SADANAND: Neglecting science has its costs

January 24, 2012
My first reaction to Michael Magdzik’s Jan. 17 editorial lamenting the science distributional requirement was one of anger. The poorly constructed piece hammers home the worst Ivy League stereotypes of entitlement and grade grubbing, making this proud ’07 Yalie cringe. Magdzik criticizes science classes for being full of grade-addicted pre-meds but then hypocritically admits that »

Neutrinos breaking the ultimate speed limit

December 7, 2011
Only a few things in life are certain. One is that the Detroit Lions will always lose on Thanksgiving. Another is that nothing can move faster than the speed of light — or so I thought. Two months ago, a group of scientists in Europe claimed they had made neutrinos — a neutral, near-zero-mass subatomic »

Get real with food safety

November 1, 2011
As a kid I was petrified of beef. What if I ate a burger, got infected with mad cow disease and went crazy years later? While I was afraid of beef, foods like peanut butter, eggs, sprouts and cantaloupes were definitely not on my fear radar. But maybe they should have been, because all of »

Sadanand: My life according to the Yale spam filter

April 19, 2011
My Yale junk mail folder has become a black hole, and I suspect I’m not the only one with this problem. A few months ago, I received a few E-vites to parties. Or I would have, had the Evites been delivered to my inbox. Instead I was left to find out about these parties via »

Sadanand: Why I say ‘No’ to the iPhone

February 9, 2011
I don’t have an iPhone or any other kind of smart phone. I’ve been told by quite a few people to get one and, I’m not going to lie, some of those iPhone apps seem handy and the Android does look cool. But frankly I don’t want to become part of America’s newest epidemic: technology »

Sadanand: I wish I knew how to quit you, Google (but do I really?)

October 27, 2010
Like most of you, I use Google a lot. I use it to find papers related to my research, I use it for e-mail and I use it to find that song that is stuck in my head. Last week while trying to think of a topic for this column, I decided to be meta »

McDonald and Sadanand: Clinical trials, point-counterpoint

September 29, 2010
As difficult as it may be to deny a drug to a desperate patient, controlled trials are the backbone of clinical science: We need them to answer the basic question of whether a drug works, and for which patients. Trials are not primarily designed to help the patients who participate in them, nor should they »

Sadanand: A toast to alcohol

September 15, 2010
The United States has a strange relationship with alcohol. On one hand, kegs and sangria pitchers are as much a part of college life as classes and exams. As we grow older, we keep drinking; we pair wine with dinner, beer with football. Yet not even a century ago, this country ratified the 18th Amendment, »

Sadanand: It’s time for NASA

April 21, 2010
Almost 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy declared that by the end of the 1960s, the United States would put a man on the moon, and in 1969, the entire world watched as Neil Armstrong fulfilled Kennedy’s vision. Last Thursday, President Barack Obama made similarly bold promises before a wary audience at the John »

Sadanand: CER needs regulations to be effective

March 31, 2010
Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, finally putting an end to the interminable legislative battle over health care reform. One of the controversial initiatives in the bill is increased funding for comparative effectiveness research (CER), or large-scale, controlled scientific studies that evaluate which treatments are best for a given »

The case for vaccines

February 17, 2010
Two weeks ago, a research article published in 1998 in the medical journal The Lancet that had linked the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism was finally retracted. The study, along with long-standing fears about the vaccine preservative thimerosal, had prompted millions of scared parents to forgo or delay MMR vaccinations for their children, usually given »