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Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in Oct. 12 for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leah Millis/Pool via AP

The history of oath ceremonies and why they matter when taking office

Taking oath is an important tradition before assuming charge of a public office. It entails a commitment to the future. What is the history of oath-taking?
In Europe, women politicians were even more likely to respond to female constituents who asked for help. Ponomariova_Maria via Getty

Women politicians more likely to reply to people who reach out in need, study shows

Researchers posed as constituents and emailed 3,685 legislators in 11 countries in Europe and Latin America to ask for help. Responsiveness varied by gender by up to 13 percentage points.
College students are making plans to head home for the holidays at the same time U.S. COVID-19 case numbers are rising. William Campbell/Getty Images

Colleges and the Thanksgiving COVID-19 risk: Fauci’s right – holiday plans may have to change

Universities have seen widespread COVID-19 outbreaks this fall. Now students are preparing to travel for the holiday, and public health officials are worried.
Won’t you be my neighbor? Dennis Fast/ VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Will Colorado bring back wolves? It’s up to voters

For the first time in the US, a ballot measure will ask voters whether to restore wolves to a place where they've been eradicated. Coloradans have strong views on both sides.
D.O.s like Sean Conley, physician to the president, can face stigma from people who don’t understand the practice. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

What is osteopathic medicine? A D.O. explains

Almost 10% of physicians in the US are doctors of osteopathic medicine, and that proportion is rising. Their medical knowledge matches that of other doctors; the difference is the philosophy behind it.
A poll worker places vote-by-mail ballots into a ballot box set up at the Miami-Dade Election Department headquarters on Oct. 14, 2020 in Doral, Fla. Joe Raedle/Getty Images News via Getty

Judges used to stay out of election disputes, but this year lawsuits could well decide the presidency

Lawsuits are being argued in courthouses across the country over the conduct of the election. That could lead to the public losing confidence in the election's legitimacy.
George Aubert rescues one of his chickens from rising floodwaters caused by Hurricane Matthew in Fair Bluff, North Carolina, in 2016. Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Worsening hurricane season threatens billions of chickens

More than half the US production of broiler chickens is in states along the coast frequently struck by hurricanes.
Computer algorithms can involve complicated math, but the concept of an algorithm is simple. Hill Street Studios/DigitalVision via Getty Images

What is an algorithm? How computers know what to do with data

A close look at how you decide what clothes to put on in the morning can help you understand how computers work.
People look at the remains of an exploded vehicle that the Islamic State used as a suicide bomb, on display in Iran in September 2020. Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Who really defeated the Islamic State – Obama or Trump?

President Trump has claimed the Islamic State was completely defeated on his watch – but an analysis of government maps and other reports shows his administration did only half the work.

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