Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives?

“Colon cancer screening saves lives.” That’s how I began my latest article for Nature Medicine. The news story was about new non-invasive tests that aim to make screening a lot more pleasant. The lead wasn’t great. You could probably find a dozen other stories that begin the same way. But it at least seemed solid. […]

Montana’s Buffalo Conundrum

Yellowstone National Park spans three states and nearly 3,500 square miles, making it one of the largest parks in the US. So when I read that Montana officials are searching for a home for 135 Yellowstone bison living on Ted Turner’s sprawling private ranch, I was bewildered. Why not just put them back in the park? […]

Infected and Imprisoned

The outbreak that shook the tiny town of Ninety Six, South Carolina, probably began in the spring of 2012. An elderly janitor at the local elementary school fell ill and began unwittingly spreading the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. By June 2013, more than 50 students were infected and at least ten had developed signs of […]

Cable Companies’ Hidden Scam

Your cable company is screwing you. You already knew that, of course. You’ve seen your cable bill. But I want to tell you about a less obvious way that they’re sucking your bank account dry. They’re doing it through the cable box. I don’t have cable, but I used to. And what I miss most […]

Polio and a Father’s Certainty

A couple of weeks ago, I was researching the history of polio vaccination, and I stumbled across a photo that stopped me cold. There was Jonas Salk, the researcher who developed the polio vaccine we use in the US today, giving his son a shot. The caption reads: “Peter Salk receiving the inactivated poliovirus vaccine […]

Another Cup of Bull Honkey

Greg Mortenson is the subject and coauthor of the bestseller Three Cups of Tea, a book that chronicles his noble plight to build schools in far-flung parts of Pakistan. The tale is heartwarming, inspirational, and, according to allegations made by Jon Krakauer and 60 Minutes in 2011, rife with half truths and outright lies. In his lengthy takedown […]

You Don’t Know Squat

The argument began, like so many arguments do, at the dinner table. My husband and I had been away for the holidays, and a few nights on an unfamiliar mattress had thrown my back into paroxysms of pain. I found this fact troubling. How is that swapping one plush, spring-loaded mattress for another could cause […]

TGIPF: A Penis Shaped Like a Musical Instrument

By the time dermatologist Sanjeev Vaishampayan met his patient, a 45-year-old father of four, the man was in a bad way. Antibiotics had taken care of the infected lesions on his legs, but now the man had a new and mortifying problem: His genitals were bulging and bloated. “The scrotum was huge and its contents […]