Chronic pain: Understanding the roots, finding the cures

Chronic pain: Understanding the roots, finding the cures

Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, even chronic lower back pain are all “centralized pain states” that can result when the brain is abnormally sensitive to pain. Recognizing the brain’s role changes everything about the treatment of syndromes affecting millions of people. More »

World Cup raises epidemic questions

World Cup raises epidemic questions
Brazil had 1.2 million cases of dengue (“breakbone”) fever last year. What is the threat to World-Cup spectators? How do scientists predict and track disease outbreaks at mass gatherings for sports and religion? More »

To heal hearing, try temporary blindness?

To heal hearing, try temporary blindness?
Think hearing and sight were separate? Think again. After seven days in darkness, mice detected quieter sounds, and recognized subtle changes in pitch. What does this suggest about new ways to support failing hearing? More »

Does concussion accelerate Alzheimer’s?

Does concussion accelerate Alzheimer's?
As scientists search for the effects of brain injury, a long-term study looks at signs of Alzheimer’s, cognitive ability and past concussion. Links exist, but they are murky. More »

Stimulation: Too much could hurt when you are young.

Stimulation: Too much could hurt when you are young.
Growing brains need blood. But persistent noise or activity both slow formation of new vessels in the brain of a mouse. Mice aren’t people, but this result might interest new parents! More »

Cholera strikes Haiti, spreads

Cholera strikes Haiti, spreads
As Haiti copes with thousands of deaths, scientists try to understand how weather affects cholera, and how to battle a feces-borne disease in a country lacking good sanitation and clean water. More »

Sweet and sour!

Sweet and sour!
Study finds added sugar — equal to 3 cans of soda a day — doubles death rate among female mice, and impairs male reproduction. Even if mice aren’t people, yikes! More »

Stem cell therapy: When will it help the heart?

Stem cell therapy: When will it help the heart?

Heart muscle is never replaced if it dies in a heart attack. Muscle cells grown from stem cells can briefly help broken hearts. Could new approaches make the healing long-term? More »

New food rules: How healthy?

New food rules: How healthy?

What are the safety fundamentals of the giant American food system? What do the new rules say? Who will (and maybe should) escape regulation? More »

Odder than odd!

Odder than odd!

Dig the dung beetle. Sample the belly button. Tilt your brain — and see what happens. Watch bees cook their enemies. Drive through the cabbie’s brain. Check out pretty pix of pretty chicks. All weird. All here! More »

Love your arteries?

Love your arteries?

Think you can get away with an occasional high-fat junk food chow-down? A new study confirms that a single meal can harm your arteries. Eating the same number of calories in a Mediterranean-diet meal is benign or beneficial to the arteries. More »

Biobombs blast cancer!

Biobombs blast cancer!

We reported on viruses that infect cancer cells, force them to make more virus, and then die. Can viruses become “intelligent bio-agents” against cancer? More »

West Nile virus running wild

West Nile virus running wild

Mosquitoes spread a lot of disease, but they are not just “flying hypodermic needles.” As we rush to protect ourselves against a virus that can cause permanent brain damage, how can we understand and control the mosquitoes that spread West Nile? More »

Should “wastewater” be wasted?

effluent pumps

Population growth, climate change and development are all focusing attention on water shortages. Theoretically, water can be recycled forever, but can we possibly clean sewage to make it drinkable? Yes, and a number of projects around the country are doing exactly that. Bottoms up! More »

Brain under threat

black and white graphic of frightened eyes

In just a moment, our brains can go from calm, deliberate and focused, to alert, agitated and aroused. New neural networks get activated during the transition. Now a study of the fight-or flight-response fingers a common hormone in triggering the brainwide changes. More »