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Extreme numbers: the unimaginably large and small pop up in recent experiments

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor
imageIt's a lot of grains of sand, but numbers can get a whole lot bigger....Tony Hisgett, CC BY

The physics world erupted in celebration this month with the confirmed discovery of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) group. Predicted by Einstein a century ago, the discovery verifies his description of...

Read more: Extreme numbers: the unimaginably large and small pop up in recent experiments

With bodies piling up, the war on Mexican journalists has no end in sight

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor

During Pope Francis' recent tour of Mexico, he denounced the country’s illicit drug trade, while calling for social programs to lift up the poor.

One thing he didn’t explicitly touch on: the precarious situation Mexican journalists find themselves in. In fact, on February 9 – four days before the pope’s arrival – the...

Read more: With bodies piling up, the war on Mexican journalists has no end in sight

DoD detainee photos raise disturbing questions about transparency

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor

A shirtless man, his back toward the camera, stands before a beige wall, a scabbed abrasion on his left shoulder blade and a small ruler affixed to his skin, for scale.

Scraped knees, swollen ankles, grainy black and white collages of unnamed men, sitting, crouching, kneeling, in various phases of capture and confinement.

This is what transparency...

Read more: DoD detainee photos raise disturbing questions about transparency

Pregnant, in prison and facing health risks: prenatal care for incarcerated women

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor
imageIt's estimated that 3 to 4 percent of women are pregnant when they arrive at prison.Pregnancy test and handcuffs image via www.shutterstock.com.

Between 1980 and 2010, the number of women in prison in the United States increased by 646 percent, going from 15,000 women to 113,000. Although accurate statistics are hard to obtain, it’s estimated...

Read more: Pregnant, in prison and facing health risks: prenatal care for incarcerated women

Straight A students may not be the best innovators

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor
imageHow do innovators acquire their skills?Daniel Foster, CC BY-NC-SA

Demand for innovation is at an all-time high. Innovation is now recognized as being key to economic growth strategies in the United States, Canada and countries in the European Union.

As a result, there is an increased need to understand what drives innovation. Certainly traditional...

Read more: Straight A students may not be the best innovators

Solving 'Darwin's Paradox': why coral island hotspots exist in an oceanic desert

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor
imageProductivity hotspots in an otherwise nutrient-poor ocean. High abundances of plankton-eating fish on an Indo-Pacific coral reef.Zafer Kizilkaya, CC BY-SA

It was Charles Darwin, almost 200 years ago, who first asked how it could be that coral reefs could flourish in relatively barren parts of the Pacific Ocean. This conundrum subsequently became...

Read more: Solving 'Darwin's Paradox': why coral island hotspots exist in an oceanic desert

When do children learn to write? Earlier than you might think

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor
imageYoung children are writing even before they are reading.Steven Yeh, CC BY-NC-ND

We typically think of writing as something that is out of reach for preschool children. After all, young children can’t write recognizable letters, and they can’t spell words.

We have been studying young children’s knowledge about writing in our...

Read more: When do children learn to write? Earlier than you might think

Why statin users should still get the flu shot, even if cholesterol drugs make it less effective

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor

Every year in the United States, about 226,000 people are hospitalized because of the flu, and 23,000 die. And about 80-90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people over 65 years old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the best way to avoid getting the flu is to get vaccinated. We know that in the elderly, compared to...

Read more: Why statin users should still get the flu shot, even if cholesterol drugs make it less effective

Five years of war in Syria: five lessons Western leaders haven't learned

  • Written by The Conversation Contributor

The ink had barely dried on the Munich ceasefire agreement announced on February 11 by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when only a few days later Syrians and others were casting doubt that it could mitigate the fighting and suffering that Syria has endured for five years.

Why such skepticism? Shouldn’t the world be open to any initiative...

Read more: Five years of war in Syria: five lessons Western leaders haven't learned

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