Of Two Minds

Shelley Batts

The Mystery of Gulf War Syndrome

I once had a conversation with a doctor about Gulf War Syndrome (GWS). They said,”Its frustrating to treat something that you can’t describe and that has no definite cause.” However, the numbers of affected soldiers, coming back to the US after the first Gulf War with a bevy of mysterious chronic ailments, speak to the…

Robotic Spying Bats: Coming Soon!

Bats are sneaky, silent, and stealthy…so why shouldn’t they be spies? Engineers at the University of Michigan are currently developing a six-inch, robotic spying device modeled after a bat that could gather data via an embedded camera and send back data in real time. Forget Ceiling Cat! Sneaky bat-robots are watching you! Obviously, the military…

Is There Truly Bias in the Media?

American news-watchers are so jaded as to the lack of objectivity in the news and media, that we rarely ever take any story or quote at face-value (and I doubt this is limited to America). We have become ingrained with the idea that some media outlets are overly-liberal, singing the praises of the likes of…

Whoa…LOLAfricanGrey!

Pepper has brought to my attention a noteworthy event. This is the first LOLAfricanGrey I’ve seen on the front page of ICanHasCheezburger!

We’ve all been to some *bad* science presentations over the years. Heck, I think I’ve given a few. No more! This 6 minute video (by 2 UM students) points out some common issues with Powerpointing and how to have your audience salivating for more of your data. From the author: I think there should be…

It is well accepted that there are a few components to Alzheimer’s risk: age (risk increases in old age), environment (severe head trauma, high cholesterol, obesity, or some drugs may increase risk), and genetics. A recent study published in the Archives of Neurology has contributed new evidence towards how genetics may be key. The authors…

Genetic Manipulations a Sin?

Not that I worry much what the Pope thinks of me these days, but I was a bit startled to see that him list a brand-spankin’-new sin: performing genetic manipulations. When asked to list the new areas of sinful behavior, Girotti denounced “certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments, genetic manipulations.”…

The Beijing Olympics are not too far away, and an iconic part of the preparation for the ‘Games’ is the passing of the Olympic torch. As part of the official torch relay, the flame will be taken up Mt. Everest–it will be carried up the southern side of Everest in Nepal and back down the…

In response to Steve’s post about what clinical psychologists do, I just had to post this hilarious video about what anesthetists do while a patient is sleeping by the Amateur Transplants. The group is composed by two humorous (and real) doctors who I’d rather see on the other side of a microphone than at my…

Is Life Expectancy Going Down?

According to this life expectancy calculator, I should plan on living to 102 years old—a result of quite a lot of factors, including the fact that my family is particularly long-lived and cancer-free. Not sure I buy into these types of calculator (but they are morbid fun), but the general topic of life expectancy has…