Empathy Is Easier When Medicine Explains Quirks

A couple of recent medical news stories—about Bell’s palsy and misophonia–really struck home, and made me think how harshly people judge others, even members of their own family, because they don’t understand the medical condition underlying odd behavior. I’m not talking about mental illness, but rather little-understood physical conditions that can wreak daily havoc on […]

What Copernicus Saw in the Revolutions

Fact: The book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, in which Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543 laid out his blueprint for the “marvelous symmetry of the universe,” was not banned outright by the Catholic Church, but rather listed on the Index of Prohibited Books in 1616 as “suspended until corrected” – and remained there for more than […]

China’s Human Canaries in the Coal Mine

Pesticides and pollutants are related to a 450 percent increase in the risk of spina bifida and anencephaly in rural China, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Peking University, as reported on Science Daily. Their study, published in August in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the result of a […]

Lab Contaminant Skewed Chronic Fatigue Results

Brian Vastag summed it up well in his excellent article in The Washington Post today: “Two years ago, a research team in Nevada linked an exotic mouse virus to chronic fatigue syndrome, sparking hopes among patients that a cause of the baffling condition had finally been found. “But two other research teams reported Tuesday that […]