Last Word

The Problem with Declaring a ‘Pandemic Amnesty’

Recently, The Atlantic published an article by Dr. Emily Oster, an economics professor at Brown University, titled “Let’s Declare A Pandemic Amnesty.” In the piece, Oster argues that, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we were plagued by a lack of true knowledge about the best way to react to the virus. Consequently, “almost every position was taken on every topic. And on every topic, someone was...

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What looks like pot, acts like pot but is legal nearly everywhere? Hemp-derived delta-9 THC

ST. LOUIS — It was not shocking that people listening to musicians covering Grateful Dead and Phish songs in October at a dive bar here would be interested in trying a new drink containing delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in weed. What was unusual was seeing a bar owner — in this case, Pop’s Blue Moon’s Joshua Grigaitis — grab cans of the drink and give them to customers without...

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New study examines colonoscopy efficacy: A gastroenterologist’s reaction

A recent study by Bretthauer, et al, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on October 9, 2022. This study, known as the NordlCC trial, was a randomized control trial from centers in Poland, Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The 10-year study evaluated the efficacy and safety of colonoscopy, a screening procedure for colon cancer that is considered a gold standard of care...

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The vital crosstalk between breath and brain

If you’re lucky enough to live to 80, you’ll take up to a billion breaths in the course of your life, inhaling and exhaling enough air to fill about 50 Goodyear blimps or more. We take about 20,000 breaths a day, sucking in oxygen to fuel our cells and tissues, and ridding the body of carbon dioxide that builds up as a result of cellular metabolism. Breathing is so essential to life that people...

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This Hurricane-Ravaged Town Has Waited Years for Long-Term Aid. It Could Happen Again.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. Series: Disaster After Disaster Growing Storms, Faltering Aid   LAKE CHARLES, La. — Hilda Brown ambled down a wooden walkway with the help of a cane and gingerly took a seat at a table between her badly damaged house and a FEMA trailer. It had...

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Handing the surgeon’s scalpel to a robot

After decades of merely assisting doctors, are sophisticated machines ready to take charge? In 2004, the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) dangled a $1 million prize for any group that could design an autonomous car that could drive itself through 142 miles of rough terrain from Barstow, California, to Primm, Nevada. Thirteen years later, the Department of Defense...

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