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Sunday, April 11, 2021
Sea turtles think plastic smells like food

Sea turtles think plastic smells like food

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A turtle very interested in the smells that pipe has to offer. The push against single-use plastic has some emotive mascots, including the iconic turtle with a straw in its nose. The working hypothesis about why turtles are so attracted to plastic is that plastic drifting in the ocean can look a lot like jellyfish.…
Do morning people do better in school because school starts early?

Do morning people do better in school because school starts early?

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The terms "night owl" and "early bird" have floated around in conversation for ages before scientists developed the jargon "chronotype" to describe a set of somewhat stable behavioral differences among people. Some individuals really are morning people, going to bed earlier and having their peak performance in the morning. Late-night sorts also exist, and there's…
As sea levels rise, little of the United States will be unaffected

As sea levels rise, little of the United States will be...

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The United States is rich enough, industrialized enough, and far enough from the tropics that the rising temperatures of our changing climate aren't going to make any place uninhabitable. But a side effect of those rising temperatures—rising oceans—most certainly will. Already, an ever-growing list of places is facing what's called "nuisance flooding," in which even…
Low turnout and polarization are a deadly combo for electoral stability

Low turnout and polarization are a deadly combo for electoral stability

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When people talk about elections like horse races, policy doesn't matter—all we care about is who's likely to win. In this fetid theory of elections, governments tend to represent a kind of dissatisfying average of voter opinion. Everyone gets a little bit of the stuff they want, and everyone gets a large dose of the…
Why killer whales—and humans—evolved menopause

Why killer whales—and humans—evolved menopause

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Enlarge / Southern Resident killer whales, an endangered population that recently lost the oldest known grandma orca to date. There's a rare human trait that doesn't often make it into debates about what makes our species unique: menopause. Humans are among just a handful of species where females stop reproducing decades before the end of…
Dodgy sex-psychology paper lastly gets pulled back

Dodgy sex-psychology paper lastly gets pulled back

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Enlarge / Floppy data leads to abandoned high-heels research. Two years ago, Ars published a story about some famous psychology research that smelled... off. Psychologist Nicolas Guéguen's flashy findings on human sexuality appeared to be riddled with errors and inconsistencies, and two researchers had raised an alarm. Now, four years after James Heathers and Nick…
Financial investment supervisors do not comprehend how to rate funds handled by black individuals

Financial investment supervisors do not comprehend how to rate funds handled...

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Science has struggled to increase the diversity of the research community, trying to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute to humanity's advances. But science's struggles are nothing compared to those of the financial industry, where only about 1% of fund managers are women or minorities. While there have been some efforts made…
Spin in psychiatric scientific trial reports is extensive

Spin in psychiatric scientific trial reports is extensive

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Enlarge / The drugs totally work. We swear. It's not just longform journalism and apoplectic Internet commenters that prompt a "tl;dr" from readers. Research papers trigger it, too, as scientists are so inundated with the volume of new results that just barely keeping up is a struggle. According to University of Oxford psychiatrist Michael Sharpe,…
When it pertains to ethical choices, testosterone does not appear to do much

When it pertains to ethical choices, testosterone does not appear to...

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Enlarge / The trolley problem brought to (after) life. NBC The Trolley Problem is a staple of ethics courses and has even made its way into prime-time television. It's a problem because it forces people to decide between two options that are both considered highly ethical: not choosing to kill someone, and minimizing the total…
Test efficiency, gender, and temperature level

Test efficiency, gender, and temperature level

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As we move from a season marked by unstoppable heating units and into one dominated by aggressive air conditioning. Figuring out how to optimize the thermostat involves a balancing of individual comfort and energy efficiency. But a new study suggests that there's an additional factor that should feed into decisions: the performance of any employees…

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