Horseshoe crabs are captured for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

An Atlantic horseshoe crab in an aquarium. Photo: Domdomegg via Wikimedia Commons.
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
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Switzerland's gun ownership is high, but few die from gun violence. Why?

In the face of seemingly unstoppable gun violence, Americans could stand to gain by looking to the Swiss.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • According to a recent study, the U.S. had the second highest number of gun-related deaths in 2016 after Brazil.
  • Like the U.S., Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership. However, it has a considerably lower rate of deaths from gun violence.
  • Though pro-gun advocates point to Switzerland as an example of how gun ownership doesn't have to correlate with gun deaths, Switzerland has very different regulations, practices, and policies related to guns than America.
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Researchers say humor is a powerful tool against depression

They say laughter is the best medicine; you might not be able to laugh a broken leg away, but it might help your depression.

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Mind & Brain
  • A new study examined 55 individuals recovering from major depression to see how well humor worked as a coping mechanism against stress.
  • Individuals at risk for depression often fall into depressive episodes because of faulty coping mechanisms.
  • Research indicates that humor works as a powerful defense against depression.
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Is there such a thing as an anarchist capitalist?

The two concepts might seem contradictory, but anarcho-capitalists exist.

Jonny White via Flickr
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Seemingly diametrically opposed, some peopel call themselves anarcho-capitalists.
  • Anarcho-capitalism argues that there ought to be no state whatsoever; the free market can sort everything out, and if left alone, will ensure everybody's liberty.
  • The philosophy attracts considerable criticism, both from anarchists and people with more traditional politics.
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