Drugs used to treat mild high blood pressure have not been found to reduce heart attacks, strokes, or deaths, Jeanne Lenzer reports in Slate. The study "turns medical dogma on its head," she writes, in what seems to me to be a very important story. Some 68 million Americans have mild high blood pressure, she reports. The problem could be something called disease creep, which "occurs when patients with risk factors for a condition or milder cases are treated the same as patients with severe cases." The story seems to have received only scattered coverage: A Google search turned up three stories. Not everyone agrees with the findings, but this study should not have been ignored. A nod to Lenzer for staying on top of this.
Birdsong might sound like song, but it isn't. So reports Emily Underwood in Science. Music is written to confrom to long-established scales and patterns, but a study of the nightingale wren of Central America found that birds don't follow our musical rules. For more on this, I refer you to "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square." Update: A Twitter conversation involving @edyong209, @BoraZ, @ferrisjabr, @noahWG, @criener and others suggests that the study merely defined "music" in a way that excludes birdsong. Also, some in the convo said the study was too Western-centric; not all of the world's music is based on diatonic or pentatonic scales.
Jonah Lehrer will be keeping his contract at Wired, offering him a shot at redemption. Buzfeed, among many who reported this development, identifies Lehrer as "the New Yorker ideas writer forced out for fabricating Bob Dylan quotes in a nonfiction book." It's important to remember that the charges against Lehrer involve more than fabricated Dylan quotes. Wired might trust Lehrer, but will its readers? Update: Jonathan Hammond, a spokesman for Wired, pointed me to Wired's statement regarding Lehrer. It says Wired is vetting Lehrer's work there. "He has no current assignments. After gathering the facts–from our inquiry and elsewhere–we’ll make a decision about whether Jonah’s byline will appear again at WIRED."