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If you’re in favor of copyright extensions – and aren’t a corporation holding the rights or a descendent of the original author – you probably need some sense knocked into you. Flickr

Why Batman and Rhapsody in Blue should be in the public domain, but aren’t

In 1998, if Congress hadn’t extended copyrights by 20 years, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind would all be in the public domain…
How does feeling you inhabit a body different than your own affect your racial biases? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Maister et al.

Virtual bodyswapping reduces bias against other races

In 1959, John Howard Griffin, a white American writer, underwent medical treatments to change his skin appearance and present himself as a black man. He then traveled through the segregated US south to…
The National Children’s Study may have been flawed, but it was still a valuable endeavor. Children running via glenda/Shutterstock

Scrapping the National Children’s Study is a mistake

Environmental health research has confirmed that chronic, low-level exposure to toxins in our environment – including our food, air and water – can have a significant impact on our health. We need to expand…
In the 1920s and 1930s crews surveyed much of California, collecting information about vegetation. This photo was taken in 1936 by Albert Wieslander. Marian Koshland Biosciences Library

California’s majestic trees are declining — a harbinger of future forests

Scientists in my native state of California were handed a gift: a trove of detailed information about the state’s forests taken during the 1920s and 1930s and digitized over the past 15 years. When we…
It’s a marital scene…. Optimal College Town Assessment

Town and gown relationships are like a marriage

As a family and marriage researcher, I have conducted a lot of research into what makes relationships work. I tend to think about relationships in terms of couples. When I was appointed the senior administrator…
Mixed-income developments replace Chicago’s Cabrini-Green Homes: Old Town Village West townhouses rise in front of the last remaining towers (since demolished) in this 2009 photograph.

Mixed income public housing: mixed outcomes, mixed-up concept

For decades, public housing stood as the most architecturally visible and politically stigmatized reminder of urban poverty in many American cities. Originally built to accommodate an upwardly mobile segment…
Drones, along with satellites and advanced math, are changing the poaching game. Thomas Snitch

Satellites, mathematics and drones take down poachers in Africa

In 2014, 1,215 rhinos were killed in South Africa for their horns, which end up in Asia as supposed cures for a variety of ailments. An estimated 30,000 African elephants were slaughtered last year for…
Racial discrimination may have biological impacts lasting across generations. Orange-studio/Shutterstock

Discrimination is bad for your health – and your kids too

Think about the last time you left the house. Did strangers on the street acknowledge your presence with a smile or avert their glance? Chances are that the answer depended on your age, gender and, of…
A natural gas well in Bradford County, PA. Reuters

The false promise of fracking and local jobs

In a surprise decision that led to consternation in the oil and gas industry and elation among fracking opponents, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in December banned fracking in the state. He attributed…
From where does opposition to depictions of Muhammad arise? Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters

Why there’s opposition to images of Muhammad

After the violent attacks on Charlie Hebdo – the French satirical weekly that routinely published caricatures of Muhammad – many are wondering: are depictions of Muhammad actually forbidden in Islamic…
Understanding microbial activity in rhizosphere – the critical zone where plant roots, microbes and minerals interface – is critical to promoting plant health. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Tapping the ‘plant microbiome’ to improve farming and plant health

People are increasingly aware of the link between the trillions of microbes that live within our bodies and human health. Studies have found that a healthy population of bacteria, or a microbiome, in a…
Will the India meeting be as successful as the one in DC? Larry Downing/Reuters

US and India mark historic day with Obama visit

President Barack Obama will be the first US president to visit India on Republic Day on January 26, as well as the first sitting US president to visit India twice. During his three day symbolic visit President…