Human health

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It seems like there’s a new study with some sort of dietary health recommendation every week, and often the latest results contradict what we’ve heard before. Just in the past couple of weeks, a study came out claiming that the low-carb diets so many of us have been encouraged to follow may actually be shortening our lives. Another group of researchers announced that their findings suggest moderate alcohol consumption is not the way to go, that there is in fact no safe level of drinking. The examples go on and on.

 

By now, we all know that the food we eat has a huge impact on our health. But producing food requires land, water, nutrients – and in our globalized world – packaging and transportation. And that means that our dietary choices also have a big environmental impact. 

Courtest Will Massey

As kids head back to school, attention is usually on the academics: teachers planning the first lessons, and parents making sure students haven’t lost too much ground over the summer. But a new study draws attention to an often overlooked part of the school day: recess.

credit: Lawrence Berkeley Nat'l Lab - Roy Kaltschmidt, photographer. https://tinyurl.com/y758ayc8

There are many private testing services that will decode your DNA, catalog the foreign chemicals in your blood, or identify the bacteria living in and on your body. So it might come as a surprise that if you sign up for an actual biomedical research study, you might not be privy to what the scientists learn about you.

Courtesy Blue Bus Productions and Ambrosino/Delmenico

For many of us, pain is a daily part of life. Maybe it’s stubbing a toe, maybe it’s chronic back pain. Either way, a lot of money and effort go into finding ways to reduce pain.

But what if you couldn’t feel any pain? It wouldn’t be as great as you might think.

In January of this year, president Trump’s physician announced the results of his annual physical, including a cognitive evaluation. President Trump is thought to be the first sitting president to undergo such a cognitive evaluation, and it grabbed a fair bit of media attention. Many news outlets not only shared the result, but many shared the test, itself, or information about it.

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We've all heard that washing your hands is the best way to protect against infectious germs like the cold and flu. Now, new research suggests that it may also help lower your exposure to potentially harmful synthetic chemicals, like flame retardants.

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Drinking coffee could help you live longer, and not by just a little bit.

Experts say FIFA can do better at treating concussions.
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The FIFA men’s World Cup has been a been a tournament full of surprises and upsets. But it’s also been a example of how not to handle concussions, according to experts. And the problems started well before the latest World Cup. 

Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde / Wiki Commons / https://bit.ly/2tM5qo9

Some new research may help us understand the divide over President Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy. While the majority of Americans found the practice of separating families at the border objectionable, about a quarter of Americans supported the practice.

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We all know we feel better when we’re well-rested, but why do we sleep? And how much is enough?

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In the past two months, more than 2,300 immigrant children have been separated from their parents after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. President Trump has issued an executive order ending the practice, but it’s not clear when or how the previously separated families will be reunited.

Residents of Cape Cod are no strangers to chemical contaminants in their drinking water. The military base here has been a Superfund site since 1989 due to jet fuel and other contaminants in the groundwater. But a new class of chemicals came onto the scene a few years ago, not only on Cape Cod, but around the country. They’re known as PFASs and they come from things like firefighting foam, flame retardants, and non-stick coatings.

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A new report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health shows opioid-related deaths are down five percent compared to this time last year. And opioid prescriptions have also dropped here in the Commonwealth and nationwide. Still, the opioid epidemic is far from over, and the pace of research on effective pain management seems to be picking up. 

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Massachusetts highest court has ruled that MIT is not responsible for the suicide in 2009 of a twenty-five-year-old graduate student. MIT does have a higher suicide rate than other schools, but depression, anxiety, and suicide are a prevalent problem throughout academia.

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