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  • News in Brief

    Here’s how many U.S. kids are vaping marijuana

    More than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students — or nearly 1 in 11 — have vaped marijuana, a new study suggests.

    Of those students who reported e-cigarette use in 2016, researchers estimate that nearly 1 in 3 high school students, or roughly 1.7 million, have used pot in the devices. Nearly 1 in 4 middle school students who reported vaping, or 425,000, have done the same, the...

    09/17/2018 - 11:00 Health
  • News

    Brain features may reveal if placebo pills could treat chronic pain

    Certain brain and personality characteristics may help predict whether a sugar pill can provide relief to someone suffering from chronic pain.

    In a small study, patients with persistent back pain who responded to a placebo treatment benefitted from up to a 33 percent reduction in their pain intensity. These people had distinctive features in their brains and certain personality traits,...

    09/13/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience, Health, Clinical Trials
  • News

    A new antibiotic uses sneaky tactics to kill drug-resistant superbugs

    Drug-resistant bacteria have a new challenger.

    A new molecule can kill deadly strains of common bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumonia, that are resistant to most existing antibiotics. The drug works differently from currently available antibiotics, potentially making it harder for bacteria to develop resistance, researchers report September 12 in Nature.

    Most...

    09/12/2018 - 13:00 Chemistry, Biomedicine, Health
  • News in Brief

    How obesity may harm memory and learning

    Obesity can affect brainpower, and a study in mice may help explain how.

    In the brains of obese mice, rogue immune cells chomp nerve cell connections that are important for learning and memory, scientists report September 10 in the Journal of Neuroscience. Drugs that stop this synapse destruction may ultimately prove useful for protecting the brain against the immune cell assault.

    ...

    09/10/2018 - 13:06 Neuroscience
  • 50 years ago, a pessimistic view for heart transplants

    Transplanted hearts will be shortlivedNow that heart recipients can realistically look forward to leaving the hospital and taking up a semblance of normal life, the question arises, what kind of semblance, and for how long? South Africa’s Dr. Christiaan Barnard, performer of the first heart transplant, has a sobering view…. “A transplanted heart will last only five years — if we’re...
    09/06/2018 - 07:00 Health
  • 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

    Newfound skull tunnels may speed immune cells’ trek to brain injuries

    Skulls seem solid, but the thick bones are actually riddled with tiny tunnels.

    Microscopic channels cut through the skull bones of people and mice, scientists found. In mice, inflammatory immune cells use these previously hidden channels to travel from the bone marrow of the skull to the brain, the team reports August 27 in Nature Neuroscience. It’s not yet known whether immune cells...

    08/31/2018 - 07:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    CRISPR gene editing relieves muscular dystrophy symptoms in dogs

    Gene editing can reverse muscular dystrophy in dogs.

    Using CRISPR/Cas9 in beagle puppies, scientists have fixed a genetic mutation that causes muscle weakness and degeneration, researchers report online August 30 in Science.

    Corrections to the gene responsible for muscular dystrophy have been made before in mice and human muscle cells in dishes, but never in a larger mammal. The...

    08/30/2018 - 14:00 Biomedicine, Genetics
  • 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