Kate Dailey

Stories by Kate Dailey

  • Preventing Pregnancy 'One-Step' Easier: FDA Approves Simpler Plan B

    The Food and Drug administration yesterday approved a new advancement in reproductive health. Starting next month, women 17 and over can purchase Plan B One-Step, a one-dose version of the emergency contraception. (Women under 17 can access the medication only with a prescription). With Plan B: Original Flavor, the pills—which contain a high dose of the hormone levonorgestrel—had to be taken 12 hours apart. Not a problem if you're an early riser who makes it to the pharmacy before work, then slips the second pill just before the latest episode of Top Chef: Masters. But for everyone else ... "It makes intuitive sense that the one dose would be an obvious way to increase compliance," says Jennifer Rogers, acting executive director for Reproductive Health Technologies Project. "Sometimes, with two doses, women would delay taking their first pill. If you buy it at 2 p.m., but don’t want to wake up at 2 a.m., you may wait another six hours to begin the course of tre...
  • Obama Selects Regina Benjamin as New Surgeon General; We Approve (We Think)

    As Holly mentioned over in The Gaggle, President Obama has selected Dr. Regina Benjamin, founder and CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou La Batre, Ala., as his pick for surgeon general. From The Washington Post, in an article written before today's late-morning announcement. ...
  • Subconscious vs. Unconscious: Writer Russ Juskalian, Two Psychologists, Freud, and Wikipedia Respond to Your Comments

    Writer Russ Juskalian’s story on cryptomnesia had a lot of readers talking—specifically, about our use of “unconscious” over “subconscious” when discussing the practice of copying other people's work without realizing it. So we asked Russ to further explain the language he used in the article. His response, below: Unconscious, as a few people pointed out, can mean “not conscious”—as in knocked out. But the term also means unaware of, or “done or existing without one realizing.” Those are adjectives. As a noun, “the unconscious” is the part of the brain that the conscious does not have access to.In fact, the title of the Marsh study mentioned in the story is “Eliciting Cryptomnesia: Unconscious Plagiarism in a Puzzle Task.” Richard Marsh [a professor of psychology at the University of Georgia] uses the term “unconscious” throughout his paper—but doesn’t use “subconscious” in a single instance. A quick check of the scientific literature turns up many references to cryptomnesia as...
  • Photo of the Day: Image Shows New Memories Being Made

      This image, captured by researchers from the Montreal Neurological Institute andHospital, McGill University, and the University of California, shows proteins being created at the brain synapses as a memory is created. These proteins increases the strength of the synaptic connection—the connection between nerve cells—so that the memory is reinforced and easy to access. Never before has this process—essentially "making" a memory in the brain—been captured visually. The full study in which this image appeared was published the June 28 issue of Science.
  • "Where's My Crazy Hot Guy?" A Female Designer On Women and Videogames

    More female videogamers are grabbing the controller this year, according to a report released yesterday by the  industry-tracking group NPD. The Gamer Augmentation 2009 report revealed that 28 percent of all console videogamers (those who play games on platforms like Wii, Playstation, and XBox) are now female, up from 23 percent last year. Less substantial research suggests that even more PC gamers are female, with  a Nielsen study indicating that women make up 50 percent of those who play videogames on a computer. ...
  • From Excess to Exercise: Group Helps Men and Women Live Sober Through Sweat

    More than 13 years ago, as Scott Strode was struggling to get his drinking and drug use under control, the gym in Boston where he boxed offered refuge. “All the guys in the gym were sober because they were training for fights,” says Strode, 37. “It was a place I could go where I knew there wouldn’t be any pressure to use or drink.”Now, a sober Strode is recreating the benefits of that safe space for others committed to living sober lives. He’s the founder of Phoenix Multisport, a Boulder, Colo.-based nonprofit that hosts more than 35 athletic activities a week, ranging from running to mountain climbing to biking to yoga, events free to anyone in the area who wants both a good workout and sober social network.There are no prayer groups or serenity chants at Phoenix, no chain smoking and coffee drinking. And there’s very little talk about the underlying cause that brings the group together. That’s the point, says Strode. The men and women who show up for an early-morning run or...
  • After Farrah, Her Doctor's Next Fight: 'She's a Role Model for All of Us'

