Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.



We need 8 glasses of water daily? Nonsense, says British doctor

The idea that we need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration is “thoroughly debunked nonsense,” according to a commentary published Tuesday in the journal BMJ.
There’s no good scientific evidence for recommending that

Vitamin D deficiency seen by pair as contributing to Mozart’s death

As I’ve pointed out before, each new diagnosis of what killed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart reminds me of the story of the blind men and the elephant.
Almost 200 different physical and mental illnesses as well as several methods of murder have been propo

Divorce may be rampant among baby boomers, but is it contagious?

A quarter of all divorces in the United States are among couples who have been married 20-plus years, according to a front-page article in Sunday’s Star Tribune.
Baby boomers are, writes Strib reporter Bill Ward, “the most divorce-prone generation

Salt’s effect on heart disease not proven, study finds

The verdict is still out on whether restricting salt lowers the risk of heart disease, according to a new meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration.
The Cochrane reviewers pooled data from seven previous randomized controlled trials that had look

Drug company used sham study to get doctors to increase prescriptions

More disturbing evidence about the pharmaceutical industry’s dirty marketing tricks emerged Monday in a report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
According to the report, a major 1995 study of the anti-seizure drug Neurontin (gabapenti

Don’t worry, your dishwasher is not trying to kill you

No, your dishwasher is not trying to kill you — despite last week’s press release headline that stated otherwise and the equally startling media headlines that continued with that theme.
My favorite: “The Killer Mutant Fungus in Your Dishw

Can neuroscience save us from the next economic bubble?

In his Frontal Cortex column in Wired magazine this week, science writer Jonah Lehrer writes about what neuroscience is uncovering about our brains that may help us prevent the next economic bubble.
As Lehrer points out, economic bubbles always see