Interstellar Visitors, the Value of Case Studies, and Other Stories
Every week, we corral our favorite wellness stories from around the internet—just in time for your weekend reading.
Nobody knows exactly how solar systems form in other galaxies. We can take a look at the massive structures that exist now, but we can’t observe how planets form and collect around a star—a process that we believe takes place over hundreds of millions of years (at least). But when pieces of other solar systems enter our own, scientists get a rare opportunity to study the midpoints of planetary development. In this article originally published in Quanta Magazine, planetary astrologer Michele Bannister explains that what we learn from these interstellar visitors can inform how we understand the universe around us—as well as the world we call home.
Between 2011 and 2018, e-cigarette use among high school students increased from 1.5 percent to 20.8 percent. That’s an increase from roughly 220,000 kids to more than 3 million—who are now at risk for nicotine addiction, though many have never picked up a cigarette at all. So how did we get here, and who’s to blame? This in-depth look at the roots of the e-cig industry details the race to protect millions of young Americans from the health epidemic that’s spreading across the country.
Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have become the gold standard in medical research, while case studies are often overlooked as anecdotal and unscientific. But case studies are statistically powerful, too, and they can accomplish what would be improbable for larger clinical trials: researching very rare diseases and gleaning important qualitative information about patients’ health.
The New York Times
Yes, we also read this piece over at goop HQ. Elisa Albert and Jennifer Block write: “Throughout history, women in particular have been mocked, reviled, and murdered for maintaining knowledge and practices that frightened, confused and confounded ‘the authorities.’ (Namely the church, and later, medicine.) Criticism of goop is founded, at least in part, upon deeply ingrained reserves of fear, loathing, and ignorance about things we cannot see, touch, authenticate, prove, own, or quantify. It is emblematic of a cultural insistence that we quash intuitive measures and ‘other’ ways of knowing—the sort handed down via oral tradition, which, for most women throughout history, was the only way of knowing. In other words, it’s classic patriarchal devaluation.” We’re biased, but we liked it.