Elephants are now being hunted for their skin, being turned into 'ruby'-like jewelry

With the ivory trade on the decline, poachers have been capitalizing on a new, disturbing trend.

Beads made from elephant skin. Image courtest of Elephant Family
  • At the start of 2018, China banned all ivory products within its borders. As one of the largest markets for ivory, this represented a significant win for conservationists.
  • However, just as the ivory trade declined, a new demand for elephant skin emerged.
  • The skin is used in medicine and to make jewelry. What options are there for combating this dangerous new trend?
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The looming superbug crisis: Politics, profit, and Big Pharma

Here's how we stop a health crisis before it wreaks havoc on us.

  • Alexander Fleming discovered a fungus that produced a chemical that could stop nearly every bacteria in its path.
  • The 1950s are known as the Golden Era of Antibiotic Development. However, today, there is a looming superbug crisis because bacteria has mutated whilst we've focused on treating other diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
  • Many companies in the pharmaceutical industry don't want to take on the expensive risk of finding another antibiotic drug. However, a potential superbug crisis may compel us to use tax-break and patent policies to incentivize them to do so.
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Psychedelics change how you read faces. That may help alleviate anxiety and depression.

Even more intriguing is the reason: recognizing facial expressions.

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
  • A new systematic review states that serotonergic hallucinogens help users recognize emotions in facial expressions.
  • Sufferers of anxiety and depression often only read negative emotions in other people's faces, adding to their malaise.
  • While more research is needed, psychedelics could prove to be a powerful agent in battling mental health disorders.
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How opioid abuse is lowering our average life expectancy

Normally, life expectancy increases every year. For Americans, the opioid epidemic is changing that.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Americans' life expectancy dropped between 2014 and 2017, a significant downtrend that hasn't been seen since World War I.
  • An analysis by the CDC identified the opioid epidemic as the cause.
  • How did the opioid epidemic get so bad, and what can we do to stop it?
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Watch what happens when vaccinations drop by 10%

Don't believe a small reduction in immunization matters?

Image source: FRED Web/USF
  • Universities of South Florida and Pittsburgh publish an online immunization simulator.
  • The simulator shows the stunning effect of even small drops in vaccination rates.
  • It's not just anti-vaxxers threatening community health. There are economic and geographical factors as well.
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