Everybody agrees that medical treatments should be based on sound evidence. Hardly anybody agrees on what sort of evidence counts as sound.
Sure, some people say the “gold standard” of medical evidence is the randomized controlled clinical trial. But such trials have their flaws, and translating their findings into sound real-world advice isn’t so straightforward. Besides, the best...
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Moody red lighting in a lab is helping researchers figure out what fruit flies like best about sex.
The question has arisen as scientists try to tease out the neurobiological steps in how the brain’s natural reward system can get hijacked in alcoholism, says neuroscientist Galit Shohat-Ophir of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.
Male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster)...
Pathogen detectors built into plastic patches could someday spare you food poisoning.
Carlos Filipe, a chemical engineer at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues have developed a new kind of flexible film that’s coated in molecules that glow when they touch E. coli cells. This type of sensor also glows in the presence of molecules secreted by E. coli, so the material...
How a nasty, contagious stomach virus lays claim to the digestive system just got a little less mysterious.
In mice, norovirus infects rare cells in the lining of the gut called tuft cells. Like beacons in a dark sea, these cells glowed with evidence of a norovirus infection in fluorescent microscopy images, researchers report in the April 13 Science.
If norovirus also targets...
Mexico takes vaccine to hinterland04/10/2018 - 15:00 Health
The campaign to eradicate measles in Mexico is going into the hinterland areas. Mobile brigades will use live virus vaccine produced in laboratories of the Republic’s Department of Health. Measles kills 10,000 Mexican children a year. — Science News, April 13, 1968Update
The last measles case to originate in Mexico occurred in 1995. In 2016...
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Hot peppers aren’t just a pain in the mouth — they may be a pain in the head, too. After eating the hottest known pepper in the world, a man suffered from splitting headaches that drove him to the hospital emergency room, and into case-study history.
His is the first known instance of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome — a temporary narrowing of arteries in the brain — to be...
Delusional infestation\de-LU-zhen-al in-fes-TAY-shun\ n.04/09/2018 - 07:00 Health
A deep conviction that one’s skin is contaminated with insects or other objects despite a lack of medical evidence.
She was certain her skin was infested: Insects were jumping off; fibers were poking out. Fearful her condition could spread to others, the 50-year-old patient told doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., that...
Your brain might make new nerve cells well into old age.
Healthy people in their 70s have just as many young nerve cells, or neurons, in a memory-related part of the brain as do teenagers and young adults, researchers report in the April 5 Cell Stem Cell. The discovery suggests that the hippocampus keeps generating new neurons throughout a person’s life.
The finding contradicts a...
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About 50 million years ago, a monitor lizard in what is now Wyoming perceived the world through four eyes. Saniwa ensidens is the only known jawed vertebrate to have had two eyelike photosensory structures at the top of the head, in addition to the organs we commonly think of as eyes, researchers report April 2 in Current Biology.
The structures are called the pineal and parapineal...
An unknown killer preying on pigs in China has been identified as a new kind of coronavirus. And like the deadly SARS virus, this one also got its start in bats.
In late 2016, pigs mysteriously started having intense diarrhea and vomiting on farms in China’s southeastern Guangdong province. By May 2017, the disease had killed 24,693 piglets. Tests failed to pin the outbreak, which has...