Everyone experiences loneliness from time to time. But when allowed to persist, loneliness can damage your health and steal years from your life.
This assortment of tips can help overcome loneliness. The approach focuses on changing — for the better — those ways in which you and others interact.
SCIENCEBefore reading1. When socializing, what activities do you like to share with friends?2. What feelings do you experience while socializing?During reading1. What does it mean to be a “social animal?”2. Why is it useful to study hunter-gathers such as the !Kung?3. How does living in a tight-knit community benefit the !Kung?4. Define “chronic” loneliness.5. What do persistent loneliness, cigarettes, alcohol and obesity all share in common?6. What data do the story offer to suggest loneliness is common?7. Why would chronic loneliness be common among some gay men?8. What effect did loneliness have on the longevity of gay men infected with HIV?9. List two reasons why weak social networks may shorten someone’s lifespan.10. Why isn’t frequent stress healthy?After reading1. What role do stress hormones play in the body?
On Earth, urine is a waste. En route to Mars, it could be a precious renewable commodity: the source of drinking water and energy.
A high-level group of senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives surveyed makers of e-cigarettes and finds they are targeting youth. They conclude that new federal laws should be created to end practices that could turn teens into nicotine addicts.
This is the time to beat — the world’s most accurate atomic clock ever. At its heart is a ‘fountain’ of cesium atoms chilled nearly to absolute zero!
Light can bump an atom. Bump it from several different directions at once and even a fast-moving atom will instantly freeze its motion — and chill it to a temperature of nearly absolute zero.
SCIENCEBefore reading:1. A century ago, watches and clocks were made using a system of interlocking gears. Explain why the rotation of those gears might tell time. How might the size of those gears affect a clock’s accuracy?2. The world’s atomic clocks have a precision most people cannot wrap their heads around. Can you envision why that level of accuracy would be helpful to cell-phone systems or the electric power grid?During reading:1. How many years would have to go by before the newest atomic clock might lose or gain one second of time?2. Why is it a bit wrong to call F2 a “clock.”3. Which NIST clocks — and how many of them — are used to tell the official time of day?
Synthetic biologists are scientists who create custom organisms in the lab. Their efforts have just taken a big step forward. They have created the first lab-made yeast chromosome. The advance could lead to entirely synthetic organisms customized to produce food, fuel or medicine.
Scientists have built a light filter that only permits light coming from one desired angle to pass through. Built from alternating layers of transparent materials, it could help minimize the glare in telescopes and cameras or boost the efficiency of solar cells.
A new study finds that large numbers of sea otters off of the U.S. Pacific coast have been exposed to the ‘pandemic’ type of this killer virus.
An unusually circular gas remnant of a dead star appears behind a star that’s still burning bright. When viewed from Earth, the pair resembles a sparkling diamond ring.
When temperatures rise, New Zealand’s tuatara produce more males. With global warming, that could leave the ancient reptile species with too few females to avoid going extinct.
The introduction of rats to New Zealand led to huge population losses of the ancient tuatara. These uncommon reptiles vanished from the mainland. This left isolated populations to survive on several dozen isolated islands.
SCIENCEBefore reading:1. What is an invasive species, and what are some impacts that releasing such a species can have on other species native to an ecosystem?2. Rare or unusual species of plants, animals and other organisms are often found on islands. Why do you think that is?During reading:1. Why is the tuatara unique among reptiles?2. How many orders of reptiles are there?3. What is so special about the tuatara’s teeth?4. What threat does global warming present to the tuatara?5. Describe the other factors that threaten the ability of female tuatara to thrive and reproduce.6. Explain why the tuatara’s shifting of when and where it lays its eggs could restore the balance between males and females.7. Explain why scientists compare certain early warnings of environmental change as “canaries in the coal mine”?
A federal survey finds electronic cigarettes and the chemicals they burn are an increasing cause of reports of harm made to poison-control centers. Young children are often the victims.
There's a long-standing claim that people can identify 10,000 different odors. But a new study suggests that people can actually identify at least 10,000 times that many scents.
Genetics appears to play some role in this disorder, which affects more than one percent of all Americans.
Early diagnosis followed by early treatment may reduce autism’s impact on kids — and help them to communicate better.
SCIENCEBefore reading:1. Eye contact is important in communication. Using a mirror, attempt to express the following sentiments using only your eyes: surprise, joy, anger, suspicion and confusion.2. What do you know about autism? Describe some of the symptoms of this group of disorders.During reading:1. How prevalent is autism among children in the United States?2. Why do experts consider autism to be a spectrum of disorders?3. Explain some of the symptoms associated with autism.4. Did changing Matthew Schumaker’s diet help his autism?5. Why would a one-on-one session with an expert be one of the best treatments for a child with autism?6. Describe why paying attention and copying are so important in early childhood development.7. Why would a child with autism prefer to interact with a robot?