Is Vaping Really Bad For You?

E-cigs, vapes, whatever you call them they have been touted as a safer alternative to tobacco and even a way for people to quit smoking. But recent studies have found that perhaps they’re not so harmless after all. So who’s right?

SYSK Selects: How HeLa Cells Work

In this week's SYSK Select episode, after she was diagnosed with the cervical cancer that shortly killed her, a tissue sample was taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951 without her knowledge. Those cells would go on to become the first immortal line of human cells, something of enormous benefit to science and humanity as a whole. But while the line, called HeLa cells, became a multi-billion-dollar industry, her family languished without health care insurance. Learn about this complex case of private rights and scientific advancement in this episode.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Great articles on witches, bank robbery and lots of other interesting stuff.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week, Chuck and Josh read tons of articles. Here are the best of the bunch. Enjoy them with our compliments.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week, Josh and Chuck read tons of material and a lot of it is really good. Here's the best of the bunch.

This is just great. A recent study came out that found that even when you take the bisphenols (BPAs) out of plastics, you still get the same results from using them: aggressive, physiologically effeminized boys and preternaturally pubescent girls who have a high risk of developing breast cancer later in life. This is particularly sad news, as getting BPAs out of plastics was a hard-fought battle and apparently one that was destined to lose.

I found this a tad disconcerting, if you will. Back in August, the New Yorker ran a lengthy profile on the Koch brothers, heads of the largest private company in the U.S., Koch Industries. The article focused mainly on David, the less reclusive of the two (the other, older brother, Charles, remains out of the limelight by not doing things like bestowing $100 million to the New York Sate Theater, as David did), and the company the two lead, which rakes in around an estimated $100 billion in annual revenues.

Thank you, ABC News for this story about a Hindu organization in India that will soon begin selling a soft drink containing cow urine. They plan to add some aloe vera and gooseberry to enhance the drinking experience and claim they don't know what the final flavor will be yet. My guess is cow urine. The cow is sacred in Hinduism and urine in general has been used for its supposed medicinal properties for centuries. Believers of urine therapy claim that the practice can help cure almost any ailment. Problem is, mainstream medicine has never endorsed urine therapy as a safe or effective way to treat anything. This article from points out the numerous dangers of drinking your own urine and in my own survival research I learned that the U.S. Army Field Manual has urine on the list of no-noes.