Category: Medicine

  • Free access to… microbes! Free access to… life! 

    Free access to… microbes! Free access to… life! 

    Poverty increases the risk for numerous diseases by limiting people’s access to healthy food, environments and stress-free conditions. In a new essay published November 26 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, Suzanne Ishaq and colleagues at the University of Oregon, argue that poverty also compromises health by creating unequal access to beneficial microorganisms.   People living…

  • Placebo.

    Give people a sugar pill, they have shown, and those patients – especially if they have one of the chronic, stress-related conditions that register the strongest placebo effects and if the treatment is delivered by someone in whom they have confidence – will improve. Tell someone a normal milkshake is a diet beverage, and his…

  • Doctors. AI. Dead people.

    Could machines using artificial intelligence make doctors obsolete? Artificial intelligence systems simulate human intelligence by learning, reasoning, and self-correction. This technology has the potential to be more accurate than doctors at making diagnoses and performing surgical interventions, says Jörg Goldhahn, MD, MAS, deputy head of the Institute for Translational Medicine at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. It…

  • The dark self…

    Both world history and everyday life are full of examples of people acting ruthlessly, maliciously, or selfishly. In psychology as well as in everyday language, we have diverse names for the various dark tendencies human may have, most prominently psychopathy (lack of empathy), narcissism (excessive self-absorption), and Machiavellianism (the belief that the ends justify the…

  • Genes. Not important.

    One of the great puzzles of evolutional biology is what induced certain living creatures to abandon solitary existence in favor of living in collaborative societies, as seen in the case of ants and other social, colony-forming insects. A major characteristic of so-called eusocial species is the division of labor between queens that lay eggs and…

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