Notebook

  1. hands rolling a marijuana joint
    Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists claimed marijuana threatened teens’ mental health

    In the 1970s, scientists linked pot use to mental health woes in teens. Such concerns have helped keep the drug illegal for teens for 50 years.

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  2. a balloon being filled with helium
    Science & Society

    50 years ago, the United States wanted to deflate the helium stockpile

    An attempt to dismantle the Federal Helium Reserve in 1971 failed. Fifty years later, the U.S. government is still determined to run out of gas.

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  3. Perseverance parachuting down to Mars
    Space

    50 years ago, experiments hinted at the possibility of life on Mars

    In 1971, lab experiments suggested organic molecules could be made on Mars. Fifty years later, robots are searching for such signs of life on the planet itself.

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  4. a composite image of a person in a wheelchair progressing to walking with a walker
    Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, researchers treated chronic pain with electricity

    In 1971, doctors eased chronic pain by sending electrical impulses to the spinal cord. Fifty years later, improved techniques help paralyzed people walk.

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  5. a photo of a whaling ship hauling in a catch

    50 years ago, U.S. commercial whaling was coming to an end

    Commercial whaling has brought many whale species to the brink of extinction. But after bans, some show signs of recovery.

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  6. people playing instruments in a nursing home environment
    Health & Medicine

    A music therapist seeks to tap into long-lost memories

    Alaine Reschke-Hernández is partnering with neuroscientists to figure out how music improves Alzheimer’s patients’ lives.

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  7. a little Black girl getting a peach-tented bandaid from a nurse
    Health & Medicine

    Redefining ‘flesh-colored’ bandages makes medicine more inclusive

    Peach-colored bandages label dark-skinned patients as outside the norm, says med student Linda Oyesiku. Brown bandages expand who gets to be normal.

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  8. an illustration of a five-quark particle
    Physics

    50 years ago, scientists were on a quest for quarks

    In the 1970s, physicists confirmed particles called quarks existed. Fifty years later, many kinds of quarks in many combinations have been discovered.

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  9. an illustration of a Brontosaurus
    Animals

    50 years ago, scientists made the case for a landlubbing Brontosaurus

    In 1971, a scientist argued for a landbound Brontosaurus instead of a swampy swimmer. Recent evidence comes from studies of its ancient environment.

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  10. person knitting blue and yellow pattern
    Math

    How one physicist is unraveling the mathematics of knitting

    Understanding how knots influence textile properties could lead to bespoke materials.

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  11. an illustration of the molecular structure of water
    Physics

    50 years ago, scientists poked holes in the existence of polywater

    In 1971, scientists were casting doubt on an anomalous form of water. Fifty years later, water’s odd properties are still mysterious.

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  12. crested rats
    Plants

    Rats with poisonous hairdos live surprisingly sociable private lives

    Deadly, swaggering rodents purr and snuggle when they’re with mates and young.

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