Illustration for article titled After Observing Wasps For Years, One Scientist Has Found Parallels In Cooperative Behavior In Amoebas

Welcome to this week’s Reading List, your Sunday guide to some of the most interesting science and technology stories on the internet this week. This week, we’ll examine a potentially deadly medical procedure, ponder the inner workings of social networks, and more.

  • In the mid-19th Century, thousands of ‘Water Towns’ popped up across the United States, part of a wellness trend that swept the country. Now, after years of decline, some of these spa towns are coming back. [CityLab]
  • For decades, terrorist groups and bomb makers have sought out a rare ingredient for their devices: Red Mercury. It’s spawned numerous stories and near-legends for its supposed force when used in a bomb. The only problem? It doesn’t exist. [New York Times]
  • Joan Strassmann has spent her career looking at how organisms cooperate, from Wasps to amoebas. [Quanta Magazine]
  • In the last 150 years, humans have done a lot to change how they spend their time. A century and a half ago, we would typically spend 70 hours of our waking lives a week working. What do we do with the time that we’ve saved since then? Watch TV. [Business Insider]

Image credit: Kuttelvaserova Stuchelova / Shuttershock

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