health
America’s Healthcare System Has Made People Desperate Enough to Buy Fish Antibiotics

In today’s “the US healthcare system is utterly broken” news, a study has found evidence that some people are buying fish antibiotics online to use on themselves – presumably because they’re cheaper than visiting the doctor to get a proper prescription. Read More >>

science
Cannabis Is Getting More Popular, Especially Among Depressed People

Cannabis has become more popular across the U.S. in recent years, but new research this month shows that one group has especially gravitated to it: people living with depression. And it’s not clear whether that’s a good thing. Read More >>

science
Study of So-Called ‘Abortion Reversal’ Stopped Early After Women Went to A&E With Serious Bleeding

New research out Thursday starkly highlights the dangers of so-called “abortion reversals,” an unproven practice condemned by most medical experts. Scientists were forced to prematurely end a trial of pregnant women testing out the procedure after three volunteers experienced severe haemorrhaging that sent them to the emergency room. Read More >>

science
A Controversial DNA Database Used to Solve Crimes Has Gone Commercial

A third-party DNA database that began as a passion project and later became embroiled in an ongoing debate over genetic privacy has now gone commercial. This week, the San Diego-based forensics company Verogen announced its acquisition of the controversial genealogy website GEDmatch. It’s anyone’s guess as to how the shift in ownership will affect its over one million users – or its recent repurposing as a controversial crime-solving tool. Read More >>

science
We Have Dramatically Underestimated Our Exposure to Nasty Plastic Chemical BPA, Study Finds

Our BPA problem might be even worse than we think, according to a new study out Thursday. Researchers say they’ve devised a new test to measure levels of the common industrial chemical in our bodies – levels that might be far higher than government-endorsed tests suggest they are. Read More >>

science
Yet More Research Links Even Light Drinking to a Higher Cancer Risk

In a new study this week, researchers in Japan have found a link between lifetime drinking to an increased risk of cancer – only the latest bit of research to suggest that even light drinking over a lifetime can be bad for us. Read More >>

science
Antarctic Explorers’ Brains Shrunk During a 14-Month Polar Expedition

Spending more than a year in the bleak desolation that is Antarctica might change your brain for the worse, according to new research out this month. It seems to show that polar explorers who lived for 14 months at an Antarctica research station experienced brain shrinkage, likely as a result of their isolation and boredom. But the effects on their actual health and cognition were mild and probably temporary. Read More >>

science
Reducing Air Pollution Saves Lives in Just Weeks, Report Finds

Cleaner air can go a long way in saving lives, according to a new report out Friday. It found that policies and laws aimed at curbing emissions are often linked to reductions in hospitalisations, premature births, and deaths in just a few weeks after their enactment. Read More >>

science
New Study Links Birth Control Pill to Brain Differences, but Don’t Panic

Scientists this week say they’ve found preliminary evidence that women who use birth control pills have differences in their brain structure compared to women who don’t. But it’s still too way early to know whether these differences are genuine or could have a meaningful impact on someone’s health. Read More >>

cancer
Hair Dyes and Straighteners Might Be a Breast Cancer Risk, Especially for Black Women, Study Finds

If you’re a woman, regularly colouring or straightening your hair might come with a hidden risk, according to new government-led research. The study found a link between using permanent hair dye and straightening products and an increased risk of breast cancer in women, especially for black women. Read More >>

science
Most People Experiencing Homelessness Have Had a Traumatic Brain Injury, Study Finds

A majority of people experiencing homelessness across the world have a history of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, according to new research out this week. And often, these injuries could have contributed to or been caused by their homelessness, the authors say. Read More >>

science
You’d Be Surprised How Often Doctors Prescribe Placebos

Doctors in Australia commonly give their patients a placebo treatment intended mainly to ease their minds, according to a new study out Monday. But it’s not just an Australian practice – other research has found the same is true of doctors across the world. Read More >>

science
The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants, and It Wants You to Brush Your Teeth

Part of avoiding heart disease might involve brushing your teeth, suggests a study published this week. Researchers in Korea have found a clear link between good oral health and a lower chance of heart irregularities and serious heart failure. Read More >>

health
CBD Isn’t Just a Harmless Health Fad, U.S. FDA Warns

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration still isn’t cutting cannabidiol, or CBD, much slack. This week, the agency updated their stance on the cannabis-derived ingredient, warning the public that most products made with CBD on the market are untested, unregulated, and have the “potential to harm” users. It also issued more than a dozen warning letters to companies they claim are illegally selling CBD products. Read More >>

science
A Man’s Love of Hot Pot Gave Him Brain Tapeworms

A man’s love of delicious hot pot led him down a far more perilous path than he expected. His doctors in China say that the undercooked meal exposed him to a tapeworm infestation that riddled his brain with larval cysts and caused him to have seizures. Thankfully, though, he’s now on the mend. Read More >>