to recent media reports that paint an optimistic picture of cancer treatment in America. A sampling of headlines includes “Cancer survival rates at all-time high” and “Cancer death rates continue to decrease in the United States.” Driving much of the progress are emerging advances in three vital areas: cancer prevention and early detection, immunotherapy, and precision medicine approaches that match patients to targeted therapies. These developments are yielding benefits for nearly every sit
The Atlantic
2 min read

The Australian Woman Killed by Police in Minneapolis

Justine Damond called police just before midnight Saturday to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home. Two officers responded in a squad car and, the Star Tribune reported, Damond went to the driver’s door in her pajamas; the officer in the passenger seat fired, killing her. The death of the 40-year-old Australian woman who was due to be married next month prompted global outrage as well as questions on why the officers hadn’t turned on their body cameras in line with the department’s rules. Minneapolis Police officials say they’re looking into the shooting and released a short
The Atlantic
8 min read
Society

The U.S. Is a Good Place for Bad People to Stash Their Money

When Viktor Bout—the arms dealer extraordinaire who inspired the 2005 Nicolas Cage movie Lord of War—sought to set up anonymous shell companies, according to a Senate panel, he turned to, of all places, the U.S. So too, court documents indicate, did former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, a man who has landed on Transparency International’s list of the 10 most corrupt officials. Per a Senate report, the same was true of the accused kleptocrat Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, who went on to forfeit more than $30 million worth of mansions and sport
NPR
4 min read
Society

What This Teen Mom Wishes She'd Known Before She Got Pregnant

Not that long ago, Maria Nalubega, 16, suspected she was pregnant. The teen from Mbuya-Kinawataka, a slum in Uganda, had not been using contraception with her boyfriend of two years. She feared what her neighbors might think if they saw her buying condoms at the local shop. She was terrified to ask for advice from her single mother, who expected to her to abstain from sex until marriage. And she simply thought she was too young to become pregnant. In Uganda — where I also grew up — Nalubega's circumstances are not unusual. It's hard for young people to get information about sex and pregnancy.
The New York Times
5 min read
Society

Who Do We Think Of as Poor?

Tracie McMillan is the author of “The American Way of Eating.” Several years ago, during a harsh Detroit winter, I swallowed my pride and applied for food stamps. I wasn’t sure I’d qualify, but I knew three things. I had little money in the bank, little chance of quickly earning more and I needed to eat. So I tried my luck with the government. I received $16 a month in benefits. By my cynical calculation, the eight hours I had spent applying would pay for itself, at minimum wage, after four months. I was grateful for the help. Usually, my $4 a week bought bacon, which could stretch several bat
Popular Science
3 min read

Doctors Are Wearing The New Google Glass While Seeing Patients

The Glass on the doctor's face beams the audio and visual from the conversation to a remote scribe. Augmedix You could be forgiven for assuming that Glass, Google's head-mounted augmented-reality device, had been effectively dead since 2015. But as Google’s sister company X, the Moonshot Factory, announced on Tuesday, the project has been pivoting to a business-to-business model over the past two years. The new, updated version of the device is known as Glass Enterprise Edition, and it’s been put to use at companies like Boeing, DHL—and in your physician’s office. Going to the doctor today is
STAT
4 min read
Society

How Much Do Doctors Really Make? Compare Your Salary To Various Specialties

Physicians-to-be, practicing physicians, and many of their patients take great interest in how much money doctors make. Physician compensation surveys can offer some eye-popping numbers — orthopedic surgeons make more than $450,000 a year! — but they are often highly misleading. A key shortcoming is that surveys neglect what’s called opportunity cost, which is the amount of money lost from choosing the next best alternative. Given the extensive and expensive nature of training, medicine has a high opportunity cost: Future doctors must endure four years of medical school, three to six years of
The Atlantic
3 min read
Science

Turning Baker’s Yeast Into a Disease Sensor

For millennia, the baker’s yeast—a humble fungus—has helped humans to bake bread and brew alcoholic drinks. In recent decades, it has also become a darling of laboratory science—it is easy to grow, study, and genetically manipulate, and it provides scientists with important clues about how our own cells work. Now, thanks to Nili Ostrov at Columbia University, baker’s yeast is about to begin yet another career—as a biosensor for detecting cholera and other diseases. Cholera is caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae, which lives in salty water and lashes itself to the shells of small crust
New York Magazine
23 min read
Society

