Health

The Girl Who Turned to Bone

Unexpected discoveries in the quest to cure an extraordinary skeletal condition show how medically relevant rare diseases can be.

The Unexpected Ways a Fetus Is Shaped by a Mother's Environment

New research on first impressions

How Not to Die

Angelo Volandes's low-tech, high-empathy plan to revolutionize end-of-life care

What Makes Us Happy, Revisited

A new look at the famous Harvard study of what makes people thrive

Do We Change Our Minds on Abortion When It Affects Us Directly?

Three suggestive stats

Various Ways You Might Accidentally Get Drunk

We don't always know when we're standing over a large deposit of iron ore.

The Queen Bee’s Guide to Parenting

What the animal kingdom can teach us about raising families

The Robot Will See You Now

IBM's Watson—the same machine that beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy—is now churning through case histories at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, learning to make diagnoses and treatment recommendations. This is one in a series of developments suggesting that technology may be about to disrupt health care in the same way it has disrupted so many other industries. Are doctors necessary? Just how far might the automation of medicine go?

You Can Be Too Beautiful

Awakening

Since its introduction in 1846, anesthesia has allowed for medical miracles. Limbs can be removed, tumors examined, organs replaced—and a patient will feel and remember nothing. Or so we choose to believe. In reality, tens of thousands of patients each year in the United States alone wake up at some point during surgery. Since their eyes are taped shut and their bodies are usually paralyzed, they cannot alert anyone to their condition. In efforts to eradicate this phenomenon, medicine has been forced to confront how little we really know about anesthesia’s effects on the brain. The doctor who may be closest to a solution may also answer a question that has confounded centuries’ worth of scientists and philosophers: What does it mean to be conscious?

Does Tequila Make Us Crazy?

Researchers say no, but drinkers say yes.

Cognac’s Identity Crisis

How the liquor’s marketing success among both rappers and codgers has blinded consumers to its subtler pleasures

“What Man Can Make of Man”

The Perfected Self

B. F. Skinner’s notorious theory of behavior modification was denounced by critics 50 years ago as a fascist, manipulative vehicle for government control. But Skinner’s ideas are making an unlikely comeback today, powered by smartphone apps that are transforming us into thinner, richer, all-around-better versions of ourselves. The only thing we have to give up? Free will.

Six Rules for Dining Out

How a frugal economist finds the perfect lunch

The Secret Ingredient

Liquor companies love to claim they use closely guarded, centuries-old recipes. usually it’s just marketing.

Daddy Issues

Why caring for my aging father has me wishing he would die

McMasterpiece

An Italian celebrity chef designs a fast-food burger.

How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?

My Nutmeg Bender

The surprising intoxicant hidden in your spice rack

All His Children

A sperm donor discovers his rich, unsettling legacy.

The New Scarcity

The Quiet Health-Care Revolution

While legislators talk about “bending the cost curve,” one company serving Medicare patients has discovered how to provide better care at lower cost—with wireless scales, free transportation, regular toenail trimmings, and doctors who put the patient first.

From Tiki to Tacky—and Back

A taste of cocktail Americana comes in from the cold.

All the Single Ladies

Recent years have seen an explosion of male joblessness and a steep decline in men’s life prospects that have disrupted the “romantic market” in ways that narrow a marriage-minded woman’s options: increasingly, her choice is between deadbeats (whose numbers are rising) and playboys (whose power is growing). But this strange state of affairs also presents an opportunity: as the economy evolves, it’s time to embrace new ideas about romance and family—and to acknowledge the end of “traditional” marriage as society’s highest ideal.

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

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