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‘You Must Have the Courage of Your Convictions’: A Conversation With Jane Goodall

As Jane Goodall turns 80, Henry Nicholls talks to her about her remarkable career studying chimpanzee behavior, her animal welfare activism, and accusations of plagiarism in her latest book.

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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Why So Many Flood Maps Are Still Out of Date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.

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Quick Studies

What Makes You Neurotic?

A new study gets to the root of our anxieties.

Fecal Donor Banks Are Possible and Could Save Lives

Defrosted fecal matter can be gross to talk about, but the benefits are too remarkable to tiptoe around.

How Junk Food Companies Manipulate Your Tongue

We mistakenly think that harder foods contain fewer calories, and those mistakes can affect our belt sizes.

What Steve Jobs’ Death Teaches Us About Public Health

Studies have shown that when public figures die from disease, the public takes notice. New research suggests this could be the key to reaching those who are most at risk.

Speed-Reading Apps Will Not Revolutionize Anything, Except Your Understanding

The one-word-at-a-time presentation eliminates the eye movements that help you comprehend what you're reading.

The Big One

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