    By Jamie Reno Farrah Fawcett’s oncologist, Dr. Lawrence Piro, has spent the past few days at the hospital bedside of his most famous patient. The actress died of anal cancer on Thursday morning at 62. But Piro, who seemed deeply saddened by Fawcett’s death, remains committed to saving cancer patients’ lives. In addition to being the go-to doctor for many Hollywood A-listers with various types of cancer, Piro is a respected lymphoma researcher and clinician who is “very hopeful” that a relatively obscure lymphoma drug he administers in his Los Angeles clinic will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a first-line treatment within days, and that this decision by the regulatory agency could save and extend thousands of lives.   Piro, who runs the only independent community clinic in the nation that administers the lymphoma drug Zevalin, expects the treatment to be approved as soon as next week for “first-line consolidation treatment.” This means Zevalin can, for the first...
  • Farrah Fawcett, 1947-2009

    After a long, brave, public battle with cancer, Farrah Fawcett passed away today....
  • The Sweet Science: How Our Brain Reacts To Sugary Tastes

    "Sweetie," "Sugar," and "Honey." There's a reason we call our loved ones flavor-derived nicknames. "We're all born liking sweet tastes," says Dr. Alexei B. Kampov-Polevoi, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. "It's kind of the yardstick for all pleasures." But what does it mean for food to taste sweet? And how does that taste affect our brains and our bodies?  The desire for sweetness is hardwired into humans--give babies a little sugar on their lips and they'll smile. That's because up until the advent of artificial additives, sweet flavors signified calorie-dense foods. "If you're sitting there on the savanna and trying not to be eaten by something else, you want to be able to make a quick decision about what's good to eat," says Steven Munger, an associate professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland. A sweet snack indicated...
  • John Mayer, Perez Hilton, and the Politics of Victim Blaming

    Yesterday, Perez Hilton got punched in the face. This lead to karma jokes, and "I've been wanting to punch him in the face for years" jokes, and all sorts of tacky, tasteless comments that make light of the fact that someone was the victim of violence. Yes, Perez is a pain; a pain who ridicules both gay rights activists and gay rights critics when not drawing crude genitalia on paparazzi photos. Did he deserve a beating? No: no one does. And yet that fact gets obscured when the victim of said beating is a churlish gadfly. ...
  • The Science of Sit-ups: Video Edition!

    Last week, we interviewed Stuart McGill, a professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, in a piece about the dangers of sit-ups and crunches. McGill, author of Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance (Stuart McGill, 2004) was kind enough send us a video demonstrating a better way to work your abs—including a modified move, called the "McGill crunch" by school children all over Canada. Take a look and adjust your workouts accordingly. For more information, visit McGill's site, backfitpro.com  
  • Good News About Birth Control

    The withdrawal method of birth control—otherwise known as “pulling out”—is often seen as a last-ditch, almost comical measure to prevent pregnancy. In terms of both effectiveness and sexual sophistication, it’s seen as just a rung or two above using Coke as some kind of post-coital spermicide (which, seriously—according to every single pregnancy myth website, cola-as-contraception is some kind of epidemic. Does it really happen?). However, the stats don’t support this dismissive attitude to the withdrawal method. “We’ve been recommending it to clients if they don’t have any other access to birth control handy,” says Yvonne Piper, director of San Francisco Sex Information. The effectiveness rate for pregnancy prevention using the withdrawal method is about 96 percent. Condoms, on the other hand, are about 98 percent. (That’s when both are used perfectly. Otherwise, the success rate for both withdrawal and condoms can drop as low as 76 and 79 percent, respectively). These stats aren’t...
  • The Consult: Is Obesity a Disorder, and Other News From Around The Web.

    Is obesity a disability? Advocacy groups want to classify obesity as a disability; doctors think it will prevent them from discussing obesity with their patients. At the same time, overweight patients often find that, like women in menopause, their size becomes a blinding factor to any other potential medical problem. Knee problems? Lose weight. Chest pain? Lose weight. Bleeding from the eyeballs? Lose weight. There's got to be a happy medium... (MSNBC)  ...
  • Top Chef Lee Ann Wong Changes Diet, Reaps Rewards

    Lee Ann Wong, the fan favorite from season one of Bravo's , has a lot going on: she's now the executive chef for Kogi New York: the original Kogi, in LA, is the insanely popular Korean BBQ truck locatable only via Twitter. On Sunday, she was working along side Justin Timberlake as he launched his new tequilla, 901 Silver, in New York City. (She, along with former contestants Sam Talbot and Huang Huynh, created some drinks and snacks made with 901 that were served at the event). And somehow, in the middle of all this, she's lost 55 pounds. Wong says she enlisted the help fellow contestant Andrea Berman (the health food enthusiast) and lost the weight despite "never setting foot in a gym." Prior to spending her days in a kitchen and her nights in the late-night burger bars frequented by New York's culinary set, Wong was a size four, and notes that "keeping the weight off is not all that hard." The ease with which she says the weight came off,...
  • Friends With Benefits: Do Facebook Friends Provide the Same Support as Those In Real Life?

