The Atlantic pulls no punches in this analysis of the dental industry. The anecdotal story woven throughout the article should make you rethink how infrequently you ask for a 2nd opinion before giving consent for root canals and other procedures. “It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think.” | learn more
Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the NIH, didn’t miss this opportunity to share the breakthroughs chosen by the journal Science. Of course, they helped fund many of them. Amazing stuff all around. | learn more
“The remarks, which also included a claim that a Hindu god created the dinosaurs, sparked an uproar among scientists and congress organizers and on Twitter.” | learn more
Researchers Patrick Collison and Michael Nielsen ran a survey of scientists to conclude: “Over the past century, we’ve vastly increased the time and money invested in science, but in scientists’ own judgement, we’re producing the most important breakthroughs at a near-constant rate. On a per-dollar or per-person basis, this suggests that science is becoming far less efficient.” Debatable for many reasons, and quite interesting to read. | learn more
Popular Science pokes holes in the lawsuit filed last week against LaCroix, while also calling BS on the all-natural claim used on much food packaging. This is a great counterpoint! | learn more
Authors: Michael Greger, M.D., Gene Stone
I’m way too busy (or lazy) to verify the quality of the myriad scientific papers and studies referenced throughout this book. I haven’t counted them either, but there are surely hundreds of them. So, instead I’ll just assume that at least half of what I read in this book can be discarded as flimsy. That still leaves the unignorable other half, which is a lot.
My take-away from the book is that a plant-based diet is shown repeatedly in research to improve the quality of human health. In general, I am convinced of this. At the same time, I recognize that there’s an asterisk on much of this because of the challenges inherent in nutrition research.
Personally, since I am a big fan of fruits and veggies, it’s not too hard to make them the bulk of my diet!
If you’re interested in nutrition, I think this book is worth reading. The author definitely unearths some obscure research about different foods and diseases. If you read it and happen to take the time to fact-check his sources, please let me know!
Here’s a short article about the topic of friendship, full of academic journal references. | learn more
Author: Matthew Walker PhD
We all have a relationship with sleep. We tend to understand that sleep is important, but I think many don’t give it enough credit. This book hit me early with a profound fact: “Without exception, every animal species studied to date sleeps, or engages in something remarkably like it.”
The author of this book, Matthew Walker, is a sleep researcher. He doesn’t think his profession has done a good enough job communicating the science of sleep nor the implications of not sleeping enough. So he wrote this book. I, as a reader, am thoroughly convinced.
Walker references dozens of studies that all highlight aspects of the same core conclusion – sleep is critical to high physical and mental performance, and there’s no way to cheat it. If you are sleep deprived at all (even 60 minutes matters), you aren’t functioning at your best. Moreover, if you’re sleep deprived you are opening the door to all sorts of diseases because your immune system isn’t operating at 100%.
I think this book is applicable to everybody – whether you’re already a good sleeper or not – for the insight that it brings around how to improve sleep quality.
Author: Ed Yong
What an eye-opener this book is! Microbes like bacteria and archaea are everywhere. They live on pretty much every species and surface. And, their lives impact ours in myriad complex ways.
Our species has co-evolved with many of the bacteria we live with today. So much so that if we were born in sterile environments, we’d turn out abnormal!
We still know arguably very little about the myriad species of bacteria that live in and among us, but scientists have started realizing their importance and digging in to learn more.
New techniques for DNA sequencing have opened the door to better classification of the microbe species. This book offers a great introduction to the world of microbes. If you’re into health, biology, or science in general – this one is for you.
Aziz Ansari teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg on a research project to understand the implication of text messages on dating. How long should you wait to text back for optimal results? | learn more