You Eat a Credit Card’s Worth of Plastic Every Week

What is our hidden consumption of microplastics doing to our health? BY KATHARINE GAMMON Martin Wagner was annoyed that his colleagues were always talking about microplastics in the ocean. It was 2010 and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch had been headline news. Here was this massive gyre, formed by circular ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean, reportedly brimming with plastic particles, killing sea turtles and seagulls. Wagner, a professor of biology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, whose lab focuses on the impact of plastics on human and ecosystem health, felt like scientists were pointing to marine systems … Continue reading You Eat a Credit Card’s Worth of Plastic Every Week

Climate Change Is Turning Us Into Sleep-Deprived Zombies

Sleepless in Seattle… and the rest of the world. by Miriam Fauzia Not getting enough sleep? Well, bad news: Climate change might just make things much, much worse. In a new study published Friday in the journal One Earth, researchers in Denmark have found that as the planet warms due to climate change, how much sleep we get a night may tank because of how poorly our bodies respond to heat. This reduction in such an essential bodily function could have an even bigger negative impact on people vulnerable to heat, like older adults, or those living in low-income areas and countries. “In … Continue reading Climate Change Is Turning Us Into Sleep-Deprived Zombies

A fairly fed world

Last year, 200 million children did not get enough to eat, yet it would be cheap and easy for the world to feed them all Sharman Apt Russell is the author of Hunger: An Unnatural History (2005) and Within Our Grasp: Childhood Malnutrition Worldwide and the Revolution Taking Place to End It (2021). Swing both arms up and clap your hands. Arms down and up. Clap! Down and up! Clap! You are singing all the while or, in my case, humming as I move my hips to the beat of the song and the clapping and dancing. Every once in a while, the beautiful … Continue reading A fairly fed world

The Science of Working Out the Body and the Soul: How the Art of Exercise Was Born, Lost, and Rediscovered

“A history of exercise is not really — or certainly not only — a history of the body. It is, equally, perhaps even primarily, a history of the mind.” BY MARIA POPOVA “And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?” wondered Whitman two years before he wrote a manual on “manly health and training” and two decades before he recovered from his paralytic stroke with a rigorous exercise regimen in the gymnasium of the wilderness. But this natural equivalence, as obvious as it was to Whitman and as evident as the neurophysiology of consciousness is making it in … Continue reading The Science of Working Out the Body and the Soul: How the Art of Exercise Was Born, Lost, and Rediscovered

Prolonged exposure to magnetic fields — high voltage power lines, electric blankets and other appliances — linked to a type of childhood leukemia: Study

By Dr. Gracelyn Santos A recent sudy has found that prolonged exposure to magnetic fields is linked to childhood leukemia. Examples of sources of magnetic electromagnetic fields include high voltage power lines, electric blankets and other appliances. The Environmental Health Trust, a scientific think tank focused on public health and prevention, highlighted a recent systematic review and meta-analysis published in Reviews on Environmental Health. The reviewconcludes that prolonged exposure to magnetic field electromagnetic fields are linked to a type of childhood leukemia. Children can be exposed to magnetic fields at the levels studied in the paper when they sleep near sources such as electric blankets, … Continue reading Prolonged exposure to magnetic fields — high voltage power lines, electric blankets and other appliances — linked to a type of childhood leukemia: Study

Is watching pornography bad for men — but good for women?

A large study links pornography use to decreased sexual performance for men and increased sexual performance for women. KEY TAKEAWAYS A recent study reported that increasing porn use is linked to decreased sexual performance in men and increased sexual performance in women.  The diverging effects could be because men tend to watch a lot more porn than women and often view more unrealistic hardcore and fetish-focused porn.  It’s overly simplistic to say that porn is bad for men or good for women. Like almost everything, porn is probably best consumed in moderation. by Ross Pomeroy Pornography is a male-dominated industry … Continue reading Is watching pornography bad for men — but good for women?

8 Things That Can Happen If You Stop Having Sex

When you stop having sex, you may notice physical, mental and emotional changes in your body, but you may not be the only one affected. A sexual pause can also take a toll on your partner, writes Dr Saransh Jain. The hormones released during sexual activity play an important role in lifting your mood, and making you happy. PROF (DR) SARANSH JAIN Sex may permeate our popular culture, but conversations about it are still associated with stigma and shame in Indian households. As a result, most individuals dealing with sexual health issues or trying to find information about sex often … Continue reading 8 Things That Can Happen If You Stop Having Sex

How psychopathy might be an evolutionary adaptation

Instead of a mental illness, some research suggests that psychopathy — in moderation — is a reasonable life strategy. KEY TAKEAWAYS It might seem obvious that psychopathy is harmful. But there is some reason to believe psychopathy, at least in moderation, might be a reasonable evolutionary adaptation.  To evaluate whether something is a mental disorder, it helps to understand what causes disorders in the first place.  A recent study explored whether psychopathy is associated with physical telltale signs such as handedness. The results were not conclusive, but they do add to a growing body of research supporting the possibility that psychopathy … Continue reading How psychopathy might be an evolutionary adaptation

Making Our Own Jewels

A writer and practitioner reflects on her terminal illness. By Teri Dillion Out of nowhere and interrupting an otherwise beautiful May morning, I just so happened to hit the jackpot of drama, the grand slam of misfortune, a condition I’d soon learn is sometimes spoken of in medical circles as “the worst possible thing.” I was slapped with three uppercase initials—ALS—that signified I was now victim to a rare, quickly debilitating neurological disease. It was the kind of disease which results in total paralysis—including the loss of one’s voice and an assured countdown to respiratory failure—within a few years for nearly … Continue reading Making Our Own Jewels

Unlocking the Mysteries of Pain

In “Song of Our Scars,” physician Haider Warraich surveys the science and history of pain, and our many misconceptions. BY EMILY CATANEO IF YOU’VE VISITED a doctor’s office anytime in the past five decades, after you’ve had your blood pressure taken and your weight measured, you’ve probably been asked that seemingly innocuous question: “Are you in any pain?” “Are you in any pain,” and the 1-to-10 pain scale, have become part and parcel of American health care. But does it make sense to reduce pain to a yes-or-no binary, or a number on a scale? Haider Warraich, a physician and Harvard Medical … Continue reading Unlocking the Mysteries of Pain