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Health

The meaningfulness (or not) of dreams

Scientific American has launched a new series this year called “Too Hard for Science?” It involves interviews with scientists “about ideas they would love to explore that they don’t think could be investigated.”
The interview on Monday was with Rob

Have we been told the whole truth about sugar?

Science writer Gary Taubes has written a must-read article in this week’s New York Times Magazine that asks the question, “Is sugar toxic?”
I don’t know if this article will get the same kind of attention (and nasty pushback) as Taubes’ 2002 Times

Why older brains have trouble multitasking

If you’ve already begun to experience “senior moments” — those temporary memory lapses when you can’t remember why in the world you came into a room or where, exactly, you were going with your train of thought in a conversation or what the name of y

Could you survive being sucked from an airplane?

Minnesota-based science writer Emily Sohn wrote a gruesomely fascinating article last week for Discovery News about what happens if you get sucked out of an airplane at 30,000 feet.
It’s a question that many people undoubtedly brooded about after h

Mindfulness meditation can help reduce pain, study finds

A new study has found that mindfulness meditation can help alleviate the sensation of pain.
Furthermore — and this is really the new finding in this study — you don’t have to be a Buddhist monk or other long-time meditation practitioner to experien

High blood pressure? Try singing

Ah, here’s a medical story that offers some music for our ears:
A 76-year-old woman with a severe case of pre-operative high blood pressure — so high (and unresponsive to medication) that her operation for hip replacement had been postponed — was a

Male warring and mating impulses are interwoven, research suggests

Writing Wednesday in the online magazine Miller-McCune, science writer Tom Jacobs describes some provocative new research that offers, um, ammunition to the theory by evolutionary psychologists that war is an extension of mating-related male aggress

New risk analysis finds airport body scanners safe — with a caveat

A new analysis of the cancer risk posed by airport body scanners should ease the concern of the flying public — even frequent fliers.
The analysis, published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reports that the radiation doses from backsca