• The Appendix Fights Illnesses! Seven Misunderstood Body Parts Explained.

    To survive, you need your heart, lungs, and liver. But what about your appendix, tonsils, wisdom teeth, and other parts that you normally hear about only when they're being removed. Are they just troublemakers? Not quite. “Most likely all of these were useful and all of them may still be,” says Dr. Robert Ashton, a surgeon at Montefiore Medical Center who admits that “some of them are thought to be more useful than others. ”  Still, some body parts may linger thanks to evolutionary laziness, says Dr. Udayan Shah, associate professor of otolaryngology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and chair of the medical devices and drug committee for the American Academy of Otolaryngology─Head and Neck Surgery. “If it doesn’t interfere with reproduction, it’s not going to be removed from the human gene pool.” With recent research indicating that the appendix isn't just a ticking time bomb, we got thinking: what other body parts get an undeserved bad rap, and which ones...
  • Books: Apocalyptic Lit for Kids

    Remember when children's books frolicked through tales of ponies and princes? The latest kid-lit craze is stories about living through the apocalypse—now.
  • Dogs & the Workplace: Fido on Line Two

    The dog days of summer are coming early this year: June 20 is Take Your Dog to Work Day, and thousands of companies are rolling out the welcome mat. FirstComp insurance in Omaha will offer pets a bone-shaped cake and a wading pool, while the conference room at Village Green, a property-management company in Michigan, will host a doggie masseuse. (That's massages for dogs, not by dogs.) Pets in the workplace increase "morale, productivity and camaraderie," says Andrew Field of the Montana-based company Printing ForLess.com, where every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. Such lenient policies are surprisingly common: 17 percent of Americans say that their companies are Fido-friendly, according to a new survey.If you're among the estimated 5 percent of the population with dog allergies, though, Take Your Dog to Work Day may be a misery— a good time to Take a Personal Day. "I hate to sound negative," says Dr. Andy Nish of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, "but I...
  • Top Teen Health Hazards

    What adolescents don't know, can hurt them. The 28-year-old author of a new book on teen-parent relations offers these tips on how to talk safety with kids.
  • Is Flavored Milk Healthy?

    Some parents limit the amount of sweetened chocolate or strawberry milk they give their children because it doesn't seem all that healthy—especially compared to the plain stuff. But it turns out that kids who consumed regular or flavored milk had comparable or lower body-mass-index measures compared to nonmilk drinkers, according to a new study in the current issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. "The take-home message is that limiting children and teens' access to flavored milk due to its slightly higher sugar and calorie content may only lead to the undesirable effect of reducing intakes of important nutrients while having no impact on obesity," says study coauthor Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont."Milk seems to be a marker for a better diet. Over and over again, children who are regular milk consumers have overall better diets," says Johnson. Nonmilk drinkers "chose high-sugar beverages that are devoid of nutrients, like...
  • Kids' Violent Impulses

    A psychiatrist on why it's rare but not surprising that grammar-school kids might be capable of an elaborate plot to hurt a teacher.