     I have a friend named Sue. Actually, “Sue” isn’t her real name, and she isn’t really a friend: she’s something akin to a lost sorority sister—we went to the same college, participated in the same activities and had a lot of mutual respect and admiration for one another. But since graduation, we’ve fallen out of touch, and the only way I know about Sue, her life and her family is through her Facebook updates. That’s why I felt almost like a voyeur when Sue announced, via Facebook, the death of her young son. I was surprised she had chosen to share something so personal online–and then ashamed, because since when did I become the arbiter of what’s appropriate for that kind of grief?The more I thought about it, the more I realized Facebook might be the perfect venue for tragic news: it’s the fastest way to disseminate important information to the group without having to deal with painful phone calls; it allowed well-meaning friends and acquaintances to instantly pass on condolences,...
  • Pages of Wrath: A New Book Looks At Why We Seek Revenge

    After she was hired to write a blog about a fictional scorned woman who exacts 14 Days of Wrath on her cheating husband, Eva Nagorski realized just how pervasive the theme of revenge is -- from ancient times to the digital age.  In her new book The Down and Dirty Dish on Revenge: Serving It Up Nice and Cold to that Lying, Cheating Bastard (St. Martin's Press), Nagorski looks at the  psychology of revenge, why it's important to talk about this very human reaction, and dishes up lots of juicy stories.  Excerpts:  So you've confirmed that the bastard who wasted the last few years of your life has been cheating on you or is about to kick you to the curb.  That all the times cleaning up after him, taking care of him when he was sick, dealing with his psycho, overbearing parents, listening to his problems at work or his frustration about not doing what he wants to do, has literally meant nothing.  That everything you invested in him has just been flushed down the toilet,...
  • The Consult: Gender Bias in Babies and Judges, and Other News From Around The Web

    Sotomayor Is Not A Bully She's a smart, tough legislator who challenges lawyers on both sides. Nina Totenberg delivers an in-depth look at the judge's temperament and determines that her style of questioning and habit of interrupting is no worse than anyone else on the bench. A Sotomayor mentor who investigated rumors about her style determined that her questions and tone were the same as men on the Appellate Court, and goes right ahead and calls those rumors "sexist." Totenberg, after questioning other lawyers, judges, and analyzing audio tapes of Sotomayor's performance, concludes thusly: "If she sometimes dominates oral arguments....if she's feisty, even pushy, then she should fit right in on the US Supreme Court." (NPR)...
  • The Consult: Cigarettes Are Not Candy And Other News From Around The Web

    Nicotine Delites? We've heard of candy cigarettes, but this is ridiculous. RJ Reynolds is introducing a tobacco-based mint for adults (because grown-up loooove candy) sold in shiny packaging. It makes business sense for tobacco companies to try and branch out to smokeless products now that it's illegal to light up at so many bars and restaurants, but candy? Come on. When your product makes Camel Snus look like a good idea, it's time to fire your development team. (MSNBC.com)...
  • Chemistry Is Not Boring: Video Proof

    Via Andrew Sullivan, a fun little video about the elements. (If one finds same-sex slow dancing NSFW, this video is NSFW.)...
  • The Consult: Fruit for Free, And Other News From Around The Web

    Just Do It, Already: Rates of colorectal cancer are up in 27 of 51 countries worldwide between 1983 and 2002. A new study shows that the increase in cancer rates is likely due to an increase in Western diet and lifestyle habits across the globe. Since most of this blog's readers probably already have Western lifestyle habits, this is a good chance to remind those over 50 to schedule that colonoscopy. (Eurekalert)...
  • The Consult: Back to Bed, and Other News From the Web

    Sleep On It: Feeling blocked? Researchers from the University of California at San Diego say a nap can help boost creative powers. They say that "sleeping on" a dilemma really does boost a person's ability to problem-solve and make clear decisions: ...