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Stephen Palumbi shows "how toxins at the bottom of the ocean food chain find their way into our bodies."
Stephen Palumbi shows "how toxins at the bottom of the ocean food chain find their way into our bodies."
Sixty-nine years ago, a new geological era may have begun on Earth.
Here is the hypothesis: Not so long ago, the very nature of planet Earth suffered a devastating rupture. The break was sudden, global, and irreversible. It happened on a Sunday within living memory. Mick Jagger, Meryl Streep, and Caitlyn Jenner were all born before this crack in time. Vladimir Putin, Liam Neeson, and Mr. T were all born after it.
That idea might soon carry the weight of scientific fact. Later this month, a committee of researchers from around the world will decide whether the Earth sprang into the Anthropocene, a new chapter of its history, in the year 1950. If accepted, this delineation will signal a new reality, that human activities, not natural processes, are now the dominant driver of change on Earth’s surface—that carbon pollution, climate change, deforestation, factory farms, mass die-offs, and enormous road networks have made a greater imprint on the planet than any other force in the past 12,000 years.
It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think.
In the early 2000s Terry Mitchell’s dentist retired. For a while, Mitchell, an electrician in his 50s, stopped seeking dental care altogether. But when one of his wisdom teeth began to ache, he started looking for someone new. An acquaintance recommended John Roger Lund, whose practice was a convenient 10-minute walk from Mitchell’s home, in San Jose, California. Lund’s practice was situated in a one-story building with clay roof tiles that housed several dental offices. The interior was a little dated, but not dingy. The waiting room was small and the decor minimal: some plants and photos, no fish. Lund was a good-looking middle-aged guy with arched eyebrows, round glasses, and graying hair that framed a youthful face. He was charming, chatty, and upbeat. At the time, Mitchell and Lund both owned Chevrolet Chevelles, and they bonded over their mutual love of classic cars.
It’s more likely than most people think—and compared with his first term, its effects would be far more durable.
Of all the questions that will be answered by the 2020 election, one matters above the others: Is Trumpism a temporary aberration or a long-term phenomenon? Put another way: Will the changes brought about by Donald Trump and today’s Republican Party fade away, or will they become entrenched?
Trump’s reelection seems implausible to many people, as implausible as his election did before November 2016. But despite the scandals and chaos of his presidency, and despite his party’s midterm losses, he approaches 2020 with two factors in his favor. One is incumbency: Since 1980, voters have only once denied an incumbent a second term. The other is a relatively strong economy (at least as of now). Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University who weights both of those factors heavily in his election-forecasting model, gives Trump close to an even chance of reelection, based on a projected 2 percent GDP growth rate for the first half of 2020.
Companies are racing to develop real chicken, fish, and beef that don’t require killing animals. Here’s what’s standing in their way.
SAN FRANCISCO—The thought I had when the $100 chicken nugget hit my expectant tongue was the one cartoon villains have when they entrap a foreign critter and roast him over a spit: It tastes like chicken.
That’s because it was chicken—albeit chicken that had never laid an egg, sprouted a feather, or been swept through an electrified-water bath for slaughter. This chicken began life as a primordial mush in a bioreactor whose dimensions and brand I’m not allowed to describe to you, for intellectual-property reasons. Before that, it was a collection of cells swirling calmly in a red-hued, nutrient-rich “media,” with a glass flask for an eggshell. The chicken is definitely real, and technically animal flesh, but it left the world as it entered it—a mass of meat, ready for human consumption, with no brain or wings or feet.
Before allowing the public and Congress to see it for themselves, the attorney general has called a Thursday-morning press conference.
The Justice Department said on Tuesday that it would release Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday, but it didn’t say how. Finally, late on Wednesday, word emerged: Attorney General William Barr will deliver a press conference at 9:30 a.m., followed by the release of the report to Congress and then the public later in the morning.
No wonder DOJ waited so long to detail the rollout: Barr’s decision is baffling. Since Mueller completed his report, Barr has made a series of judgment calls—on whether there was evidence for an obstruction-of-justice charge, on producing a summary of Mueller’s principal conclusions, and on redacting the full report. Each of these was questioned, but was arguably defensible. But Barr’s decision to hold a press conference on the report, before either the public or Congress has even had a chance to see it, doesn’t make much sense. Perhaps Barr has good reasons that he is not sharing, but based on what’s publicly known, it’s easy to wonder whether he’s trying to spin the report to Donald Trump’s benefit.
People often prize novelty in their leisure time, but research suggests that revisiting the familiar can offer unexpected pleasures.
A common, low-stakes living-room scenario: A couple is trying to decide on a movie to watch. There’s an option one half of the relationship is thrilled about, but the other has already seen it. On those grounds, it’s ruled out.
