GOOD

A Promising New Drug Kills Pain Like Morphine—And It’s Not Addictive, Either

The compound is a huge step forward in the fight to end America’s dangerous addiction to prescription narcotics.

Throw around the word “opioid”—a morphine-derived painkiller like heroin, Vicodin, or Oxycontin—and “epidemic” is likely to follow. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that U.S. deaths from opioid abuse are at a record high, with 78 fatalities occurring every day, a number that has quadrupled since 1999. A 2016 Kaiser Health survey found that nearly half of respondents reported knowing someone with an addiction to heroin, which in certain parts of the country is becoming a cheap, easily accessible alternative once the prescription runs out.

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Health

Paging Dr. AI

Our bodies are made of blood, water, and data. Could machines understand them better than human doctors?

When 59-year-old Mimi Carroll was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, it was a complete shock. The California photographer was an active person who ate healthy. How could she be sick?

Carroll’s only symptom was a single swollen lymph node. While her paternal grandmother had died of the disease, not one of her five sisters or mother had any evidence of cancer. More unsettling, her type of breast cancer has a 40% chance of recurrence after treatment.

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Health

Psychology Teachers Turned Their Classroom Into A Study About The Best Way To Fight Fake News

Educators are coming up with increasingly creative ways to instill critical thinking skills

In a time when fake news has become “a game of Whack-a-Mole,” popping up on a variety of media platforms while duping audiences of all political affiliations, teaching young people to discern the difference between what is or isn’t reliable information has become an unusually difficult, and urgent, challenge. Fortunately, a new study published in the journal Science and Education has brought renewed hope to a classic skillset: critical thinking.

According to the study, it isn’t that critical thinking has been abandoned in the education system. Instead, it’s that we’ve relegated this crucial ability to the realm of the humanities. Lead study author Anne Collins McLaughlin, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, believes that this kind of limited view is a mistake, given how much critical thinking has in common with the scientific method. (In case you need a refresher, Frank Wolfs, a physics professor at Rochester University offers this concise definition to his undergrad students: “the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate (that is, reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary) representation of the world.”)

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Education

There’s Water, Water Everywhere In California. So Why Isn’t The Drought Over?

How the coastal state handles its ongoing crisis should matter to everyone

A firefighter carries a woman from her car after it was caught in street flooding as a powerful storm moves across Southern California on February 17, 2017 in Sun Valley, California.

For the first time in the nearly six years of significant drought in California, a slew of intense winter storms have overfilled reservoirs, flooded roadways, and returned a sense of possibility to the parched regions of the state. Who could blame any Californian for taking an extra-long shower or two when it’s suddenly so abundant?

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Articles

Within days of Trump’s inauguration, Republicans swiftly laid the groundwork to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed “Obamacare,” which provided health insurance to more than 20 million Americans. The public has responded with panic about pre-existing conditions and potential sticker shock, storming the offices and town halls of waffling representatives.

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Health

This Is Your Brain On God

Neuroscientists discover that “feeling the spirit” can be as euphoric and habit-forming as getting high—without the hangover

Christian sings during a performance to mark Christmas in 'Sheng Ai Tang' Christian Church in Chongqing Municipality, China. Photo by China Photos and Getty Images.

The holidays have a way of drawing even the most secular people toward houses of worship. So whether religion is part of your everyday life or Christmas Eve is the last time anyone will spot you near an altar until Easter, it’s likely you’ll encounter someone undergoing a spiritual experience in the coming days. Ask someone what it’s like to “feel the spirit,” and they’ll probably describe it as mysterious, even unknowable. Yet, thanks to new research, neuroscientists can tell us exactly what’s happening in the brain at that moment.

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Health