Crowdfunding Sites Are Putting Money in the Pockets of Cancer Quacks, Report Finds

It’s become a heartbreakingly common sight on the internet: People using crowdfunding sites to raise money for their expensive health care, including cancer treatment. But a new report published Wednesday in the BMJ suggests that desperate people are often using this money to pursue dubious, possibly dangerous treatments from unscrupulous charlatans. Read More >>

10-Year-Old Boy Survives Wasp Attack That Ended With Meat Skewer in Skull

This weekend, a 10-year-old boy from the US fell from a tree house after he was attacked by a swarm of yellow jackets that were nesting in the structure — and that was just the beginning of the horror. Read More >>

A Common Antidepressant Might Help Bacteria Become Superbugs

A common antidepressant, sold under the brand name Prozac, could be helping some bacteria build resistance to antibiotics, suggests a new study from Australia. The study, published in Environment International, found that fluoxetine was capable of inducing antibiotic resistance in laboratory strains of Escherichia coli. Read More >>

People Who Take Supplements Containing This Stimulant Are Risking Their Health, Study Finds

People who use dietary supplements containing an ingredient called higenamine are playing with fire, suggests a new study. There’s often no telling just how much higenamine is packed into a single pill, it found, meaning people could be dosing themselves with dangerously high levels of the plant-based stimulant. Read More >>

You Don’t Even Want to Know the Results of This Airport Germ Study

New research identifies the various ways in which we’re most likely to come into contact with communicable diseases at airports. Turns out that toilets are surprisingly clean, but the same cannot be said for those plastic bins used at airport security, which are absolutely covered in viruses. Read More >>

Bizarre Reaction to Antibiotics Gave Woman ‘Black Hairy Tongue’

While recovering in hospital after a serious car accident, a 55-year-old woman from Missouri began to complain of nausea and a bad taste in her mouth. A subsequent oral examination revealed an alarming sight — the patient’s tongue had turned black and was covered in hair-like structures. But while this rare condition looks serious, it’s actually harmless. Read More >>

New Research Sheds Light on How Opium Poppies Evolved Their Powerful Painkillers

The opium poppy is famous for its ability to produce painkilling molecules. Now, by sequencing its genome, a team of scientists from China, the UK and Australia uncovered several events in the poppy’s history that, together, could have led to the evolution of its opium-producing behaviour. Read More >>

If You Smell Things That Aren’t Really There, You’re Not Alone

A small but very real percentage of people often smell odours that aren’t actually there. About one in 15 Americans over the age of 40 regularly experience so-called phantom odours. But we have no idea why, according to a new study published Thursday in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery. Read More >>

These Medical Miracles Were Supposed to Happen by the Year 2000

Americans who opened the newspaper on January 5, 1961, were greeted with an article by Associated Press science writer John Barbour. He described the futuristic world of the year 2000 and the great medical advances that would be achieved by then. And quite frankly, reading about all of the medical miracles we were supposed to see by now is really bumming me out. Read More >>

Women Are More Likely to Die From a Heart Attack If Their Doctor Is Male

There’s a strange gender paradox at the heart of cardiovascular disease. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with a heart condition in their lifetime than women, but diagnosed women are less likely to survive. A study out today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers a new theory for this disparity: It suggests that men, who account for the majority of doctors, are worse at treating women heart attack patients than their female counterparts. Read More >>

giz asks
Can You Get Ill From Air Conditioning?

At the peak of summer, when just walking to and from the corner store necessitates a shower and a change of clothes, air-conditioning can seem almost too good to be true. It is one of the few staples of modernity without severe and readily apparent downsides: all it does, or all it seems to do, is make things cooler, while generating a soft, lulling noise redolent of childhood afternoons spent indoors watching cartoons. What’s the catch? How exactly are these things slowly killing us, like every other good thing in the world? Read More >>

Synthetic Brain-Destroying Human Prions Created in the Lab for the First Time

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University have synthesised an artificial human prion, a scientific first that could eventually lead to treatments for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other deadly brain-wasting disorders. Read More >>

Lizards With Toxic Green Blood Are Super Freaky

Lurking quietly in the deep dark jungles of New Guinea are a group of lizards who share a rather striking feature: green blood. It’s a rare trait for vertebrates to have, but new insights into this strange blood could lead to innovative medical treatments. Read More >>

How Hibernating Squirrels Could Ease the Organ Shortage Crisis

Squirrels and other hibernating animals have an almost magical ability to withstand frigid temperatures. New research has uncovered the biological factors involved in keeping cellular structures intact during hibernation—a finding that could eventually be used to preserve human organs prior to transplantation. Read More >>