September 2013

Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, is a coronavirus. It first made news in 2012, when a man in Saudi Arabia was found to have “SARS-like symptoms” and later died. Coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory illness in mammals, including humans. And while corona viruses are often responsible for things like the common cold, MERS has...

The sounds of a hissing snake or the crackle of a forest fire are enough to give any smart adult a fright. And parents everywhere know the importance of teaching their children the sounds of nearby peril. A new study shows that babies only months old are already paying attention to these types of audible...

There is a chemical added to dog food to keep it fresh that might be able to help prevent painful side effects from the cancer drug Taxol. Four out of five Taxol users experience hand and feet pain, called peripheral neuropathy. Some completely recover, while others have to live with debilitating pain for the rest...

A new test from researchers at Duke University School of Medicine can help diagnosis and treatment of infections by distinguishing between a viral vs bacterial infection. This is big news that could aid in solving the global threat of bacterial resistance through overuse of antibiotics. Current tests require information about the pathogen in question in order...

According to a newly published study from the University of Colorado, mice models that lack the ability to metabolize fructose don’t gain nearly as much weight as normal ones. Fructose, or fruit sugar, has gained quite a bit of notoriety of late – especially in relation to obesity and its myriad related health concerns. Fructose can...

The first large-scale study on a possible link between parents with autoimmune diseases and children with autism has yielded some surprising results. The research, which emerged following a study of nearly 3,000 mothers of autistic children, was conducted at New York’s Center for Autoimmune and Musculoskeletal Disorders at the Feinstein Institute. The study was able to...

A new study on a group of patients with fibromyalgia (a common syndrome that causes, among other symptoms, chronic and sometimes debilitating pain) showed that roughly half of the patients were found to have a type of nerve damage known as SFPN. Small fiber polyneuropathy, or SFPN, consists mainly of damage to nerve fibers in...

A new study from the University of Pittsburgh suggests a combination of a phytochemical in broccoli and a malaria drug could lower prostate cancer rates. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, watercress, and cabbage have the phytochemical sulforaphane, which is thought to help lower prostate cancer risk. When tested, researchers found that it works to prevent early-stage...

Researchers from Cornell University and the Institute for Human Neuroscience have created a test to distinguish between healthy aging and cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms appear. Memory abilities don’t necessarily decline with age. The team looked at two kinds of memory, reconstructive and recollective. Reconstructive memory is recalling a word or event...

Industrialized nations might be too clean. The “hygiene hypothesis” suggests that decreased exposure to microbes and certain worms in industrialized areas could lead to incompletely developed immune regulation that controls specific inflammatory responses. These uncontrolled inflammatory responses are the culprit in leading to autoimmune disorders such as type-1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and lupus. Developing...