Tag Archives: health

The Value of Good Science

Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg makes a high-profile case against spending on Ebola. It may be good politics, but is it good science? Why should we care? One reason is that scientific thinking on Ebola could save lots of lives and staggering amounts of money. Science is a driver of our economy. Science is why […]

I’m from Missouri…Show Me!

Finding new drugs these days is largely done with quantum mechanics. Fifty years ago it was more like what the Brits (and the indie rock band Arctic Monkeys) call suck-it-and-see. So thousands of Americans don’t know that they have arms and legs and normal lives thanks to the courage of a Canadian—and American—physician. She says […]

Be Careful What You Wish For

Here is a story that can save you money. It might even save your life. If we could see all of the organisms that surround us, we would see microbes, billions of them, many kinds of viruses, bacteria, fungi and archaea. Most of them do nothing to us. Some  could help us. Others, if they […]

Many Measly Ways of Dying

A new study has revealed how infection with measles exposes children to many other causes of death. This is something caring parents need to know about. Measles (aka rubeola) shows up as a rash. It is very infectious. Because it mostly just goes away we tend to think of it as a nuisance that keeps […]

Getting Water When It Isn’t Getting Wetter

Climate change is no longer a forecast. It’s news. And even if we all stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow climate change would go on getting worse. We see a range of consequences, like historically severe droughts. How does this affect us? The UN International Decade for Action on water ends this year. Its webpage says: […]

Are Your Colds in Hot Water Yet?

Skepticism’s healthy. These days we don’t have to believe a news story. But to get the benefits of skepticism we need to check stories out. A good-news story in a past Science Seen post has a simple message: Hot water can cure the common cold. Some who read the post or social-media re-posts were skeptical. […]

Gut Instinct

You likely do not often think about how you are put together on a microscopic scale. You are a conspiracy of cells. Roughly a hundred trillion of them, each one more or less autonomous. Each shapes its environment (you) by talking to co-conspirators. Cells do this instinctively. Their ancestors survived by doing it for millions […]

Taking the Shot

These days there’s news about the pros and cons of vaccinations. There is good news and there’s bad news. Let’s unscramble them, because we can learn from both good and bad. There is good news about ebola vaccines. Ebola is about eight times less infectious than measles but it’s far more deadly. It’s a gruesome […]

Up Close with Ebola

Around the world we’re starting to see same-old knee-jerk stuff. Irrational reactions to Ebola hurt us all: World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan says that 90 per cent of economic costs of an epidemic ‘come from irrational and disorganized efforts of the public to avoid infection.’ ‘Public’ includes public officials and push-button politicians and panicky […]