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Scientists Use AI to Trace the Origins of Psychedelic Experiences in the Brain

This article’s contributors are Galen Ballentine and Sam Friedman. For the past several decades, psychedelics have been widely stigmatized as dangerous illegal drugs. But a recent surge of academic research into their use to treat psychiatric conditions is spurring a shift in public opinion. Psychedelics are psychotropic drugs: substances that affect your mental state. OtherContinue reading “Scientists Use AI to Trace the Origins of Psychedelic Experiences in the Brain”

Earthquakes Will Be as Predictable as Hurricanes Thanks to AI

This article’s contributor is Vanessa Bates Ramirez. In the fall of 2010, I traveled to New Zealand, and one of the places I visited was the small south island city of Christchurch. I was charmed by the tree-lined Avon River, the English-style cathedral in the main square, and the mountains looming in the distance. InsideContinue reading “Earthquakes Will Be as Predictable as Hurricanes Thanks to AI”

Drugs, Robots, and the Pursuit of Pleasure: Why Experts Are Worried About AIs Becoming Addicts

This article’s contributor are Thomas Moynihan and Anders Sandberg. In 1953, a Harvard psychologist thought he discovered pleasure—accidentally—within the cranium of a rat. With an electrode inserted into a specific area of its brain, the rat was allowed to pulse the implant by pulling a lever. It kept returning for more: insatiably, incessantly, lever-pulling. InContinue reading “Drugs, Robots, and the Pursuit of Pleasure: Why Experts Are Worried About AIs Becoming Addicts”

Can science break its plastic addiction?

This article’s contributor is Alice Bell. Lucy Gilliam has an infectious passion for environmental action. Today, she works in Brussels on environmental transport policy. But in the early 2000s, she was a molecular microbiologist in Hertfordshire. Like many in her field, Gilliam got through a lot of disposable plastics. It had become a normal partContinue reading “Can science break its plastic addiction?”

Staying awake: the surprisingly effective way to treat depression

This article’s contributor is Linda Geddes. The first sign that something is happening is Angelina’s hands. As she chats to the nurse in Italian, she begins to gesticulate, jabbing, moulding and circling the air with her fingers. As the minutes pass and Angelina becomes increasingly animated, I notice a musicality to her voice that I’mContinue reading “Staying awake: the surprisingly effective way to treat depression”

How far would you go to be able to smile?

This article’s contributor is Neil Steinberg, a columnist on staff at the Chicago Sun-Times. He has also written for Esquire, Granta, Rolling Stone, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News and many other publications. Kevin Portillo practises smiling every day at home. Usually after brushing his teeth. Or when stopping byContinue reading “How far would you go to be able to smile?”

The mirror man

This article’s contributor is Srinath Perur, who has finished his doctoral work in computer science and, for a change, began a column that answered children’s questions on science. One of the few Khmer words Stephen Sumner knows is chhue. It means ‘pain’, and it’s something Cambodian people know a lot about from their three-decade-long civilContinue reading “The mirror man”

The man who grew eyes

This article’s author is Moheb Costandi, a trained developmental neurobiologist who now works as a freelance writer. His work has appeared in Nature, New Scientist, Science, and Scientific American, among other publications. The train line from mainland Kobe is a marvel of urban transportation. Opened in 1981, Japan’s first driverless, fully automated train pulls outContinue reading “The man who grew eyes”

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