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  • Science Stats

    About 1 in 5 teens has had a concussion

    Nearly 1 in 5 adolescents has suffered at least one concussion, according to a survey of U.S. teens. And 5.5 percent reported two or more concussions diagnosed in their lifetimes, researchers report in the Sept. 26 JAMA.

    About 13,000 eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders participated in the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey, an annual national questionnaire of adolescent behavior and health...

    09/26/2017 - 11:00 Health
  • Feature

    The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing

    To the residents of Donora, Pa., a mill town in a crook of the Monongahela River, the daily haze from nearby zinc and steel plants was the price of keeping their families fed. But on October 27, 1948, the city awoke to an unusually sooty sky, even for Donora. The next day, the high school quarterbacks couldn’t see their teammates well enough to complete a single pass.

    The town was...

    09/19/2017 - 07:00 Pollution, Climate, Health
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Big Chicken’ chronicles the public health dangers of using antibiotics in farming

    Big ChickenMaryn McKennaNational Geographic, $27

    Journalist Maryn McKenna opens Big Chicken by teasing our taste buds with a description of the succulent roasted chickens she bought at an open-air market in Paris. The birds tasted nothing like the bland, uniform chicken offered at U.S. grocery stores. This meat had an earthy, lush, animal flavor. From this tantalizing oh-so-European...

    09/17/2017 - 08:00 Agriculture, Health, Science & Society
  • News

    When a fungus invades the lungs, immune cells can tell it to self-destruct

    Immune cells can turn certain invaders on themselves, forcing them to prematurely self-destruct, researchers have discovered.

    In mice, when white blood cells in the lungs engulf spores of a common airborne fungus, these immune cells release an enzyme that sends the fungal cells into programmed cell death. That prevents the spores from setting up shop in the lungs and sparking a...

    09/07/2017 - 17:01 Immune Science, Health
  • News

    How gut bacteria may affect anxiety

    Tiny molecules in the brain may help gut bacteria hijack people’s emotions.

    Bacteria living in the human gut have strange influence over mood, depression and more, but it has been unclear exactly how belly-dwelling bacteria exercise remote control of the brain (SN: 4/2/16, p. 23). Now research in rodents suggests that gut microbes may alter the inventory of microRNAs — molecules that...

    08/29/2017 - 15:20 Health, Mental Health
  • Feature

    Birth control research is moving beyond the pill

    Mention “the pill,” and only one kind of drug comes to mind. The claim that oral contraceptives have on that simple noun testifies to the pill’s singular effect in the United States. Introduced in 1960, the pill gave women reliable access to birth control for the first time. The opportunity to delay having children opened the door to higher education and professional careers for many women....

    08/22/2017 - 12:30 Health, Human Development
  • News

    A new tool could one day improve Lyme disease diagnosis

    A new testing method can distinguish between early Lyme disease and a similar tick-borne illness, researchers report. The approach may one day lead to a reliable diagnostic test for Lyme, an illness that can be challenging to identify.

    Using patient blood serum samples, the test accurately discerned early Lyme disease from the similar southern tick‒associated rash illness, or STARI, up...

    08/16/2017 - 16:10 Biomedicine, Health, Microbiology
  • News

    More U.S. adults are drinking, and more heavily

    The United States has a serious drinking problem. Since 2001, heavy drinking and alcohol use disorder have risen dramatically, according to a new study that surveyed tens of thousands of adults. The numbers reveal “a public health crisis,” the authors say.

    The increases were especially large among those 65 years and older, minorities and women, researchers report online August 9 in JAMA...

    08/09/2017 - 13:30 Health, Science & Society
  • The Science Life

    To combat cholera in Yemen, one scientist goes back to basics

    Rowa Mohammed Assayaghi teaches people how to wash their hands. In Yemen, that’s life-saving work.

    The Middle Eastern country is facing the world’s largest cholera outbreak, with nearly 409,000 suspected cases and 1,885 deaths from late April to late July, the World Health Organization reports. That tally is higher than 2015’s worldwide reported cholera deaths. A bacterial infection...

    08/07/2017 - 13:00 Science & Society, Health
  • News

    Spread of misfolded proteins could trigger type 2 diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes and prion disease seem like an odd couple, but they have something in common: clumps of misfolded, damaging proteins.

    Now new research finds that a dose of corrupted pancreas proteins induces normal ones to misfold and clump. This raises the possibility that, like prion disease, type 2 diabetes could be triggered by these deformed proteins spreading between cells or even...

    08/04/2017 - 11:30 Biomedicine, Health