when gut microbes from easygoing, adventurous mice are transplanted into the guts of anxious and timid mice, they become more adventurous. The expression “thinking with your gut” may contain a larger kernel of truth than we thought.-Michael Pollan, NYTimes
Gavin Francis describes the difference between being a base doctor in Antarctica today and a doctor accompanying the expeditions of Shackleton and WIlson:
Each box was like the distillation of all that we have learned as a species about our bodies and their infirmities, a time capsule of medicine at the start of the twenty-first century. They spoke of our communications (with question grids for use over radio static), our sexual mores (condoms, the Pill, and the morning-after pill), and even the ozone hole (tubes of factor thirty sun block).
Ours is a nervous age, we’re often told, and the heroes of exploration are all gone. What, I had wondered, did our predecessors like Scott or Shackleton take when they set out into the blank spaces on the map?
Read the whole article, please. It fascinates me that advances in science and technology appear to have led to a decreased individual understanding and an increased reliance on others - seems ironic in this (supposedly) increasingly individualistic world.