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BC-The Conversation for August 18, 10am, ADVISORY

August 18, 2021 GMT

Here’s a look at what The Conversation, a non-profit source of explanatory journalism from experts in academia, is offering today.

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TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:

-Cancer

-Virgin Mary

-Ticks

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STORIES:

Warrior, servant, mother, unifier – the Virgin Mary has played many roles through the centuries

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COMMENTARY Mary has acquired popularity among celebrities of late. A religion scholar writes about how for nearly 2,000 years, the mother of Jesus has been viewed as an exemplar by different Christian groups. 1287 words. By Eric M. Vanden Eykel, Ferrum College

Why did a military superpower fail in Afghanistan?

COMMENTARY It may be attractive to think that promoting democracy in occupied foreign countries is an appropriate moral and effective path for restoring security and stability. But it’s not accurate. 773 words. By Arie Perliger, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Correctional officers are driving the pandemic in prisons

COMMENTARY New research shows correctional officers are vectors of infection, driving COVID-19 rates both inside prisons and in their communities. 735 words. By Danielle Wallace, Arizona State University

How patients talk about cancer with family, friends and doctors

RELIGION New studies highlight the difficulties cancer patients have when discussing their illness with family and medical teams. 860 words. By Wayne A. Beach, PhD, San Diego State University

Mexico, facing its third COVID-19 wave, shows the dangers of weak federal coordination

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COMMENTARY COVID-19 cases in Mexico are approaching the highest levels seen during the second wave in late January 2021, with about 22,000 new infections a day. A slow vaccine rollout is stunting progress. 1069 words. By Adolfo Martinez Valle, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and Felicia Marie Knaul, University of Miami

Can health insurance companies charge the unvaccinated higher premiums? What about life insurers? 5 questions answered

COMMENTARY Two economists explain what insurers can and can’t do to factor vaccination status into their coverage and rates. 720 words. By Kosali Simon, Indiana University and Sharon Tennyson, Cornell University

An elite Virginia high school overhauled admissions for gifted students – here’s how to tell if the changes are working

COMMENTARY Gifted education has long faced accusations of being elitist and excluding students of color. Will new changes prepare more students for elite colleges, or will they water down current curriculums? 1050 words. By Joni Lakin, University of Alabama

Every year is a bad tick year

COMMENTARY How bad are ticks this year? An expert explains why tick-borne diseases are on the rise. 826 words. By Jory Brinkerhoff, University of Richmond

Fish fins are teaching us the secret to flexible robots and new shape-changing materials

SCIENCE OR TECHNOLOGY Fish fins are extremely flexible yet also strong. A special segmented fin design is the key to this useful combination of properties and could inspire new morphing materials. 613 words. By Francois Barthelat, University of Colorado Boulder

Afghanistan only the latest US war to be driven by deceit and delusion

COMMENTARY Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that the US Afghanistan pullout is not a repeat of failures in other recent wars. “This is not Saigon,” he said. A seasoned foreign policy expert disagrees. 872 words. By Gordon Adams, American University School of International Service

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