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The knotweed invasion (Slate)
by Henry Grabar
It tears up homes’ foundations and creeps up through floors, wrecks native ecosystems, and has been accused of contributing to madness. It’s Japanese knotweed, and it’s spreading across much of the country.

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Why that soundtrack is so scary (Quartz)
by Adam Epstein
In the soundtracks for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Game of Thrones, you’ve probably noticed that a sustained sound makes listeners tense up in expectation of something very bad. A musicologist explains the many uses of the “drone of dread.”

A million species on the brink (NBC News)
by Denise Chow
Over the past fifty years, species have gone extinct tens to hundreds of times as fast as they typically did over the previous ten million years. A new U.N. report anticipates a million more extinctions in the coming decades.

Is this the first climate change-driven epidemic? (Vox)
by Julia Belluz
Chronic kidney disease is on the rise in Central America—and in India, Southeast Asia, and possibly California and Florida too. Could rising temperatures be to blame?

A 1,000-year-old psychedelic brew (National Geographic)
by Erin Blakemore
A pouch found at an archeological site in Bolivia contains the earliest known materials for an ayahuasca psychoactive brew along the lines of what people in the Amazon basin continue to use today.

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