I don’t have a whole lot in common with Angelina Jolie, but we do share a terrifying family history of breast cancer. Like Jolie, I lost my mother to cancer—mine at 49, Jolie’s at 56. Also like Jolie, I decided to have the genetic test for the BRCA1 and 2 mutations, which, if present, indicate a severely increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer over a lifetime. READ MORE >>
We now know how it can ravage our body and brain
Sometime in the late ’50s, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann sat down to write an essay about a subject that had been mostly overlooked by other psychoanalysts up to that point. Even Freud had only touched on it in passing. She was not sure, she wrote, “what inner forces” made her struggle with the problem of loneliness, though she had a notion. READ MORE >>
How much do you want to know about your gut?
It is one of the paradoxes of our culture that while food itself is an object of desire, the mechanics of eating—in the abstract, anyway—really gross us out. Chewing, salivating, and digesting, never mind excreting, are aspects of a meal we do our best to forget as we pore over photos of toast with ramp butter and quail’s eggs or slow-braised veal shank. We are in collective denial about what ingesting a meal really entails. READ MORE >>
Solving an evolutionary mystery
Why do grandmothers exist?The question is not as unfeeling as it sounds. READ MORE >>
The scary consequences of the grayest generation.
Over the past half century, parenthood has undergone a change so simple yet so profound we are only beginning to grasp the enormity of its implications. It is that we have our children much later than we used to. This has come to seem perfectly unremarkable; indeed, we take note of it only when celebrities push it to extremes—when Tony Randall has his first child at 77; Larry King, his fifth child by his seventh wife at 66; Elizabeth Edwards, her last child at 50. READ MORE >>