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Magazine Highlights January 2020

A Special Issue on The Future of Medicine: Wellness is online now and on newsstands December 31st.



By Yudhijit Bhattacharjeephotos by Robert Clark, David Guttenfelder & Robin Hammond

  • UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF PAIN: With the opioid crisis, the quest to understand the biology of pain and explore new ways to treat it has taken on fresh urgency. Addiction is not the only problem, though. Opioids don’t work for many patients who take them, because, as researchers are finding out, not all types of pain, or all kinds of patients, respond to the same pain relievers similarly. This feature will look at groundbreaking advances in the science and therapies to understand and treat pain.


Interviews with award-winning author Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
Interviews with National Geographic photographers Robert Clark, David Guttenfelder and Robin Hammond
Thoughtful & striking images of the various ways people deal with pain


By Fran Smith, photos by Andy Richter

  • WHY DO WE LOVE YOGA?: Does yoga make us healthier? Yoga is now an $80 billion global industry. This story will look at why it’s become so popular and examine the science that shows it does reduce stress, promote well-being and improve sleep.


Interviews with author Fran Smith
Images of yoga being practiced around the world


By Claudia Kalb, photos by Yves Gellie

  • ROBOT THERAPY: Researchers around the world are testing robot therapy as a way to deal with the health concerns of a rapidly aging world population. Patients in retirement homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes—including those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia—are participating in experiments that include the use of artificial intelligence and specialized robots. This feature explores what this therapy can offer from a promising, innovative approach to caring for a widening pool of elderly patients.


Interviews with New York Times bestselling author Claudia Kalb
Images of the robots that are being tested to care for the elderly


By Robin Marantz Henig, photos by Martin Oeggerli

  • LISTEN TO YOUR GUT: Research into our microbiome is rapidly revolutionizing our understanding of the vital role the 40 billion bacteria in our intestines and elsewhere play in our physical—and mental— health. This feature explores how the bacteria in your gut is critical to your health.


Vibrant images of various microbiomes under a microscope
Interviews with Robin Marantz Henig ,journalist, author and science writer


By Dan Buettner

  • BLUE ZONES DIET: This story will look at the science behind the world’s healthiest diet by focusing on scientists doing longevity research in each of the Blue Zones. We’ll follow the researchers as we visit homes of people who cook time-honored food from a diet that evolved over generations. This story will explore not only why the ingredients yield health but why they harmonize to appeal to our palate. This is more important than you might think: Eating beans every day of your life will likely add four years to your life expectancy but if you don’t like beans, you won’t eat them. In the Blue Zones, people eat the same foods, ingeniously prepared, for a lifetime.
  • The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100 is on sale now.


Interviews with New York Times bestselling author Dan Buettner

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