Decades of hype turned protein into a superfood


Do you ever blend up a protein smoothie for breakfast, or grab a protein bar following an afternoon workout? If so, you are likely among the millions of people in search of more protein-rich diets. Protein-enriched products are ubiquitous, and these days it seems protein can be infused into anything… Read


What's behind the magic of live music?


For months, fans were relegated to watching their favorite singers and musicians over Zoom or via webcasts. Now, live shows – from festivals like Lollapalooza to Broadway musicals – are officially back. The songs that beamed into living rooms during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic may have featured an… Read


Viruses are both the villains and heroes of life as we know it


Viruses have a bad reputation. They are responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and a long list of maladies that have plagued humanity since time immemorial. Is there anything to celebrate about them? Many biologists like me believe there is, at least for one specific type of virus – namely, bacteriophages,… Read


Hollywood's love of guns increases risk of shootings – both on and off the set


In what appears to be a tragic accident, actor Alec Baldwin shot dead a cinematographer on Oct 21, 2021, while discharging a prop gun on set in New Mexico. It is too early to speculate what went wrong during the filming of the western movie “Rust.” But the incident, in… Read


What is the U.S. policy of 'strategic ambiguity' towards Taiwan?


President Joe Biden's declaration that the United States would defend Taiwan if China invaded has renewed talk of whether Washington's longstanding policy of "strategic ambiguity" on this thorny geopolitical issue is being reassessed. But what is strategic ambiguity and why would a solid commitment to Taiwan's defense be risky? Rival… Read


Does raising minimum wage kill jobs? The century-long search for the elusive answer shows why economics is so difficult


For decades it was conventional wisdom in the field of economics that a higher minimum wage results in fewer jobs. In part, that’s because it’s based on the law of supply and demand, one of the most well-known ideas in economics. Despite it being called a “law,” it’s actually two… Read


Death penalty can express society's outrage – but biases often taint verdict


In its hearing on Oct 13, 2021, the Supreme Court appeared to favor reinstating the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found guilty of planting homemade bombs, with the help of his brother, Tamerlan, along the crowded Boston Marathon route on April 15, 2013. The bombs killed three people… Read


The first battle in the culture wars: The quality of diversity


American diversity is in the spotlight as racial discrimination in the United States reemerges as a major topic of public discussion, touching everything from education to housing to policing. The context of the quality of American diversity is inescapable as multiple debates around race relations continue to rage. We tend… Read


Free speech or hate speech? Netflix at eye of LGBTQ storm


Netflix has been plunged into America's culture wars by a Dave Chappelle comedy special that raises concerns about free speech and censorship but has been slammed by its own employees as transphobic. In "The Closer," boundary-pushing mega-star Chappelle responds to critics who have accused him of mocking transgender people in… Read


Ivermectin is a Nobel Prize-winning wonder drug – but not for COVID-19


Ivermectin is an over 30-year-old wonder drug that treats life- and sight-threatening parasitic infections. Its lasting influence on global health has been so profound that two of the key researchers in its discovery and development won the Nobel Prize in 2015. I’ve been an infectious disease pharmacist for over 25… Read

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