science
That Study About the Health Benefits of Nature Comes With an Important Caveat

On Thursday, a new study in Scientific Reports found just two hours a week spent in nature can help improve a person’s health and well-being. The widely-reported findings reinforce what many instinctively know: nature can be rejuvenating. But a less-publicised aspect of the study is the finding that not everyone experiences nature the same way or benefits equally. Read More >>

microplastics
We’re Eating a Whole Lot of Plastic… Uh, Is That Bad?

If you’re the type to get squeamish about the things you accidentally eat, you’re not going to like the new report released by the WWF (formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund) this Tuesday. According to the report, we might be eating a credit card’s worth of microplastic every week, thanks to widespread contamination of drinking water and seafood. But it’s still unclear how this consumption could be affecting our health. Read More >>

science
How to Quickly Trick Yourself Out of Being a Night Owl

If you envy people who wake up with the sun, but you can’t seem to get to bed until well after midnight, some new research might help change your habits. An intriguing (but small) study suggests that it’s possible to retrain yourself to go to sleep earlier in just three weeks, without any drugs or other drastic actions involved. Shifting to an earlier sleep schedule could keep your mind and body sharper in the mornings, as well as improve your mood. Read More >>

science
Scientists Sequenced the Genes of Ancient Plague Bacteria That Spread the ‘First Pandemic’

Scientists have gained some insight into one of the first known calamities to visit mankind: a two century-long pandemic caused by the bacterial disease plague. Studying the remains of plague victims, the researchers say they were able to sequence the genomes of plague strains that devastated the Roman Empire starting in the 6th century. They also found direct evidence that plague’s destruction made it as far as to England. Read More >>

science
The Deep-Sea Dragonfish Has One of the Most Terrifying Smiles on Earth

Scientists have shined a light on one of the creepier denizens of the deep sea, a pitch-black creature that can turn itself into a living lamp called the dragonfish. New research helps explain one of the dragonfish’s more disturbing qualities: its relatively gigantic and translucent teeth. Read More >>

science
White Meat May Be as Bad as Red Meat for Cholesterol

Switching from red meat to chicken to keep your cholesterol down may not be a great strategy, according to a new study this Tuesday. It found that people’s blood cholesterol levels rose similarly when they ate a diet filled with either red or white meat, compared to a diet without meat. This effect on cholesterol, however, may not be as bad for your heart as it seems at first glance. Read More >>

science
Your Caffeine or Nicotine Addiction Could Make Your Hospital Stay a Whole Lot Worse

A coffee or smoking habit can cause a person some serious trouble if they end up in the hospital, preliminary research suggests. Patients in the intensive care unit often suffer withdrawal symptoms from caffeine and nicotine, it found. Worse still, doctors might mistake the cause of those symptoms for something else, leading to unneeded testing or treatments. Read More >>

health
Doctors Had to Put Out a Fire in Patient’s Chest During Open Heart Surgery

An Australian patient’s life-saving surgical procedure went up in flames, and unfortunately we don’t mean that figuratively. Doctors say their attempts to perform emergency heart surgery on the man went slightly awry at one point, when a flash fire sparked in the man’s cracked-open chest cavity. Amazingly, the doctors were able to put out the fire and complete the surgery with no other complications. Read More >>

science
Bias Against Female Lab Animals Is Messing Up Scientific Research

Gender discrimination in science doesn’t just affect women scientists. It also skews the results of animal research, as a new paper out this week describes. Animals used in experiments are still overwhelmingly male, thanks to outdated stereotypes that hormones like estrogen can distort an experiment’s findings. Read More >>

health
Man Suffers 9-Day Erection After Bruising Taint in Moped Accident

A man’s fall from a moped caused him much stranger trouble than anyone could have imagined. According to his doctors, a bruise near his genitals left him with a days-long erection—one that eventually required a trip to the emergency room to treat. Thankfully, doctors were able to resolve his awkward complication, and the patient had no lasting damage. Read More >>

science
Is Secondhand Vape Bad for You?

You don’t have to look far to find a fresh study suggesting that e-cigarette use isn’t harmless, even if the products are likely less toxic than traditional tobacco cigarettes. But what about people sitting in the same room or living in the same home as someone who vapes? Is there such a thing as secondhand vape? And just how dangerous could it be? Read More >>

science
A Man’s Love of Licorice Tea Landed Him in A&E

One man’s hot tea habit turned out to be much less relaxing than he hoped, according to his doctors. An 84-year-old Canadian ended up in accident and emergency with a serious case of high blood pressure, headache and chest pain, with the only likely cause of his symptoms being his two weeks straight of drinking homemade liquorice root tea. But it’s hardly the first time liquorice has been blamed for blood pressure problems. Read More >>

science
Vets Say They Saved a Dog’s Life Using an Experimental Fish Skin Graft

Here’s a feel-good story to carry you through the bank holiday weekend. Veterinarians at Michigan State University in the U.S. say they were able to save the life of a one-year-old Rottweiler named Stella who had been horrifically burned, thanks in part to an innovative technology that uses fish skin to help the body heal itself. Read More >>

science
CBD Might Help People Struggling With Opioid Addiction, Small Trial Shows

A new study published this week is the latest to suggest that cannabis – or at least a key ingredient of it – might help people struggling with addiction. It found that people with opioid use disorder experienced less symptoms of craving when given cannabidiol, or CBD, over a placebo. CBD also helped them calm down and reduced their anxiety. Read More >>

science
Bed Bugs Have Been Creeping Around and Sucking Blood Since the Age of Dinosaurs

While bed bugs have been tormenting humanity for millennia, it’s long been assumed their evolutionary journey as parasites first began tens of millions of years ago, when they fed on bats. But an international team of scientists has found evidence suggesting the origin of these vampiric insects extends even further into the past—back to the heyday of dinosaurs. Read More >>