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  • News in Brief

    U.S. heart attack mortality reached a two-decade low in 2014

    Heart-healthy changes to diet and exercise along with a national focus on improving treatment and recovery from heart attacks appears to be making a difference.

    Fewer older adults are having heart attacks, and fewer of those who do die as a result, according to an analysis of more than 4.3 million U.S. Medicare patients that spanned two decades up to 2014.

    The percentage of...

    03/15/2019 - 11:30 Health
  • News

    Flickers and buzzes sweep mouse brains of Alzheimer’s plaques

    Fast clicking sounds can boost brainpower in mice with signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Like flickering lights, these external sounds spur a type of brain wave that seemed to sweep disease-related plaques from mice’s brains, researchers report in the March 14 Cell.It’s too early to say whether the same sorts of flickers and clicks could help people with Alzheimer’s. If so, the treatment would...

    03/14/2019 - 11:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    Hidden compounds in many medications can trigger allergies

    For some patients, the so-called inactive ingredients in pills may be more active than previously thought.

    Every pill contains a pharmaceutical drug with some therapeutic effect on the body, as well as a mixture of inactive compounds added to boost the medication’s effectiveness or simply to make the pill more palatable. Inactive ingredients are generally considered harmless. But many...

    03/13/2019 - 14:00 Health
  • Science Stats

    Pharmaceutical abuse sent more than 350,000 people to the ER in 2016

    The misuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications resulted in an estimated 358,000 trips to U.S. emergency departments in 2016 — and almost half of those cases involved young people ages 15 to 34, according to a new study based on a national public health surveillance system.  

    The analysis, reported online March 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, was based...

    03/13/2019 - 07:00 Health
  • News in Brief

    Stroke victims with busy immune responses may also see mental declines

    How active a person’s immune system is soon after a stroke may be tied to later mental declines, a new study finds.

    Researchers took blood samples from 24 stroke patients up to nine times over the course of a year. Twelve of the patients also completed a mental-skills test at four points during that time. Patients who had highly active immune cells on the second day after a stroke were...

    03/12/2019 - 09:48 Health
  • Editor's Note

    How newsy science becomes Science News

    Helping people stay up to speed on the latest advances in science is a big part of our mission at Science News. We’re aiming for sophisticated and succinct, in a way that works for readers’ busy lives. That means making tough decisions on which of the countless scientific papers being published are worthy of coverage and what breaking news has science that needs explanation and...
    03/07/2019 - 06:15 Science & Society, Health, Earth
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers have questions about Ultima Thule, thirsty plants and vitamin D

    Which way is up?

    Initial observations of the Kuiper Belt object MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, suggested it had a snowmanlike shape. Ultima Thule’s two lobes are connected by a narrow neck that appears brighter than the rest of the space rock’s surface, Lisa Grossman reported in “New Horizons shows Ultima Thule looks like a snowman, or maybe BB-8” (SN: 2/2/19, p. 7). 

    “The photo of...

    03/07/2019 - 06:00 Astronomy, Plants, Health
  • News in Brief

    FDA has approved the first ketamine-based antidepressant

    Doctors have a new weapon in the fight against particularly pernicious depression: a drug based on the powerful anesthetic ketamine.

    The drug — called Spravato and developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. — was approved on March 5 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for severely depressed people who haven’t responded to two courses of other treatments. The first...

    03/06/2019 - 16:02 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    A second HIV patient has gone into remission after a stem cell transplant

    For only the second time in recorded medical history, a man’s HIV infection has gone into remission.

    The patient — positive for the virus that causes AIDS since 2003 — had received a blood stem cell transplant in 2016 as treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. The blood stem cells came from a donor with a mutation that makes cells resistant to an HIV infection...

    03/05/2019 - 11:37 Health
  • News

    Ripples race in the brain as memories are recalled

    Fast waves of activity ripple in the brain a half second before a person calls up a memory. The finding, published in the March 1 Science, hint that these brain waves might be a key part of a person’s ability to remember.

    The results come from a study of 14 people with epilepsy who had electrodes placed on their brains as part of their treatment. Those electrodes also allowed scientists...

    03/05/2019 - 07:00 Health, Neuroscience