NOCEBO

The word nocebo (from the Latin “nuocerò”) was chosen by Walter Kennedy, (1961). It indicates the opposite of the term placebo (from the Latin “piacerò”), which refers to a product that produces in an individual beneficial, healthy, pleasant consequences or tothe result of any ideas or expectations.  Behind this choice there is the theory that…

Foreign accent syndrome

Waking up one morning and having a different  accent?  As strange as it seems, it can happen. It is called  “Foreign Accent Syndrome”.  The first case was recorded in 1944, when a  Norwegian woman was sent into a coma by an  artillery strike and after awakening she began  to speak with such a strong German…

Back to the past through science

We got accustomed to the usual science fiction concepts of time travelling through timelines, parallel universes and whatever the artist’s mind can imagine. But is the concept of time travelling scientifically possible? Let’s start from the concept of “time”, that we know to be relative and that can be observed from different points of view….

Angels or medicine?

In 1862 in America the Civil War broke out, also called the Battle of Shiloh. It was one of the bloodiest civil wars because it caused 3000 deaths and thousands of wounded. Doctors of that time didn’t have great resources and weren’t prepared for the massacre that occurred in a single night. Moreover, the wounded…

Science and Faith

Are science and faith in conflict? It is common to think that they are, because we correlate the figure of the scientist with that of the atheist, of the totally rational man, but this isn’t always true.  Antonino Zichichi, an Italian physicist and science communicator, tells us: “There is no scientific discovery that can be…

Love or Science?

Einstein said: “There is an extremely powerful force for which science, up to now, has not found a formal explanation … This universal force is love”. This famous statement was delivered in 1905 but since then science has taken big step forwards. In fact, today it is possible to say that all the typical emotions…

Mustard gas and the discovery of chemotherapy

Before World War II, tumors were removed through surgery and X-rays. On December 2nd 1943, a German air attack hit the port of Bari and destroyed many ships including the American transport ship SS John Harvey carrying a secret cargo: mustard gas bombs, prohibited since 1925. This attack caused many casualties and injuries but it…

I’ll tell you why you always make the wrong decision

 If you find yourself in front of a sign that says “what would you choose between the 50% chance of winning 1000 euros and 50% chance of no winnings, against a sure gain of 450 euros”, what would be your answer?  Yes, I would also choose the 450 euros safe, like most people; but you…

Getting lost behind home

At least once in a lifetime a lot of people have got lost but … when it happens at home, you may be suffering from a rare disturbance called “topographic disorientation” that affects about 1% of the world’s population. People suffering from topographic disorientation are not people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease,  they are healthy people…

MOONSTRUCK

It’s the case to state that man has always been “moonstruck” and for this reason has always tried to study the lunar cycles and mysteries.  What if the Moon also influenced human sleep cycle? What if the typical saying “wake up with a bad moon” were true? According to some studies,  lunar cycles appear to…