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Nautilus is a different kind of science magazine. We deliver big-picture science by reporting on a single monthly topic from multiple perspectives. Read a new chapter in the story every Thursday.

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My Out-of-Body Experience - Issue 112: Inspiration

Two years ago, I decided to do nothing. Not for the rest of my life, of course—for two hours. As a neuroscientist, I was already familiar with the evidence that mindfulness meditation, or attending to the present moment, is beneficial for stress and anxiety. So I had been meditating regularly for about a half a year, looking to enhance my practice....

The Wild World of Threats - Issue 112: Inspiration

You’re confronting a spider, up close, womano-a-womano. The tiny creature rears back on its hindmost legs and assumes a threatening posture, ridiculous given that you could easily squash it with your shoe. Yet everyone understands the gesture, even though to locate the most recent common ancestor shared by the two of you, you’d have to go back roughly...

Plants Fight for Their Lives - Issue 112: Inspiration

It’s 2050. The world population has increased by 2.3 billion to 9.9 billion. Demand for food has risen 70 to 100 percent but a warming planet, extreme weather, and a decrease in arable land is threatening food security. Luckily, farmers can grow crops more densely, increasing yield from smaller plots of available agricultural land.Packing crops so tightly...

The Worrisome Rise of NFTs - Issue 112: Inspiration

Humans are very good at inventing commodities, and we’ve been at it for a long time. See that pebble over there? Well, that’s a better pebble than all these others, and if you give me something in exchange for it, I’ll let you take ownership. It’ll be your pebble, forever. And soon there will be a market in pebbles, a pebble community, pebble exhibitions...

Lessons for a Young Scientist - Issue 112: Inspiration

I sometimes worry that many who would enjoy a scientific career are put off by a narrow and outdated conception of what’s involved. The word “scientist” still conjures up an unworldly image of an Einstein lookalike (male and elderly) or else a youthful geek. There’s still too little racial and gender diversity among scientists. But there’s a huge variety...

The Attack of Zombie Science - Issue 112: Inspiration

When we think about how science is distorted, we usually think about concepts that have ample currency in public discourse, such as pseudoscience and junk science. Practices like astrology and homeopathy come wrapped in scientific concepts and jargon that can’t meet the methodological requirements of actual sciences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, pseudoscience...

Readers Love Curious George. I Fell in Love with the Author’s Astronomy Books. - Issue 112: Inspiration

He is without a doubt the most famous little monkey in all of fiction. Curious George, known for letting his inquisitiveness get him into trouble and then using his ingenuity to get him out of it, has been entertaining children and their parents since 1941, when the first book of his adventures, simply titled Curious George, by the husband-and-wife...

E.O. Wilson Saw the World in a Wholly New Way - Issue 112: Inspiration

I first met Edward O. Wilson in 1971 when I was a student in an ecology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Wilson, a famous Harvard professor, was sitting in on the student project reports. After I reported my experiments on food size selection in zooplankton, Wilson remarked, “That’s new, isn’t it?” I was so proud...

What Makes Group Decisions Go Wrong. And Right. - Issue 112: Inspiration

In the 1970s, psychologist Irving Janis pioneered research into a phenomenon that goes by a name most people know, probably understand intuitively, and perhaps have experienced personally. I’m talking about “groupthink.” Janis saw the symptoms of groupthink in a host of bad collective decisions he studied. He was particularly intrigued by White House...

You Can Save More Animals by Donating $100 Than Going Vegan - Facts So Romantic

The animals killed or saved by altering your diet is pretty small compared to the good you can do for animals with a small donation.Photograph by alexkatkov / ShutterstockBy now everybody’s heard about the terrible treatment that pigs and chickens get in factory farms. For many, the solution seems obvious: eat less meat. But let’s look at that solution...

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