Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Hip hop music


Women and African Americans-groups targeted by negative stereotypes about their intellectual abilities-may be underrepresented in careers that prize brilliance and genius. A recent nationwide survey of academics provided initial support for this possibility. Fields whose practitioners believed that natural talent is crucial for success had fewer female and African American PhDs. The present study seeks to replicate this initial finding with a different, and arguably more naturalistic, measure of the extent to which brilliance and genius are prized within a field. Specifically, we measured field-by-field variability in the emphasis on these intellectual qualities by tallying-with the use of a recently released online tool-the frequency of the words “brilliant” and “genius” in over 14 million reviews on, a popular website where students can write anonymous evaluations of their instructors. This simple word count predicted both women’s and African Americans' representation across the academic spectrum. That is, we found that fields in which the words “brilliant” and “genius” were used more frequently on also had fewer female and African American PhDs. Looking at an earlier stage in students' educational careers, we found that brilliance-focused fields also had fewer women and African Americans obtaining bachelor’s degrees. These relationships held even when accounting for field-specific averages on standardized mathematics assessments, as well as several competing hypotheses concerning group differences in representation. The fact that this naturalistic measure of a field’s focus on brilliance predicted the magnitude of its gender and race gaps speaks to the tight link between ability beliefs and diversity.

Concepts: Race, White American, Southern United States, Jim Crow laws, Democratic Party, Hip hop music


Background: Blacks' diminished return is defined as smaller protective effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on health of African Americans compared to Whites.

Concepts: Medicine, Black people, Race, White American, Southern United States, Barack Obama, Puerto Rico, Hip hop music


Over the past two decades, the demographic profile of MDMA (ecstasy/molly) users has changed. In particular, African American MDMA use has risen in some cities. One explanation of this new trend is the drug’s recent popularity (as molly) in hip-hop/rap (HHR) music. Several top rappers endorse the drug as a way to have fun or get women “loose.” There are currently no studies, however, that investigate the extent to which African American MDMA users listen to HHR music or the influence that these pro-MDMA messages have on their use of the drug. To address this gap, the current study used survey data to (a) identify the extent to which HHR music is listened to by African American MDMA users and (b) assess the perceived influence of HHR music on their decision to begin using. Qualitative interview data are also presented to contextualize the influence of these messages on their use of MDMA. The findings of this study suggest that African American MDMA users are high consumers of HHR music and that pro-MDMA messages in HHR music are influencing their expectations of the drug and their decision to initiate use. These findings add to the limited amount of research on African American MDMA use and have the potential to inform future interventions.

Concepts: African American, Southern United States, Funk, Jim Crow laws, Democratic Party, Hip hop music, Country music


Heroin use in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. The objective of this paper is to estimate the annual societal cost of heroin use disorder in the United States in 2015 US dollars.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Western culture, Hip hop music, Dollar, United States dollar, War in Afghanistan


Controversy exists regarding the association of cigarette smoking and renal dysfunction, particularly among African Americans, who are disproportionately affected by chronic kidney disease; therefore, we evaluated the relationship between cigarette smoking and rapid renal function (RRF) decline in the Jackson Heart Study.

Concepts: Renal failure, Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Nephrology, Smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Hip hop music


In the United States, doctor-diagnosed arthritis is a common and disabling chronic condition. Arthritis can lead to severe joint pain and poor physical function, and it can negatively affect quality of life.

Concepts: Life, United States, Vital signs, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, English language, Republic of China, Hip hop music


Using hip-hop music and performance to communicate the science of evolutionary biology is a dubious-sounding notion; I’ll be the first to admit. Although I currently make my living as a rap artist and science communicator, performing for thousands of people around the world every year, I can’t take credit for the key idea that led me to this strange vocation. My original idea was to use rap to communicate arcane literature, starting with Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In a previous phase of my life I was a graduate student in medieval literature and an avid hip-hop head, and after completing my masters I embarked on a world tour with my one-man show “The Rap Canterbury Tales.” It was on tour in the UK a few years later that I encountered Dr. Mark Pallen, bacterial genomics professor and author of The Rough Guide to Evolution (Pallen 2009). Mark is a hip-hop fan and Darwin expert, and he challenged me to write a “Rap Guide to Evolution” to accompany the publication of his Rough Guide in 2009. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Evolution, Charles Darwin, Copyright, Hip hop music, Rapping, Hip hop, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales


Although prevalence rates of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) has been established throughout adolescence, little is known about the progression of NSSI, and consequently, about the risk factors for youth NSSI engagement. This study aimed to describe the overall longitudinal course of NSSI and the latent trajectory classes of NSSI in a population-based sample of adolescents using multi-wave data. Moreover, this study examined whether sex, lifetime history of depression, rumination, and negative attributional style predicted the longitudinal course of NSSI and trajectory group membership. Participants were 617 Chinese adolescents in Grades 10 through 12 (51.4 % girls). NSSI was assessed across eight waves of data. History of depression, rumination, and negative attributional style were assessed at baseline. Latent growth curve modeling revealed that only lifetime depression predicted the longitudinal course of NSSI from Grades 10 to 12, with depressed adolescents showing greater and more stable NSSI engagement over time than non-depressed adolescents. Group-based trajectory modeling yielded three distinct trajectory classes of NSSI engagement: low (69.2 %), moderate (26.1 %), and chronic (4.7 %). Negative attributional style distinguished adolescents in the chronic vs. low and moderate NSSI trajectory classes. Sex, rumination, and lifetime depression predicted membership in the chronic and/or moderate vs. low NSSI trajectory class. NSSI trajectory classes, based on frequency of NSSI, exist and are differentiated by sex, depression history, rumination, and negative attributional style. This study suggests that during this period of adolescence NSSI may be a relatively stable behavior, especially for some adolescents. Negative attributional style may be a salient risk factor for chronic NSSI engagement.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Risk, The Chronic, 2000s music groups, Major depressive disorder, Trajectory, Hip hop music


To compare the methods and baseline characteristics of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) and Chronic Migraine Epidemiology and Outcomes (CaMEO) studies.

Concepts: Hip hop music


To estimate trends in the prevalence and socioeconomic distribution of chronic conditions among women hospitalized for obstetric delivery in the United States.

Concepts: Childbirth, United States, Milk, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Economic inequality, Hip hop music, Frank Lloyd Wright