science
Smartphones and Tablets Might Be Hurting Kids’ Hearing, but No One Knows for Sure

Most of us know that spending too much time at loud rock concerts can be bad for our hearing later on. But a new study published Thursday in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery suggests that kids as young as nine can be at risk of hearing loss from an unexpected source: their smartphones and tablets. Read More >>

science
Another DNA Testing Company Reportedly Gets Fooled by Dog DNA

Consumer DNA testing is going to the dogs. A Canadian testing company has been accused of sending back supposedly human ancestry results on a faux sample that actually came from a chihuahua named Snoopy, CBC News reported Wednesday. Remarkably, it’s the second company reported to have been fooled by doggy DNA in recent months, but the full story behind the sting is even weirder. Read More >>

science
The Flavouring Chemicals in E-Cigarettes May Harm Blood Vessels

The wide assortment of flavourings used to spice up your vaping experience could be damaging your cardiovascular system, suggests new research released today. The study, published in the journal of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, found that several common e-cigarette flavourings can directly harm blood vessels. But, as with so many similar studies, it’s hard to tell how relevant the findings are to a typical vaper. Read More >>

science
Psychedelic Drugs May Help the Brain Repair Itself, Study Finds

In recent years, psychedelic party drugs such as LSD and MDMA have been studied by scientists for their potential ability to treat mental health problems like depression and anxiety—often in microdoses much smaller than the what a person would take to trip. But while the research into these drugs is promising, there’s still a lot we don’t understand about how they affect the brain. A new study, published this week in Cell Reports, seems to offer the strongest evidence yet that they can actually help repair the brain’s circuitry and function. Read More >>

health
An Experimental Spit Test Could Identify Men Most at Risk of Prostate Cancer

A new study published Monday in Nature Genetics suggests the test can detect the one per cent of men who are genetically most vulnerable to developing prostate cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths among American men. Read More >>

science
The Experiment That Made Chinese Takeaway Healthier

As anyone who’s made a habit of ordering late-night delivery well knows, these meals typically aren’t too healthy. And when it comes to heaping amounts of salt in these foods, there’s perhaps no greater culprit than Chinese takeaway. But a new study published last week in Public Health Reports details a strategy that helped Chinese restaurant owners and chefs in the US city of Philadelphia cut back on sodium without sacrificing taste. Read More >>

science
Smartphones and Video Games May Make Teens Sadder Because of How They Affect Sleep

As smartphones and other highly portable devices have become omnipresent, some researchers and many parents have begun to worry about the mental health risks of excessive screen time on kids and teens. New research presented this week doesn’t debunk a link between technology and depression, but it could sharpen the reasons why it exists. Rather than social isolation or any direct effects on the brain, the study’s findings suggest, it’s the lack of sleep caused by web-surfing or gaming that’s most to blame. Read More >>

health
Gastric Balloons May Have Killed 12 People Since 2016 

Since 2016, at least 12 people have died worldwide soon after receiving a intragastric balloon, a new noninvasive procedure meant to help people lose weight, according to an alert released Monday by the US Food and Drug Administration (the FDA). Seven of the patients were in the US. In response, the FDA has approved new warning labels for two balloon products implicated in the deaths. Read More >>

science
What Is Nipah, the Virus Spread by Bats That’s Killing People in India?

A deadly viral disease spread by bats is once again infecting humans, but in this case, it isn’t Ebola. As of 1 June, an outbreak of the Nipah virus has infected at least 18 people and killed 17 in Kerala, India, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported. The outbreak, which is the first to hit South India, raises fears of the disease becoming more far-reaching. Read More >>

science
No, Harvard Isn’t Studying How to Cure Cancer Through Diet 

Over the past few weeks, multiple media outlets have written about Kathy Bero, a 54-year-old woman who claims her breast cancer 12 years ago was ultimately defeated through a special diet and diligent use of reiki, an alternative medicine that purports to treat disease via healing energy channelled through a person’s hands. Her recovery was so miraculous, these articles have credulously reported, that Harvard scientists are gearing up to study how Bero’s diet saved her from cancer. But that’s not what’s actually going on. Read More >>

science
A US Doctor Is in Trouble for Claiming to Treat Ebola Though Sound

Bill Gray, a 75-year-old, Stanford-trained doctor based in the US state of California, claims on his website that he can treat almost any patient’s health problems through personalised, “homeopathic” audio recordings sent via email. But the California medical board is having none of it. Earlier this month, it filed a five-page complaint against Gray for behaving unprofessionally, setting the stage for a hearing that could strip Gray’s license to practice medicine. Read More >>

science
Nutritional Supplements Don’t Improve Heart Health, Study Finds

People who use vitamin and mineral supplements to keep their heart in tiptop shape probably aren’t getting much out of it, suggests a new review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study found that most popular supplements, such as vitamin C and calcium, seemed to provide no benefits in preventing cardiovascular disease or early death. Some even appeared to slightly raise the risk of death. Read More >>

science
Bug-Sprayed Clothing Really Does Keep Ticks Away

A new study, led by the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC), published last week in the Journal of Medical Entomology suggests it might be a great time to invest in a new fashion trend: bug spray-laced clothing. The study found that clothing treated with permethrin was able to stop several species of disease-causing ticks in their tracks, either paralysing them or making them fall off the clothes. Read More >>

health
Does Your Community Have These Happy Neighbourhood Traits?

Certain aspects of a neighbourhood, including its ethnic diversity and the availability of public transit, are associated with better reported well-being among residents, according to a study published Wednesday in PLOS One. Read More >>

vaping
One Vaping Flavour Can Harm Human Cells, Study Finds

It’s a lingering question as to just how dangerous firing up an e-cigarette really is, especially when compared to the health impact of traditional tobacco cigarettes. Yet research presented this week at the American Thoracic Society’s annual conference suggests that part of the potential harm of vaping could come from the chemicals used to give them flavor. Read More >>