Fabulous Fat: Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements Combat Malnutrition Health 

Fabulous Fat: Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements Combat Malnutrition

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles Malnutrition affects hundreds of millions of children around the world. As of 2017, about 23 percent of children under five suffer from stunted growth because of malnutrition and about 8 percent experience extreme wasting, which is characterized by a low weight-to-height ratio. Although over the years many treatments have been developed that reduce chances of mortality, increase weight gain, and improve lean tissue creation—all signs of healthy development—more work is necessary to create an inexpensive, accessible, and long-term solution. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF; also known as…

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Ongoing Human Evolution Revealed in Data Biology Health 

Ongoing Human Evolution Revealed in Data

A research team at Columbia University has conducted a large-scale study of ongoing human evolution. Genetic data reveals how humans are evolving. By Kate Stone When I was about nine years old, a young schoolmate demanded to know, “If evolution is real, then why isn’t it happening now?” Being nine and not a biologist, I wasn’t prepared to answer this question. And yet, it was a question that I’ve heard echoes of in the years to follow. Now, a research team at Columbia University has conducted a large-scale study of…

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Pathogenic Triggers of Bacterial DNA Discovered Biology Health 

Pathogenic Triggers of Bacterial DNA Discovered

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles Bacteria, those mysterious, microscopic creatures living in, on, and around us, are very often our benign neighbors with whom we quietly cohabitate and occasionally exchange mutual support. However, as anyone who has ever gotten pneumonia or strep throat knows, bacteria are not always looking out for our best interests. Occasionally, bacteria become pathogenic and infect their hosts, and if we are their hosts, we get sick. In a groundbreaking study published on July 29 in Science Access, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory uncovered the molecular…

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Marshall Islands Nuclear Test Radiation Environment Health 

Marshall Islands Radiation Still Too High Decades Later

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci In the years immediately following the end of World War II, the United States government conducted large-scale testing of nuclear weapons on a small group of islands in the remote Pacific Ocean. On March 1, 1954, the largest nuclear device ever tested by the United States was detonated at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Castle Bravo, as the bomb was known, created a mushroom cloud of radiation almost four and one-half miles wide. This was more than 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on…

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Dichroa febrifuga, a medicinal herb that has been historically used to treat fever, is named for its active ingredient, febrifugine. By Keith Edkins (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons Biology Chemistry 

Malaria Drugs: Herb Garden to Medicine Cabinet

By Bill Sullivan, PhD @wjsullivan We live on a lush planet filled with over 290,000 species of plants. Herbs are a particular type of plant that lack a wooden stem, and humans have often sampled them in hopes of finding a new food or flavoring. Sometimes ingestion of an herb produces unwanted effects, such as death. But other herbs have medicinal qualities, such as the alleviation of fever.  An Old and New Malaria Drug Dichroa febrifuga is one of the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, used for millennia…

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Cant Sleep, Lying Awake Biology Health 

Sleepless, Lying Awake in Your Hotel? This Might Be Why

A study shows that the left brain hemisphere is more wakeful than normal when sleeping in a new place for the first time, leaving exhausted travelers lying awake in hotels rooms around the world. The fact that many people sleep poorly during the first night in a new environment – such as a hotel room – is a well-known phenomenon. Now, results from a new study in Current Biology by Brown University researchers could point to why this is the case. We talked to the study’s lead author, Masako Tamaki, to find out why one…

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Does air pollution raise your risk of obesity? Environment Health 

Does Air Pollution Raise Your Risk of Obesity?

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg It is generally understood that breathing polluted air can damage our lungs. However, a new study recently found that lab rats that breathed Beijing’s highly polluted air for eight weeks not only developed breathing problems, but also gained weight. The researchers warn that air pollution exposure can contribute to metabolic dysfunction and obesity.  About the Study: Air Pollution and Obesity In a study led by Duke University, with the support of the Chinese government, scientists tested the health impact of Beijing’s polluted air. They placed pregnant rats…

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Paleo Diet Dangerous? Health 

Paleo Diet is Dangerous, Expert Warns

Although some people swear by the Paleo (short for “Paleolithic”) diet, a new study suggests that eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet can lead to rapid weight gain and health complications in as little as eight weeks. What’s going on? OK, we’ve all seen plenty of fad diets come and go, but the Paleo diet has an earthy, back-to-basics vibe. Perhaps that’s why the new research findings have surprised many people. And yet, the findings are so striking that the University of Melbourne research team has gone so far as to…

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