Archives for Disease

Harnessing Google to Solve Parkinson’s

In Wired, Thomas Goetz profiles Sergey Brin’s search for a cure for Parkinson’s disease: “Brin proposes a different approach, one driven by computational muscle and staggeringly large data sets. It’s a method that draws on his algorithmic sensibility-and Google’s storied faith in computing power-with the aim of accelerating the pace and increasing the potential of scientific research.” Read More »

What Makes Flu Seasonal?

Just as flu season gathers force here in the northern hemisphere, it’s petering out in the southern half of the globe. No matter where you are, you’re more susceptible to the flu in the winter months. Even if, let’s say, some research physicians expose you to live flu virus in the middle of summer, you’re still less likely to get sick than if the same doctors hit you with the same virus in the dead of winter. Why? Read More »

Smallpox as Art

Installation artist Luke Jerram creates glass sculptures of diseases to “contemplate the global impact of each disease and to consider how the artificial coloring of scientific imagery affects our understanding of phenomena.” Read More »

What Do the U.S. and Turkmenistan Have in Common?

Foreign Policy come up with a list of “The World’s Worst Healthcare Reforms.” Keeping company with Russia, China, and Turkmenistan is the good old U.S. of A. Read More »

Pick Your Apocalypse

Slate’s interactive End of America site presents 144 possible ways the U.S. could meet its demise and lets you choose your favorites. We’ve covered quite a few of them on this blog Read More »

The Importance of Sample Size, Swine Flu Edition

What made swine flu so worrisome was the high death toll it wrought in Mexico. Most of us assumed that the virus would be at least as lethal wherever it spread. It wasn’t. With the virus temporarily in retreat, current estimates show all but one of the swine flu deaths were confined to Mexico, and […] Read More »

Swine Flu and the Economy

Feeling a little feverish? Throat a little scratchy? You may be relieved to know that the last time a great swine flu epidemic was predicted it didn’t materialize. In 1976, the U.S. government predicted that 1 million Americans would die from a swine flu epidemic — but only one did. Meanwhile, this post at Foreign […] Read More »

An Ingenious Approach to Drug Compliance

Some ideas are just so great I am left in awe. Photo: Christopher Harting As Emily Singer writes in Technology Review that drug-resistant tuberculosis is an important problem, especially in poor countries. After you get TB, you are supposed to take antibiotics for six months to prevent drug-resistant strains of TB from arising. The problem, […] Read More »