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  • News in Brief

    Experts advise: Start colorectal screening at 45, not 50

    Colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 45 rather than 50, according to new guidelines released May 30 by the American Cancer Society. The recommendation is a response to the steady rise over decades in the colorectal cancer rate in younger Americans (SN: 4/1/17, p. 5).

    For people at average risk for colorectal cancer — those without a personal or family history of the disease...

    05/31/2018 - 10:50 Health, Cancer
  • News in Brief

    Hurricane Maria killed at least 4,645 people in Puerto Rico, a study estimates

    Hurricane Maria and its chaotic aftermath in Puerto Rico led to at least 4,645 deaths, according to a new estimate based on household surveys. That’s thousands more than the 64 official storm-related deaths counted from death certificates.

    The Category 5 storm hit the U.S. Caribbean territory on September 20, 2017, bringing down trees, houses and the electricity system. From then until...

    05/29/2018 - 17:04 Health, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Keeping people within U.S. blood pressure guidelines saves lives

    The first estimate of how many deaths and heart problems could be avoided under new blood pressure guidelines shows it’s well worth it for the U.S. population to get its blood pressure under control, researchers say.

    The new guidelines, announced in 2017 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, redefined hypertension as a blood pressure reading of 130/80...

    05/29/2018 - 07:00 Health
  • For Daily Use

    Even in the shade, a car’s interior can get lethally hot

    Don’t count on a shady parking spot to save a child left in the back seat on a hot day.

    A new analysis of temperatures inside parked cars reveals that a toddler in a sunbathed vehicle would reach lethal body temperatures faster than one left in the shade. But even in a shaded car, a child could die from overheating within a few hours, researchers report online May 23 in Temperature.

    ...
    05/25/2018 - 09:00 Health, Technology
  • News

    Here’s what we know about the deadly Nipah virus

    KOCHI, India — The rare and deadly Nipah virus has emerged in southern India, killing at least 11 people and causing more than 25 others to be hospitalized. Although global health officials consider that, so far, to be a relatively small outbreak, they’re worried.

    Nipah is on the World Health Organization’s priority list of emerging diseases that could cause a global pandemic, alongside...

    05/25/2018 - 07:00 Health
  • Experiences

    What genetic tests from 23andMe, Veritas and Genos really told me about my health

    Direct-to-consumer genetic testing first came on the market about a decade ago, but I resisted the temptation to see what health information is hidden in my DNA — until now.

    As a molecular biology writer, I’ve been skeptical that the field of genetics is mature enough to accurately predict health (see related article). What finally motivated me to send away my DNA in the mail was the...

    05/22/2018 - 12:00 Genetics, Health
  • News in Brief

    Black children commit suicide at twice the rate of white kids

    Suicide rates for children ages 5 to 12 are roughly twice as high for black children as for white children, according to new data. But for adolescents ages 13 to 17, the pattern flips, with white kids having higher suicide rates, researchers report online May 21 in JAMA Pediatrics.

    The new study is based on an analysis of suicide rates among children ages 5 to 17 from 2001 to 2015....

    05/22/2018 - 09:00 Health, Mental Health
  • Science Ticker

    Ebola vaccinations begin in Congo

    Emergency teams responding to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Congo began on May 21 inoculating those most at risk of contracting the virus: health workers and people who have come into contact with Ebola victims. It’s the first real-world test for an experimental vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV. In field trials in Guinea and Sierra Leone in 2015, this vaccine effectively protected people from Zaire...

    05/21/2018 - 17:58 Health
  • News

    What we know about the Ebola outbreak, and the vaccine that might help

    Ebola has reemerged. The virus has killed at least 25 people since early April in an ongoing outbreak in Congo.  And on May 18, the World Health Organization declared a “high” public health risk in Congo, as well as a “high risk” of the disease spreading to neighboring countries, but stopped short of declaring a global public health emergency.

    Most of the 43 confirmed and suspected cases...

    05/18/2018 - 19:19 Health
  • Scicurious

    To regulate fecal transplants, FDA has to first answer a serious question: What is poop?

    When severe, chronic diarrhea strikes, sometimes the only cure is … more feces. It might seem bizarre, but a transplant of healthy human stool and its bacterial ecosystem can mean freedom from a painful, life-threatening illness.  

    The transplants — called fecal microbiota transplants, or FMTs — are becoming more and more popular. So popular that the stool bank OpenBiome has supplied...

    05/18/2018 - 10:00 Health