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Sweet! Science Identifies the “Sugar Craving” Circuit in Our Brains

Now that we’ve identified it, can we use it to help us eat better?

image via (cc) flickr user tjadin

A new study done by researchers out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s has, for the first time, identified the existence of a specific neural pathway in the brain which regulates compulsive sugar cravings independent of the body's other appetite-related processes. That's good news for anyone who finds themselves the owner of a seriously unhealthy sweet tooth—an independent neural circuit responsible for extreme sugar cravings has the potential to be treated without interfering with the body's natural appetite for other (hopefully healthier) foods.

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Science So Bad It’s Good

The unexpectedly popular BAHFest searches for the year’s most laughable evolutionary theory, and rewards its creator

Trophy by Kyle Horseman

Last week, 1,000 inquisitive San Franciscans gathered inside the Castro Theatre for the second annual Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses, or BAHFest.

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Can an 'X Factor for Tech' Get Kids Excited About STEM?

Will.i.am and Simon Cowell are on the hunt for the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.


How do we turn science, technology, engineering, and math geeks into the rock stars of the 21st century? Given high demand for a STEM-proficient workforce, figuring out how to inspire student interest in those fields is a nut that pop star Will.i.am is doing his best to crack. He's plunking down his own cash for a STEM TV special, composing the first song to be beamed from Mars, and plugging STEM on the heels of the political conventions. His latest idea: harnessing the nation’s obsession with reality television by teaming up with Simon Cowell to create an X-Factor show for STEM.

"We're working on a project called X Factor for Tech—and it’s going to be out of this world," Will.i.am told U.K. paper The Sun, adding that they hope it "will help discover the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs." That kind of tech genius could potentially have a much bigger impact on the world than a pop singer who might only produce a couple Top 40 hits before fading into obscurity. After all, says Will.i.am, creating one singing star only generates a couple of jobs, but a real STEM wizard creates so many more.

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MIT Debuts Video Lectures For Students, By Students

Through dozens of cool, student-made videos, MIT+K12 is bringing the brainpower of college students to kids as young as kindergarten.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elBVeO71_jY&feature=relmfu

With its top-notch science, technology, engineering and math programs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology has plenty resources to share. Now a new initiative called MIT+K12, a partnership with the popular video learning site Khan Academy, will bring MIT expertise to students in kindergarten through high school.

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MIT Launches Free Interactive Online Learning Platform

MITx will allow anyone in the world to take MIT classes online and earn certificates of completion.


Ten years ago, when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created its OpenCourseWare project, giving free access to college course materials was a revolutionary concept. Now, the school plans to take the spirit of OCW to the next level by launching MITx, a new online learning platform.

Like OCW, courses taught on the MITx platform will be completely free. What sets the new program apart, though, is that students who complete the courses and demonstrate mastery of the content will be able to receive a certificate that can be added to a resumé (certificates will not be free). The venture is not-for-profit, so MIT officials say they’re working to make the credentialing component of the project "highly affordable".

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This Is the Connected States of America

If we drew state lines based on cell phone connections, this is what our country would look like.


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