The Bullet, the Cop, the Boy

AT THE CLOSE OF the last century, the New York City Police Department switched from full-metal-jacket bullets to hollow points. It was a move meant to spare lives—in theory, anyway: The old bullets had a tendency to pass through their targets and endanger bystanders, while hollow points expand after impact, inflicting greater damage to internal organs but also increasing the likelihood that the bullet will slow to a halt inside the body. And so, on February 2, 2012, when Officer Richard Haste shot 18-year-old Ramarley Graham—who was unarmed, standing in his own bathroom—the hollow-point bullet
Mic
2 min read
Society

Jordan Edwards’ Mother Speaks Out After Monday’s Indictment Of The Officer Who Killed Her Son

Attorneys for the parents of Jordan Edwards hosted a joint press conference in Dallas on Thursday to publicly refute claims made earlier in the week by lawyers working for the officer who fatally shot their unarmed black child in April. Former Balch Springs, Texas, police officer Roy Oliver, 37, was indicted for murder Monday for shooting 15-year-old Edwards in the head with an assault rifle on April 29. Edwards was leaving a house party in his dad’s Chevrolet Impala with his brother, Kevon Edwards, his stepbrother, Vidal Allen, and twin teens Maximus and Maxwell Everette when Oliver and other
Mic
2 min read

Experts Explain Why The FBI Has Never — And Should Never — Report To The President

When Sanford Ungar heard that President Donald Trump said the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation once reported to the president, he was incredulous. “It’s bullshit,” the veteran journalist and author of a 1976 history of the FBI said in an interview. “It’s just totally untrue. ... I don’t think there exists, anywhere, a federal organizational chart that would show the FBI director reporting to the president.” In a wide-reaching Oval Office discussion between Trump and three New York Times reporters on Wednesday, Trump said that it wasn’t until “Richard Nixon came along” that the
Mic
4 min read
Society

How The Media Covers “Honor Killings” Reveals A Double Standard Against Women Of Different Religions

On Sunday, Israeli authorities arrested an Arab Christian father in Ramle — a central city in Israel — for allegedly killing his 17-year-old daughter after learning she was falling in love with a Muslim boy. Sami Karra allegedly killed his daughter, Henriette, on June 13, one day after her high school graduation. According to Israeli authorities, Karra’s motive was based on his “vehement opposition” to her relationship with her Muslim boyfriend and her intentions to become a Muslim. Henriette’s boyfriend, who remains unidentified, was in prison at the time and due to be released by the end o
STAT
3 min read
Society

What To Know About Sen. John McCain’s Brain Cancer Diagnosis

Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with the aggressive brain cancer glioblastoma, his office said on Wednesday. McCain had undergone surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye last week, and a subsequent pathology report of that tissue found that it was cancerous. “The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team,” his office said in a written statement. Here are five things to know about glioblastoma and McCain’s future health. Glioblastoma is the most common form of brain cancer, making up 16 percent of all brain malignancies. It is ra
STAT
2 min read
Society

These Cities Are On The Front Lines Of A Women’s Health Crisis

Hold on to your obstetrician if you live in Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., Miami, Los Angeles, or Riverside, Calif. It might be hard to find another one. These five metro areas are the most likely to experience a major shortage of OB-GYNs in the coming years, according to researchers with Doximity, a social network for U.S.-based clinicians. Nearly half of all U.S. counties already lack a practicing OB-GYN. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists projects a shortage of up to 8,800 OB-GYNs by 2020. And Pew Trusts predicts the nation could be 22,000 practitioners short in the decades
STAT
3 min read
Society

A Treatment Option For McCain: An Electric Cap That Kills Brain Cancer Cells

One of the few treatments shown to prolong the lives of patients with brain tumors like Sen. John McCain’s is a mesh-like cap that zaps the brain with a low-level electric field. But cancer doctors have been slow to embrace it, and few patients use it. The medical device, known as Optune and made by Novocure, was shown in a large clinical trial to prolong survival when used by patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, the type of aggressive brain tumor just found in McCain. The Food and Drug Administration approved Optune for this use in 2015, making it the first treatment for newly diagnose
NPR
3 min read

