One professor’s 10 rules for reading long, difficult nonfiction:

1. Figure out beforehand what the author is trying to accomplish in the book.

Read the rest at

Gain Fat, Lose Cancer (Metastasis): Swiss researchers found a way to convert invasive breast cancer cells into fat cells thus inhibiting cancer metastasis.

Faculti boosted

The world’s only living natural experiment in the creation of language has happened among the deaf in Nicaragua, and it has changed how linguists think about one of civilisation’s greatest mysteries. More at

showers produced by may have affected the course of and caused mass extinctions in the past. The two that took place between 2.6 and 8.7 million years ago coincided with extinction of like megalodon monster shark. More at

The Century of the Jackal: Golden jackals, aided by targeting of wolves for eradication in the Balkans and global warming, are spreading across Europe. More at

Designers have long known that horizontal lines appear thicker than vertical ones (by about 5-7%, depending on context) and now researchers have made it official:

Synthetic Biology: Adding two extra letters, X and Y, to the genetic code (ACTG) makes totally novel proteins possible. One such may now help create a less toxic and more effective version of a cancer drug called interleukin-2.

Emerging evidence suggests that the brain encodes abstract knowledge in the same way that it represents positions in space, which hints at a more universal theory of cognition.

Namely, the brain may be mapping out the qualities of perceptions, experiences and abstract concepts along various dimensions, with the help of the same system that it uses to map out physical spaces.

A clean-out of a lecture hall at the University of St Andrews in Scotland led to a discovery of what may be the oldest surviving wall chart of periodic table, which appears to date back to 1885.

High school teachers, with 60% very high/high and 10% low/very low rating, are, along with nurses, medical doctors and pharmacists, at the top of the list of America’s most and least trusted professions. See the chart below for details:

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