Extra Credit: Our pick of stories from around the web that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. Brought to you each Tuesday from the editors of JSTOR Daily.
Greenland sharks: ancients of the deep (BBC)
By Rebecca Morelle
Using a creative new technique, scientists have found that a Greenland shark lived to at least age 272, and may have been born in Shakespeare’s day. They also now believe these sharks don’t hit puberty until they’re 150 years old.
Why are Jamaican runners so good? (The New York Times)
By Orlando Patterson
Jamaica dominates Olympic running events. While some people have proposed genetic explanations, a sociologist argues the truth has to do with the commitments the country made decades ago to health and fitness.
Rio’s dirty water is just the tip of the iceberg (The Conversation)
By Daniele Lantagne
The contamination of Brazilian waterways with human waste represents a threat to the health of Olympic athletes. But the situation around Rio isn’t unique. A third of the world’s people have no access to latrines or sewerage systems, and in much of the world wastewater is not treated before disposal. Changing that requires different solutions than the ones we use in the U.S.
Life in the microbiome (The New Yorker)
by Wudan Yan
We’re getting used to the idea that our microbiomes—the collection of bacteria and other tiny organisms inside our bodies—affect our daily lives. Now, an extensive research project in Fiji demonstrates the complex relationships among the denizens of our guts.
What kids get to read (Slate)
by Katy Waldman
Children’s literature has always been educational. But an expert in the field notes that what it teaches has been different in every era, from the moral instruction of Little Goody Two Shoes to Harry Potter’s celebration of being exceptional.
Have you seen a story online that does a good job of bridging the gap between the news and scholarship? Or something that seems particularly well-researched? Let us know and we may include it in next week’s roundup. Email us at jstordaily_submissions (at) jstor (dot) org.