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We Can't Know Everything

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Hacking the immune system

How the body’s own defense cells can be turned into tiny, programmable assassins to battle cancers and other disorders

The anti-ads

Countermarketing succeeds by exposing the motives behind the advertising of unhealthy products. It worked for teen smoking — could it do the same for junk food?

Feeling the pressure

How we want to be perceived influences how we act, and that presents persuasion opportunities. But the social factors involved are not easy to unravel.

In promoting health, when to tiptoe — and when to stomp?

Inform, incentivize, legislate: There’s a ladder of escalating approaches for changing citizens’ behavior — and nudges for every rung

Unpersuasive: Why arguing about climate change often doesn't work

In the US, where political parties have increasingly staked claims on one side of the issue or the other, beliefs may be more about belonging than facts

Nudging grows up (and now has a government job)

Ten years after an influential book proposed ways to work with — not against — the irrationalities of human decision-making, practitioners have refined and broadened this gentle tool of persuasion

Peering into the meditating mind

Some people swear by it, but studies of mindfulness have a long way to go

A crash of stars reveals the origins of heavy elements

Colliding neutron stars sent out a gravitational wave as well as new clues about where gold, platinum and other atoms are forged.

A toast to the Pope

Professor Charlie Bamforth is retiring. But he still fizzes with strong opinions on good beer, solid brewers and – Ptooey! – wine.