Author posts

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 our bodies healthy.

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.

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.

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 mid-twentieth-century Walt Disney notions about the inherent wonderfulness of American life.

Aspirin for Cancer Prevention

Even as the U.S. government continues to spend huge sums of money underwriting cancer research, public health agencies are failing to make people aware of a proven, well-tolerated, low-cost anti-cancer drug: aspirin.

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.

How Blind is Double-Blind?

If degree-of-blindness is measurable (which it is), then researchers should, in fact, measure it and disclose it as part of any study that's purported to be "blinded."

Depression, Diabetes, and You

Long-term antidepressant use may be an invitation to diabetes.

Which Came First, Life or Earth?

The vastness of our scientific ignorance is especially evident when it comes to explaining how life arose on earth.

The Never-Ending War on Cancer

After almost a century, cancer is still the No. 2 cause of death in the U.S.  Why? 

Can Science Be Trusted?

Can the scientific literature be trusted?

Antibiotics for Back Pain

In some (not all) cases, lower back pain may actually stem from bacterial infection.

The Dark Side of Antioxidants

Not all vitamins are good for all people, all the time. In fact, some can kill you. And guess what? We know where the bodies are buried.

Where Will the Next Prozac Come From?

I can't think of an area that's more ripe for the entry of small, disruptive, upstart companies than the psychiatric drug industry.