The Promise of Pills that Do Nothing

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Just how powerful is the placebo effect? Even now, scientists aren’t completely sure about how the placebo effect works. However, they do know that placebos work only against symptoms that patients can consciously perceive (and therefore perceive improvements), like emotional distress and pain. The effect is strong enough to match the pain relief of opioids, opening up the discussion of using placebo pills to help reduce the risk of addiction and overdose that comes with opioid use. Read full article here

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An Eerie Poisonous Fog

If you’re visiting a farm, keep an eye out for an ominous-looking bronze fog. Nitrogen tetroxide, a red-orange gas, is made by certain bacteria during fermentation when oxygen is lacking in the crop. The lack of oxygen causes the bacteria to use the nitrate within the crops, which then produces nitrogen tetroxide. Inhalation of the gas is known to cause permanent lung damage or kill people and livestock. To prevent this, farmers have started performing nitrate tests after four weeks of fermentation. Read full article here


Happiness Is Two Scales

It’s put forth that happiness and unhappiness should be viewed as two different ‘scales’, not either end of one scale. For instance, if you’re not satisfied with your life, try to identify the root problem: do you not have enough happiness, or are you just unhappy? Depending on your answer to the question, the solutions may differ. Read full article here

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