To Pet Owners, a Dog’s Whimpering Sounds Just as Sad as an Infant’s Cry

Devoted pet owners are often said to treat their furry friends like children. A new study out Thursday seems to show that’s not too far from the truth. The study found, among other things, that pet owners rated the sounds of a dog whimpering to be sad as cries coming from a human baby. Read More >>

Air Pollution From Cars Linked to Degenerative Eye Disease

The effects of pollution on human health are often subtle yet wide-reaching. Case in point, a new study out Tuesday seems to show that heavy exposure to certain automobile fumes can raise the risk of developing a degenerative disease that steadily erodes eyesight. Read More >>

MDMA-Assisted Therapy Shows Promise as Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

Supplementing psychotherapy with small doses of MDMA could be an effective strategy to prevent relapses of alcohol addiction in patients, an ongoing small clinical trial suggests. The research is yet another example of how scientists and doctors are finding or rediscovering therapeutic uses for recreational and illicit drugs. Read More >>

Dozens of People Have Lung Disease Linked to Vaping, and No One Knows Why

The number of people afflicted and hospitalised with serious lung disease connected to vaping continues to grow. This week, multiple states in the US reported similar cases, and the toll of confirmed and possible victims has climbed into the dozens. Right now, health officials and outside experts still seem to be in the dark as to what exactly is going on. Read More >>

A Girl Lived with a ‘Twin’ Inside Her for 17 Years Without Knowing

A girl in India unknowingly lived with one of the rarest and most unsettling medical conditions for nearly two decades, her doctors say. According to a case report out this week, the girl had a sac containing her still-growing “twin” lodged in her abdomen for 17 years. The twin had hair, teeth, and even a spine. Read More >>

Scientists Say They’ve Found a New Organ in Skin That Processes Pain

It’s not common that researchers discover what could be an entirely new part of the human body. But a team in Sweden claims to have uncovered an intricate network of cells underneath skin that helps process certain kinds of pain. The find could broaden our conceptions of how we feel pain, as well as how to relieve it. Read More >>

These Robotic Shorts Make Walking and Running Easier

Exosuits—wearable robotic technologies that enhance our physical abilities—are slowly but steadily leaving the world of comic books and becoming a practical reality. This week, scientists introduced an exosuit that seems to reach a new milestone, helping users both walk and run with less effort. Read More >>

A Chlamydia Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Human Trial

A vaccine for the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. – the bacterial disease chlamydia – is now a substantial step closer to reality. On Monday, researchers reported that two of their vaccine candidates were found to be safe in a phase 1 clinical trial of 35 women. Though the trial wasn’t meant to prove their effectiveness, the vaccines also seemed to provoke an immune response to the bacteria in all volunteers. Read More >>

US Man Reportedly in a Coma After Contracting Brain Infection From a Mosquito

A rare, sometimes fatal viral infection spread by mosquitoes has resurfaced in the US state of Massachusetts—and has likely sent at least one man into a coma. Over the weekend, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported that a local resident contracted the Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus. Dozens of communities remain at critical or high risk for the virus, and residents are being advised to stay indoors at night. Read More >>

Scientists Have Created a Vaccine for Cat Allergies, but You Can’t Have It Yet

People unjustly kept away from feline companionship due to an allergy are rejoicing this week, after news resurfaced of a potential vaccine that makes cats less able to cause allergies. But while this research is promising, a finished product won’t be available any time soon. Read More >>

A Dangerous Algae is Killing Our Dogs – and Climate Change is Going to Make it Worse

A pair of tragic stories reported this past weekend are raising awareness of a threat to both people and animals in the water: algae. At least four dogs in two states along the Southeast U.S. have reportedly died from swimming in freshwater lakes and ponds filled with toxic blue-green algae. And as the climate warms, these sad cases could become more common in the U.S. and elsewhere. Read More >>

A Man’s Dentures Got Stuck in His Throat During Surgery, Leaving Him Bleeding for Weeks

Here’s a story that’ll haunt you into your golden years. Doctors say their elderly patient endured a nightmarish week of his throat bleeding out and weeks more of surgeries and hospital care, all because surgeons had forgotten to remove his dentures – dentures that then became lodged in his throat. Read More >>

Is Cleaning Your Ears With Cotton Buds Really That Dangerous?

A real-life horror tale that’s gotten renewed media attention this week is sure to make you think twice about digging earwax out of your ears. An Australian woman says she developed a life-threatening infection that ate away parts of her skull after years of swabbing her ears with cotton. But how likely is that scenario—and how dangerous are cotton buds to our ears really? Read More >>

A Woman’s Vaginal Steaming Left Her with Second-Degree Burns

A 62-year-old Canadian woman ended up with painful second-degree burns on her genitals after she attempted an at-home vaginal steaming, according to a case report. Ultimately, it delayed the reconstructive surgery she needed to treat an earlier vaginal injury. Read More >>

Fluoride Linked to Worse Kidney Function in Teens, but Don’t Flip Out

There are few things that can set off the paranoid-minded faster than talking about fluoride in the drinking water. But a new study out Thursday cautiously suggests that even low levels of fluoride in teens could be linked to changes in their kidney and liver function. It’s still unclear whether these changes are actually affecting teens’ health, though – or even if fluoride is really the main culprit. Read More >>