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The real reason humans are the dominant species

The real reason humans are the dominant species

Science
Getty ImagesFrom early humans rubbing sticks together to make fire, to the fossil fuels that drove the industrial revolution, energy has played a central role in our development as a species. But the way we power our societies has also created humanity's biggest challenge. It's one that will take all our ingenuity to solve.Energy is the key to humanity's world domination. Not just the jet fuel that allows us to traverse entire continents in a few hours, or the bombs we build that can blow up entire cities, but the vast amounts of energy we all use every day. Consider this: a resting human being requires about the same amount of energy as an old-fashioned incandescent light bulb to sustain their metabolism - about 90 watts (joules per second). But the average human being in a developed cou...
Flu cases lower than normal so far this year, COVID-19 likely the reason

Flu cases lower than normal so far this year, COVID-19 likely the reason

Health
Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Flu activity remains "unusually low" in many parts of the United States, according to data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and experts say masking and social distancing to prevent spread of COVID-19 may be the reason. In its weekly FluView report, the agency noted that just 0.2% of the respiratory specimens tested at laboratories nationally between Nov. 27 and Dec. 5 were positive for the flu virus. Advertisement Just 40 of more than 22,000 specimens evaluated at U.S. hospital labs and 16 of more than 16,000 evaluated at public health labs in the country during that week tested positive for the flu, according to the agency. In addition, less than 2% of all doctor visits across the country over the same period were related to the seasonal...
Chronic pain given as top reason for using medical marijuana

Chronic pain given as top reason for using medical marijuana

Health
Chronic pain is the most common reason people give when they enroll in state-approved medical marijuana programs. That's followed by stiffness from multiple sclerosis and chemotherapy-related nausea, according to an analysis of 15 states published Monday in the journal Health Affairs. The study didn't measure whether marijuana actually helped anyone with their problems, but the patients' reasons match up with what's known about the science of marijuana and its chemical components. "The majority of patients for whom we have data are using cannabis for reasons where the science is the strongest," said lead author Kevin Boehnke of University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. California became the first state to allow medical use of marijuana in 1996. More than 30 states now allow marijuana for doze...
The reason India's banks show massive credit offtake before the end of a fiscal

The reason India's banks show massive credit offtake before the end of a fiscal

Finance
KOLKATA: Indian banks have reported credit offtake of a massive Rs 2.76 lakh crore in the last fortnight of FY18, Reserve Bank of India data showed. There is a possible catch though. It's unlikely that the demand for bank loans has suddenly risen to the roof as the data suggested. It's perhaps the usual dressing up of balance sheet before the close of the fiscal known as window dressing in financial parlance. "This credit offtake data does not reflect the demand for bank loans. It's the year-end phenomenon where everybody pushes up their balance sheet," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings. Credit offtake during the preceding fortnight was about Rs 31,000 crore. The last fortnight credit figure was Rs 40000 crore less than what it was in the corresponding fortnight in FY17,...