Things Are Not Looking Good for Stopping the Coronavirus

The prospect that the new coronavirus, whose outbreak has been so far largely confined to China, could soon be a pandemic is looming closer to reality. This week, several countries have reported local clusters of the disease outside of mainland China, suggesting the virus is freely circulating there. Meanwhile, a new report estimates that only a third of non-China cases are being documented at all. Read More >>

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A Study Linking E-Cigs to Heart Attacks Was Just Retracted – What Does That Mean for Vaping’s Health Risks?

This week, a study that had suggested using e-cigarettes could increase the risk of heart attack was retracted, following an investigation by the journal’s editors that deemed its findings “unreliable.” But does the retraction mean vaping is safe, and should we be concerned about the validity of other vaping research? Read More >>

Even Brief Mediation Can Help People Deal With Pain Better, Study Finds

A little dose of mindfulness might ease your perception of pain and unpleasant emotions, a small new study suggests. People who practised a brief thought exercise before touching something hot or seeing negative images were less affected than people who hadn’t meditated, researchers found. Read More >>

Airing Out Your Home Doesn’t Reduce Indoor Air Pollution, Study Finds

Many of the potentially harmful chemicals found in our homes linger on walls and other surfaces, suggests a new study out today. Unfortunately, ventilating rooms with fresh air or cleaning surfaces might not do much to reduce our exposure to these contaminants. Read More >>

Why Are HIV Drugs Being Used to Treat the New Coronavirus?

On Tuesday, the Japanese government announced it will begin clinical trials to test treatments for the deadly new coronavirus that’s engulfed China and spread to over two dozen countries. Rather than new drugs, they’ll be studying existing medications already used to treat HIV and other viral diseases. But why exactly are researchers hopeful that these drugs can be repurposed for the new coronavirus, and how likely are they to work? Read More >>

Heading a Football Can Worsen Cognition for Up to 24 Hours, Study Finds

A new study of football players seems to show that repeated mild blows to the head can affect athletes’ brain function, at least temporarily. It found evidence that players perform worse on simple tests of eye coordination and cognition right after heading a ball than players who simply kick it around, for up to 24 hours later. Read More >>

Scientists Find Over 300 ‘Huge’ Viruses With Strange Abilities

Scientists are continuing to discover weird-as-hell viruses all over the world. This week, researchers detailed their finding of relatively mammoth bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria. These large microorganisms don’t just dwarf typical viruses in size – they also seem capable of borrowing complex tricks from their bacterial prey. Read More >>

Please Do Not Drink Silver to Kill the Coronavirus

Wherever mass tragedy strikes, there will be vulturous hucksters looking to take advantage of people’s fears. The outbreak of a deadly new coronavirus in China and other countries is no exception. Medical quacks are already trying to sell the very bad idea of swallowing silver to ward off the virus – something that’s more likely to turn you into a real-life smurf than cure anything. Read More >>

‘Puzzling’ Virus Found in Brazil Has Genetic Material Not Seen in Anything Else

Scientists in Brazil say they’ve made a mysterious discovery. They claim to have found a virus made of genetic material never before seen elsewhere. But you likely have nothing to fear from this virus: It seems to only hunt amoebas. Read More >>

There’s Now an Official Name for the Wuhan Coronavirus Illness

The World Health Organization has finally come up with a name for the illness caused by a newly discovered coronavirus that’s infected at least 40,000 people and killed over 1,000 worldwide. Meanwhile, scientists elsewhere have coined a new name for the virus itself. Read More >>

Men Are Experiencing Days of Weird Vision After Taking Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

Doctors are finding yet more men with strange episodes of vision problems after taking the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil citrate, better known by the brand name Viagra. A new case study this week from Turkey details 17 men who took sildenafil and developed light sensitivity, blurred eyesight, and even blue-tinted vision – symptoms that were thankfully only temporary and likely very rare. Read More >>

US Trial Finds CRISPR-Edited Cells Are Safe in Cancer Patients

For years, scientists have hoped to use the gene-editing technology CRISPR to help treat all sorts of diseases, including cancer. Now for the first time in the US, researchers say they’ve shown that CRISPR-edited immune cells can be safely given to cancer patients and survive for up to nine months – a finding that may signal CRISPR’s future as part of an emerging cancer treatment known as immunotherapy. Read More >>

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Here’s How We’ll Know if the Wuhan Coronavirus Has Become a Pandemic

In recent days, some public health experts and scientists have begun uttering the P-word in reference to a surging outbreak of the new coronavirus that’s already infected at least 24,000 people and killed over 400: pandemic. But when will we know if the Wuhan coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, has spread far and wide enough to become one? Read More >>

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Patient Did Not Spread Wuhan Virus Before Showing Symptoms, Experts Say

One of the scarier concerns about the Wuhan coronavirus may be overblown. This week, researchers appeared to debunk findings from last week that suggested the virus could spread from people not showing symptoms. Indeed, it seems the patient initially suspected of passing on the infection while asymptomatic did in fact feel ill at the time she infected others. Read More >>

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The Wuhan Coronavirus Has Officially Killed More People Than SARS in Mainland China

China passed a bleak milestone over the weekend, as more people in mainland China have now died of the newly discovered coronavirus than did during the SARS outbreak, which also began in China almost two decades ago. Cases in other countries are also increasing each day. Read More >>