If the summer of 2009 was the season of “death panels,” as the debate over health-care reform exploded, this is the season of “17.5k dead women a year.” That’s the body count scaremongers are predicting if the Food and Drug Administration rescinds its provisional approval of the drug Avastin for metastatic breast cancer.
The really interesting thing about "The Social Network" is that while much of the tale is invented, the story tells a larger truth about Silicon Valley’s get-rich-quick culture and the kind of people—like Facebook’s 26-year-old founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg—who thrive in this environment.
Seven million Americans are taking prescription drugs for “nonmedical reasons.” Tomorrow, the Drug Enforcement Agency hosts its first national effort to collect unwanted meds to keep them away from people who might abuse or sell them, especially teenagers.
The idea that less is more has long held true in the arts. In the world of gadgets, not so much. Each year’s crop of products is weighted down with more features, more menu options, more, more, more. Apart from this trend stands a little video camera called the Flip.
When Steve Jobs introduced Apple's new tablet computer earlier this year, there were plenty of snickers about the menstrual undertones of the name "iPad." Now it turns out that the device—and its mobile cousins—are actually useful for, uh, tracking periods.
It’s been nearly four years since the nice sonogram technician waved her magic wand over my left testicle and said: “Uh-oh.” At least I think that’s what she said. Your brain tends to blank out when you’re in full-on flop-sweat panic.
Though Alcoholics Anonymous and the many subspecies of programs it has birthed still dominate the alcohol-treatment landscape, new remedy ideas that don't include abstinence are starting to get attention.
Health and celebrities can be an intoxicating and major money-raising mix. Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991, has raised awareness—and large amounts of money. Now Angie Dickinson is telling the story of her daughter’s struggle with autism.
The largest egg recall in U.S. history has consumers scrambling for locally bred and organic alternatives, while Tyson Foods just recalled more than 350,000 pounds of Walmart deli meat. Are factory farming and mass-produced foods really to blame for making America's food supply less safe?
Embryonic-stem-cell research has provoked more controversy—political, religious, and ethical—than almost any other area of scientific inquiry. This week the field suffered a legal blow with U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth’s ruling, which blocks the Obama administration’s 2009 regulations expanding embryonic-stem-cell research.
Earlier this year, Stanton A. Glantz, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and James Cameron, director of the science-fiction thriller "Avatar," got into a public sparring match over Hollywood and cigarettes. Now Glantz is back on the attack against the continuing presence of smoking in movies.
Is most of the oil gone or not? At the beginning of the month the government released its assessment of where the 4.9 million barrels of oil from the Deepwater Horizon had gone. Its rose-colored-glasses conclusion: about one quarter of the oil that gushed up from the Macondo well was physically removed (skimming, booming, piping to surface), one quarter was dissolved in the gulf waters, and one quarter was busted up by chemical dispersants or natural weathering into microscopic droplets. That left “only” 26 percent to foul shores and surface waters.
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is a massive telescope that offers unprecedented three-dimensional, shockingly detailed maps of deep space. However, what’s perhaps more remarkable than its eye into the far-flung corners of the universe is the way it came to be. Sloan, which was created in a kind of open-source process, is one of the more fascinating stories in the democratization of science.
The Internet gave birth to a new type of rabble-rousing big mouth: the blogger. The most successful writers to harness this medium have been the ones to realize the Internet’s unique power to tick people off. Here are some of the more notorious (and often successful) in the business.
They invented the software that breathed life into the blogosphere and sold it all to Google within five years. The people behind Blogger and Blogspot.com look back at how they accidentally created a publishing tool that changed the Internet.
In the last couple of weeks, two new papers have had genetics enthusiasts buzzing: one a study that turned up 95 gene variants linked to cholesterol levels, and the other a similarly designed study of personality traits that turned up no genes at all. There must be a reason the findings came out so differently.
This spring, an Australian named Norrie May-Welby made headlines around the world as the world's first legally genderless person when the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages sent the Sydney resident a certificate containing neither M for male or F for female.
Google and Verizon shook up the tech world last week when they issued a set of proposals about net neutrality. Critics declared that Google, long a proponent of net neutrality, had sold out its principles, and that, as a result, the open Internet that we enjoy today would soon be a thing of the past. We asked Jonathan Zittrain, a professor of Internet law at Harvard Law School and co-director of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, what he thinks of the proposal. He wrote us answers via email....
