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  • News

    Zika may harm nearly 1 in 7 babies exposed to the virus in the womb

    Babies exposed to a Zika infection while in the womb are not out of the woods even if they look healthy at birth.

    Nearly 1 in 10 of 1,450 babies examined developed neurological or developmental problems, such as seizures, hearing loss, impaired vision or difficulty crawling, a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds. It’s the first tally of the health of...

    08/07/2018 - 17:27 Health, Development
  • Science Ticker

    Rat lungworm disease is popping up in the mainland United States

    Health officials have confirmed 12 cases of rat lungworm disease in the continental United States since January 2011 — including six patients who had not traveled abroad but still contracted the illness caused by a parasite endemic to tropical regions in Asia and Hawaii.

    While the disease can be mild, it can become extreme and cause severe neurological problems. In most of the new cases...

    08/03/2018 - 09:00 Health, Animals, Microbes
  • News

    Hurricane Maria’s death toll in Puerto Rico topped 1,100, a new study says

    The question of how many died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria has yet another answer.

    Using vital statistics records from hard-hit Puerto Rico, researchers estimate that 1,139 more people died than expected from September 20, 2017 — the day the Category 5 hurricane made landfall — through that December.

    Alexis Santos-Lozada of Penn State and Jeffrey Howard of the University of...

    08/02/2018 - 14:46 Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Newfound airway cells may breathe life into tackling cystic fibrosis

    Meet the ionocyte. This newly discovered cell may be the star of future cystic fibrosis therapies. Researchers have found that the gene tied to the disease is very active in the cells, which line the air passages of the lungs.

    While the cells are rare, making up only 1 to 2 percent of cells that line the airways, they seem to play an outsized role in keeping lungs clear. The...

    08/01/2018 - 17:06 Health, Cells
  • 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