- As corn farming becomes more popular in some African regions, the rat population is exploding, leading to increasing numbers of cases of the plague.
- After the shutdown of a U.S. study trying to look at what factors influence health over an individual’s life, a new U.K. study is picking up where the first left off. 80,000 babies will be recruited and will be studied from birth to death.
- In a study of Malawian children, scientists have discovered that the composition of a child’s gut bacteria can make him or her more susceptible to malnutrition.
- Data from a large study analyzing the global causes of death in kids indicated that nearly half of child deaths were caused by infectious diseases.
- After the Fukushima disaster, Japanese produce was monitored to make sure it didn’t exceed radiation limits. A new study shows that this was effective; since the disaster, very few people have eaten food that exceeded radiation thresholds.
- Read of the week: Oliver Sacks, professor and author of several popular science books, writes about his attitude towards facing death upon learning he has terminal cancer. “When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”
- Tests to determine whether an individual has a genetic disease are getting better, thanks to improvements in technology. The FDA has previously been regulating the availability of these tests, but recently approved a test for Bloom syndrome, and will likely be allowing many more of these tests to come to market soon.
- In honor of this past week’s Rare Disease Day, Healthline describes some of the experiences of people who deal with uncommon illnesses.
- For children considered at risk of developing a peanut allergy, eating peanuts may actually decrease the risk of becoming allergic.
- Can the sound of an airplane overhead affect your health? Nature podcast explores.
- Cook County is now up to 15 cases of measles.
- Dr. Michael Wahl, director of the Illinois Poison Center in Chicago, has been named an “Unsung Hero of Public Health.”
- A study by NU researchers shows that people trying to quit smoking can use a nicotine patch for longer periods of time than previously recommended – and that it is safe and more effective.
- Senior citizens known as SuperAgers – who have the mental capacities of people much younger – also have different-looking brains than other people their own age, according to an NU study.