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Category: Health

Alabama justice who ruled embryos are people says American law should be rooted in the Bible

Alabama justice who ruled embryos are people says American law should be rooted in the Bible

NBC News reports: On the same day that Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker handed down an opinion declaring that fertilized frozen embryos are people, imperiling women’s access to in vitro fertilization treatments, he espoused support for a once-fringe philosophy that calls on evangelical Christians to reshape society based on their interpretation of the Bible. During an online broadcast hosted by Tennessee evangelist Johnny Enlow on Friday, Parker suggested America was founded explicitly as a Christian nation and discussed…

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Plastics reckoning: PVC is ubiquitous, but maybe not for long

Plastics reckoning: PVC is ubiquitous, but maybe not for long

Nicola Jones writes: The word “vinyl” might sound innocuous, bringing to mind everyday items like LP records, flooring, pipes, or shiny plastic pants. The plastic this name refers to — polyvinyl chloride (PVC) — is the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic polymer, with more than 50 million tons cranked out each year for everything from window frames to food wrap, fake leather car seats to medical products. It’s everywhere. But environmentalists and NGOs have been raising alarms about PVC for…

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A pediatrician’s two weeks inside a hospital in Gaza

A pediatrician’s two weeks inside a hospital in Gaza

Isaac Chotiner interviewed Dr. Seema Jilani, a senior technical adviser at the International Rescue Committee who went to Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza to aid the humanitarian effort there in December: We worked alongside the Palestinian physicians and nurses there, and we really think it’s important to work alongside them and learn from them. We were in one of the last enduring emergency rooms in central Gaza. Within the two weeks that I was there, I saw it go from…

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How Big Pharma is fueling a radical MAGA agenda

How Big Pharma is fueling a radical MAGA agenda

Rolling Stone reports: Big Pharma has invested big money in the organizations planning what a MAGA policy agenda will look like in a new Trump administration. Not surprisingly, that policy playbook contains a major gift for the drug industry: a swift end to the Biden administration’s landmark program to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. For two decades, Congress barred Medicare from negotiating prescription drug prices, which is a major reason why Americans pay higher prices for drugs than…

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U.S. states had an estimated 65,000 rape-related pregnancies after banning abortion

U.S. states had an estimated 65,000 rape-related pregnancies after banning abortion

NPR reports: As an abortion provider in Montana, Dr. Samuel Dickman has seen patients routinely who tell him they became pregnant after a rape. His sense was the patients who were telling him were only a fraction of the true number. “There are certainly far more survivors of rape who become pregnant as a result, who — for totally understandable reasons — don’t want to disclose that fact to a medical provider that they just met.” Dickman used to live…

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Gaza’s indirect casualties mount as health service decimated

Gaza’s indirect casualties mount as health service decimated

The Guardian reports: Health services in Gaza are “decimated”, with medical staff exhausted after three months of war forced to extract shrapnel without adequate pain relief, conduct amputations without anaesthetics and watch children die of cancers because of a lack of facilities and medicine. Dozens of interviews with doctors and medical administrators in Gaza reveal a catastrophic and deteriorating situation as health services struggle to cope with tens of thousands of casualties of the continuing Israeli offensive in the territory…

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Humans are increasingly passing pathogens to animal populations

Humans are increasingly passing pathogens to animal populations

Nature reports: There was something wrong with the chimpanzees. For weeks, a community of 205 animals in Uganda’s Kibale National Park had been coughing, sneezing and looking generally miserable. But no one could say for sure what ailed them, even as the animals began to die. Necropsies can help to identify a cause of death, but normally, the bodies of chimps that succumb to disease are found long after decomposition has set in, if at all. So when Tony Goldberg,…

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‘Deep concern’ for patients and staff at Gaza’s al-Aqsa hospital

‘Deep concern’ for patients and staff at Gaza’s al-Aqsa hospital

BBC News reports: The three doctors from the UK [Deborah Harrington, Nick Maynard, and James Smith] said they witnessed “horrific” injuries and challenging conditions inside al-Aqsa hospital. “We had no running water in theatres, so we had no ability to scrub up and wash,” Mr Maynard said of the surgical unit. “We just had to use alcohol gel before operating.” “There were no drapes to cover the patients in theatres, so we had to use makeshift gowns to try to…

