No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist). Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?
In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.
When co-discovers Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts found the blowhole entrance to the caverns in 1974, they did something extraordinary: They kept it a secret. And when they could no longer shield the caves through secrecy, they sought out science to help protect Kartchner Caverns post-development.
Research has supported Kartchner ever since, but the reverse is true as well. Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk to find out how:
Human-induced climate change has doubled forest fire damage in the West over the past 30 years, says a study published online early by the journal PNAS. But human effects on fire extend far beyond climate.
Zika virus is spreading through a hemisphere with plenty of mosquito habitat and no immunity to the disease, and summer is on its way. But what really chills the blood and drives our dread of what was once considered “dengue’s wimpy cousin” is the virus’s horrifying, yet unproven, link to infant microcephaly.
And so, even as epidemiologists struggle to contain and understand the problem, the news swarms with disturbing images and calls for wiping out the offending mosquito vectors. Clearly, if we’re going to get through this, we need to do our homework. Why not start with my article, in which I cut through the buzz to explore …
During World War I, an American surgeon named William Baer noted that the maggot-ridden wounds he found on some soldiers looked surprisingly healthy, showing fewer signs of inflammation or infection. Baer’s observation was really a rediscovery of the medical value of maggots, a quality known to Napoleon’s Army doctors and probably used by civilizations as far back as the ancient Maya.
Today, doctors use the creepy crawlies to stem infections, speed healing and save money, particularly in cases of chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers. Ask your doctor if medical maggots are right for you – but first read