May 18, 2018: Friday News Roundup

You may have noticed an absence of roundups the past couple of weeks. Your roundup editor is now back and feeling refreshed after a break, and we have lots to catch up on!

The Scary Amount That College Will Cost In The Future
This headline does not lie. If you expect to send a kid to college in 2036, start socking away your pennies now and hope he or she doesn’t get into Harvard, which is projected to cost a mind-blowing $474,500. That figure includes tuition, room and board, supplies. and other expenses for four years on campus. Higher education is officially broken.

Memory Transferred Between Snails, Challenging Standard Theory of How the Brain Remembers
At last, we’re able to work an article about snails into the news roundup! Apparently, scientists at UCLA have successfully transferred memories between animals via injections of RNA, “a startling result that challenges the widely held view of where and how memories are stored in the brain.” There’s still debate, however, whether the new theory will hold up to further experimentation.

It’s A Myth That Adults Can’t Become Fluent In A New Language
First thing to take away from this article is that “fluent” doesn’t necessarily mean speaking perfectly like a native; rather, it’s about communicating “with relative ease.” That takes some of the pressure off! So, if you’ve been wanting to pick up another language but have been led to believe you’re too old, go for it.

A New Theory Linking Sleep and Creativity
This is perfect as you head into the weekend and, hopefully, manage to catch a few extra Z’s. We’ve known for a while about the connection between sleep and creative thinking, but now researchers have come up with a possible explanation for it: REM and non-REM sleep cycles work together “to help us find unrecognized links between what we already know, and discover out-of-the-box solutions to vexing problems.”

In Japan, Old Robot Dogs Get A Buddhist Send-Off
We close out the roundup with a robot story that will actually make you feel good about our automated companions. Sony stopped manufacturing Aibo robot dogs in 2006, and it’s become increasingly difficult to get them repaired. Rather than toss them on the scrap heap unceremoniously, Buddhist monks at the 450-year-old Kofukuji Temple near Tokyo give robodogs a soulful sendoff.