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- 14 HOURS AGO
What Happened to All of the Universe's Antimatter?
Differences between matter and antimatter could help explain why the cosmos mostly lacks the latter today, researchers say -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
- NAUTILUSA DAY AGO
He Gave Away $30 Million Because It Felt Good - Issue 72: Quandary
James Doty is not a subject under study at the altruism research center that he founded at Stanford in 2008, but he could be. In 2000, after building a fortune as a neurosurgeon and biotech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, he lost it all in the dotcom crash: $75 million gone in six weeks. Goodbye villa in Tuscany, private island in New Zealand, penthouse in San Francisco. His final asset was stock in a medical-device company he’d once run called Accuray. But it was stock he’d committed to a trust that would benefit the universities he’d attended and programs for AIDS, family, and global health. Doty was $3 million in the hole. Everyone told him to keep the stock for himself. He gave it away—all $30 million of it. “Giving it away has had to be the most personally fulfilling experience I’ve had in my life,” Doty, 63, said on a sunny afternoon at Stanford in 2014. In 2007, Accuray went public at a valuation of $1.3 billion. That generated hundreds of millions for Doty’s donees and zero for him. “I have no regrets,” he said. So what exactly is wrong with Doty? Is it normal for a human being to…Read More…
- NAUTILUSA DAY AGO
Can We Revive Empathy in Our Selfish World? - Issue 72: Quandary
You wake up on a bus, surrounded by all your remaining possessions. A few fellow passengers slump on pale blue seats around you, their heads resting against the windows. You turn and see a father holding his son. Almost everyone is asleep. But one man, with a salt-and-pepper beard and khaki vest, stands near the back of the bus, staring at you. You feel uneasy and glance at the driver, wondering if he would help you if you needed it. When you turn back around, the bearded man has moved toward you and is now just a few feet away. You jolt, fearing for your safety, but then remind yourself there’s nothing to worry about. You take off the Oculus helmet and find yourself back in the real world, in Jeremy Bailenson’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University. For more and more people in Silicon Valley, a long and dangerous bus ride isn’t a simulation; it’s reality. Santa Clara County—home to Facebook and Google—contains the nation’s second highest concentration of affluence. The soaring cost of living here has displaced all but the wealthiest. In Palo Alto, the nation’s tech epicenter, the number of homeless people has increased by a…Read More…
- NAUTILUSA DAY AGO
Dude, Where’s My Frontal Cortex? - Issue 72: Quandary
In the foothills of the Sierra Mountains, a few hours east of San Francisco, are the Moaning Caverns, a cave system that begins, after a narrow, twisting descent of 30-some feet, with an abrupt 180-foot drop. The Park Service has found ancient human skeletons at the bottom of the drop. Native Americans living there at the time didn’t make human sacrifices. Instead, these explorers took one step too far in the gloom. The skeletons belonged to adolescents. No surprises there. After all, adolescence is the time of life when someone is most likely to join a cult, kill, be killed, invent an art form, help overthrow a dictator, ethnically cleanse a village, care for the needy, transform physics, adopt a hideous fashion style, commit to God, and be convinced that all the forces of history have converged to make this moment the most consequential ever, fraught with peril and promise. For all this we can thank the teenage brain. Some have argued adolescence is a cultural construct. In traditional cultures, there is typically a single qualitative transition to puberty. After that, the individual is a young adult. Yet the progression from birth to adulthood is not smoothly linear. The teenage…Read More…
- 14 HOURS AGO
Where (Some of) Earth's Gold Came From
Of all of that precious metal ever refined, 600 tons were created in a collision between two neutron stars, 1,000 light-years away and 4.6 billion years ago -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
- 11 HOURS AGO
What Are the Biological Consequences of Homelessness?
Understanding why living on the street seems to cause rapid aging could help homeless people—and governments -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
- 10 HOURS AGO
Mystery Solved: Warming Superpollutant Tracked to China
Chinese firms violated international law by using a banned, potent greenhouse gas in insulation manufacturing -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
- 9 HOURS AGO
Indigenous Peoples Have a Critical Role in Conserving Nature
Traditional stewardship rights have shielded many of the ecosystems that are still standing -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
- A DAY AGO
Why High-Class People Get Away With Incompetence
People who came from higher social classes were more likely to have an inflated sense of their skills, a new study found. This overconfidence was interpreted by strangers as competence.
- 8 HOURS AGO
Forecasts Call for a Normal Hurricane Season, but ‘It Only Takes One’
Government forecasters predict as many as fifteen named storms, and as many as four major hurricanes, during the season which begins June 1 and stretches to Nov. 30
- 7 HOURS AGO
Tiny, Snackable Fish Are Linchpins of Coral Reef Ecosystems
Fish that are so small and shy that they escape attention may be the foundation of reefs' outsize productivity -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
- 7 HOURS AGO
Trilobites: Seeing Red in the Fossil Record
A discovery in a fossilized mouse could help scientists work out the true colors of dinosaurs and other creatures from prehistory.
- 2 HOURS AGO
Secrets of the Universe Revealed!
Cornell University applied mathematics professor Steven Strogatz talks about his new book Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
- AN HOUR AGO
SpaceX’s Third Launch Attempt of Starlink Internet Satellites Set for Tonight
The payload of 60 satellites could be an important new line of business for the private rocket company.
- 23 MINUTES AGO
Icy Room Temperatures May Chill Productivity
A new study suggests women's performance on math and verbal tasks increases as room temperature rises, up to about the mid 70s F. Christopher Intagliata reports. -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com