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The Mystery of Human Touch

Scientists are learning more about how we process feelings of gentle touch. New discoveries published Sunday could help restore fading sensations—and ease painful hypersensitivity.

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Natural History Isn’t Dead–It Just Crawled Into a Microscope

Natural history collections are consolidating. Lessons are being dropped from biology courses. But amid the apparent carnage, microbiology is rising.

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Opting Out: Papa Pilgrim and the Lure of Off-Grid Wilderness Living

As part of our week-long series on people who opt out of society, Eva Holland spoke with Tom Kizzia about his new book on the 17-person family that settled down in the ghost town of McCarthy, Alaska.

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The Social Construction of Sex

Many of us probably get our core gender identities as much from our biological origins as we do from our gender educations.

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What’s Wild? The Battle for Nature in the 21st Century

It’s conservationist against conservationist as those that care most about biodiversity and wilderness argue over the best way to manage and protect what little we have left.

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Why So Many Flood Maps Are Still Out of Date

An interview with professor David Maidment on what makes today’s maps 10 times more accurate than the ones much of the country is still stuck with.

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Is Our Disconnect From Nature a Disorder?

It’s not in the DSM, but Richard Louv argues that being divorced from nature is a sort of disorder. More and more research backs him up.

(PHOTO: EUGENE SERGEEV/SHUTTERSTOCK)

Children’s Books Increasingly Ignore Natural World

A survey of award-winning children’s picture books from 1938 to 2008 suggests our increasing estrangement from the natural environment.

Long Slog for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Efforts to create a suitable habitat for a striking bird that may or may not be extinct continue a half decade after its reported but uncorroborated resurrection.

Teaching Kids to Love Nature (and Buy Less Stuff)

A new book, “The Failure of Environmental Education,” says schools are failing to teach kids how to save the planet.

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Quick Studies

What Kind of Beat Makes You Want to Groove?

The science behind the rhythms that get you on the dance floor.

Pollution’s Racial Divides

When it comes to the injustice of air pollution, the divide between blacks and whites is greater than the gap between the rich and the poor.

Hunger and Low Blood Sugar Can Spur Domestic Quarrels

In an experiment, scientists found a correlation between low blood glucose and higher levels of spousal frustration.

Your Brain Starts Faltering After You Reach Age … 24

Sorry to break it to you, TSwift. At least in terms of cognitive functioning while playing StarCraft 2, you're finished.

Cavemen Were Awesome Parents

Toy hand axes, rock bashing, and special burials indicate that Neanderthals were cooler parents than previously thought, according to a new theory.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014