It’s a tale fit for a sci-fi novel: 21 diplomats in Cuba suffer from symptoms like hearing loss and brain damage. And Cuba stands to lose a lot. Read the rest at USA Today.
Intelligence, physical ability, height, skin color and disease risk each are determined by many genes. You can’t get what you want by editing one or two. Read the rest at USA Today.
Cheyllyn Ranae Collinsworth, an 18-year-old Washington state resident, died in May following a car crash. The person responsible was driving under the influence of marijuana and has been charged with vehicular manslaughter. In states where marijuana is legal, car collisions are up 3%, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. Although marijuana impairs driving ability, police knew the driver in Washington had been using the drug only because he confessed. Read the rest at Wall Street Journal.
From folklore to numerology, solar eclipses have inspired fear, awe and even ads for copulation during the moment of totality. Read the rest at USA Today.
We’ll all be smarter, healthier and savvier if we dump unscientific buzzwords and health fads. Read the rest at USA Today.
The epidemic’s cause isn’t clear, but a nationwide system for tracking prescriptions would help. Read the rest at The Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a medical school professor with bureaucratic know-how and a long, pro-science resume. That makes him an excellent choice to head the Food and Drug Administration. Read the rest at USA Today.
The hygiene hypothesis may also apply to animal experiments.
THE hygiene hypothesis posits that certain diseases—notably asthma, eczema and type-1 diabetes—which are becoming more common than they once were, are caused in part by modern environments being too clean. The diseases in question result from misfunctions of the immune system. The hygiene hypothesis suggests such misfunctions are the result of children’s immune systems being unable to learn, by appropriate exposure to viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasitic worms, how to respond properly. Read the rest at The Economist.
The Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council (CEHPAC), an agency within Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has recommended that schools reduce or eliminate students’ exposure to Wi-Fi because it believes wireless signals might cause cancer. This is pure, unadulterated junk science. Read the rest at Baltimore Sun.
To curb the ongoing tidal wave of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, state and federal governments have put in place policies that restrict doctors’ ability to prescribe opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet. Although well-meaning, these policies are unleashing several unintended — yet entirely predictable — consequences. Read the rest at Stat News.