Moral improvements

The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with a photographer who claimed the late Andy Warhol should have honored her copyright on a photo of the rock star Prince when creating an iconic artistic image of the late singer. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court majority in the 7-2 decision, which legal experts said could carry far-reaching implications for copyright protection and so-called transformative art. The issue is the legal doctrine called “fair use,” which encourages artistic expression by allowing for the use of protected works without the original creator’s permission.

Your DNA Can Now Be Pulled From Thin Air — Over the last decade, wildlife researchers have refined techniques for recovering environmental DNA, or eDNA — trace amounts of genetic material that all living things leave behind. A powerful and inexpensive tool for ecologists, eDNA is all over — floating in the air, or lingering in water, snow, honey and even your cup of tea. Researchers have used the method to detect invasive species before they take over, to track vulnerable or secretive wildlife populations and even to rediscover species thought to be extinct. The eDNA technology is also used in wastewater surveillance systems to monitor Covid and other pathogens. But all along, scientists using eDNA were quietly recovering gobs and gobs of human DNA. To them, it’s pollution, a sort of human genomic bycatch muddying their data. But what if someone set out to collect human eDNA on purpose? […] Dr. Duffy and his colleagues used a readily available and affordable technology to see how much information they could glean from human DNA gathered from the environment in a variety of circumstances, such as from outdoor waterways and the air inside a building.

Liver cells influence the body’s internal circadian clock, which was previously believed to be solely controlled by the brain

Seasonal Cycles as a Fundamental Source of Variation in Human Psychology — Humans too exhibit seasonal variation in sexual activity—although the nature of the seasonal cycle is more complex. For instance, in the United States, condom sales, the timing of first intercourse, and Google searches for pornography and prostitution all exhibit a biannual cyclewith peaksaround Christmas and during the early summer months. […] There are also seasonal cycles in birth rates. In an analysisof 78 years of United States monthly natality data, Martinez-Bakker et al. (2014)found that birth rates peaked in the summertime in northern states and peaked in the autumn in southern states. […] within the Northern Hemisphere,the summer season from June to August has been associated with higher rates of violent crime (Lauritsen & White, 2014), higher rates of rule infractions in prisons (Haertzen et al., 1993), and higher rates of domestic violence.

people primarily seek to improve the traits that they believe would particularly help them achieve their goals and increase their happiness. Moral improvements are not seen as particularly effective at doing either, and are therefore deprioritized.

Powerful magnetic pulses applied to the scalp to stimulate the brain can bring fast relief to many severely depressed patients for whom standard treatments have failed. Yet it’s been a mystery exactly how transcranial magnetic stimulation, as the treatment is known, changes the brain to dissipate depression. Now, research led by Stanford Medicine scientists has found that the treatment works by reversing the direction of abnormal brain signals.

iPhones will be able to speak in your voice with 15 minutes of training

A scientific journal suggests that the New York City’s 1.68 trillion pounds of buildings are causing the city to descending, with some neighborhoods faster than others

Studying Women’s Prison Newspapers

This appears to be a record made by Mr. Nathan exclusively for staff at King Records. He is blunt about how the label will handle new potential artists, and occasionally uses profanity. Clearly not meant for the ears of potential recording artists or the public. Fascinating inside baseball about the recording industry during the early to mid-sixties. [via Sasha Frere-Jones]