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  • News

    Teens born from assisted pregnancies may have higher blood pressure

    Assisted pregnancies give infertile couples the chance at a child. But kids conceived with reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization, or IVF, were more likely to develop high blood pressure as adolescents than their naturally conceived counterparts, a new study finds.  

    Of 52 teens conceived with technological help, eight had hypertension, defined as blood pressure...

    09/05/2018 - 06:00 Health, Development, Epigenetics
  • News in Brief

    Officials raise Puerto Rico’s death toll from Hurricane Maria to nearly 3,000 people

    The Puerto Rican government has officially updated its tally of lives lost to Hurricane Maria to an estimated 2,975. That number, reported August 28 in a government-commissioned study by George Washington University in Washington D.C., dwarfs the island’s previous count of 64, which officials later acknowledged was far too low.

    The study covers September 2017 through February 2018 — two...

    08/28/2018 - 18:03 Health
  • News

    The United States and Brazil top the list of nations with the most gun deaths

    Gun deaths occur worldwide, but a new survey reveals the hot spots for those that occur outside of war zones.

    In 2016, firearm-related homicides, suicides and accidental deaths were highly concentrated. For example, just six countries — the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala — accounted for about half of the estimated number of gun deaths unrelated to armed...

    08/28/2018 - 15:30 Health, Science & Society
  • News

    As algae blooms increase, scientists seek better ways to predict these toxic tides

    The stench of thousands of dead, bloated fish has hung over the beaches of western Florida for months — casualties of an algae bloom that revisits the coastline almost every year. This year’s bloom is particularly intense — and toxic. Called red tides due to the water’s murky reddish tint, the blooms emit a neurotoxin that kills sea creatures, including dolphins and endangered sea turtles, and...

    08/28/2018 - 09:00 Health, Agriculture, Climate
  • Science Visualized

    Air pollution is shaving a year off our average life expectancy

    Breathing dirty air exacts a price — specifically, months, or even years, off of life.

    On average worldwide, air pollution shaves a year off of human life expectancy, scientists report August 22 in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. In more polluted regions of Asia and Africa, lives are shortened by 1.5 to two years on average.

    The study, using 2016 country data from...

    08/22/2018 - 13:35 Health, Pollution
  • Science Ticker

    There’s a new cervical cancer screening option

    For cervical cancer screening, there’s a new option in town.

    Women ages 30 to 65 can opt to have human papillomavirus, or HPV, testing alone every five years, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

    HPV testing alone joins two other alternatives that are still endorsed: an HPV test plus a Pap test every five years, or a Pap test alone every...

    08/21/2018 - 11:00 Health, Cancer
  • News

    A resurrected gene may protect elephants from cancer

    Elephants rarely succumb to cancer. That’s surprising given how large the animals grow and how long they can live, which should provide more opportunities for cells to morph into cancer cells. A newly described gene that was brought back from the dead may take part in protecting the animals from the disease.

    A deep dive into elephants’ evolutionary history revealed a defunct gene called...

    08/14/2018 - 14:23 Health, Genetics, Animals
  • News

    The first gene-silencing drug wins FDA approval

    A Nobel Prize–winning discovery — that small double-stranded RNA molecules can silence genes by interrupting the translation of DNA’s instructions into proteins — is finally delivering on its medical promise.

    The first drug that takes advantage of this natural biological process, called RNA interference, was approved August 10 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It targets a rare...

    08/10/2018 - 15:52 Biomedicine, Clinical Trials, Health, Genetics
  • News

    Pregnant women’s use of opioids is on the rise

    Pregnant women aren’t immune to the escalating opioid epidemic.

    Data on hospital deliveries in 28 U.S. states shows the rate of opioid use among pregnant women has quadrupled, from 1.5 per 1,000 women in 1999 to 6.5 per 1,000 women in 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

    The highest increases in opioid use among pregnant women were in Maine, New Mexico...

    08/09/2018 - 16:00 Health, Human Development
  • News

    A newly approved drug could be a boon for treating malaria

    The first new treatment in 60 years for a particularly stubborn kind of malaria is raising hopes that it might help eradicate the disease, even though the treatment can cause a dangerous side effect.

    Called tafenoquine, the drug targets the parasite that causes relapsing malaria. Plasmodium vivax infects an estimated 8.5 million people, mainly in Asia and Latin America. Each time...

    08/09/2018 - 10:00 Health, Microbes, Genetics