Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

Electrical Bacteria

The natural world never ceases to amaze me. This is especially true of the the single-celled organisms around us. For example, on March 5, 2019, scientists at Washington State University described the first collection of a type of bacteria that eats and breathes electricity. The site was the Heart Lake Geyser Basin area of Wyoming’s

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The Real Roadkill Cafe

Roadkill has been the subject of innumerable jokes, but Idaho is treating animals killed on the road as an asset. According to estimates from the Federal Highway Administration, between one and two million large animals are hit by vehicles every year, resulting in 200 deaths and nearly $8.4 billion in damages. Since 2012, Idaho has

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Why Junk Food Doesn’t Fill You Up

Have you ever eaten a lot of sugary stuff and still felt hungry? You’ve consumed lots of calories (probably too many), but your body doesn’t seem to care. What gives? Basically, all calories aren’t the same. Our bodies have a mechanism called satiety that will stop us from eating more than we need, but it

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How The World May End?

When I was growing up, the world was obsessed with apocalyptic nuclear war. (You may remember the quote — “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” — usually attributed to Albert Einstein). We all survived the Cold War,

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How Long Can You Live?

For my last big running event, when it came time to record any pertinent medical information on the back of my race number, I thought of my senior-citizen status and considered simply writing “Do Not Resuscitate.” But seriously, end-of-life considerations are becoming more and more complicated, thanks to technology. Health-care workers can now keep a

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How to Make Up a Word

There are at least a quarter of a million words in the English language. I’m basing this on the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, which contains entries for 171,476 words in current use, 47,156 words considered obsolete, and around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/how-many-words-are-there-in-the-english-language/). Yet we’re adding words all the time,

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Dr. Rebecca Crumpler, Medical Pioneer

History never ceases to amaze me. For example — In 1883, a 145-page volume entitled A Book of Medical Discourses in Two Parts was published. Its appearance was significant for two reasons. It was one of the first American medical guides to offer advice for women and children, including a bit of marital advice. More

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If You’re Looking To Lose Weight…

If you’re trying to lose weight, take heart. There is new evidence that the best strategy is to increase the intensity of your workouts for short periods, rather than have longer but easier sessions. It’s called “high intensity interval training” (Hiit). The technique is getting attention because recent research, published in the British Journal of

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Why Women Live Longer Than Men

It’s true. According to the latest CDC figures, the average American woman will live to age 81, while the average man will only live to 76. In addition, those extra years also tend to be healthier. And it’s not just this country. “This gender gap in life expectancy is true for all societies, and it

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