OJ Simpson Parole Hearing Could Lead To His Prison Release

O.J. Simpson will find out on Thursday if he soon will be released from the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada. He's been held there for nearly nine years for convictions on armed robbery and other charges. The former NFL hero, TV pitchman and movie star, now 70, stands a good chance of being granted parole when he appears before the Nevada Parole Board via videolink. No one has registered to testify against him. He will likely try to persuade the board of his good behavior behind bars. If paroled, Simpson would be released from prison no sooner than Oct. 1. As with all things O.J., there'
NPR
3 min read

The Side Effect Of That New Malaria Drug? American Jobs

A 50-cent meningitis vaccine. Kid-friendly malaria drugs. A vaccine to prevent a deadly diarrheal disease. These U.S.-funded global health innovations have saved millions of lives around the world. But they also come with an added bonus for Americans. The details are in a study released today by Global Health Technologies Coalition, an advocacy group, and Policy Cures Research of Australia, an independent research group. The researchers found that between 2007 and 2015, the U.S. government invested $14 billion in global health research and development. And that created 200,000 new American job
NPR
3 min read

GOP Effort To Make Environmental Science 'Transparent' Worries Scientists

Groups that represent industries from farming to fracking are supporting a legislative push to rewrite how government handles science when drawing up regulations. And the whole effort has scientists worried. Consider, for example, the Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act, or HONEST Act, which passed the House in the spring and now is with the Senate. Just how "honest" it is depends on whom you ask. The HONEST Act says the EPA can't take a particular action based on scientific research unless that research is "publicly available online in a manner than is sufficient for independent ana
The Guardian
2 min read
Society

Dutch Prisoners Given Cold-case Calendars In Hope Of Solving Crimes

Prisoners across the Netherlands are to be issued with calendars for their cells featuring unsolved murders or disappearances as part of a drive by the Dutch police to crack unsolved cases. The so-called cold case calendars will be handed to all 30,000 prisoners in the country after a trial run in five jails in the north resulted in 160 tips to the police. Each week of the year in the brightly coloured 2018-19 calendars will be illustrated with a photograph of a missing person and details of the case. The hope is that many of those in jail will know details of some of the crimes or may hav
Bloomberg Businessweek
3 min read
Society

Government And The Rise Of Automation

Capitalism has brought opportunity to billions of people around the world and reduced poverty and disease on a monumental scale. Driving that progress have been advances in knowledge and technology that disrupt industries and create new ones. We celebrate market disruptions for the overall benefits they generate, but they also present challenges to workers whose skills are rendered obsolete. Today, as the age of automation affects more industries, those challenges are affecting more and more people. Attempting to slow the pace of technological change to preserve particular jobs is neither pos
The Guardian
4 min read
Tech

As Facebook Blocks The Names Of Trans Users And Drag Queens, This Burlesque Performer Is Fighting Back

When Caitlin Beach came out as a transgender woman, she decided she would announce the news to her entire network on social media. Facebook, however, wouldn’t let her. In spring 2015, she said Facebook flagged her profile after she changed it from her legal name to her new name, telling her she had to provide documentation to verify her identity. Beach, who had no supporting records at the time, said it was important to be able to introduce herself as Caitlin, and without that option, she decided to deactivate her account altogether. “It took away that experience of being able to come ou
The New York Times
4 min read
Society

The Paradox of Mexico's Mass Graves

IS THE VIOLENCE SIMPLY A HORRENDOUS CRIME PROBLEM, OR IS IT AN ACTUAL WAR? VERACRUZ, Mexico — The Colinas de Santa Fe neighborhood on the outskirts of this port city looks like hundreds of other residential housing developments built across Mexico in recent decades. Streets are lined with identical brick homes — bungalows with two bedrooms, painted pink, blue or green and advertised as being close to a shopping mall. Yards are cluttered with children’s bikes, basketball hoops and satellite dishes. But on the edge of the estate, investigators announced in March, fields for grazing cattle hid th
Popular Science
5 min read

How Worried Should I Really Be About Carcinogens?

Some carcinogens are worth the hype. Pixabay News articles over the past few years have implicated everything from sunlight’s ultraviolet radiation to burnt toast as potential carcinogens, or cancer-causing substances. So, should you be rushing to cut these everyday exposures out of your life? Well, it depends on the material you are talking about, and how much and how often you are in contact with it. There’s no doubt that certain substances do increase your risk of developing cancer. For example, public health organizations maintain that the chemicals in cigarettes are formidable carcinogens