Friday, April 27, 2018


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

All pain isn’t the same


Editor's note

Do redheads require more anesthesia than other patients? For years, that was the unconfirmed rumor in the medical community until a study confirmed it was true. In fact, your pain tolerance depends on a complex mix of genetics and your past experiences, explains Karen Sibert at UCLA. That can make it difficult for doctors – who are increasingly reluctant to prescribe opioids – to understand how much pain their patients are really in.

Malaria fatalities dropped 60 percent between 2000 and 2015. But hundreds of thousands of people – most of them children in sub-Saharan Africa – still die each year from this mosquito-borne infection. One reason is ineffective medicine: A team of Australian pharmaceutical researchers found that fake, expired and substandard anti-malaria drugs are widespread.

In case you didn't have it circled on your calendar, tomorrow is National Pretzel Day. So grab a bag of Snyder's and take in Colorado State food expert Jeffrey Miller's twisted history of the pretzel, from its European origins to Pennsylvania's path to becoming the pretzel capital of the world.

Aviva Rutkin

Big Data + Applied Mathematics Editor

Top stories

Every patient is different. TippaPatt/

Why it's so hard for doctors to understand your pain

Karen Sibert, University of California, Los Angeles

Each person experiences pain differently, depending on his or her genetic makeup. That makes it difficult to figure out what treatments patients need.

Fake medicines are a lucrative global business. When it comes to malaria drugs that don't work, they can be deadly. AP Photo/Martin Mejia

Fake drugs are one reason malaria still kills so many

Jackson Thomas, University of Canberra; Erin Walker, University of Canberra; Gregory Peterson, University of Tasmania; Mark Naunton, University of Canberra

Each year, 500,000 people die of malaria annually, a preventable disease. Most of them children in Africa, where many anti-malarial drugs are fake or substandard.

The pretzel has had a twisted path from Germany to global snack food. Craig Barhorst/

How the pretzel went from soft to hard – and other little-known facts about one of the world's favorite snacks

Jeffrey Miller, Colorado State University

Why are they shiny? And how did Pennsylvania become the pretzel capital of the world?

Science + Technology

  • Defending hospitals against life-threatening cyberattacks

    Mohammad S. Jalali, MIT Sloan School of Management

    In a complex environment with massive numbers of internet-connected devices, the key barrier to better cybersecurity isn't funding: It's ensuring staff at all levels take action against the threat.

Politics + Society

Environment + Energy


Ethics + Religion

Health + Medicine

  • How live liver transplants could save thousands of lives

    Abhi Humar, University of Pittsburgh

    April is National Donate Life Month, a time to emphasize the importance of organ donation. It is also a good time to learn about a major medical advance that allows liver transplants from living donors.

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