social media
Social Media Is Corrupting the Youth Slightly Less Than We Feared

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram might not be destroying the minds of The Youth™ as much as we thought, according to a recent review published in Educational Psychology. In some cases, social media could even be helping them do better at school. Read More >>

science
Alcohol Plays a Much Bigger Role in Causing Dementia Than We Thought

It’s hardly a surprise that too much alcohol is bad for the body, including the brain. But a new study published Tuesday in The Lancet suggests that even doctors are underestimating its impact on our risk of developing dementia. Read More >>

science
Researchers Say They’ve Created a 90% Accurate Blood Test for Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complicated neurological condition caused by a variety of risk factors, including our genes and environment (but no, not vaccines), that interact in ways we still understand little about. Its symptoms are varied, too—from problems with social interaction to being unable to speak or process sensations normally. This complexity extends all the way to how it’s diagnosed: Children can start to show visible signs of autism by the age of 18 months, but there is no single medical test that can diagnose it, and it often takes years to confirm a suspected case, potentially delaying treatment. Read More >>

health
Bed Bugs Are Pooping Histamine Into Our Homes—And Possibly Making Us Sick

There are few living things on earth that can set our nerves more on edge than the aptly named bed bug (Cimex lectularius). Even if you’ve never had the displeasure of being their unwilling blood bank, you probably know someone who has. Since at least the 1990s, bed bugs have started to resist the pesticides we’ve long used against them and stormed back from near-extinction to once again become a common household pest. Read More >>

science
Scientists Successfully Test a Vaccine in Mice That Could Prevent Many Cancers

Even under the best of circumstances, cancer treatment can be an excruciating, costly ordeal that tragically doesn’t even work sometimes. In light of that reality, scientists and doctors have long searched for a way to proactively head off the problem using a vaccine. One potential approach to a cancer vaccine, highlighted in a new study published Thursday in Cell Stem Cell, might involve using our own reprogrammed stem cells to better train the immune system against several—and maybe even all—types of cancers. Read More >>

science
Kidney Stones Are Getting Diagnosed More, but We’re Not Entirely Sure Why

Passing on a kidney stone is one of the most physically painful things a person can go through this side of childbirth. And a new study published this week in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that they’re seemingly becoming more common. But by how much, and why, we’re still not really sure. Read More >>

science
No One Really Knows When Wild Rabbits Became Fluffy Domesticated Bunnies

Rabbits are a treasured source of companionship, entertainment, and (sometimes) food. But a new analysis published Wednesday in Cell Press Reviews suggests that whether you turn to folk tales or DNA, there’s no easy way to tell when rabbits actually became part of our domesticated stable. Read More >>

science
After Eight Days of Itchy Eyes, Woman Finds 14 Worms

It’s a medical discovery you’d hate to be part of: A 26-year-old woman in the US is believed to be the first human ever reported to be infected with a certain species of eye worm. Read More >>

suicide
Suicides Spiked After Robin Williams’ Death: Study

Robin Williams’s death by suicide in August 2014 was one that figuratively broke the hearts of people worldwide. But a new study published last week in PLOS-One suggests that the salacious media coverage surrounding his death may have inadvertently inspired even more tragedy—and deaths— in its wake. Read More >>

health
New Drugs Extend Lives of Men With Resistant Form Of Prostate Cancer

As a general rule, cancer patients have to worry about the possibility that their cancer will return with a vengeance, no matter how successful their initial treatment course may have been. But some men with prostate cancer are left in an even more nerve-wracking state of uncertainty. Their cancer appears practically frozen, not spreading elsewhere but also not responding any further to treatment. Sadly, some patients will eventually develop a full-blown, incurable, and ultimately fatal cancer. Read More >>

science
Scientists Have Mapped Out How Our Genes Might Lead to Mental Illness

It’s often said mental illness runs in the family. But while that’s true, scientists have had very little luck actually understanding how our genes influence our risk of developing major depression or schizophrenia. New research published Friday in Science seems to provide something big needed for that greater insight: A roadmap of how genes are expressed differently in the brains of people with one of five major psychiatric disorders. Read More >>

olympics
As the Winter Games Begin, Norovirus Continues to Spread at an Alarming Rate

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea is quickly resembling a terrible cruise, thanks to a norovirus outbreak that’s rapidly spreading. Read More >>

science
Fentanyl Overdoses May Cause Lasting Amnesia

Starting in 2015, doctors in the US state of Massachusetts began noticing a wave of typically young patients coming down with unexplained, sometimes permanent short-term memory loss. The only connection found between these patients was a history of recreational drugs; either heroin or cocaine. But these drugs almost never cause the kind of brain damage that results in amnesia, leading the doctors to believe something else had to explain why so many people were losing their memories at the same time. Read More >>

medicine
This Molecule Could Prevent Cancer Patients From Losing Their Lunch

One of the worst side-effects of chemotherapy treatment is the inadvertent damage it causes to the gastrointestinal (GI) system, leading to nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. While there are short-term treatments available to help deal with these symptoms, oftentimes the damage can lead to chronic GI problems. Now, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh say they’ve found a way to short circuit the molecular pathway that sparks this gut damage in the first place. Read More >>

health
A Study Showing the Dangers of Hot Tea Reveals How Complex Cancer Risks Can Be

There are few better things on a blustery cold day than a spot of hot tea. But a new study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that some people’s tea habits—in particular, those who drink and smoke regularly—might be raising their chances of developing oesophageal cancer. The findings also highlight how complicated it can be to figure out what exactly causes cancer. Read More >>