In the popular imagination, science proceeds with great leaps of discovery — new planets, new cures, new elements. In reality, though, science is a long, grueling process of trial and error, in which tantalizing false discoveries constantly arise and vanish on further examination. These failures can teach us as much — or more — than its successes.
Who is an emerging adult? How often do young adults text? How long do they spend on the Internet everyday? Where do they watch television? Which social networks do they use? Ten years ago, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett published a groundbreaking examination of a new life stage: emerging adulthood, a distinct culture for people in their late teens and early twenties.
The periodic system, which Dmittri Ivanovich Mendeleev presented to the science community in the fall of 1870, is a well-established tool frequently used in both pedagogical and research settings today. However, early reception of Mendeleev’s periodic system, particularly from 1870 through 1930, was mixed.
Why are we conscious? How can it be that physical processes in the brain seem to be accompanied with subjective experience? As technology has advanced, psychologists and neuroscientists have been able to observe brain activity. But with an explosion in experiments, methods, and measurements, there has also been great confusion.
What makes entomology the most interesting profession in the world? If you ask an entomologist what makes their profession–the study of insects and related arthropods–interesting and important, you will get an answer. A surprisingly relatable, impassioned, and compelling answer.
The International Year of Light provides a good opportunity to revisit the early studies on the optical properties of X-rays. X-rays were discovered by W. C. Röntgen on the evening of 8 November 1895 while he was redoing some of Hertz’s experiments on cathode rays. By the end of the year, even before informing the world of his discovery, he had observed the basic properties of X-rays: like light, they propagate as straight lines and are diffused by turbid media, but are not deflected by a prism, nor refracted or reflected by matter; they pass through bodies, as shown by the radiograph of his wife’s hand.
As somebody who loves words and English literature, I have often been assumed to be a natural enemy of the mathematical mind. If we’re being honest, my days of calculus and the hypotenuse are behind me, but with those qualifications under my belt, I did learn that the worlds of words and numbers are not necessarily as separate as they seem. Quite a few expressions use numbers (sixes and sevens, six of one and half a dozen of the other, one of a kind, etc.) but a few are more closely related to mathematics than you’d expect.
The discovery and development of drugs was not always a straight path. Many times, the drugs that are well-known today — both hallucinogenic and medicinal — were discovered by mistake or originally developed for a much different purpose. How well do you know the history of some of the most common drugs? Take this quiz to find out if you can match the drug to its origin.
What’s your first reaction when you see this picture? Love? Fear? Repulsion? If you are like many Americans, when you come across a spider, especially a large, hairy one like this tarantula, the emotions you experience are most likely in the realm of fear or disgust. Your actions probably include screaming, trapping, swatting, or squashing of the spider.
A leading researcher in the field of immunogenetics, Servaas Morré has investigated women’s genetic susceptibilities to Chlamydia trachomatis, recently co-authoring “NOD1 in contrast to NOD2 functional polymorphism influence Chlamydia trachomatis infection and the risk of tubal factor infertility.” We sat down with Morré to discuss his findings about the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection and the impact his research will have on treatment in the years to come.
In May last year, Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, in partnership with Projects Abroad, offered one lucky medical student the chance to practice their clinical skills abroad in an international placement. The winner was Ruth Jones from the University of Nottingham, who impressed the judging panel with her sincerity, dedication, and willingness to become the best doctor she can be.
Ever wanted to change a behavior or habit in your own life? Most of us have tried. And failed. Or, we made modest gains at best. Here’s my story of a small change that made a big difference. Just over two years ago, I decided, at the ripe old age of 55, that it was time to begin exercising.
One of the reasons that 2015 has been declared the International Year of Light is that it marks the 1000th year since the publication of Kitāb al-Manāẓir, The Treasury of Optics, by the mathematician and physicist Abu Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haitham, better known in Western cultural history as Alhazen. Born in Basra in present-day Iraq, he is acknowledged as the most important figure in optics between the time of Ptolemy and of Kepler, yet he is not known to most physicists and engineers.
My eureka moment with citizenship came one morning during the mid-1990s. The New Haven mental health outreach team that I ran was meeting for rounds. Ed, a peer outreach worker, meaning a person with his own history of mental health problems who’s made progress in his recovery and his now working with others, didn’t look happy.
Fin de siècle Hungary was a progressive country. It had limited sovereignty as part of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy, but industry, trade, education, and social legislation were rapidly catching up with the Western World. The emancipation of Jews freed tremendous energies and opened the way for ambitious young people to the professions in law, health care, science, and engineering (though not politics, the military, and the judiciary). Excellent secular high schools appeared challenging the already established excellent denominational high schools.
As Ebola recedes from the headlines, amid long awaited declines in incidence in West Africa, a long overdue commitment to developing vaccines and adequate health care infrastructure is underway. The importance of these approaches should not to be minimized.