Trim and Fit? You May Still Have Heart Disease

CreditCreditGracia Lam By Jane E. Brody Lessons from Jane Brody’s brother: Having all the right cholesterol numbers and staying active is no guarantee your coronary arteries are in great shape. This is the story of my brother’s coronary bypass surgery. It contains three critically important messages: 1. Don’t assume that your coronary arteries are in great shape because your “numbers” are good, you’re taking the prescribed medications to keep them that way, you’re trim and athletic and you live a mostly heart-healthy life. 2. Don’t ignore or dismiss potential symptoms of coronary distress by assuming that muscle soreness, unusual stress or … Continue reading Trim and Fit? You May Still Have Heart Disease

Here’s How Long Common Drugs Stay in Your Body

Just in case you were wondering. by ERIN BRODWIN, DRAGAN RADOVANOVIC Contrary to what many advertised drug tests might promise, not all substances leave their telltale chemical signature in the body for the same amount of time. The moment we take a drug – whether we snort, smoke, or swallow it – our bodies begin to break it down. In the process, metabolites, or byproducts, of the drug are produced, which can linger in our blood, urine (and even in our hair) for long after the initial effects of the drug are felt. Traces of these metabolites are what drug … Continue reading Here’s How Long Common Drugs Stay in Your Body

The inner voice

Photo by Alex Webb/Magnum From a very early age, children learn to talk to themselves. That voice in your head is the thing that makes you, you by Philip Jaekl studied neuroscience at York University in Toronto and went on to complete postdoctoral research at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, and at the University of Rochester in New York. Edited by Pam Weintraub ‘I think, therefore I am,’ the 17th-century philosopher René Descartes proclaimed as a first truth. That truth was rediscovered in 1887 by Helen Keller, a deaf and blind girl, then seven years of age: ‘I did not know … Continue reading The inner voice

Your gut is directly connected to your brain, by a newly discovered neuron circuit

Gut feeling: Sensory neurons inside the gut inform the vagus nerve (yellow) and brain how our stomachs and intestines are doing. NICOLLE R. FULLER/SCIENCE SOURCE  By Emily Underwood The human gut is lined with more than 100 million nerve cells—it’s practically a brain unto itself. And indeed, the gut actually talks to the brain, releasing hormones into the bloodstream that, over the course of about 10 minutes, tell us how hungry it is, or that we shouldn’t have eaten an entire pizza. But a new study reveals the gut has a much more direct connection to the brain through a neural circuit … Continue reading Your gut is directly connected to your brain, by a newly discovered neuron circuit

More Than Just a Dream: The Science Behind Nightmares

image edited by Fernando Kaskais By Kaitlin Vogel Have you ever wondered what it would be like to share a dream with someone or jump into someone else’s dream? I think about this when I’m lying awake at night wondering if I’m the only crazy person who has dreams that play out like a Nightmare on Elm Street movie. I’d love the option to hop into a Pride and Prejudice-type dream, wearing one of those elegant dresses and dancing with an awkwardly handsome stud like Mr. Darcy. So why can’t all dreams be happy fantasies? Why do people have nightmares? According to research, nightmares serve … Continue reading More Than Just a Dream: The Science Behind Nightmares

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong

IMAGE BY Finlay MacKay For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives. It’s time for a new paradigm. STORY BYMichael Hobbes From the 16th century to the 19th, scurvy killed around 2 million sailors, more than warfare, shipwrecks and syphilis combined. It was an ugly, smelly death, too, beginning with rattling teeth and ending with a body so rotted out from the inside that its victims could literally be startled to death by a loud noise. Just as horrifying as the … Continue reading Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong

Forging Islamic science

Detail from a contemporary fake miniature, purporting to be from the 17th-century, depicting Ottoman-era scholars observing the night sky through telescopes. Allegedly from the Istanbul University Library. Photo by DEA/Getty Fake miniatures depicting Islamic science have found their way into the most august of libraries and history books. How? Nir Shafir is a historian of the early modern Ottoman Empire at the University of California, San Diego. He is editor-in-chief of the Ottoman History Podcast. Edited by Sally Davies As I prepared to teach my class ‘Science and Islam’ last spring, I noticed something peculiar about the book I was about to assign to … Continue reading Forging Islamic science