Findings — From the October 2017 issue

Findings

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A four-year study of a baboon troop found that males use strategic violence to control females’ mating behavior, with long-term conditioning in mind. Breastfeeding in the United States continued to correlate positively with maternal age, education, income, and whiteness. Foreign-born U.S. women are half as likely as their American-born counterparts to crave chocolate during their periods, and Asian Americans, especially women, are insulated from xenophobic bias if they are fat, but not if their country of origin is stereotypically fat. The children of China’s internal migrants are less likely to be fat, probably because their grandparents don’t feed them treats. Kidnapped brides in Kyrgyzstan tend to bear smaller babies and to divorce at higher rates. The babies of American women who received both opioids and psychotropics while pregnant are likelier to experience withdrawal symptoms at birth than are babies whose mothers received opioids alone. The inventor of the fentanyl lollipop died. Doctors continued to argue about whether a male fetus had been seen masturbating. A single gene variant determines whether dogs seek increased or decreased contact with their owners following a nasal dose of oxytocin. Brooklyn puppy owners were forgoing vaccinations over fears of canine autism. Compared with non-autistic adults, autistic adults feel more shame and less hubristic pride. People think of themselves as better than average because they think of average as below average.

Moderate wine drinking allows middle-class white people to maintain cognitive health in old age. Old people with a sense of purpose are less prone to restless legs syndrome. Old people’s early bedtimes and difficulty sleeping may be an adaptation to ensure that someone in a given group is awake at all times. Schizophrenia may be a “residual echo” of the Neanderthal brain. Modern Lebanese are 90 percent Canaanite. Modern Americans are 85 percent overfat. Money can buy happiness if it is used to buy time. Americans will accept politicians’ lying if they believe it serves a higher moral purpose. Bamboo sharks shrug their shoulders to swallow their food. Some symbiotic relationships involve one party holding the other hostage. Between 2016 and 2017, the proportion of eHarmony profiles listing political affiliation tripled. Scientists used a glue derived from the slime of the dusky arion slug to heal a hole in the heart of a pig.

Researchers found that researchers are killing too many bats for research. A.I. researchers predicted that the last human job to be replaced by machines will be that of A.I. researcher. Chinese scientists teleported a photon from the Gobi Desert to a satellite in Earth orbit. Iranian stalagmites predict no end to the interior Middle East’s current dry spell in the next ten thousand years. A dead zone the size of New Jersey was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, a garbage patch half the size of Mexico was discovered in the South Pacific, and a storm the size of Earth was discovered on Neptune. Turbulence in the molten cores of planets may be caused by the gravitational tides of other celestial bodies. Strong winds in the East Antarctic were generating Kelvin waves that were accelerating warming in the West Antarctic, and U.S. wildfires were being fueled by temperature differences between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Hurricane Hilary caused unusually rough seas in southern California. Tropical Storm Don dissipated soon after forming.

Rooftop View of an Italian Town (triptych), an ink drawing of Viterbo, in central Italy, by Fred Lynch. Courtesy the artist

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