Reviews & Previews
The Diet Myth
Overlook Press, $28.95
For 10 days, Tom Spector lived off McDonald’s.
He had chicken nuggets or Big Macs for meals, Coke to wash them down and McFlurries for...
Ask not what your gadgets can do for you; ask what you can do for your gadgets.
In the race to create bionic humans, researchers are nanometers away from turning people into device chargers. Instruments called nanogenerators can harvest energy from swinging limbs, jiggling skin and ballooning lungs. And that energy can power wearable and implantable gizmos, such as pacemakers, muscle...
You’ve already had a muffin. And a half. You know you’re full. But there they are, fluffy and delicious, waiting for the passersby in the office. Just thinking about them makes your mouth water.
Maybe if you just slice one into quarters. I mean, that barely counts…
And then we give in, our brains overriding our body’s better judgment. When I catch myself once again polishing off a...
A British man has been excreting live poliovirus for an estimated 28 years.
An immune deficiency allowed weakened virus from oral polio vaccines to replicate and change within the man’s body. This case is not unique, but it’s the longest-lasting example of vaccine-derived poliovirus on record, researchers report August 27 in...
People infected with HIV benefit from starting a drug regimen early, an international study finds.
HIV depletes immune cells called CD4 T cells. Normally there are 500 to 1,200 of these cells per cubic millimeter of blood. HIV can drive that amount below 350 or 250, levels that have typically marked starting points for treatment. Some evidence had suggested that treating HIV-positive...
Cancer DNA in the blood can signal breast cancer’s return long before scans spot it, a new study shows.
A blood test that identifies tumor DNA circulating in the blood predicted 80 percent of breast cancer relapses after surgery and chemotherapy, researchers report August 26 in Science Translational...
Seals harbor the closest known relative of the hepatitis A virus.
Researchers discovered the virus, known as phopivirus, lurking in the organs of harbor seals and a harp seal that died of other causes along the New England coast. Phopivirus is closely related to hepatitis A, which in humans can cause nausea, fever, and jaundice. Like hepatitis A, the new virus appears to primarily infect...
News in Brief
By tweaking a single gene, scientists have turned average mice into supersmart daredevils. The findings are preliminary but hint at therapies that may one day ease the symptoms of such disorders as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, scientists report August 14 in Neuropsychopharmacology.
This just in: Companies use social media to encourage you to buy their products.
A recent and much-discussed example of such marketing involved pregnant reality television star Kim Kardashian, who was paid to publicly praise the morning sickness drug Diclegis. FDA regulations...
Amid the mountains of northeast Turkey, people whistle messages that ring across valleys like ornate bird songs. Unlike with hearing spoken languages, listeners who understand this rare form of communication rely on both sides of their brains, a new study suggests.
For most people, the left side of the brain does the heavy lifting in...