Trees Prove That Life Isn't Just about Survival of the Fittest
Trees are far from dumb; they talk and share, because they need each other to live better lives.
1. A lone tree does not live as long. That fact could shift views of how the whole tree of life works.
2. Trees are social, reveals Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees, they “talk” and share.
7. So much for Richard Dawkins' claim that “there is no welfare state in nature.”
9. As microbiome research has shown “symbiosis isn’t rare. It’s the rule.” All natural animals and plants use collaboration.
10. The "red in tooth and claw" view of biology needs to be updated, says David G. Haskell in The Forest Unseen. Nature’s “economy has as many trade unions as robber barons.”
11. The idea that biology is dominated by individual genomes ruthlessly competing is turning out to be “pleasant fiction” (Ed Yong).
12. A gene’s survival “vehicle” (the genes that every selfish gene must cooperate with to survive) typically extends beyond its body. Those survival vehicles can include its herd, or in our “by nature self-deficient” case, our “teammates”.
Illustration by Julia Suits, author of The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions, and The New Yorker cartoonist.
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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