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The Rise of Nanoparticles (The Conversation)
by Kristin Omberg
Nanoscale materials are used in everything from bike frames to cutting-edge medicine. They’re so useful because of properties unique to tiny particles, like the ability to cross cell membranes. But that can also make them dangerous.

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The Long, Global History of Inoculation (Slate)
by Elise A. Mitchell
When enslaved West Africans brought smallpox inoculation to North America in the colonial era, it was already a well-established technology in much of Africa as well as Arabia and East Asia.

The World Copper Built (Works in Progress)
by Ed Conway
The electronic infrastructure we depend on would never have been possible without copper—and, specifically, technologies that allow us to extract huge quantities of the metal from the Earth. This has come at a high cost, and as demand for copper increases, it will only get higher.

Seeking Sadness (NPR)
by Jon Hamilton
We typically classify sadness as a negative emotion. Yet many of the most popular and respected works of music and other art evoke a beautiful kind of sorrow. What is it about humans that makes us seek out sad art?

Mexico’s Living Jewelry (Atlas Obscura)
by Roxanne Hoorn
For centuries, people in parts of Mexico have adorned themselves with living, crawling, jewel-encrusted beetles—and shared this unique living art with visitors. But today some are raising questions about the ethics of the practice.

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