Why vaccines are absolutely necessary

Vaccines have done their job so well that anti-vax parents have forgotten the horror of contagious disease.

  • "Autism is caused by a lot of factors that we don't fully understand," says epidemiologist Dr Larry Brilliant, "but vaccines are not one of those factors."
  • Vaccines have saved hundreds of millions of children's lives—they have eradicated smallpox, nearly eradicated polio, and they have reduced the population explosion. How? Thanks to vaccinations, parents no longer expect 50% of their children to die from disease, so they have less children.
  • Vaccines have protected the lives of children so effectively that anti-vax parents—who only have their children's best interests at heart—have lost sight of how critical vaccines are. When polio was rampant in the U.S., parents waited in line for hours and hours to have their children vaccinated. Safety changes our mental calculus, but vaccinations must continue to ensure that safety lasts.
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Could there be an 'exercise pill' in the future?

What if we could just skip the workout part and take the results in supplement form? Researchers did it… On mice and flies.

Photo Credit: Sven Mieke / Unsplash
  • A group of scientists found that boosting the protein Sestrin in mice and flies mimicked the effects of exercise.
  • One hypothesis is that the protein activates metabolic pathways that result in certain biological benefits.
  • Researchers hope these findings could eventually help scientists combat muscle wasting in humans due to physical limitation.
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We're looking at death all wrong. Here's why.

Can a shift in the way we treat death and dying improve our lives while we're still here?

  • These days, for the most part, the concept of death is consumed by health care and medicine.
  • However, as humans we need to view death as more than just a medical event. It takes into account our psychology, spirituality, philosophy, social worlds, and personal lives.
  • This reconsideration should also apply to the way we treat people who are dying. Life is in the senses, not just our physical capabilities.
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Is cursive writing important to child development?

Legislators push to keep cursive in their schools' curricula, but experts seem split as to whether it's necessary.

Tracy Burns checks her third grade student Nikolai Wilkins' cursive writing during class. (Photo: Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
  • Ohio has joined many other states in reestablishing cursive in their schools' curricula.
  • Research shows the value handwriting has for developing children's fine motor skills and a connection between words and memory.
  • But experts seem split on whether it's a question of print vs. cursive, or cognitive fluency vs. disconnect.
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​How AI is learning to convert brain signals into speech

The first steps toward developing tools that could help disabled people regain the power to speak.

Pixabay
  • The technique involves training neural networks to associate patterns of brain activity with human speech.
  • Several research teams have managed to get neural networks to "speak" intelligible words.
  • Although similar technology might someday help disabled people regain the power to speak, decoding imagined speech is still far off.
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