Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate

Health

Can heavy-duty cycling affect male fertility?

Does cycling damage men’s sperm?Yes, suggests the findings of a study presented Monday at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam.

The games scientists must play

I’ve heard scientists grumble about the time, effort and frustration involved in applying for research grants, but I wasn’t aware how the process can stymie innovative thinking — and hold back breakthrough treatments for disease — until I read repor

Shocking! Woman’s hair turns white overnight (well, almost overnight)

Canities subita — the sudden, seemingly “overnight” onset of white hair — is a medical condition that is 1) non-life-threatening and 2) extremely unlikely to happen to you.But the condition is also odd and fascinating — one that has, as the physicia

Do antioxidant vitamin supplements do more harm than good?

One of the things I’ve learned after writing about health for three decades is that there are a lot of assumptions out there about what’s good for us that, upon closer look, have very little good scientific evidence behind them.
Or, at the very lea

Did Steve Jobs jump the liver transplant queue?

Since the Wall Street Journal announced on Friday that 54-year-old Steve Jobs, co-founder and chief executive of Apple Inc, underwent a liver transplant, questions have been raised about whether he got preferential treatment.Livers for transplant su

Mayo reports dramatic outcomes in prostate cancer study

Two prostate cancer patients who had been told their condition was inoperable are now cancer-free as the result of an experimental therapy, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester announced today. “We were all pretty shocked,” says Dr.

Why no empathy for Flight 1549 passenger?

I find it astounding that some people have little or no sympathy for the survivor of US Airways Flight 1549’s Hudson River crash who told the New York Times last week about her frustrations with US Airways’ insurer, American International Group (AIG

Paul McCartney suggests going meatless for one day (not eight) a week

On Monday, Paul McCartney (one-time Beatle and long-time vegetarian) helped launch a “Meat Free Monday” campaign in Britain.
Actually, he’s a little bit late to the table, as I found out when I spoke with David Wallinga, MD, director of the Food an

Vitamin D levels linked to weight loss

An interesting study with a Minnesota link was presented at last week’s annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Washington, D.C.

Debunking myths about the U.S. health-care system

A recent article published in the Annals of Surgery provides a very readable and compelling argument for a single-payer national health plan. Titled “Fact and Fiction: Debunking Myths in the U.S.

Prevention efforts have little success in reducing illness, cost

From comments we’ve received to this blog, it’s clear that MinnPost readers are deeply interested in such issues regarding best practices in medicine, the rationing of medical care, and how the delivery of medicine in the U.S.

Why curveballs are so hard to hit

I’ve always found optical illusions fascinating, partly because they’re a good reminder that we can’t always believe the information we’re taking in.

Back pain in Britain: an alternative approach

If you have low back pain (and if you don’t, you probably will, for four of five of us develop an achy lower back at some point in our lives), you’ll be interested to learn that three alternative therapies — acupuncture, manual therapy (massage and/

New Yorker article sparks strong reaction

Until recently, McAllen, Texas, a quiet border town, was best known for being the backdrop of the film “Lonesome Dove.” But an article recently published in the The New Yorker has brought the town unwelcome notoriety: McAllen is now synonymous with

The other type of computer health hazard

The physical health hazards posed by computers include more than such chronic ailments as carpal tunnel injuries, back pain and blurred vision.