Ancient Egyptians relied on a pregnancy test that was roughly 70 percent accurate: if a woman urinated on grain seeds and they grew—thanks to high levels of estrogen and progesterone in her urine—she was probably pregnant. Today, people still place a high premium on diagnosing themselves from the comfort of their own bathrooms.
While government agencies, businesses, and private institutions are all looking for ways to battle the obesity crisis, no one has yet figured out successful interventions that both improve health and save money, and programs being implemented are often untested.
“Blackout in a can.” That’s what kids call the fruity caffeinated-alcohol drinks that offer a cheap, fast way to get drunk and party all night. As safety concerns grow, so does the pressure to pull these potent products from store shelves. Oklahoma, Washington, Utah, and Michigan recently banned the drinks. Beverage retailers in Indiana are lobbying their state to do the same; Pennsylvania has asked state-run liquor stores to voluntarily stop selling them. Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on the FDA to finish its yearlong investigation into the drinks’ safety.
What happened to the Netroots? That’s what I’ve been wondering ever since the Republicans routed the Democrats last week. Two years ago, a lot of people—myself included—really believed that all those online activists who helped elect Barack Obama were going to stick around and support him as he pushed through a sweeping list of progressive measures.
Almost no topic in modern medicine has been as controversial or confusing as hormone-replacement therapy. The issue got even more confusing last week thanks to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and based on data collected for the ongoing federal Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) that found that women taking estrogen and progesterin had an increased risk of breast cancer. Here, the answers to the eight questions asked most often.
Every year approximately 12.9 million babies are born too early. Despite a heroic, costly, and decades-long effort by doctors and scientists to understand and prevent preterm birth, that number has climbed steadily for the past three decades.
The landscape of personal data mining and exploitation is shifting faster than ever; trying to protect your online privacy alone is like trying to build your own antivirus software—really, really difficult.
If not for Ted Hoff’s curiosity, we’d all be using typewriters to text our BFFs. OK, not quite. But it’s hard to overstate how much Hoff’s invention changed the world, even if he downplays the impulse that led to the first mass-produced microprocessor.