February 13, 2013 Until now, a new SARS-like virus showed little signs of being contagious. Only 10 cases have been reported, and all appeared to originate in the Middle East. Health officials now say a British resident likely caught the virus from a family member in the U.K., indicating that the virus can spread between people.
February 13, 2013 Firstborn children are more likely to have higher blood pressure and be more resistant to insulin, researchers in New Zealand say. But despite those worrisome signs, there's no hard evidence linking birth order to diabetes or heart disease risk in adulthood.
February 12, 2013 Diclofenac — sold under the brand names Voltaren, Cambia, Cataflam and Zipsor — raises the risk of a heart attack by about 40 percent. But that hasn't prevented the drug from becoming the world's most popular painkiller in its class. Now researchers are calling on the World Health Organization to remove it from a list of so-called "essential medicines."
February 11, 2013 An attention researcher wanted to find out how radiologists would fare in a version of the famous Invisible Gorilla study. He found that 83 percent of the radiologists failed to spot an image of a gorilla on slides they were told to inspect for cancer. It's just one example of how, when people are asked to perform a challenging task, their attention can narrow and blocks things out.
February 10, 2013 Chagas' disease, which is transmitted by the "kissing bug," occurs mainly in Latin America. But the illness is on the rise in the U.S. Health economists now estimate that Chagas costs the world about $7 billion annually, which is more than the cost of cervical cancer or cholera.
February 8, 2013 Clearing the blocked artery of a stroke patient with a device snaked through the blood vessel was thought to salvage threatened brain cells and prevent disability. But multiple studies are casting doubt on that conclusion.
February 7, 2013 Inmates at a maximum security prison in Arizona were stricken with botulism after consuming homemade hooch that's called "pruno" inside the big house. Potatoes appear to be the source of the problem in two separate outbreaks.
February 5, 2013 Testing for prostate cancer may not get any less confusing anytime soon. But researchers say the much-maligned PSA screening test is worthwhile if it's used for the right men at the right time.
February 4, 2013 Many of them have cut out smoking, and rates of heart attack and emphysema have declined. But baby boomers are burdened with diabetes, hypertension and many other chronic conditions. Researchers say too little exercise and a rise in obesity threaten baby boomers' golden years.
February 4, 2013 Some people with damage to a specific region of the brain called the amygdala do not feel fear. If you make them handle a snake or show them a scene from a scary movie such as The Shining, they won't be affected. But breathing in air with high levels of carbon dioxide can send them into a panic.
February 1, 2013 Most medical schools have cut down on students' interactions with the pharmaceutical industry by instituting gift restriction policies. These policies can reduce the prescribing of newly marketed drugs in favor of cheaper options.
January 31, 2013 There have been 20 reports of human salmonella infections linked to pet hedgehogs recently. Public health officials say people should keep the animals away from areas where food is prepared and served.
January 31, 2013 Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees without injuring themselves. That's more than twice as far around as humans can safely handle. Nifty adaptations in owls' vertebrae and blood vessels make it possible.
January 31, 2013 A drug used in brain scans to help doctors detect clumps of protein associated with Alzheimer's disease was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year. Now Medicare officials are weighing whether to cover it.