Crack vs. Cocaine

The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously agreed to reduce the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine to 18:1, down from 100:1. The vote envisages similar legislation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously agreed to reduce the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine to 18:1, down from 100:1. The vote envisages similar legislation. "A long-standing dispute over huge disparities in sentencing between crack vs. powdered cocaine appears to be headed for a resolution in Congress. Senate lawmakers reached across the aisle and brokered a landmark deal this week to reduce criminal penalties for defendants caught with crack cocaine, hashing out the terms in, of all places, a congressional gym. Opportunity struck when Sen. Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) encountered colleagues Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) in the Senate gym early Thursday, before they had started their workouts. Durbin seized the moment to advance the legislation and sent his aides an e-mail at 7:35 a.m., outlining the terms of his offer. The deal was sealed with a handshake two hours later at a committee meeting in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The often-divided Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed the measure 19 to 0 the same day, addressing for the first time in two decades a sentencing disparity that has troubled civil rights organizations, prisoners rights advocates and officials in the Obama White House."

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Meet the Bajau sea nomads — they can reportedly hold their breath for 13 minutes

The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.

Wikimedia Commons
Culture & Religion
  • The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
  • Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
  • Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
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Golden blood: The rarest blood in the world

We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.

Abid Katib/Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
  • Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
  • It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
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Scientists create a "lifelike" material that has metabolism and can self-reproduce

An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.

Shogo Hamada/Cornell University
Surprising Science
  • Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
  • The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
  • The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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