Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on,, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

Opioid addiction has become an epidemic in America, and a recent study suggests doctors may be contributing to the problem. Pharmaceutical sales representatives have long used “gifts” as a way to get a few minutes with a doctor to pitch their products. These gifts must be less than $100, and they generally involve things like lunch for the staff or a medical device the doctor can use to help patients.

But a new study finds a possible correlation between payments to doctors and opioid overdoses in their communities. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reveals that in counties where payments are made to narcotic-prescribing medical professionals there are more overdose deaths, even when other possible factors are factored out.

There’s more than one reason to change the way you eat. A new report in the medical journal The Lancelot proposes a “planetary health diet,” which involves eating better not only for your own overall health, but for the long-term survival of the planet.

The report points out that globally, three billion people are malnourished, leading to a need to change the way we all eat in order to reduce food production. By switching to a diet that’s more beneficial to the global population, humans can prevent as many as 11.6 premature deaths while also avoiding hurting the planet.

Sunday, 27 January 2019 00:00

Gene Editing Could Make Tomatoes Spicier

Tomatoes are used in some of our favorite spicy foods. Yet one bite into a tomato makes it clear that the fruit is far from spicy. That means if you want to make a flavorful tomato dish, you’ll need to add plenty of other spices to give your meal the desired taste.

But scientists may have a better way. Through gene editing, researchers are looking at ways to merge the tomato with a much more nutritional fruit: the chili pepper. The goal of the merger is to incorporate more capsaicinoids into tomatoes, since they’re more commonly eaten than chili peppers. Capsaicinoids are the molecules that give red chili peppers their spiciness, but they also have health benefits.

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