Mental Health Awareness Month

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According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), 3.1 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 had a major depressive episode in 2016. That makes up almost 13 percent of the total adolescent population. While female adolescents are more likely to experience a depressive episode, teenaged boys are still at risk and are more likely to die by suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 81 percent of suicides among 10 to 24-year-olds are male…

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #Depression #Suicide

Mammal Extinction

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Something to think about:

A few years ago, a team of researchers in Europe wanted to figure out the answer to a simple question: How long would it take for evolution to replace all the mammal species that have gone extinct in the time humans have walked the earth?

Some 300 mammal species have died off since the last ice age 130,000 years ago. Their answer: It would take 3 to 7 million years for evolution to generate 300 new species. Humans have been around for about 200,000 years. That’s a blink of an eye in terms of the age of the planet. Nevertheless, in that time, we have caused damage that may well last longer than our species itself.

#Evolution #Extinction

Jonas Salk: Polio Vaccine

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Today in Scientific History —> On May 1, 1956, the polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk was made available to the public. It’s a crime that Salk, whose work saved millions of lives (and from which he never profited), never got the Nobel Prize.

#JonasSalk

Sam Harris On Atheism

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“Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, ‘atheism’ is a term that should not even exist. No one needs to identify himself as a ‘non-astrologer’ or a ‘non-alchemist.’ We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”
~ Sam Harris, from “Letter to a Christian Nation”

Tropical Frogs

As is now fairly well known, tropical frogs are being devastated by the chytrid fungus. The Gamboa Reserve has an enclosed area where many poison dart frogs roam. (They are fed, so are probably no longer poisonous.) They are highly variable in their patterns. Here we have two versions of the green-and-black poison dart frog (Dendrobates auratus).

Also here are two individuals of the strawberry poison-dart frog (Oophaga pumilio). These are examples of the variety called the “blue jeans morph”