The first time someone offered me a seat on the subway, I reflexively declined, and then stewed about it all the way home. Sheesh, I thought, do I really look like an old lady in need of assistance? When I got off the train, I swear my knees felt a bit creaky as I clomped up the subway steps.
When we’re busy doing things we love — which for me these days means playing with my two young...
Letters to the Editor
Tough choices07/28/2019 - 06:15 Health, Biomedicine, Anthropology
Discussing shared health goals with vaccine-hesitant parents may help doctors get those parents on board, Aimee Cunningham reported in “Finding common ground can reduce parents’ hesitation about vaccines” (SN: 6/8/19, p. 16).
Reader Dona Chilcoat objected to a photo in the story that showed a crying baby getting a shot. She thought the image might help reinforce anti-...
Aging is inevitable, but the health declines that appear to be part of the package may not be, according to provocative research about how our attitudes about aging influence our physical health.07/28/2019 - 06:00 Science & Society, Health
It’s no surprise that the negative stereotypes about growing older that are pervasive in many societies could make people feel worse about themselves; the pioneering gerontologist Robert N...
While fungal diseases have devastated many animal and plant species, humans and other mammals have mostly been spared. That’s probably because mammals have body temperatures too warm for most fungi to replicate as well as powerful immune systems. But climate change may be challenging those defenses, bringing new fungal threats to human health, a microbiologist warns.
From 2012 to 2015,...
Thalidomide helps severe cases —07/25/2019 - 13:00 Health, Science & Society
The drug that was banned because of its crippling effect on babies when taken as a tranquilizer and sleeping pill by pregnant women is being studied for its use in Hansen’s disease, or leprosy. Thalidomide has been tried on 22 leprosy patients … on an experimental basis with the permission of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.… The primary action...
For some women with endometriosis, the pain doesn’t stop after surgical and hormonal treatments. It can persist, triggered by muscle spasms that ripple through the pelvic floor. Now, a small study suggests that Botox, best known for smoothing wrinkles, could quell those spasms and relieve that pain.
Thirteen women diagnosed with the disorder, in which tissue similar to what lines the...
Aiming laser lights into mice’s brains can make them “see” lines that aren’t actually there. The results, described online July 18 in Science, represent the first time scientists have created a specific visual perception with laboratory trickery.The work is “technically amazing,” says neuroscientist and psychiatrist Conor Liston at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. “I think every...
News in Brief
The World Health Organization has declared Congo’s yearlong Ebola virus outbreak a public health emergency, due to a high risk of the disease spreading to neighboring countries.
The organization said, however, that it does not consider the outbreak a global threat.
“Our risk assessment remains that the risk of Ebola spread in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region remains...
A praying mantis depends on precision targeting when hunting insects. Now, scientists have identified nerve cells that help calculate the depth perception required for these predators’ surgical strikes.
In addition to providing clues about insect vision, the principles of these cells’ behavior, described June 28 in Nature Communications, may also lead to advances in robot vision or other...
Summer brings the heat — and in some cases a lot of it, as those who suffered through record-breaking heat waves in Europe and South Asia in June can attest. But the season also ushers in long days filled with plenty of possibilities for outdoor fun. Parks fill with picnickers. Mountain trails fill with hikers. And beaches and pools swarm with swimmers trying to beat the heat.