Information as substrate
In a recent article (“Enriched with information,” SN: 3/10/12, p. 22), you point out that some researchers consider consciousness to be a form of information. In another (“Bits of reality,” SN: 4/7/12, p. 26), you mention that increasing numbers of physicists are coming to regard information as the basic “stuff” from which our universe is made. Information as the substrate of consciousness, information as the substrate of the material universe. An interesting connection, to say the least.
Ed Subitzky, New York, N.Y.
Still learning from Science News
Although it took me (as usual) three hours to digest your complete array of articles in the April 21 issue, I wouldn’t miss that brain stimulation for anything in the world. It’s a little like a mini–college course. You certainly know how to get a 75-year-old to pay attention, stay mentally alert and feel 40 years old again. Congratulations and thanks for another superb job done. Keep it up.
Pete Grumbach, Clearlake Oaks, Calif.
One cough cured
I read your April 21 issue with special interest in Laura Beil’s “Throat therapy” article (SN: 4/21/12, p. 22). However, one “cough cause” was left out that most doctors miss. A very important one. I had a chronic cough that steadily worsened to the point that I was unable to sleep without medicine. I casually mentioned the problem to my cardiologist and he immediately said, “You take Altace, an ACE inhibitor, I’ll bet that is the problem.” My general practitioner agreed that it’s a common problem. I promptly stopped my Altace (generic ramipril) and in three days my problem was totally gone. I now take another high blood pressure medicine that works well in its place.
Don Todd, via e-mail
Dark side of statins
While I can respect statins for the miracles they seem to produce in the health of others, I didn’t see the dark side of these drugs mentioned in the article (“Another side to statins,” SN: 5/5/12, p. 30). Six weeks into statin therapy I was awakened multiple times every night with intensely sharp cramps in my thighs, calves and feet. Another statin was tried, with worse results. True, few patients suffer such extreme and painful effects from statins, but for those of us who do, they are anything but miracle drugs. It seems as though statins can cure, or at least treat, a host of horrible maladies, but I would like to see an article examining the other side of this wonderful two-edged sword.
P.J. Neuschwanger, Platteville, Colo.