Letters from the September 2, 2006, issue of Science News | Science News

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Letters to the Editor

Letters from the September 2, 2006, issue of Science News

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1:12pm, August 28, 2006
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B line

"A Vexing Enigma: New insights confront chronic fatigue syndrome" (SN: 7/1/06, p. 10) implies that there's not an available cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. I was amazed to find no mention of vitamin B12. I can attest to the remarkable effect.

Earl L. Pye
Oak Hills, Calif
.

Limited evidence suggests that vitamin B12 absorption may be impaired in some people with chronic fatigue syndrome. No published clinical trial has evaluated B12 as a therapy for the disorder.—B. Harder

Mellow? Hello?

It's true that as we grow older, many aggravations that we used to take seriously seem to lose edge ("Older but Mellower: Aging brain shifts gears to emotional advantage," SN: 6/24/06, p. 389). Some of us, however, become grumpy, cantankerous oldsters. It's generally recognized that a positive outlook on life has a favorable effect on general health. If that's correct, then the "mellow oldsters" might have been a self-selected sample.

Dov R. Aleksandrowicz
Ramat Gan, Israel

Perhaps it's because I'm only 49 that it seems all too easy to turn this article around by a slightly different wording: "Older and more cynical: Aging brain shifts gears to become an emotional cripple." OK, that's too much, but have we not heard of the miserable old man?

Peter Morgan
New Haven, Conn
.

Spot before your eyes

The photo "Planet-making disk has a banana split" (SN: 7/1/06, p. 5) looks to me more like a solar eclipse, complete with a clear-cut circular blackout in the center and flares.

Mike Patterson
Grand Rapids, Mich
.

The similarity is because astronomers used an occulting disk on the telescope to block the glare of the central star.—R. Cowen

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