New Scientist

Searching for species that keep us healthy

IT WAS a revelation. Germs cause disease. When Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch discovered and developed what would later be called the germ theory in the 1860s, this was a radical, then revolutionary idea – one so good it seems obvious in retrospect.

At the heart of their work was the notion that individual species cause disease by invading our bodies. Over the next century, the notion of “germs” changed our behaviour. It led us to scrub our hands and actively fight specific pathogens (as researchers came to call dangerous germs) and to cure the diseases they cause. These changes saved millions, maybe billions of lives. Every day you rub shoulders with the success of this theory. How could there be anything wrong with it?

By |New Scientist|Comments Off

Why haven’t bald men gone extinct?

SOME of life’s greatest mysteries are hidden in full view. This one is particularly blatant. You will find it in almost every office, college, restaurant and public meeting place. It is a constant companion to 40 million men in the US and hundreds of millions more worldwide. In fact, I need look no further than my mirror to see a shining example.

By |New Scientist|Comments Off