Brian Vastag

All Stories by Brian Vastag

  1. Health & Medicine

    Waking Up: Brain stimulator spurs dramatic improvement years after injury

    A man who spent 6 years in a minimally conscious state regained the ability to talk, eat, and move after doctors implanted electrodes deep in his brain.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Statin reduces dementia risk

    A popular anticholesterol drug reduces older adults' chances of developing dementia.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Grim Reap Purr: Nursing home feline senses the end

    A nursing home cat in Rhode Island knows when the end is nigh, predicting with uncanny accuracy when residents will die.

  4. Health & Medicine

    AIDS Abated: Genome scans illuminate immune control of HIV

    Three genetic variations picked out by powerful whole-genome scans help explain why some people develop AIDS quickly while others keep it at bay.

  5. Health & Medicine

    fryPod: Lightning strikes iPod users

    A jogger wearing an iPod music player suffered second-degree ear and neck burns, burst eardrums, and jaw fractures after lightning struck a nearby tree.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Brain stem cells help Parkinson’s monkeys

    Transplants of human-brain stem cells triggered signs of improvement in monkeys with a Parkinson's disease–like disorder.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Smoke This: Parkinson’s is rarer among tobacco users

    Life-long smoking cuts the chance of getting Parkinson's disease by about half.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Stents Stumble

    After a meteoric rise, stents coated with drugs to prevent renarrowing of clogged arteries have begun to fall from favor among cardiologists.

  9. Brain Gain

    The brain constantly sprouts new neurons, a recently discovered phenomenon that neuroscientists and drugmakers are working to understand and harness.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Guilt by Association: Whole-genome scans yield disease clues

    In a sweeping demonstration of the power of the new biology, researchers have linked two dozen genetic variations to six major diseases.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Animal-to-human diseases could be right at home

    A new map of where SARS or Ebola might erupt next highlights North America and Western Europe as likely sources.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Beware the bats

    Fruit bats in Bangladesh regularly trigger small outbreaks of Nipah virus, a measleslike pathogen that causes brain inflammation and death.