Capturing an Asteroid, De-extinction and Other Mind Memes

 

1. The Secret of Musical Pleasure


"Without music," Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, "life would be a mistake." And yet, we still don't know why listening to music, which doesn't seem to have any evolutionary value like sex or food, is such a rewarding experience. 

These neuroscientists are trying to find the answer

2. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was...

"In the past 10 years, sequencing has gotten approximately 500,000 times more efficient. Nothing in the history of civilization or technology has ever gotten that much more efficient that fast."

That is Johns Hopkins Biostatistician Steven Salzberg, quoted in Wired, and this is the reason why the movement to use genetic sequencing to bring back extinct species has taken off. 

A recent development includes the revival and reactivation of the genome of an extinct Australian frog. Read more here

3. How to Catch an Asteroid

The Obama administration's space goals call for NASA to "improve detection and characterization of asteroids, pursue solar electric propulsion demonstration, develop a mechanism to capture an asteroid and redirect it to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system and begin designing a mission to send humans to it using the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft."

Here's how NASA plans to do it:

"We're on the threshold of being able to tell my kids and my grandkids that we're almost there," NASA administrator Charles Bolden said.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

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Mind & Brain
  • 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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Steven Pinker's 13 rules for writing better

The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 21: Steven Pinker speaks onstage during OZY Fest 2018 at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on July 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Media)
Personal Growth
  • 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.
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Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

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Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
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