hurricane harvey
Harvey’s Floodwaters Could Pose Serious Health Hazards

Extreme rainfall and flooding from Hurricane Harvey has left thousands in Houston and surrounding communities stranded. Some parts of the city have experienced over 40 inches of rain, and forecasters say that number is expected to rise over the coming days. Currently, the storm has repositioned itself in the Gulf of Mexico, where it will collect more moisture before striking land again. When it does, some areas of Texas and Louisiana could see an additional 20 inches of rain. On top of all this, flash flood warnings are still in effect as of this morning. Read More >>

science
The Black Death May Have Had a Surprising Effect on the Environment

From 1347 to 1351, a nightmare disease ravaged Europe, afflicting victims with putrid black boils, fevers, vomiting, and in short order, death. Daily life ground to a halt as the Black Death spread along medieval trade routes, claiming an estimated 20 million lives with ruthless efficiency. Now, a team of researchers is asserting that the plague had an unexpected impact: clearing the air of a toxic pollutant for the first time in over a thousand years. Read More >>

health
Don’t Freak Out About the New Bird Flu Outbreak (Yet)

Chicken farmers in Tennessee are about to shed a lot of blood. After noticing an unusually high death rate in a flock, some Tyson Foods-suppliers discovered that they were dealing with a new bird flu outbreak. Don’t worry too much, though: The USDA says humans should be safe. Read More >>

health
Retro-Style Disease Posters Turn Doctors Into Superheros

And why not? Doctors are, after all, on the front lines of a pitched battle against an invisible enemy most of us are powerless to stop. Without them, our teeth would be falling out and we’d be losing limbs over minor scrapes. We’re so accustomed to the wonders of modern medicine we take for granted how wondrous it really is. Read More >>

enviroment
Indonesia’s Awful Fire Season Killed Up to 100,000 People

This time last year, tens of thousands of fires were raging across Indonesia’s peat forests, spewing carbon like coal plants and sending smoke halfway around the planet. But those fires weren’t just bad for our atmosphere: they were awful for the people who breathe it. Read More >>

science
The Real Reason You Shouldn’t Pee in the Pool 

Peeing in the public pool is gross, immature, but basically harmless, right? A quick fix when you’ve really gotta go? Not exactly. In advance of the its annual summer meeting, the American Chemical Society has just released a video explaining, in gory scientific detail, why peeing in the pool makes it a more unhealthy environment for everybody, you disgusting hairless flesh monster. Read More >>

wtf
Biologist: We’re Completely Unprepared to Handle a Zombie Outbreak

A zombie virus may not be at the top of your list of likely apocalypses, but I think we can all agree that it would suck to get caught unprepared. Unfortunately, we are. As proven by countless movies, TV shows, and novels, society is woefully unready to deal with an infectious, flesh-eating horde. Read More >>

health
How Did a Rare, Vomit-Inducing Parasite Infect the Water Supply for 300,000 People?

More than 300,000 households in Lancashire have been warned to boil their water until at least Wednesday to kill any traces of Cryptosporidium, the BBC reports. The nasty livestock parasite, which surfaced last week, probably came from a rotting animal carcass or faeces, according to The Guardian. Lovely. Read More >>

robots
These Robots are Fighting Ebola in Texas

As the more paranoid among us wonder when or if Ebola will ever proliferate nearby, those pioneering Americans are fighting the Ebola threat the only way they know how: hundreds of thousands of dollars of robots, natch. Read More >>

health
France Lost Thousands of Vials Containing the SARS Virus

Somebody's definitely getting fired, after  vials containing fragments of the deadly SARS virus went missing from the Pasteur Institute in France earlier this week. Not one or two vials, mind you. More than 2,300 of them. Read More >>

health
The US Government’s War on E-Cigarettes

It's here, folks. The battle royale between the regulators and the people over e-cigarettes is upon us. It started a few years ago, calmly, but with New York City banning vaping in public places, the knives are about to come out. Read More >>

health
Inside the Push to Wipe Out Polio From the Furthest Corners of Earth

If you live in North America or Europe, you don't worry much about polio. Thanks to vaccination, this terrible, paralysing disease has been eradicated in the first world. But far from these places, the poliomyelitis virus still lives. Wired accompanied the teams who hope to wipe out polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The story is compelling. Read More >>