A single nutrient may have turned early humans into civilized man. Has stripping it from our diet given rise to cancer, diabetes, and other civilized diseases? "There has been a thousandfold increase in the consumption of soybean oil over the past hundred years. The result is an unplanned experiment in brain and heart chemistry, one whose subject is the entire population of the developed world." A series of epidemiological studies showed that populations that consume high levels of omega-3s in the form of seafood are the least afflicted by the major diseases associated with the Western diet. (via) [more inside]
People often say 90% of statistics are made up on the spot. This probably isn't true, but according to this scientific paper about a third of scientific papers turn out to be wrong. Perhaps we shouldn't be so quick to take published research at face value. (research applies to medical research, not other fields of science, as far as I can tell)
"The music I want to hear hasn't been written yet. And I'm going to write it." What music do you want to hear? What books do you want to read? What films do you want to see? What software do you want to use? What are you doing to make it so? A meditation on the brevity of life and the choices we make of how to spend our time on earth. [more inside]
When academics rebel. A group of economists is attempting to redraw the landscape of academic research publication by injecting new electronic peer reviewed journals into the marketplace. Electronic publication of research certainly has its merits at times. Case in point: Because of the pressing medical importance of analyses of the recent anthrax cases, JAMA has published the results of two studies (one of patients who survived and one of those who did not) online in advance of the print publication in order to inform health care professionals as soon as possible. Do situations like this argue in favor of a change in the way that research is conducted and/or reported?