All Devil in the Data Articles

Unpacking the assumptions of science.

  • Alzheimer's Is Type 3 Diabetes

    The idea that Alzheimer's is a form of diabetic disease has been gaining currency in medical circles for almost ten years. The accumulated evidence is now so strong that many specialists are now comfortable...

  • What Tuberculosis and Crohn's Have in Common

    It wouldn't seem as if leprosy, tuberculosis, and Crohn's disease would have much in common. But increasing evidence points to all three diseases being caused by closely related species of Mycobacterium, a germ...

  • Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

    Caloric restriction (CR) has long been known to increase longevity (often dramatically) in a number of eukaryotic models, including yeast, fruit flies, nematodes, mice, and rhesus monkeys. It's also well...

  • Marijuana for Cancer Prevention

    Research into the health effects of cannabis have yielded a mixed bag (so to speak) of results. Predictably, studies that have looked for harmful effects have found them. But there are also beneficial effects, the...

  • The Trouble with Darwin

    Biologists are, by and large, painfully aware of evolutionary theory's shortcomings.

  • Should Google Pay Its Users?

    If you post something that others read, you should get paid. If you're spied on, you should get paid. Conversely, if you access the work of others, you should pay.

  • Diabetes Linked to Cancer Risk

    It is known that diabetes brings with it a greatly elevated risk for a number of comorbidities. To this list, we now have to add elevated risk of cancer, as well.

  • Are You a Sociopath?

    Many characteristics of the sociopathic personality—charm, ambition and impatience, an ability to attack problems with cold-hearted logic (not letting emotions get in the way)—are useful to society.

  • Does Depression Go Away on Its Own?

    Many depressed patients recover, with or without medical intervention, because that's the nature of the illness. It comes and it goes.

  • Arthritis and Gut Bacteria

    New research suggests that gut bacteria may very well play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis and also underscores the importance of gut bacteria (which outnumber human cells ten-to-one) in keeping...

  • Colorectal Cancer and Bacteria

    It's beginning to seem pretty clear that CRC is, at least in part, a bacterial disease.

  • Vitamin D, Sun, and Cancer

    Kas Thomas: The evidence is substantial enough that people should start thinking about taking substantial amounts of vitamin D as prophylaxis against cancers of all kinds. 

  • Fecal Transplant in a Pill

    There is a new treatment for C. diff infection that's safe, effective, and has no known down side except that it's disgusting to think about.

  • What's in a Placebo?

    Drug companies are allowed to use (and do often use) active placebos in their studies. An active placebo is one that is biologically active, rather than inert.

  • Oral Hygiene and Cancer

    The link between periodontal disease and heart disease is so well documented at this point as to not need further discussion, but evidence is also accumulating, and has been for some time, of a link between...

  • Colorectal Cancer: A Bacterial Disease?

    Colorectal cancer, which is on the rise in all developed countries and many developing ones, may turn out to be caused by a bacterium. 

  • Get Fat, Get Cancer

    It's not so well known that being overweight (not merely obese) brings with it a cancer risk.

  • Mental Illness: It's Not in Your Genes

    Many neuropsychiatric ailments that are assumed to have a major genetic component don't seem to have one.

  • What You Should Know about Selenium

    There is a cheap, safe, chemopreventive agent for prostate cancer. It's called selenium. But virtually nothing has been done to get the word out.

  • Hate Your Job? You're Not Alone

    If you can't make it in The Land of the Free, you're defective—that's the default assumption, the core belief that allows Americans who aren't hurting, who aren't unhappy with their lot, to cling to quaint...