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Trouble for the FDA?

There is persistent tension over the issue of drug regulations. On one side are those who think that before we sell drugs to the public with health claims, we should ensure there is a reasonable amount of objective quality scientific evidence to demonstrate that the drugs are safe and effective. I admit this is the […]

Do We All Have Split Brains?

When you're doing two things at once - like listening to the radio while driving - your brain organizes itself into two, functionally independent networks, almost as if you temporarily have two brains. That's according to a fascinating new study from University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientists Shuntaro Sasai and colleagues. Show More Summary

Scientists – Welcome to the Skeptical Movement

Donald Trump has just named Oklahoma attorney general, Scott Pruitt, to head the EPA. Pruitt is a known denier of the science of anthropogenic global warming, and in fact has spent much of his time as attorney general suing the EPA over the issue. The conspiracy theorists are now running the show. This is just […]

Danish RCT of cognitive behavior therapy for whatever ails your physician about you

I was asked by a Danish journalist to examine a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for functional somatic symptoms. I had not previously given the study a close look. I was

Remember Pearl Harbor? Maybe....

Our brains are great at creating personal versions of historical fiction -- Read more on

Fun With Non-Ionizing Radiation

Does non-ionizing radiation pose a health risk? Everyone knows that ionizing radiation, like gamma rays, can cause cancer by damaging DNA. But the scientific consensus is that there is no such risk from non-ionizing radiation such as...Show More Summary

The Science of Raising a Friendly Psychopath

What makes someone a psycopath? Nature or Nurture? And can we stop at risk children from growing up into dangerous adult psycopaths? One of the oldest queries in psychology — Nature Vs Nurture — asks if what makes us who we are is predisposed by our DNA, or by life experiences. It is a pretty […]

Instacharge – There Is Not An App For That

Energy is the ultimate currency of our civilization. It takes energy to do stuff, by definition. Food is energy for manual labor, and it takes energy to make food. In many ways energy is a limiting factor for our technology. It is difficult to think of any one thing that would have a more wide […]

How to Secure Therapy Completion with Meta-Intervention

Keeping messages brief and simple is more effective when trying to encourage patients to complete a health care program, according to new research. In a study that analyzes six years of data, a team of researchers found small “nudges” in the right direction were a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to increase completion of health […]

This Holiday Season, Spend on Doing Rather Than Having

Research shows that paying for experiences instead of material possessions will give you greater and more enduring satisfaction -- Read more on

West World and Consciousness

The season finale of West World aired last night, a series based on a Michael Crichton book which was made into a 1973 film. I won’t give much away, so only very mild spoilers for those who haven’t seen it. I will say the last episode was probably the best of the season. The basic […]

Do Synapses Really Store Memories?

Most neuroscientists will tell you that long-term memories are stored in the brain in the form of synapses, the connections between neurons. On this view, memory formation occurs when synaptic connections are strengthened, or entirely new synapses are formed. However, in a new piece in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, Austrian researcher Patrick C. Show More Summary

Some Creationist Pseudointellectualism

In September I wrote an article about a recent experiment at Harvard Medical School in which they created a very large agar plate in order to visualize bacterial colonies evolve drug resistance over time. I was primarily responding to Michael Behe’s argument that this experiment did not show evolution but “devolution.” Recently Cornelius Hunter over […]

Should We Defend the Scientific Consensus?

Earlier this week, Frontiers in Public Health published the abstract of a paper called 'Vaccination and Health Outcomes: A Survey of 6- to 12-year-old Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children based on Mothers’ Reports'. Based on an online survey of 415 mothers involved in the homeschool movement, Mississippi-based researchers Mawson et al. Show More Summary

Your Brain on Alcohol Blackouts

“Uuuuggh…no, no, no, no, noooo!?” Like a scene out of Hangover 3, the moment you remember that you don’t remember the night before…is gut-wrenching! It’s perfectly normal to feel riddled with guilt and shame as you wrack your brain for any evidence you may have made a fool of yourself the night before. Memory seemingly […]

Super-Recognizers Lurk Among Us

Some people are so good at remembering faces that it’s downright creepy -- Read more on

Stopping Suicides On Campus

College is often billed as the best four years of your life, but for many students this couldn’t be further from the truth -- Read more on

Dr. Wilder Penfield Digital Collection

Wilder Penfield Digital Collection Wilder Penfield Digital Collection McGill University Library and Archives From the homepage: "This digital collection consists of a sample of materials selected from McGill University's Osler Library of the History of Medicine's Wilder Penfield Fonds, P142. Show More Summary

Civic Online Reasoning

A recent study adds some empirical data to the current discussions regarding regarding online information. This Stanford University Study looked at 7,804 student responses across 12 states, divided among middle school, high school, and college students. The goal of the study was to see if these students could distinguish reliable sources of information from fake or […]

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