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Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Even without concussions, simply one football season might harm gamers’ brains

Even without concussions, simply one football season might harm gamers’ brains

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A season of head hits left its mark on college football players’ brains, even when those hits didn’t cause concussions. Routine head bumps over the course of a season were linked to abnormal brain tissue in part of players’ brain stems, researchers report August 7 in Science Advances. It’s unclear if these brain stem changes…
How pieces of live human brain are assisting researchers map afferent neuron

How pieces of live human brain are assisting researchers map afferent...

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The golf ball–sized chunk of brain is not cooperating. It’s thicker than usual, and bloodier. One side has a swath of tissue that looks, to my untrained eye, like gristle. Nick Dee, the neuroscientist charged with quickly cutting the chunk into neat pieces, confers with his colleagues. “We can trim off that ugliness on the…
Racist words and acts, like the El Paso shooting, damage kids’s health

Racist words and acts, like the El Paso shooting, damage kids’s...

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Just days before 22 people were killed in El Paso, Texas, allegedly by an anti-immigrant gunman, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned that racism was harming children’s overall health. Among the people fleeing the shooting at a Walmart on August 3 were young families with children shopping for back-to-school supplies. “Two young parents who sacrificed…
Readers ask about measles, vaccine hesitancy and more

Readers ask about measles, vaccine hesitancy and more

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Tough choices Discussing shared health goals with vaccine-hesitant parents may help doctors get those parents on board, Aimee Cunningham reported in “Finding common ground can reduce parents’ hesitation about vaccines” (SN: 6/8/19, p. 16). Reader Dona Chilcoat objected to a photo in the story that showed a crying baby getting a shot. She thought the…
You’re just as old as you view yourself to be

You’re just as old as you view yourself to be

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Aging is inevitable, but the health declines that appear to be part of the package may not be, according to provocative research about how our attitudes about aging influence our physical health.It’s no surprise that the negative stereotypes about growing older that are pervasive in many societies could make people feel worse about themselves; the…
Hospitalizations highlight possible threats of e cigarettes to teenagers’ lungs

Hospitalizations highlight possible threats of e cigarettes to teenagers’ lungs

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The eight Wisconsin teens had become so short of breath that they needed to be hospitalized. Although the cause of their lung injuries remains to be determined, the teens had one thing in common: All reported vaping in the weeks and months before their hospital stays in July. “Some of these kids were quite ill…
A brand-new research study challenges the concept that the placenta has a microbiome

A brand-new research study challenges the concept that the placenta has...

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Contrary to earlier reports, the human placenta is largely free of microbes, a study finds. The new result follows years of debate over whether the organ that nourishes and protects a growing fetus also holds bacteria.    Dueling evidence has been accumulating both for and against the presence of microbes in placentas. Amid the back-and-forth,…
Favorable mindsets about aging might settle in much better health

Favorable mindsets about aging might settle in much better health

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The first time someone offered me a seat on the subway, I reflexively declined, and then stewed about it all the way home. Sheesh, I thought, do I really look like an old lady in need of assistance? When I got off the train, I swear my knees felt a bit creaky as I clomped…
Environment modification might raise the threat of lethal fungal infections in people

Environment modification might raise the threat of lethal fungal infections in...

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While fungal diseases have devastated many animal and plant species, humans and other mammals have mostly been spared. That’s probably because mammals have body temperatures too warm for most fungi to replicate as well as powerful immune systems. But climate change may be challenging those defenses, bringing new fungal threats to human health, a microbiologist…
50 years back, a drug that maimed a generation discovered brand-new life as a leprosy treatment

50 years back, a drug that maimed a generation discovered brand-new...

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Thalidomide helps severe cases —The drug that was banned because of its crippling effect on babies when taken as a tranquilizer and sleeping pill by pregnant women is being studied for its use in Hansen’s disease, or leprosy. Thalidomide has been tried on 22 leprosy patients … on an experimental basis with the permission of the U.S. Food…

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