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Music to My Fears

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Some 50 years ago, someone noticed that music seemed to dull pain during dental operations. Dentists everywhere have been playing Muzak ever since, which may not be music per se, but that's a different story.

In a new paper, researchers attempt to parse the reason why music soothes the savage beast (in this case, mice) or at least appears to ...Read more

Pill Posture

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University report that standing or sitting tall helps accelerate absorption and effectiveness of pain relievers taken orally. It's all about fluid dynamics.

Most pills don't start working until the stomach releases their ingredients into the intestine. The closer a pill lands to the antrum, the last part of the ...Read more

Holey Microbes!

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A used kitchen sponge wallowing in the sink may be the germiest thing you touch on a daily basis, far "dirtier" than the dishes it is supposed to clean. A Duke University study compared old, used sponges to petri dishes in terms of supporting 80 different strains of E. coli bacteria under different conditions.

The researchers found that ...Read more

Latest Buzz

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

You probably missed it, but Aug. 20 was World Mosquito Day in recognition (if not honor) of the insect responsible for nearly one-fifth of all vector-borne infectious diseases worldwide, including malaria, dengue, Zika, West Nile, chikungunya and yellow fever -- and 700,000 deaths worldwide each year. Mosquitos kill more people than any other ...Read more

A Weighty Response

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Studies suggest flu shots are less effective in people with obesity, perhaps due to an altered immune response, so similar concerns have been raised about COVID vaccines. But a large study found that the two-dose COVID vaccines were effective in preventing severe illness across the spectrum of weight.

Nonetheless, there was some variation: ...Read more

Big Bacteria News

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Most bacteria are tiny. You could fit thousands of them on the period at the end of this sentence. But on submerged leaves in the Caribbean Sea, researchers have discovered a bacterial behemoth. Dubbed Thiomargarita magnifica, a single bacterium is the size of a pea, 50 times larger than its nearest competitor.

Thiomargarita means "sulfur ...Read more

For Men Only

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Doctors are increasingly using the repurposed drug tadalafil to prevent heart complications in people with Type 2 diabetes. A small study has found that the drug doesn't benefit women with diabetes. Maybe that's not surprising: Tadalafil is primarily marketed as Cialis, the popular erectile dysfunction medication. Cialis appears to improve how...Read more

Monkeypox by Another Name

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

There's a push by scientists in Africa and elsewhere to rename the virus that causes monkeypox because it is stigmatizing and inaccurate. Historically, monkeypox infections have been restricted to West and Central Africa, where the virus is endemic in some animals. But now, more than 30,000 cases have been detected in more than 40 countries ...Read more

Saturday Night Griever

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

You can be the safest driver on the road, but chances are you're not alone on the road, thus the reason to always drive defensively. But other factors also play into driving risk, such as weather, road conditions and even day and time.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts ongoing analyses of the most dangerous days and ...Read more

Ring in the Baby

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A small study found that the Oura Ring, which contains sensors to monitor body temperature, appears to do a pretty good job of detecting pregnancies. Researchers found that nightly temperatures measured by the ring were higher two to nine days after sex that led to conception.

"If women know that they're pregnant sooner, they can make choices...Read more

Sunshine in a Tomato

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Remember the Flavr Savr tomato in the 1980s, the first commercially grown, genetically engineered food to improve shelf life and fungal resistance? Researchers recently reported using gene-editing CRISPR tools to build a tomato richer in vitamin D, which could help people who do not get enough of the vitamin from other enriched foods or ...Read more

It's a Violent Life (and Death)

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

We wax poetic for pre-pandemic times. Then, numbers are tabulated.

In 2019, approximately 67,000 people died of violence-related injuries in the U.S. Two-thirds of these deaths were by suicide; one-quarter were homicides; just under 9% were of unknown origin; 1.4% involved law enforcement; and less than 1% were unintentional gun deaths.

The ...Read more

Stiff Arteries

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

High blood pressure is a well-known risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes, an affliction that affects 1 in 10 Americans and is increasing in prevalence. New research, however, suggests there may be a better warning signal: arterial stiffness.

A study of 11,000 people in China showed that stiffer arteries (which should be flexible and ...Read more

 

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