A long-standing “rule” for women in labor has been challenged again.
During labor, the cervix – the narrow, lower part of the uterus – dilates, or opens, to allow for a baby’s birth. For decades, the guidance has been that the cervix should dilate by at least 1 centimeter per hour. But a study in two African countries found a slower rate of dilation for many women who went on to have...
One person infected with strep bacteria might get a painful sore throat; another might face a life-threatening blood infection. Now, scientists are trying to pin down why.
Variation between individuals’ immune systems may not be entirely to blame. Instead, extra genes picked up by some pathogens can cause different strains to have wildly different effects on the immune system, even in...
A new antibacterial ointment could help take down drug-resistant bacteria.
In human skin samples and mice, the medicine completely cleared wounds of MRSA, the strain of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to methicillin and other antibiotics, and antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Both microbes are known to cause serious infections in hospital patients. Researchers in the...
Internist Gail Povar has many female patients making their way through menopause, some having a tougher time than others. Several women with similar stories stand out in her mind. Each came to Povar’s Silver Spring, Md., office within a year or two of stopping her period, complaining of frequent hot flashes and poor sleep at night. “They just felt exhausted all the time,”...
Cold weather often brings with it hot takes on so-called man flu. That’s the phenomenon in which the flu hits men harder than women — or, depending on who you ask, when men exaggerate regular cold symptoms into flu symptoms. In time for the 2017–2018 flu season, one researcher has examined the scientific evidence for and against man flu.
“The concept of man flu, as commonly defined, is...
Life expectancy in the United States has decreased for the second year in a row, the first back-to-back drops in more than 50 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
In 2016, life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years for the U.S. population as a whole. That’s 0.1 year less than in 2015. For men, life expectancy decreased from 76.3 years in 2015 to 76.1 years in...
Globs of an inflammation protein beckon an Alzheimer’s protein and cause it to accumulate in the brain, a study in mice finds. The results, described in the Dec. 21/28 Nature, add new details to the relationship between brain inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers suspect that this inflammatory cycle is an early step in the disease, which raises the prospect of being able to...
News in Brief
High school students who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are more likely to report planning or attempting suicide compared with their heterosexual peers, a new study finds.
In a nationwide survey in 2015, 40 percent of adolescents who identified as one of these sexual minorities or said they were unsure of their orientation reported seriously considering suicide. Thirty-five percent...
Living near a fracking site appears to be detrimental to infant health, a study eyeing the gas production practice in Pennsylvania suggests.
Babies of moms living within one kilometer of a hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, site in the state had a 25 percent greater chance of being born underweight than did babies whose moms lived at least three kilometers away, researchers report online...
Year in Review
There have been hints for years that playing football might come at a cost. But a study this year dealt one of the hardest hits yet to the sport, detailing the extensive damage in football players’ brains, and not just those who played professionally.
In a large collection of former NFL players’ postmortem brains, nearly every sample...