Rachel Feltman
at 10:35 AM Feb 23 2017

When I saw the press release for a new study linking the risk of autism to maternal infection with genital herpes, my heart sunk. Because you can't put two scary buzzwords like "autism" and "herpes" into a press release without creating this kind of media response:

Sara Chodosh
at 10:35 AM Feb 23 2017

Cat owners can sleep easy tonight. Well, maybe they can't if their cat likes to wake them up at 4am by gently clawing their cheeks, but they can at least put their minds at ease: owning a cat isn't actually bad for your mental health.

Cici Zhang
at 12:30 PM Feb 20 2017

If you've bought a bottle of water in the past few years, you've probably spotted a “BPA-free” label or twenty. A chemical that leaks out of polycarbonate plastics, bisphenol A is determined “safe at the current levels occurring in food” by the Food and Drug Administration, but there's evidence that it can disrupt our brain and endocrine systems at higher doses.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 11:14 AM Feb 16 2017

Fever, chills, vomiting, headache, mental confusion, and occasionally death: That's the prognosis for more than 200 million people infected with malaria each year. Preventative measures aimed at reducing risk exposure—that is, avoiding mosquito bites—have had some success. But the ultimate solution, a vaccine, has remained elusive for decades. In fact, the 2009 book The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage? tracks the long history of scientific effort in that arena. Now, however, a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature suggests scientists may have cracked the code.

Claire Maldarelli
at 11:14 AM Feb 16 2017

Ever since CRISPR—the relatively cheap and easy-to-use genome editing technique—made its way to the scientific stage, researchers have grappled with one of its biggest ethical quagmires: Its ability to edit human embryos, thereby potentially altering the DNA of subsequent generations. The question of whether to allow such a drastic and permanent change has been discussed ad nauseum since it became clear that CRISPR would make this (relatively) easy to do. This week, a panel of experts from the National Academy of Science released a report endorsing this type of research—though a long list of caveats and precautions come in tow.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 11:14 AM Feb 16 2017

In China, the famed man in the moon is a bunny. Confused? So, it seems, are our eyes, according to a new study in the journal PLOS ONE. The study looks at why people see so many different images when we stare at Rorschach inkblots.

Claire Maldarelli
at 14:43 PM Feb 13 2017

This week, The Times of India reported on a 42-year-old Indian woman who went to the emergency room complaining of a severely painful “tingling, crawling sensation” in her head. Two sets of doctors couldn't figure out the cause of her pain, but the third set finally made a breakthrough: They determined it was a “foreign body that seemed to be mobile,” ordered a scan, and found a living, fully-grown cockroach lodged inside her nasal cavity. Doctors quickly guided a flexible tube called an endoscope up the woman's nose to remove the bug. Luckily, everything turned out okay for both the woman and sneaky pest, which doctors noted was crawling around a petri dish after it had been removed.

 
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