Science & Health – FiveThirtyEight
The Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Might Start With Vaccines
August 15th, 2017, 05:30 PM
It seems like a major part of keeping kids healthy these days is managing their microbial exposure. On the one hand, we’re told that letting our kids get dirty and tempering our use of hand sanitizer can help cultivate a healthy population of good microbes in and on the body, which is associated with lower […]
Trump’s Military Ban Could Hurt More Than Just Transgender Troops
August 11th, 2017, 05:30 PM
Welcome to TrumpBeat, FiveThirtyEight’s weekly feature on the latest policy developments in Washington and beyond. Want to get TrumpBeat in your inbox each week? Sign up for our newsletter. Comments, criticism or suggestions for future columns? Email us or drop a note in the comments. Transgender ban: The economic costs On Wednesday, five transgender members […]
The Eclipse Was A Big Deal in 1878, Too
August 10th, 2017, 05:30 PM
This month’s Sparks podcast has the team really excited because they got to talk about one of the biggest public science spectacles of the year (probably the decade): the total solar eclipse that will cross the entire United States on Aug. 21. In the podcast, which runs in FiveThirtyEight’s What’s The Point feed, science writer […]
The Solar Eclipse vs. Solar Electricity
August 9th, 2017, 05:30 PM
On Feb. 26, 1979, at 11 a.m. Eastern time, ABC News broke from regular programming for a special astronomical event: the last time in the 20th century that any place in the United States would experience a total solar eclipse. Fighting the infamous cloud cover for a shot of the vanishing sun over Portland, Oregon, […]
We Asked Two Eclipse Chasers What Keeps Them Hooked
August 8th, 2017, 05:30 PM
Later this month, millions of Americans will be a tank of gas away from the total solar eclipse that will sweep across America from Oregon to South Carolina. It’s a moment that husband and wife Michael Zeiler and Polly White have been anticipating for decades. Together they’ve traveled the world chasing solar eclipses in places […]
‘Diagnosing’ Trump Is More About Politics Than Mental Health
August 8th, 2017, 05:30 PM
President Trump’s unprecedented behavior — his tweets disparaging the man he appointed as attorney general and his bizarre speech to the National Scout Jamboree, to name a couple of recent examples — has fueled ongoing speculation about his mental health. It has also renewed discussion of the Goldwater rule, an ethical standard adopted by the […]
Medicine Is Getting More Precise … For White People
August 2nd, 2017, 05:30 PM
Every human on earth is unique — our genes are different, we eat different things, we live in different places. As a result, medical treatments tend to work differently on different people. Depending on your genes, a drug might cure your sickness — or it might cause a side effect that makes you sicker. In […]
Opioid Prescriptions Across The U.S.
August 1st, 2017, 05:30 PM
As the death toll from opioids — both prescription and nonprescription — spiked to an estimated 33,000 in 2015, counties across the United States were filling dramatically different numbers of opioid prescriptions. In 1 in 5 U.S. counties, the number of prescriptions increased by more than 10 percent over five years, from 2010 to 2015. […]
Trump’s Opioid Commission Listened To Public Health Experts
August 1st, 2017, 05:30 PM
President Trump’s drug commission says the opioids epidemic has become a national crisis that requires aggressive federal action to improve treatment and collect better data. Those conclusions line up with the views of many health policy researchers. After missing its deadline twice, Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis on Monday presented […]
Trump Is About To Make A Key Obamacare Decision
August 1st, 2017, 05:30 PM
After Republicans’ seven-year effort to upend the Affordable Care Act stalled last week, President Trump took to Twitter to dive back into the debate over one of the most consequential questions looming over the ACA’s immediate future: what will happen to payments owed to insurers that could make or break some of the private insurance […]
Some Pretty Cool Science Is Gonna Happen During The Eclipse
July 31st, 2017, 05:30 PM
On Aug. 21, mid-morning Pacific time, the town of Salem, Oregon, will slip into shadow. The moon will slowly and inexorably slide in front of the sun, and our star’s light will slowly grow dimmer. Filtered through foliage, sunlight will appear on the ground as a smattering of crescents. As more of the sun’s disk […]
Two Minutes Of Darkness With 20,000 Strangers
July 24th, 2017, 05:30 PM
A historic astronomical phenomenon is bearing down on the United States, and towns in its path are hustling to get ready. For a few hours on Aug. 21, 2017, the moon will move in front of the sun and cast its shadow over the United States. It’s the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. Technically, […]
The Next Step In The Search For Aliens Is A Huge Telescope And A Ton Of Math
July 21st, 2017, 05:30 PM
Aliens could be hiding on almost any of the Milky Way’s roughly 100 billion planets, but so far, we haven’t been able to find them (dubious claims to the contrary notwithstanding). Part of the problem is that astronomers don’t know exactly where to look or what to look for. To have a chance of locating […]
The Republicans Have Three Health Care Bills And No Clear Paths Forward
July 20th, 2017, 05:30 PM
It has been a very confusing week in federal health care policy. Early in the week, the Senate abruptly abandoned an effort to pass a bill to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act after four senators said they wouldn’t support it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then said he would push to […]
Technology Is Biased Too. How Do We Fix It?
July 20th, 2017, 05:30 PM
Whether it’s done consciously or subconsciously, racial discrimination continues to have a serious, measurable impact on the choices our society makes about criminal justice, law enforcement, hiring and financial lending. It might be tempting, then, to feel encouraged as more and more companies and government agencies turn to seemingly dispassionate technologies for help with some […]
We Got Drunk On Margaritas For Science
July 19th, 2017, 05:30 PM
The margarita is one of those rare iconic cocktails that have a half-dozen recipes that can each lay claim to being the best, which poses some problems for your everyday margarita drinker. If you turn to the internet for help, you’ll find hundreds of recipes, and it can be tough to tell which ones are […]
Surgery Is One Hell Of A Placebo
July 19th, 2017, 05:30 PM
The guy’s desperate. The pain in his knee has made it impossible to play basketball or walk down stairs. In search of a cure, he makes a journey to a healing place, where he’ll undergo a fasting rite, don ceremonial garb, ingest mind-altering substances and be anointed with liquids before a masked healer takes him […]
Who Killed The Health Care Bill?
July 18th, 2017, 05:30 PM
In this week’s politics chat, we talk about — what else? — the apparent failure of Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Those efforts collapsed Monday night when Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah said they would vote against a procedural motion to move ahead with the […]
Is The Senate Health Insurance Bill Dead?
July 17th, 2017, 05:30 PM
The Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare appears to be dead again. The big question is whether this death will be permanent, or whether GOP activists and President Trump will effectively force party leaders to keep pushing for repeal, as they did when the House initially abandoned its health care bill in March. With […]
When Should We Eat?
July 17th, 2017, 05:30 PM
If you’re plumbing the causes of the great American weight gain over the past few decades, you could do worse than starting with the fact that food is available all the time, and very often we’re putting it in our mouths. According to a 2015 study that tracked eating patterns using smartphones, at least some […]