Killing Ourselves with Cleanliness
As the number of allergy sufferers soar, potential cures are getting more radical. Alternative theories abound on why developed countries have such high rates of allergic reactions.
Allergies are far more common in rich nations than in poor ones. Hygiene hypothesists believe that's because people in poor countries are riddled with parasites. Studies in Africa and South America have tested groups of parasite-infected people and found them to have few or no allergies. These people were then treated with vermifuges. Once they became parasite-free, they developed allergies, Pathologist Marie-Helene Jouvin says. "We don't know precisely how it works, but parasites have developed this very fine mechanism that allows them to survive in a host's body without killing the host and without the host killing them."
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Upload your mind? Here's a reality check on the Singularity.
- Though computer engineers claim to know what human consciousness is, many neuroscientists say that we're nowhere close to understanding what it is, or its source.
- Scientists are currently trying to upload human minds to silicon chips, or re-create consciousness with algorithms, but this may be hubristic because we still know so little about what it means to be human.
- Is transhumanism a journey forward or an escape from reality?
The Harvard psychologist loves reading authors' rules for writing. Here are his own.
- Steven Pinker is many things: linguist, psychologist, optimist, Harvard professor, and author.
- When it comes to writing, he's a student and a teacher.
- Here's are his 13 rules for writing better, more simply, and more clearly.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
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