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Why we yawn remains a mystery, but theories abound

Before you finish reading this article, you’ll probably yawn.
That is, if you haven’t already done so, just from reading the headline.
As we all know, yawning is very contagious — so much so, that even thinking or reading about yawning can trigger th

Common chemical in plastic linked to male sexual problems

The manufacturers of bisphenol-A (BPA), the controversial compound found in literally thousands of consumer products (including many food containers), took a big PR blow last week with the publication of a new study linking BPA with male sexual dysfu

Why some people will say no to the H1N1 vaccine

Although reports from the state health department indicate that the most recent wave of H1N1-related illnesses may be cresting, no one knows when enough vaccine will be produced for everyone.

Can playing outside keep kids from becoming nearsighted?

Whether you call it an epidemic or not (epidemic is a term that gets tossed around a bit too casually these days), there’s no denying the fact that the rates at which people are being diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia) is truly astoundi

Mood and food: A look at diet choice and psychological well-being

The good news: Despite how challenging, annoying and frustrating (hey, we’ve all been there) a weight-loss diet can seem at the beginning, if you stick with it, you’re likely to feel happier within a few weeks.
The bad news: If you’ve chosen a low-ca

The price we pay for physician gullibility on generics

Pharmaceutical companies fight tooth and nail to keep physicians (and patients) from switching to generic versions of their brand-name drugs after the patents for their drugs expire.
After all, billions of dollars are at stake.
One way the pharmaceut

Remembrances of smells past: why first whiffs leave a lasting impression

In the first volume of his autobiographical novel “In Search of Lost Time” (or, if you prefer, “Remembrances of Things Past”), Marcel Proust famously wrote about how the odor (and taste) of a small French cake (petite madeleine) dipped in tea evoked

Mammogram debate is both impassioned and nuanced

Finally, perhaps, women are getting the news that breast-cancer screening carries risks as well as benefits and that the decision to undergo screening requires a more nuanced approach than the current one-size-fits-all recommendation that all women,

Is ‘Internet addiction’ for real?

Whether there is a psychological disorder that could be called (for lack of a better term) “Internet addiction” is a hotly debated question in the medical community.
In Monday’s Boston Globe, we get yet another exploration of the topic by reporter E

Impatient patient, part 4: My $25,929.60 head injury

One year ago today, I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in a robbery. Along the road to recovery and reporting about health-care reform, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with trying to put a dollar sign on what this crime cost society and me.