In Dungeons & Dragons, every character has certain strengths and weaknesses, determined by their ability scores: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Your real-life self is made up of those abilities too, and you can level them up just like you do in-game. »
In June of 1994, a convicted child molester named Charlie Taylor moved into a small apartment in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, across the street from a community center. He had no family. He had no parole officer. At the time, sex offenders deemed too dangerous to be let out of prison early were, paradoxically,… »
Bad news, hypochondriacs: You’re walking in a massive cloud of bacteria. In fact, it’s kinda an extension of your body, and no amount of showering will rid you of it. Even better: It grew out of your mouth, poop and skin. »
Not long ago, the idea of walking up to a clerk behind a counter and getting a baggie of weed seemed ludicrous. Now, in states where recreational or medical marijuana is approved and regulated, it’s a routine, mundane part of life. Are psychedelics next? »
The offers began arriving by email in January: a chance at clearer vision for the special price of US$299 per eye. Over the next four months, I received 20 ads from the same company – each offering the same deal for the “safe, FDA approved” surgery. »
A popular adage states that it’s okay to eat food off the floor if it’s picked up within five seconds. But is it true? A food scientist investigates.
A provocative new paper published in Nature suggests that neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s may be transmissible through certain medical procedures. It’s an alarming claim—but one that will require more proof if it’s to be accepted by the scientific community. »
Doctors Without Borders is warning that global stocks of a critical snakebite treatment are poised to run out next year—a troubling development that could put tens of thousands of lives at risk. »
The health tip about drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day has been roundly dismissed by scientists, doctors, and upstanding bloggers for years, but this baseless myth refuses to die. Meanwhile, exercise-associated hyponatremia, a consequence of overhydration, is being reported across a broader range of… »
The flu vaccine: A tedious annual chore, but necessary unless you want to spend a week bed-ridden and barfy. Still, wouldn’t it be great if one jab could protect you for life? A lifetime flu vaccine isn’t impossible, and we’re making progress toward one, but we’ve still got a ways to go. »
Some strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cervical cancer, so you often hear about it as a ‘female’ sexually-transmitted infection. It’s not — it’s a human thing, and all humans can get infected. Here’s what happens when males get it. »
It takes a lot of hard work to stay in shape, which is why it’s important to exercise on a regular basis. But it’s not always possible to remain active, and sometimes a few days off can turn into a more... extended hiatus. Here’s what happens to your body when you suddenly stop exercising. »
An analysis conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has found that an alarming number of Americans experience varying levels of pain on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, people who suffer from frequent bouts of severe pain are also having to cope with diminished health. »
In 2013, researchers identified a woman who, 5 or 6 times a day, would experience spontaneous orgasms originating in her left foot. They called her condition, straightforwardly enough, Foot Orgasm Syndrome (FOS). Now, they’re searching for others like her. »
The Global Energy Balance Network— a research institute supported by Coca-Cola—is claiming that exercise, and not diet, is the best way to prevent weight gain. It’s a dubious and self-serving message that’s not going over well amongst diet and obesity experts. »
Epilespy patients’ brainwaves tend to synchronize with music, and that discovery may one day help prevent seizures. »
The sport of freediving lost one of its premier athletes this week. Esteemed Russian freediver Natalia Molchanova was diving recreationally off the eastern coast of Spain on Sunday, when she attempted to descend, untethered, to what for her was a modest depth. She never resurfaced. »
The WHO calls tobacco “the single most preventable cause of death in the world”—but cigarettes may also provide a handful of paradoxical, if pyrrhic, health benefits: Smoking will probably take years off your life, but certain things in tobacco smoke may actually do the body good. Here’s what science has to say about… »
Tapeworms: Bad for your guts, good for your brain? The intestinal worm Hymenolepsis diminuta appears to protect against memory loss in rats, researchers report in Brain, Behavior and Immunity. It’s the latest example of how parasitic worms might be harnessed for therapeutic purposes.
Frequent consumption of spicy foods has been linked to longer life. A 7-year study of nearly a half-million people in China shows that eating spicy foods one or two days a week can reduce death by as much as 14%. But correlation is not causation, leading some to question the study’s findings.