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What is Dopamine, Really? (Vox)
by Celia Ford
Dopamine is the current obsession of life-hackers and self-help wizards. The real neurotransmitter is certainly important to the functioning of our brains and bodies, but the way this works is quite different from how it’s often portrayed.

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The Many Flavors of Hummus (Atlas Obscura)
by Tom Verde
Hummus flavored to taste like brownie batter or chili lime might offend traditionalists, but experimenting with new flavors for the dish is nothing new, as medieval Arabic cookbooks demonstrate.

Listening to Music around the World (Undark)
by Eva Amsen
What we hear when we listen to music is the product of a lifetime spent in a particular culture. So understanding what’s universal about humans’ relationship with music requires truly multicultural research.

Choosing Iran’s Supreme Leader (The Conversation)
by Eric Lob
Iran’s supreme leader serves for life in a job with nearly unlimited political and religious authority. Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, there have only been two. What will it look like when another supreme leader must be chosen?

The Elusive Promise of High-Tech Materials (Works in Progress)
by Benjamin Reinhardt
We hear a lot about scientists developing materials with incredible properties, like super-strong lab-grown spider silk or bionic muscles crafted from carbon nanotubes. But the path from invention to large-scale adoption is a tricky business.

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