Statistics are tricky. Consider this: of two treatments for kidney stones, Treatment A is better on average for large stones and small stones. But consider all stones together and Treatment B is better. This is Simpson’s paradox.
Only one of your nostrils is fully open at any one time. The nasal cycle means that one of your nostrils is constricted for various physiological reasons, and this swaps around every two and a half hours.
Some time more than 200 years ago, a dog or wolf in China or Siberia got cancer. It was a strange type of cancer: the cancer cells were contagious. That cell line is still alive today, and will probably be alive forever.
Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist from the United States, has ranked the relative pain caused by bee, wasp, and ant stings. How do you find that out, though? Easy enough, you just sting yourself.
In the 1930s there was a reliable and accurate way to find out if you were pregnant or not. But you had to kill a rabbit.
Everyone in Japan knows that people with Type AB blood are creative, intelligent, and untrustworthy. Wait, what?
How do you effectively communicate risk when something is risky over the medium or long term? Measure the risk in micromorts (the one-in-a-million chance of dying) and microlives (half an hour of extra life).
Up until the 1980s, scientific consensus held that stomach ulcers were caused by stress and spicy food. Australian scientist Barry Marshall thought differently, and to test his theory he drank a cup of bacteria.
Most people know that smallpox was the first disease that we have completely eradicated in the wild. But what was the second, and what does it have to do with Egyptian plagues, measles, and cattle?
Why would someone want a hole in the head? And how do we know that it was prehistoric surgery and not, you know, murder?