In a letter recently obtained by The Guardian newspaper, more than 100 former presidents and heads of state urged the leaders of the world’s wealthiest countries to do much more — to commit more money, in particular, but also more aid and resources — toward making and distributing vaccines across the globe.
“No one anywhere is safe from Covid-19 until everyone is safe everywhere,” the letter’s signatories wrote, according to The Guardian.
That’s not just lofty talk, and it’s not just a plea for the sake of the unvaccinated. That is cold reality.
Apart from the deadly threat that the…
For a 2012 study in PLOS One, researchers invited a young woman into a laboratory at Ohio University.
The woman learned that she would be taking part in an “aesthetic judgment” experiment. The researchers took a photograph of her face and then asked her to sit at a table that held two objects: a computer monitor and a mirror.
On the monitor, the woman viewed a series of headshots of what the study termed “attractive professional models” — all of them women. Following this barrage of beautiful faces, the woman’s own photograph appeared on the screen. But it wasn’t just…
Spaceflight is hard on the human body. The absence of gravity can induce a form of nauseating motion sickness known as space adaptation syndrome. As time passes, weightlessness can also cause muscle wasting, bone deterioration, and other health problems.
NASA and its sister space agencies around the world have long recognized these health threats, and they’ve developed effective countermeasures. But as they’ve learned to manage the challenges of zero-gravity environments, other concerns have emerged.
According to a 2016 NASA-led study in the International Journal of General Medicine, time spent in space rapidly perturbs the human immune system. Nearly every molecule…
Americans are inveterate snackers.
Our enthusiasm for snacking isn’t new. Between the early 1970s and the late 2000s, the average number of snacks we consumed hardly budged; we ate two or three snacks a day back then, and that’s about how many we eat now.
While we may not be snacking more frequently than we used to, there’s some evidence that our snacks have gotten bigger.
The journalist Michael Easter once spent a month in the Arctic Circle, tracking a herd of caribou for a national magazine story.
After 33 days in the backcountry — lugging an 80-pound pack through forests and tundra, spending each night outdoors in a tent — Easter says that his reunion with running water almost brought him to tears.
“I was in this little bathroom at an airfield in Kotzebue, Alaska,” he recalls. “When that warm water hit my face, it was like, oh my god. I think I let it run over my hands for about 20 minutes.”
On my 13th or 14th birthday, I can’t remember which, my dad gave me a boombox and some CDs.
The CDs were Neil Young’s Harvest, and greatest-hits collections from the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and the Steve Miller Band. He told me he’d picked these because they were some of his old favorites — part of the soundtrack of his life in the late 1960s and ’70s when he’d lived in Northern California and Oregon. Even before I’d listened to them, I liked them because he liked them.
I especially liked the Neil Young. It hooked me from the first…
For a 2019 study, researchers at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had healthy people apply common, commercially available sunscreens.
For four days — and four times each day — the people in the study sprayed or rubbed sunscreen onto their bodies. Most sunscreen labels advise people to reapply “at least every two hours,” so the study was designed to assess what would happen inside the body if people followed this guidance. For example, if someone went on a beach vacation and slathered on sunscreen throughout the day, as directed, what, if anything, might show up in their blood?
The internet makes quite a fuss about the ways we arrange our bodies in repose.
Googling “best sleep position” turns up a cool 765 million results, and some of the top hits maintain that how you sleep — back, stomach, left or right side, fetal — has profound implications for your spine, heart, breathing, appearance, and much else. There’s even some Freudian pseudoscience linking certain sleep positions to personality traits, which seems to have about as much solid scientific backing as palmistry.
All of these claims are somewhat confounded by the fact that we all tend to sleep in a…
Spring is a season of rebirth and renewal. Flowers sprout, leaves bud, and the natural world wakes up from its long winter hibernation. Likewise, a lot of people feel rejuvenated as the days grow longer, sunnier, and warmer.
In my household, for reasons that are obscure even to me, “fart” is a bad word. At some point, my wife and I must have decided that we didn’t want to hear our kids use the F-word all the time, so we adopted “toot” as a gentler substitute. Beans and other legumes are often on our menu, and things can get pretty tooty around here.
I write about health and science. I live in Detroit with my wife and kids. I’m trying to learn German, but my progress so far is nicht gut.