Health and science

Can we open the blood-brain barrier?
Protecting the brain from toxins, pathogens, and random molecules that don’t belong is the job of the blood-brain barrier. But the same tightly woven cell network that blocks toxic substances also blocks entry of potentially life-saving medicines. 

Untangling Alzheimer’s
Every 66 seconds, someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s disease, which inexorably destroys the brain’s cognitive circuits and kills more people annually than breast and prostate cancers combined. 

Making strides on rare diseases
Carolyn Macica, PhD, is recognized as the national expert on adult XLH — a progressive, genetic condition in which the kidneys fail to process phosphate and vitamin D normally,

How to get people to believe facts
As far back as the 1950s, tobacco companies knew full well that research had linked their products to diseases that sickened and killed their customers. The industry’s response: deny and discredit the real science, and peddle alternative facts….

The fires next time
Our planet as we know it would not exist without fire.

When big drug companies buy little drug companies
Large companies often have a taste for smaller firms….But when one company gobbles up another for the purpose of terminating the smaller firm’s projects and destroying its potential as a competitor, we are looking at a “killer acquisition.”

Your brain on LSD research
Long associated with “turning on, tuning in, and dropping out,” LSD has the potential to provide insights into the workings of the brain and the mechanisms that underlie certain mental illnesses.

Happiness is just a click away
You probably can’t buy happiness. But you might find it online for free.  

Bookworms live longer
The next time you talk to a clinician about how you’re taking care of your health, you might want to include a discussion of your reading habits.

Pregnant? Go easy on the acetaminophen
Scientists cite a growing body of research showing the drug might alter fetal development.  

Desire for family, not career goals, drives egg freezing
She is a media trope: the hard-driving career woman…. Panicking, she freezes her eggs so she can postpone child-bearing….But, according to a recent study…the primary impetus behind the decision to freeze one’s eggs is quite different.

Stressed? Hug a dog and call in the morning
Charlie Brown assured the world that happiness is a warm puppy. But researchers want to understand whether it’s the dogs themselves, or other factors…that provide benefits.

 When microbes go to school
Students working at the desks in their classrooms have a lot of company besides their classmates and teachers: the countless microbes on the desks’ surfaces.

Ticks could be…life savers?
The same tick that can transmit serious infections to humans may become the source of a substance that could save lives.

When animals sound a warning
Ecologists and epidemiologists try to understand the not-always-felicitous interactions among humans, their environment and disease.

Driving away EV doubts
Is that electric vehicle you’re eyeing really going to reduce your carbon footprint?

Putting a price on carbon
Climate change resulting from the human-caused release of carbon dioxide increases the severity of a host of problems that affect humans directly — from hurricanes, floods, and wildfires to increases in insect-borne disease.

Cancer, race, and the Affordable Care Act
The U.S. health care system is riddled with well-documented racial disparities. But expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) virtually eliminated those disparities in at least one crucial area: access to treatment for advanced forms of cancer. 

CT’s hospitals look beyond their doors to improve health
Having an asthma treatment plan for your child goes only so far if your apartment building is infested with mold. A healthful diet is essential to diabetes management, but eating right is hard if the only food readily available….

Kids caught in the opioid crisis
Enough opioids are prescribed every year to put a bottle of painkillers in every household…and kids are getting into them.

Is gun violence catching?
The U.S. has the highest rates of gun violence among high-income countries….But, according to a recent study…gun violence is concentrated within relatively small social networks, and replicated through a process of social contagion.

His and hers fat cells
The difference found between male and female patterns of fat cell gain may affect the ability of women to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

The lure of food ads
Although the reasons for Americans’ increased weight are complex, there is mounting evidence that advertising of unhealthy foods is a key factor.