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Stories by Mike May

Cancer Death Rate Depends on Geography

Cancer Death Rate Depends on Geography

Despite a huge amount of funding and research, regional and individual differences in cancer trends make it a hard disease to wipe out

June 30, 2014 — Mike May

Snap, Crackle, Bang

The ancient Chinese invented fireworks to scare off 10-foot-tall mountain men

August 1, 2010 — Mike May

Thorny Fence

The invention of barbed wire was a huge commercial success--and the subject of furious legal battles

August 1, 2010 — Mike May

Electronic Pathogens

The first computer virus spawned an arms race in software

August 1, 2010 — Mike May

On the Parasite's Trail

Scientists have traced malaria to its first human victims a mere 10,000 years ago

August 1, 2010 — Mike May


A rise in maternity ward deaths led one physician to discover the importance of hand washing

August 1, 2010 — Mike May

Noodling the Noodles

It took thousands of years to go from mush to spaghetti

August 1, 2010 — Mike May

Origins: Going Back to Where the Story Really Starts

Sometimes we forget where a story really starts. Are electric cars new? Where did malaria start? Who invented spaghetti? Read on, for the surprising origins of many strange and familiar things

August 1, 2010 — Brendan Borrell, Melinda Wenner Moyer and Mike May

A Better Lens on Disease

Computerized pathology slides may help doctors make faster and more accurate diagnoses

May 1, 2010 — Mike May

Type It Anywhere

An alumni reunion leads to technology that could banish undersize keypads

December 16, 2002 — Mike May