23andMe Data Shows That Kind People Might Have Empathy in Their Genes

Scientists have long been interested in understanding the underpinnings of empathy. Being able to share the feelings of another person plays a critical role in our inner lives, how we behave towards others, and the way human societies function as a whole. Harnessing the power of empathy, some suggest, could go a long way toward solving problems like racism and sexism, and help us better understand non-neurotypical people. At the same time, another corner of the research world worries that constant immersion in technology is making it harder for today’s kids to empathise. Read More >>

One of Déjà Vu’s Most Striking Features is Just an Illusion

You’ve been here before. You’ve read this article already. Every word feels familiar. Even the room you’re sitting in feels the same. You know exactly what happens next. Read More >>

Why Booze Makes You Mean

Dramatic mood shifts while drinking alcohol are normal, but for some of us, booze takes us down a path toward nasty, belligerent, and downright aggressive behavior. By studying brain scans of drunk men, Australian scientists have pinpointed the parts of our brain that go weak when we drink, making us meaner than usual. But like so many aspects of human psychology, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Read More >>

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How Much Should I Regret Not Buying Bitcoin?

The first bitcoin transaction ever was by man who bought two pizzas. That arrangement would be worth over a $100 million today. Regret was baked into Bitcoin from the beginning. Last year, somewhat inexplicably, Bitcoin’s price rose more than 1,000 percent. That number has since dipped, but a single bitcoin is still, as of this writing, worth around $11K. Read More >>

Experimenter’s Gender Can Skew Science

There could be a crisis in science, especially in the social and even medical sciences: Results are difficult to reproduce. Groundbreaking papers might reveal a first set of results, but attempts to repeat the studies reveal a different and sometimes even conflicting new set. Read More >>

Man Had So Many Prostate Orgasms He Couldn’t Stop, According to New Paper

One 63-year-old man had so many prostate orgasms that he couldn’t stop. Read More >>

A Surprising Number of Young Kids Think Birthday Parties Are the Cause of Ageing

New research shows that many young children, prior to reaching the age of six or seven, mistakenly believe that birthday parties cause ageing. It’s a truly adorable finding, but the study also offers an important glimpse into the developing brain and our early tendency to seek out causal explanations for the unfolding world around us. Read More >>

This Revolting Poster Could Increase Teen Smoking Risk, If Teens Are to Be Believed

A recent study, in which American teens shopped in a pretend convenience store, found that gruesome anti-smoking ads might actually encourage kids to buy cigarettes, since they make smoking seem more edgy. But don’t take this finding at face value yet, as some other outlets have, because history has shown that teenagers like to mess with scientists. Read More >>

Artificial Intelligence Detects Suicidal Tendencies in People Using Brain Scans

Recent scientific progress has allowed us to begin decoding the significance of many different patterns of activity in the brain. Researchers have begun to understand patterns associated with disorders such as depression, in hopes of correcting it. Other research has zeroed in on how language and speech is signalled in the brain. In one often-cited experiment, researchers were even able to convert the MRI readouts of the test subjects’ brains into approximate renditions of the movie clips shown to participants. Read More >>

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Why Do People See Ghosts?

You live and then you die and then you rot in a hole—or so say the elites, with their glasses, and their PhDs in neuroscience. This bummer reality has never appealed much to Americans, 72% of whom believe in some kind of afterlife. It’s a comparatively rarer, though still sizeable, breed of American who believe in some spectral middle ground, in which, instead of rotting or going to hell, you float around and freak out your kids, or the new residents of the house where you were brutally murdered a hundred years ago. Read More >>

Marijuana Users Have More Sex, But It’s Complicated

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown that people who use marijuana have sex about 20 per cent more often than those who do not. It’s an eye-opening finding, but a classic case where correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation. Read More >>

People Everywhere Think Atheists Are Bad, Says New Study

Religion has played an important part in countless wars, conflicts, terrorist attacks, murders, and genocides, yet people seem to associate it with morality. In fact, these same people—even other atheists—seem to think atheists are the immoral ones. Read More >>

Scientists Say These Words Are the Funniest

You surely remember a time you said a word to yourself and started laughing. Something about the syllables bouncing around your mouth just didn’t make sense. Maybe the word was “booby” or “piss” or “dingus” or “moist.” Maybe it was the name “Brumbpo Tungus” or “Scrimmy Bingus.” Well thankfully, now science is here to science its way through humour, ruining the joke for everyone. Read More >>

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The Uncanny Sound Illusion That Creates Suspense in Christopher Nolan’s Movies 

Ever notice how Christopher Nolan’s movies (Interstellar, Inception, The Prestige) feel like an anxiety attack? Well, maybe that’s overstating things a bit. But the director does have a knack for creating an unnerving degree of tension. Turns out he’s using a little bit of musical magic to do it. Read More >>

Science Says You Should Let A Stranger Choose Your Profile Picture

About 1.8 billion people worldwide have an active Facebook account; about a third of employers search online for information about job candidates; and about half of adults who are searching for a relationship have used online dating. Read More >>