Book Review: The Time Cure

Most scientists are reluctant to talk about “curing” mental illness, and rightly so. The mountain is too steep: These disorders have a range of genetic and environmental causes, and symptoms vary widely from person to person. But for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — in which people are haunted for months or years by memories of […]

The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride

On June 26, 2000, three famous men — one president, two scientists — made a big announcement at the White House. Two independent teams — one public, one private — had published a first draft of the human genome, or as one of the scientists called it, the “book of life.” It was a feat. […]

“Reading Minds” with fMRI

Some of you, I suspect, have read in Time, Slate, NPR, Popular Science, Wired, or dozens of other news outlets that scientists have figured out how to read minds. I hate to always be the neuro–tech downer, but that claim is just false. Laughably false. That’s not to say that the study behind all of the commotion, published late […]

Arsenic, RNA, and the unpleasant aftertaste of hype

I will never forget the last time I got serious food poisoning. I was a teenager, and my family went out to eat one sunny Saturday morning. Soon after we returned home, I was grasping the toilet bowl, retching in agony. I could still taste the omelet I had eaten for breakfast. To this day, […]