Weekend Links: Why Older People Hate New Music, Real-Life Zombies, the Tallest Known Tree and More

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.

Real-Life Zombies

Sabrina Stierwalt writing for Scientific American

Zombie lore may give us a lot of variety, but one thing every zombie scenario has in common is reanimation of the body after death. The body’s movements are slave to a brain that is no longer in control. But what do these differences matter?


Researchers Discover the Tallest Known Tree in the Amazon

Jill Langlois writing for Smithsonian

Sheer curiosity led Eric Bastos Gorgens and his team to the tallest tree in the Amazon. At 88.5 meters, or over 290 feet, the tree species Dinizia excelsa, or angelim vermelho in Portuguese, beat out the previous record holders by almost 30 meters.


Squirrels Rely on the Original Twitter to Know They Are Safe

Ephrat Livni writing for Quartz

A new study in the journal Plos One, by researchers from Oberlin University in Ohio, tested the hypothesis that birds act as community informants, essentially publicizing news from moment to moment. They found that gray squirrels adjust their vigilance levels in relation to the sounds around them, including the chatter of birds.


Intense Stress Might Hurt Our Cells’ Ability to Make Energy, Study Finds

Jillian Mock writing for Discover

Chronic stress and anxiety could disrupt how our cells produce energy, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS Genetics. This, along with genetic variations, could help explain why our reactions to stressful situations can vary so much, the researchers say.


Curious Kids: Why Do Old People Hate New Music?

Frank T. McAndrew writing for the Conversation

As I’ve grown older, I’ll often hear people my age say things like “they just don’t make good music like they used to.” Why does this happen? Luckily, my background as a psychologist has given me some insights into this puzzle.


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