People who write about technology love to huff and puff and hyperbolize. The fate of the entire world seems to hang on every move made by Microsoft, or Google, or Apple. Every new smart phone gets billed as a potential “iPhone killer,” while every new product from Apple represents the dawn of a new era. It’s ridiculous—and exhausting.
Can trout be bored? Can dolphins or apes? Are they neurologically complex enough to experience boredom? What might boredom mean to such creatures? Humanity can boast that it is capable of boredom, but there may now be an unhealthy scarcity of that particular brain pain.
I’ve got some good news for deficit hawks: earlier this year, Congress passed legislation reducing the deficit by about $125 billion over the next 10 years. But, as they say on the infomercials, that’s not all! The bill cuts the deficit by $1.3 trillion in the second decade. That more than pays for every dollar we’ve spent on stimulus since 2008. The bill also sets up a new—and actually credible—system to keep Medicare’s costs under control.
Even those who have access to health care don't always benefit from it, because at times dread and unease prevent people from seeking important medical attention. With all the talk in the media and information on the Internet about disease and health risks, it's hard not to be anxious about staying healthy. We've rounded up some common fears, along with remedies to allay them so your next visit to the dentist or doctor can be safer and more comfortable.
Hospital gowns have been the, um, butt of jokes over the years. Not only are they undignified for patients, they also don't always give doctors the best access. The Cleveland Clinic recently teamed up with famed designer von Furstenberg to change that.
The American Cancer Society has just launched a new nationwide print and online ad campaign to raise funds for a program that screens disadvantaged women for breast and cervical cancer. This does not sound controversial until you look at one of the ads.
Food insecurity is on the rise. In 2008, 14.6 percent of U.S. households fell into the food-insecure category at some point during the year—the highest rate since the Department of Agriculture started recording stats in 1995. At the same time, legislation to improve childhood nutrition is now making its way through Congress.
In the wake of 9/11, when anthrax attacks were startling a shellshocked country, researchers rushed to study potential biological-weapons agents. But nearly a decade hence, the real threat isn’t white powder in an envelope, says author Kenneth King.
Things have been pretty wild around the headquarters of Flipboard lately. This tiny company (19 employees) launched its first iPad app in July, and so many people wanted to download it that within 20 minutes Flipboard’s servers were maxed out. Engineers scurried around trying to fix the problem, but after 36 hours, the only thing Flipboard could do was put people on a waiting list.
The fact that humans are subject to all these failures of rational thought seems to make no sense. Reason is supposed to be the highest achievement of the human mind, and the route to knowledge and wise decisions. But as psychologists have been documenting since the 1960s, humans are really, really bad at reasoning.
Investors interested in pharma stocks and patients eager to know if an experimental drug works have one thing in common: they devour stories reporting the results of clinical trials, which assess whether a new drug is safe and effective. Now it turns out they have something else in common: they’re not getting the whole story.
Will increased regulation mean that at-home genetic tests will no longer be available to consumers? As rumors swirl about imminent action from the Food and Drug Administration, our writer wonders if she should hurry up and test her DNA.
There are many, many ways to screw up experiments on the biological effects of cell-phone radiation, and in 20 years of studies scientists seem to have used every one. The result is a confused public and nearly incoherent government policies that careen back and forth like a drunk after last call.
Despite widespread media reports claiming that 75 percent of the oil from the gulf spill is gone, up to 50 percent—or nearly 2.5 million barrels—of the oil that was released could conceivably still be out there.
In my weeklong quest to decide if I should have a genetic test, I now knew what I could expect to learn. But how was I going to feel about the results if I went forward and got them? Would I be able to trust them (and should I)?
To hear Dan Abrams tell it, the TV business is about to be radically disrupted by the Internet, just as the print media business has been. And he’s dying to be a part of the disruption. “In five years, anyone who is not actively involved in the Web is not in media,” says Abrams, a TV journalist best known as the chief legal analyst on NBC and MSNBC.
Despite recent reports that the oil spill is clearing up faster than expected, anxiety and depression still linger among residents of the Gulf coast. A survey of 406 Gulf coast residents indicated the far-reaching emotional toll of the spill, with younger residents and low income citizens showing the most distress.
Anyone expecting that Amazon might roll out a new Kindle with a color screen and the ability to play music and movies—in other words, a device like Apple's iPad—will be sorely disappointed in the new version rolled out Wednesday. And that's too bad, because the new model is a pretty slick little device, despite the fact that it still has a black-and-white screen and is only good for reading books and newspapers.