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  • News

    A medical mystery reveals a new host for the rat lungworm parasite

    When a 78-year-old woman went to a hospital in Guangzhou, China, in November 2012 complaining of a headache, drowsiness and a stiff neck, doctors initially were puzzled. The patient had meningitis, but no signs of bacteria or viruses that can cause the illness. Then a cerebrospinal fluid test revealed she had a high number of white blood cells called eosinophils, a clue that she was fighting a...

    07/30/2018 - 17:00 Health, Animals, Microbes
  • News

    This tick may play a part in gumming up your arteries

    It sounds bonkers that a tick bite might make meat eaters allergic to their steaks and ribs, but it’s true. Now new research has added a potential twist: The source of this tick-related sensitivity to red meat may also be linked to coronary artery disease.

    A bite from the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, can trigger antibodies to a sugar called alpha-gal, found in many mammals but...

    07/30/2018 - 07:00 Health, Immune Science
  • Science Ticker

    A new Ebola species has been found in bats in Sierra Leone

    A new species of Ebola virus has been discovered in bats in Sierra Leone, the country’s government announced July 26. Researchers looking to identify new viruses before the pathogens spill over into human populations found the new Ebola strain while sampling bats in the northern Bombali district. This is the sixth known species of the virus.

    RNA analysis of the virus revealed that it is...

    07/27/2018 - 17:42 Health
  • News

    Lowering blood pressure may help the brain

    Keeping a tight lid on blood pressure isn’t just good for the heart. It may also help the brain. 

    People given intensive drug treatment for high blood pressure were less likely to develop an early form of memory loss, according to preliminary results from a major clinical trial. This approach reduced the rate of early memory loss, called mild cognitive impairment, by around 19 percent,...

    07/25/2018 - 09:00 Health, Clinical Trials, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    What leech gut bacteria can tell us about drug resistance

    Antibiotic resistance in leeches really sucks.

    A bacterium found in leeches’ guts needs exposure to only 0.01 micrograms per milliliter of ciprofloxacin to become resistant to that drug, scientists report July 24 in mBio. That’s about 400 times less than the amount of antibiotics thought to trigger drug resistance in this species of bacteria, says study coauthor Joerg Graf, a biologist...

    07/24/2018 - 16:35 Health
  • News in Brief

    Pediatricians warn against chemical additives in food for kids

    The American Academy of Pediatrics is cautioning parents and pediatricians to avoid exposing children to eight chemicals found in food and in plastic packaging. The chemicals may be especially harmful to kids due to their small size, says the report published July 23 in Pediatrics. Pregnant women should also avoid the chemicals. And lower-income families who eat a lot of prepackaged foods...

    07/23/2018 - 18:15 Health, Nutrition, Toxicology
  • News

    How a variation on Botox could be used to treat pain

    Painkillers crafted with a part of the wrinkle-smoothing drug Botox provide long-term pain relief in mice.

    Researchers added the modified Botox to molecules that target pain-messaging nerve cells. Mice given a single spinal injection of the new drugs showed signs of pain relief for the full duration of the experiments, around three weeks, researchers report online July 18 in Science...

    07/18/2018 - 15:52 Health, Neuroscience
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘The Poisoned City’ chronicles Flint’s water crisis

    The Poisoned CityAnna ClarkMetropolitan Books, $30

    America is built on lead. Networks of aging pipes made from the bluish-gray metal bring water into millions of U.S. homes. But when lead, a poison to the nervous system, gets into drinking water — as happened in Flint, Mich. — the heavy metal can cause irreparable harm (SN: 3/19/16, p. 8). In The Poisoned City, journalist Anna Clark...

    07/17/2018 - 07:00 Health, Toxicology, Science & Society
  • Science Ticker

    Publicity over a memory test Trump took could skew its results

    When President Donald Trump took a mental test as part of his physical in January, the results called attention to far more than his fitness for office. (He passed with a perfect score, according to his physician.) It put a test commonly used to catch early signs of dementia in the spotlight. That publicity could lead to missed diagnoses, researchers warn July 16 in JAMA Neurology.

    ...

    07/16/2018 - 11:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    Pregnancy depression is on the rise, a survey suggests

    Today’s young women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety during pregnancy than their mothers were, a generation-spanning survey finds.

    From 1990 to 1992, about 17 percent of young pregnant women in southwest England who participated in the study had signs of depressed mood. But the generation that followed, including these women’s daughters and sons’ partners, fared worse...

    07/13/2018 - 11:00 Neuroscience, Health