Networking: Not Just a Good Career Move, But an Essential Survival Skill

Creating and maintaining social relationships is perhaps the distinguishing feature of human intelligence, say contemporary archeologists. And it’s this feature that allowed humans to prosper.

What’s the Latest?

Networking with like-minded professionals isn’t just good for your career, it’s an essential survival tool. Creating and maintaining social relationships is perhaps the distinguishing feature of human intelligence, say contemporary archeologists. And it’s this feature that allowed humans to prosper while other primates, like Neanderthals, went extinct under taxing climate conditions. Modern humans, however, were able to survive by establishing larger social networks, utilizing the resources of communities that lived further afield. 

What’s the Big Idea?

This new understanding of the importance of human cognition replaces the standard view that tool creation drove modern humans’ evolutionary advantage. Thanks to our larger brain size, other social events like singing and dancing emerged, creating bonds that held communities together. As any adult can tell you, navigating social networks requires a certain adroitness—this appears to be a capacity unique to modern humans, capable of maintaining 150 relationships among friends and family. Chimps, on the other hand, have a cognitive limit of about 50 relationships, reducing by two-thirds the pool of resources available to them. 

Read more at New Scientist

Photo credit: Shutterstock

'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.
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  • 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.
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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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