Stephen Hawking Launches $100 Million Search For Aliens

Stephen Hawking Aliens

Yuri Milner (left) and Stephen Hawking. Circled: Proxima Centauri, part of the Alpha Centauri star system, and the nearest known star to the Sun. Image Source: ATI Composite; Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Breakthrough Initiatives; Wikimedia Commons

The hunt for alien life has gained serious traction with a new project funded by Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.

Their project, Breakthrough Starshot, is a philanthropic endeavor that focuses on space exploration and hopes to eventually lead us to extraterrestrial life. Mark Zuckerberg will join Breakthrough’s board.

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Humans May Have Adopted Monogamy To Avoid STIs

Human Monogamy

Image Source: PhotoSpin

A study published Tuesday in Nature Communications claims that fear of sexually transmitted infections among our prehistoric ancestors may have been the very cause of human monogamy.

University of Waterloo professor Chris Bauch and his research partner, Richard McElreath, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, hypothesized that high rates of STIs like syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea caused early humans to change their mating behavior in order to survive. This, they say, is when the social norms that so many of us still live by today first began to develop.

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Your World This Week, Apr. 10 – 16

This week in health: marijuana for menstrual cramps, saving millions for five dollars each,

Whoopi Goldberg’s Campaign Might Get Approval On Medical Marijuana For Menstrual Cramps

Whoopi Goldberg Marijuana

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons (left), Pixabay (right)

Late last week, New Jersey lawmakers introduced a bill that would loosen the state’s notoriously tight medical marijuana restrictions to allow for its usage in alleviating menstrual cramps.

And in an interesting turn, this move owes a great deal to Whoopi Goldberg, whose own line of cannabis products inspired Assemblyman Tim Eustace, the man behind the bill.

“People have this puritanical idea that it’s a bunch of potheads sitting in these dispensaries, but there are some very sick patients in need,” Eustace said, adding, “One of the most underserved populations is women.”

Read more at ABC.

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Can People Actually Get Turned On By Robots?

Robot Sex

Image Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A recent Stanford University study that saw researchers building on the idea of the “uncanny valley” has turned up some surprising results.

The uncanny valley hypothesis describes the U-shaped relationship between how “human” a robot looks, and how comfortably humans receive them. The theory suggests that for a “familiar but distinctly non-human robot,” a natural human response would be “to look at them as a friendly, non-threatening computer,” according to the study’s press release.

Stanford researchers took the concept one step further, asking if these robots could provoke a stronger emotional response than friendliness in humans, such as physiological arousal (in layman’s terms: Can humans get turned on by robots?)

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