Building a Better You

  “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was…” So begins the 1970s American TV sci-fi classic, The Six Million Dollar Man, about an astronaut who scientists reconstruct into a cyborg superman—part human, part “bionic”—after an accident causes devastating injuries. Although we haven’t begun producing super-humans, the…Continue Reading

The Disease That Robs Us of Ourselves

  One day, you try to read a book, but can’t understand the words. Later, you get lost in your own neighborhood. Eventually, you won’t recognize those you love. Your body is still there… but you’re gone. Alzheimer’s Disease was first identified in 1906 by German scientist Alois Alzheimer. Today, the World Health Organization estimates…Continue Reading

Solving the Mystery of MS

  You’re young, healthy, with endless possibilities ahead—love, career, family. And then… Something odd happens. Your body refuses to do what it’s always done. Maybe your left leg gives way suddenly. Or your right arm tingles and becomes weak. Or you can’t see out of one eye. What could be wrong? Your doctor orders an…Continue Reading

Don’t Call Them Birdbrains

Fortune, a 22-year-old female African grey parrot, gets miffed when my attention drifts to the large blue Amazon parrot, Pablo, two perches away. “Hey baby,” she calls to me, following up with a series of sound effects: the beep of a cell phone, the meow of a cat, and mimicry of some, um, less polite…Continue Reading

Are Your Kids Making You Sick?

The morning bell rings, and 25 or so adorable five- and six-year-olds enter their bright, tidy classroom. It’s a typical day in a typical kindergarten. And the boys and girls are doing what they typically do. They select toys and felt-tip markers, then several kids stick their selections in their mouths. One little girl rubs…Continue Reading

Tunnel Visions

In the summer of 1991, Pam Reynolds learned she had a life-threatening aneurysm (a bulge in an artery) in her brain. Neurosurgeon Robert Spetzler, M.D., director of the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, told the then 35-year-old Atlanta, Georgia, mother of three that, in order to operate on her, he would have to stop…Continue Reading

French Quarter Feeding Frenzy

Something utterly alien hides deep within the French Quarter of New Orleans. And it has so unnerved the locals that, rather like the vampires reputed to haunt these streets, they zig-zag to avoid streetlamps, lest the menace drawn by the lights follows them home. In a smooth-as-aged-Bourbon drawl, Bubby Weber, the weathered maintenance manager at…Continue Reading