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The Importance of Mistletoe (Knowable Magazine)
by Nicola Jones
Mistletoe isn’t just a Christmas gimmick. The parasitic plants provide enormous services to ecosystems all over the world, especially in the face of climate change. But the plants face dangers of their own.

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How to Talk to Your Family (The Conversation)
by Elizabeth Keating
Holiday gatherings are full of conversations, and we can use them to go deeper and find out more about our parents’ and grandparents’ lives. It starts with thinking like an anthropologist.

Population Genetics, Minus Racism (Undark)
by Michael Schulson
The small genetic variations between different groups of humans may be a fruitful area of study. But how can researchers shape questions that aren’t tainted by the long history of racist pseudoscience?

The Long Quest for Nuclear Fusion Power (The Verge)
by Justine Calma
Scientists have achieved a major milestone in generating power with nuclear fusion, but that’s a claim we’ve heard many times since the 1950s. Where does the quest for fusion power really stand now?

The Bird Towns of England (Aeon)
by Michael J. Warren
Birds are among the least permanent features of a landscape, flitting from place to place in seconds and often migrating seasonally. So why do many English towns carry the names of birds, and what can this tell us about the daily lives of the medieval people who named them?

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