Watkins’ Lethal Elixir

On September 27, 1937, Susie Mae DeLoach caught her leg on a strip of barbed wire. The wound festered, and the infection spread, eventually reaching her heart. None of the remedies DeLoach’s doctor recommended seemed to have any effect. And by the time her family called Dr. Johnston Peeples for a second opinion, she was gravely […]

Bad Blood

On April 22, Jason Stephany, a researcher in a yeast lab, received an email from his co-worker, a woman whose husband has a fast-growing blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She explained that her husband would need a bone marrow transplant. In patients with ALL, the bone marrow produces hordes of immature white blood […]

In Defense of Hippie Cigarettes

Yesterday I stumbled on a Mancouch blog post (don’t ask) in which ‘the_static’ — a young mohawk-ed guy who rides motorcycles and plays video games — sings the glories of electronic cigarettes. E-cigs, in case you haven’t heard of them, are cigarettes without the smoke. You put in a few drops of a liquid nicotine […]

Guest Post: Bottle Insouciance

Are scientists who work with living organisms less germ phobic than civilians? When a science-writing colleague (okay: LWON’s own Ann Finkbeiner) apologized to an infectious disease specialist for giving him an insufficiently rinsed coffee cup, he responded, “Nothing in there I’m worried about.” I once watched a microbiologist cut her bagel with a butter knife […]