health
We Need to Pay More Attention to a Deadly Disease Spread by Kissing Bugs, Heart Doctors Warn

A disease that often causes no symptoms, but which can suddenly become fatal years after a person was infected, is receiving a big spotlight from the American Heart Association (AHA). On Monday, the organisation published a scientific statement in its journal Circulation, urging heart doctors in the US to start paying attention to Chagas disease, a parasitic infection mainly spread by bloodsucking kissing bugs. Read More >>

drugs
Veterinarians Say Pet Owners Are Hurting Animals to Get Opioids

A recent survey suggests that some people struggling with opioid addiction might be turning to a tragically desperate method to get more prescription painkillers: Hurting their own pets. And veterinarians themselves, particularly in the US, may be abusing opioids or helping to illegally sell them. Read More >>

science
Hong Kong Subway Study Shows How Quickly Bacteria Travel Across a City

If you’re one of the billions of people worldwide to use mass public transit regularly, you’re sharing a lot more than a commute with your fellow passengers, suggests a new study published today in Cell Reports. You’re also sharing and swapping the teeming microbes that call our bodies home. Read More >>

health
More Young Adults Are Dying From Alcohol-Caused Liver Disease

Over the past few years, there’s been a steady rise in the rate of Americans who die by suicide and drugs each year. But while much of the attention surrounding these deaths has focused on the opioid crisis, a new study out Wednesday in the BMJ highlights a different aspect of that increase: More people, especially young adults, are dying of alcohol-related diseases such as liver cancer and cirrhosis. 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
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 >>

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 >>

health
The Latest Ebola Outbreak Has Reached a Major African City

An ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Africa has become much more worrying, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. While previous cases of the often fatal viral disease had been found in rural areas during this most recent outbreak, the first urban case of Ebola was recently confirmed in Mbandaka, a city in the northwestern region of the DRC with 1.2 million residents. Read More >>

food
The World Health Organization Just Declared War on Trans Fats

The World Health Organization has announced a comprehensive plan to eliminate industrially produced trans-fatty acids from the global food supply by 2023. It’s a good idea — but the five-year plan may be overly ambitious. Read More >>

health
Synthetic Marijuana Is Making People Bleed From Their Eyes and Ears 

It’s a sentence that just about sums up 2018 so far: Illinois is dealing with an outbreak of synthetic weed that makes its users bleed from their eyes and ears. Read More >>

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 >>