Air pollution may contribute to Alzheimer’s and dementia risk – here's what we're learning from brain scans

The tiny air pollutants known as PM2.5, emitted by vehicles, factories and power plants, aren’t just a hazard for lungs. A study finds more brain shrinkage in older women exposed to pollution.

Jiu-Chiuan Chen, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California • conversation
Jan. 5, 2021 ~7 min

alzheimers-disease medicine brain pollution dementia science aging air-pollution womens-health pm-25 vehicles brain-health

Why it matters that the coronavirus is changing – and what this means for vaccine effectiveness

A new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 appears to be spreading fast in the the UK. What does this mean for vaccine developers and vaccinations?

David Kennedy, Assistant Professor of Biology, Penn State • conversation
Dec. 22, 2020 ~6 min

 health  medicine  covid-19  coronavirus  pandemic  sars-cov-2  ace2  pfizer  pfizerbiontech-vaccine  moderna-vaccine

Who is doing all those COVID-19 tests? Why you should care about medical laboratory professionals

The pandemic is placing strain not just on doctors and nurses but the medical laboratory professionals who conduct the billions of medical tests behind the scenes.

Rodney E. Rohde, Professor of Clinical Laboratory Science, Texas State University • conversation
Dec. 14, 2020 ~10 min

 health  medicine  covid-19  pandemic  pcr

We scanned the DNA of 8,000 people to see how facial features are controlled by genes

Like it or not, the facial feature most influenced by your genes is your nose. Researchers investigate which genes are involved in sculpting the face.

John R. Shaffer, Assistant Professor of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Dec. 7, 2020 ~9 min

 health  medicine  genetics  gene  face  inheritance  chromosome

Genetic engineering transformed stem cells into working mini-livers that extended the life of mice with liver disease

New strategy helps build synthetic organs from scratch. This enabled the researchers to grow functioning liver tissue in the lab that could be transplanted into mice with liver disease.

Mo Ebrahimkhani, Associate Professor of Pathology and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Dec. 7, 2020 ~8 min

stem-cells health medicine biology hepatitis liver liver-transplants organoid induced-pluripotent-stem-cells

Rural hospitals are under siege from COVID-19 – here's what doctors are facing, in their own words

Hospitals are losing staff to quarantines as rural case numbers rise, and administrators fear flu season will make make it worse. And then there's the politics.

Lauren Hughes, Physician, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus • conversation
Nov. 20, 2020 ~9 min

medicine public-health covid-19 coronavirus politics pandemic health-care quarantine hospitals doctors masks rural great-plains rural-health midwest

Cigarette smoke can reprogram cells in your airways, causing COPD to hang on after smoking ends

A new discovery offers hope for ways to treat a debilitating disease that has become a leading cause of death in the US..

Bradley Richmond, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University • conversation
Oct. 28, 2020 ~8 min

health medicine inflammation smoking tobacco lungs antibodies lung-disease breathing cigarettes copd

The spooky and dangerous side of black licorice

Who knew that black licorice had a dark side? A scientist explains when this treat becomes a threat.

Bill Sullivan, Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology; author of Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are, Indiana University • conversation
Oct. 26, 2020 ~8 min

 health  medicine  sugar  halloween  blood-pressure  sweets  candy

Why males may have a worse response to COVID-19

A new study is the first to identify sex differences in inflammation and immune cell activation in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which causes COVID-19.

Meghan E. Rebuli, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • conversation
Oct. 12, 2020 ~7 min

 health  medicine  covid-19  coronavirus  pandemic  immunology  flu  sars-cov-2  severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome-sars  immune-response  sex  middle-east-respiratory-syndrome

What is COVAX and why does it matter for getting vaccines to developing nations?

The Trump administration wants to go it alone when it comes to vaccine development and distribution. What does this mean for the U.S. and the world?

Nicole Hassoun, Professor of Philosophy, Binghamton University, State University of New York • conversation
Oct. 2, 2020 ~8 min

 health  medicine  covid-19  pandemic  sars-cov-2  world-health-organization-who  gavi  covax