But a new study suggests that this notion that having already seen it—or read it, done it, visited it—automatically precludes a second go-around might be mistaken. Repeating something, it turns out, “may turn out to be less dull than people think,” writes Ed O’Brien, the author of the study and a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
In one experiment, O’Brien and his research team approached people near an exhibit on genetics at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, asking them to rate how much they enjoyed the exhibit and how much they think they’d enjoy perusing it again. While the subjects tended to predict that the exhibit would be less fun the second time around, the ones who did another walkthrough at the researchers’ request rated it roughly as enjoyable as the first. In other words, the museumgoers, as a group, underestimated how much they would like doing the same thing twice.
The senator from Vermont is starting to think he will not only win the Democratic nomination, but beat Trump and become president.
PITTSBURGH—So far, the 2020 election is playing out exactly as Bernie Sanders had hoped. And that has Sanders thinking with growing seriousness that this could very well end with his election as president.
Still, since some political observers and journalists haven’t wrapped their head around the reality that he could be more than a spoiler who kneecaps the party en route to a complicated convention and maybe another loss to Donald Trump, Sanders has been able to do this without the attention or scrutiny that anyone else with his poll numbers, fundraising, and crowds would face.
The campaign is moving toward its internal $280 million target and savoring polls that have Sanders just behind Joe Biden, who Sanders and his team expect will only go down once he gets in the race. The number of candidates keeps growing, lowering how many people it would take to come in first, beyond the 15 to 20 percent of primary voters who will stick with Sanders no matter what.
A psychologist explains how a strong relationship with a parent or teacher can help boys be their true selves, even when those selves don’t fit within narrow cultural norms.
In recent years, some of society’s gender norms have begun to stretch and soften, while others cling fast. For many young boys, there continues to be a very small space that they can occupy to be considered traditionally “masculine,” and that small space can be restricting, forcing boys to lose what doesn’t fit inside it.
In his new book, How to Raise a Boy, Michael Reichert calls that space the “man box.” Reichert is a psychologist who specializes in boys and men, and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives at the University of Pennsylvania. His book is written as a guide to parents who want to create more space for their boys to express themselves. The key, he writes is “a relationship in which a boy can tell that he matters … A young man’s self confidence is not accidental or serendipitous but derives from experiences of being accurately understood, loved, and supported.”
The brain, supposedly, cannot long survive without blood. Within seconds, oxygen supplies deplete, electrical activity fades, and unconsciousness sets in. If blood flow is not restored, within minutes, neurons start to die in a rapid, irreversible, and ultimately fatal wave.
But maybe not? According to a team of scientists led by Nenad Sestan at Yale School of Medicine, this process might play out over a much longer time frame, and perhaps isn’t as inevitable or irreparable as commonly believed. Sestan and his colleagues showed this in dramatic fashion—by preserving and restoring signs of activity in the isolated brains of pigs that had been decapitated four hours earlier.
The team sourced 32 pig brains from a slaughterhouse, placed them in spherical chambers, and infused them with nutrients and protective chemicals, using pumps that mimicked the beats of a heart. This system, dubbed BrainEx, preserved the overall architecture of the brains, preventing them from degrading. It restored flow in their blood vessels, which once again became sensitive to dilating drugs. It stopped many neurons and other cells from dying, and reinstated their ability to consume sugar and oxygen. Some of these rescued neurons even started to fire. “Everything was surprising,” says Zvonimir Vrselja, who performed most of the experiments along with Stefano Daniele.
They say religious discrimination against Christians is as big a problem as discrimination against other groups.
Many, many Christians believe they are subject to religious discrimination in the United States. A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute and Brookings offers evidence: Almost half of Americans say discrimination against Christians is as big of a problem as discrimination against other groups, including blacks and minorities. Three-quarters of Republicans and Trump supporters said this, and so did nearly eight out of 10 white evangelical Protestants. Of the latter group, six in 10 believe that although America once was a Christian nation, it is no longer—a huge jump from 2012.
Polling data can be split up in a million different ways. It’s possible to sort by ethnicity, age, political party, and more. The benefit of sorting by religion, though, is that it highlights people’s beliefs: the way their ideological and spiritual convictions shape their self-understanding. This survey suggests that race is not enough to explain the sense of loss some white Americans seem to feel about their country, although it’s part of the story; the same is true of age, education level, and political affiliation. People’s beliefs seem to have a distinctive bearing on how they view changes in American culture, politics, and law—and whether they feel threatened. No group is more likely to express this fear than conservative Christians.
In drug-ravaged Appalachia, a man tries to save lives by bringing death into the streets.
The digital war zone of a multiplayer shooter game is reappropriated for a pacifist city tour of dystopian Manhattan.
The ongoing battle over First Amendment rights in the digital space