Ebola’s end: History’s lessons

Ebola’s end: History’s lessons
As Ebola ravages West Africa, we seek answers in past epidemics. How did cholera, plague, smallpox end? Lacking drugs or a vaccine, how can deadly Ebola be controlled? More »

Meet the mosquito: Annoying, deadly

Meet the mosquito: Annoying, deadly

Malaria is declining slowly, but skeeters carry other diseases, including dengue and West Nile. How do mosquitoes reproduce? What are the lessons of the anti-malaria campaign? Why not genetically alter mosquitoes so they will kill the malaria parasite by themselves? More »

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 »

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 »

Dangerous viruses: New weapons against new foes

Dangerous viruses: New weapons against new foes
What would better protection against new viruses look like? Old-style outbreak investigations can take years. Mammals may carry 320,000 viruses. Some can start an epidemic if they “jump” to people. Can ecological knowledge support new prevention strategies to block the “jumpers”? More »

Problems of the apes

Problems of the apes

Bad feet? Aching back? Impacted wisdom teeth? Blame balky designs inherited from your relatives. How has evolution equipped — or mal-equipped — us for modern life? How do big brains support culture that supports big brains? 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 »

Know thy genes, know thyself?

Know thy genes, know thyself?

Advances in genetics raise the stakes in genetic counseling, but the genetic role in disease can be complicated, elusive. What role do faith, personality and knowledge play in the complex discussions over genetic disease? More »

Short of meds…

Short of meds…

Contaminated injection blamed for mini-epidemic. Why are hospitals running out of generic drugs, anesthetics and antibiotics? More »

In praise of the lowly apple

In praise of the lowly apple

Among foodies, apples lack the “healthy-tasty” cachet of acai berries or pomegranates. But in a year-long study, apples produced major benefits in cholesterol and inflammation. After eating 75 grams of dry apple a day, the women even lost three pounds. Is there something not to love about apples? More »

Flying virus!

Flying virus!

Flu virus can fly on aerosols after a sneeze, cough, even a breath. They can stay aloft for hours, long enough to find another victim. More »

Hangover: Getting to the root of pain

Hangover: Getting to the root of pain

It’s as sure as sunrise. Drink too much, and you’ll pay next morning: lassitude, nausea, headache, dizziness, and more specialized agonies will be cause for regret. Hangovers: If you can’t avoid them, will they cause you to drink less? Do fruitflies get hung over? More »