Author Archives: Scott

Can Staying Awake Too Long Really Kill You?

sleepless-woman

Valerie C asks: Can staying awake too long really kill you? Every college student knows the eye-stinging pain of a caffeine-induced all-nighter.  It’s been well documented that prolonged sleep deprivation will lead to lower cognitive and motor function, as well as impaired memory; it might even give you the tired-giggles.  No one has ever definitively shown why sleep is necessary […]

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Why Does Hypothermia Help People Survive in Some Situations?

frozen-woman

Derek H. asks: Why does extreme lowering of body temperature sometimes help people survive when they’re otherwise dead for extended periods? We’ve all probably heard of a person being pulled from cold water after a seemingly unrevivable timeframe. Miraculously, they survive and more or less make full recoveries. A 7-year-old girl named Stella Berndtsson from Sweden currently holds the record […]

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What Causes St. Elmo’s Fire

saint-Elmos_fire

Andrew M. asks: What causes Saint Elmo’s Fire? For those not familiar, “St. Elmo’s Fire” is a name for the glow that looks like blue/violet fire surrounding the top of pointed metal objects during a storm. This phenomenon can trace its name back to an Italian saint “Sant ‘Ermo” or “St. Erasmus” around 300 A.D., the patron saint of early […]

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Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

vaccines

Jennifer asks: I’ve read that vaccines cause autism and that they don’t. What’s the truth with this? In 1998, there was a groundbreaking study telling parents that their children were at risk of getting autism from vaccines. Parents everywhere collectively gasped. After all, they had been told for years vaccines were the best way to prevent any number of unwanted […]

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