Re: What forces have shaped humanity most?

Disease and the various ways that we have dealt with disease has probably had the biggest impact on humanity. Until humanity started figuring methods of preventing and reducing the impact of disease, the world's population (for better or worse) would be nowhere near the present levels.  We have developed a myriad of responses to preventing and treating disease ranging from things as simple as bathing on a regular basis to very complex technologies and surgical procedures.  Without the medical procedures and technologies that have been developed over the ages, the human population would, most likely, be much, much less than it is today.  Cities as we know them couldn't exist without some methods of treating and preventing disease.

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
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Scientists reverse hair loss by making scalp "smell" sandalwood

It turns out the human scalp has an olfactory receptor that seems to play a crucial role in regulating hair follicle growth and death.

Photo: malehmann via Flickr
Surprising Science
  • Scientists treated scalp tissue with a chemical that mimics the odor of sandalwood.
  • This chemical bound to an olfactory receptor in the scalp and stimulated hair growth.
  • The treatment could soon be available to the public.
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NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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