News & Magazines

Quick Reads about Wellness
View All
Nautilus
9 min read

Ingenious: Jack Gilbert: The professor of surgery explains how health emerges from a healthy microbiome.

When I ask Jack Gilbert about the future of medicine, he tells me what he recommends to his graduate students before they head into surgery, “When you go to cut someone open, you don’t just have one patient on the gurney. You have 40 trillion patients, and you have to think of how your actions are going to affect them.” Those trillions of patients are microorganisms, communities of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and in some unhappy cases—pathogens. But they’re not all free riders. A growing body of research is making the case that the microscopic creatures in our gut, ears, mouth, and on our skin—t
Nautilus
9 min read

This Man’s Immune System Got a Cancer-killing Update

William Ludwig was a 64-year-old retired corrections officer living in Bridgeton, New Jersey, in 2010, when he received a near-hopeless cancer prognosis. The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania had run out of chemotherapeutic options, and Ludwig was disqualified from most clinical trials since he had three cancers at once—leukemia, lymphoma, and squamous cell skin cancer. In a later interview, the scientist Carl June described Ludwig’s condition as “Almost dead.” Alison Loren, an oncologist at Penn, had been taking care of Ludwig for five painful years. If chemotherapy is
Nautilus
5 min read
Science

What Medicine Is Learning from Animals That Resist Cancer

In recent years, naked mole rats, elephants, and bowhead whales have caught the attention of cancer researchers. At first glance, these three don’t have much in common: naked mole rats are subterranean rodents; elephants roam above ground; and bowhead whales spend their lives in the sea. But they do. For one, they all have relatively long lifespans. Naked mole rats can live just over three decades, much longer than most other creatures their size; some elephants can live up to 70 years; and the average lifespan of a bowhead whale is two centuries. For another, these three species are also prac