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The epidemiological war on Gaza

The epidemiological war on Gaza

Maya Rosen writes: Since October 7th, Israel has severely reduced the entry of food, water, and fuel into Gaza, successfully creating what global health expert Yara Asi described as “a dire human-made humanitarian catastrophe” characterized by mass hunger, thirst, homelessness, and lack of medical services. As months pass without any meaningful relief, these conditions have produced “the perfect storm for disease,” in the words of United Nations Children’s Fund spokesperson James Elder. On January 2nd, the WHO announced that there…

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Pharmacies share medical data with police without a warrant, inquiry finds

Pharmacies share medical data with police without a warrant, inquiry finds

The Washington Post reports: The nation’s largest pharmacy chains have handed over Americans’ prescription records to police and government investigators without a warrant, a congressional investigation found, raising concerns about threats to medical privacy. Though some of the chains require their lawyers to review law enforcement requests, three of the largest — CVS Health, Kroger and Rite Aid, with a combined 60,000 locations nationwide — said they allow pharmacy staff members to hand over customers’ medical records in the store….

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Microplastics in drinking water affect behavior and immunity in mice, study reveals

Microplastics in drinking water affect behavior and immunity in mice, study reveals

PsyPost reports: A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences has uncovered startling effects of microplastics on mice, revealing significant behavioral changes and immune responses in both young and old subjects. This research expands our understanding of how these environmental pollutants might be affecting mammals — potentially including humans. Microplastics, tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter, have been a growing concern for environmentalists and health professionals alike. Found in everything from water bodies to human…

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Gut microbes may play role in social anxiety disorder, say researchers

Gut microbes may play role in social anxiety disorder, say researchers

The Guardian reports: While some people might relish the prospect of a new year party, for others socialising can trigger feelings of fear, anxiety and distress. Now researchers say microbes in the gut may play a role in causing social anxiety disorder, opening up fresh possibilities for therapies. Scientists have previously found the gut microbiome – the collection of bacteria and other organisms that live in the gastrointestinal system – differs for people who have social anxiety disorder (SAD) compared…

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Intermittent fasting seems to result in dynamic changes to the human brain

Intermittent fasting seems to result in dynamic changes to the human brain

Science Alert reports: Scientists looking to tackle our ongoing obesity crisis have made an important discovery: Intermittent fasting leads to significant changes both in the gut and the brain, which may open up new options for maintaining a healthy weight. Researchers from China studied 25 volunteers classed as obese over a period of 62 days, during which they took part in an intermittent energy restriction (IER) program – a regime that involves careful control of calorie intake and fasting on…

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America has a life expectancy crisis. But it’s not a political priority

America has a life expectancy crisis. But it’s not a political priority

The Washington Post reports: The commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration had an urgent message last winter for his colleagues, brandishing data that life expectancy in the United States had fallen again — the biggest two-year decline in a century. Robert Califf’s warning, summarized by three people with knowledge of the conversations, boiled down to this: Americans’ life expectancy is going the wrong way. We’re the top health officials in the country. If we don’t fix this, who will?…

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Israelis now fear catching the diseases that are spreading across Gaza

Israelis now fear catching the diseases that are spreading across Gaza

The Times of Israel reports: The death of a badly wounded IDF soldier in an Israeli hospital who was infected with a dangerous strain of fungus while fighting in the Gaza Strip has raised concerns about disease in Gaza affecting troops and possibly spreading to Israeli civilians. According to a Kan public broadcaster report, the soldier was brought to Assuta Ashdod Medical Center two weeks ago with severe limb injuries. Despite round-the-clock care, the fungus proved to be treatment-resistant and…

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American adults pack in a meal’s worth of snacks every day

American adults pack in a meal’s worth of snacks every day

Ohio State University news: Snacks constitute almost a quarter of a day’s calories in U.S. adults and account for about one-third of daily added sugar, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzing data from surveys of over 20,000 people found that Americans averaged about 400 to 500 calories in snacks a day – often more than what they consumed at breakfast – that offered little nutritional value. Though dietitians are very aware of Americans’ propensity to snack, “the magnitude of the…

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