Weekend Links: Valentine’s Edition

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

Psychologists Explain Why Ikea Is a Relationship Death-Trap

Ikea is not an errand, it’s an experience — and part of that experience is resigning yourself to the fact that you’re going to be there for a long, uncomfortable period of time.

Oxytocin, the So-called “Hug Hormone,” is Way More Sophisticated Than We Thought

Brian Resnick writing for Vox

Oxytocin is a real hormone, a neuropeptide, that has been shown to influence behavior across the animal kingdom, particularly in mammals, and particularly in social mammals. When scientists block oxytocin altogether in the brains of prairie voles — a rodent best known for its monogamy — they become uninterested in their mates.

How a Love of Flowers Helped Charles Darwin Validate Natural Selection

Erin Zimmerman writing for Smithsonian

Much of the aging naturalist’s time was spent studying botany, and his research produced discoveries that, had he not become famous for natural selection, would have made him a well-known botanist.

No, Opposites Do Not Attract

Everyone seems to agree that opposites attract. Young and old people, happy and distressed couples, single folks and married partners – all apparently buy the classic adage about love. Relationship experts have written books based on this assumption.

Massive Science Celebrates Love, Nature-style

Massive Staff writing for Massive Science

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Massive team decided to highlight the many forms of sex and romance in nature. We polled our community of scientists for interesting stories and they did not disappoint. 

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