• Havana mysteryMedical problems of U.S. Havana embassy personnel explained

    A medical team has released the first report of acute symptoms and clinical findings in 25 personnel living in the U.S. Embassy in Havana. The researchers did not attempt to determine the cause of the symptoms in the U.S. Embassy residents, the authors noted that intense ultrasonic radiation can produce “a syndrome involving manifestations of nausea, headache, tinnitus, pain, dizziness, and fatigue,” based on occupational health literature.

  • Climate threatsEvidence supporting regulation of greenhouse gases stronger than ever: Scientists

    Sixteen prominent climate scientists argue that there is more reason than ever for the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases, at the same time some politicians are pushing the EPA to reverse its 2009 decision to do so.

  • First responseVitalTag to give vital information in mass casualty incidents

    When mass casualty incidents occur — shootings, earthquakes, multiple car pile ups — first responders can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer number of victims. When every second counts, monitoring all the victims in a chaotic situation can be difficult. Researchers developed a stick-on sensor that measures and tracks a patient’s vital signs to help first responders quickly triage, treat and transport the injured.

  • Climate & national securityNational security in the Fourth National Climate Assessment

    NCA4 vol. 2: “Climate change presents added risks to interconnected systems that are already exposed to a range of stressors such as aging and deteriorating infrastructure, land-use changes, and population growth. Extreme weather and climate-related impacts on one system can result in increased risks or failures in other critical systems, including water resources, food production and distribution, energy and transportation, public health, international trade, and national security. The full extent of climate change risks to interconnected systems, many of which span regional and national boundaries, is often greater than the sum of risks to individual sectors.”

  • Chemical warfareQuick, precise method for detecting chemical warfare agents

    Sarin is a man-made nerve agent that can spread as a gas or liquid. According to the Center for Disease control, exposure to large doses will over-stimulate glands and muscles, and can lead to loss of consciousness or respiratory failure. Even small doses can cause a long list of distressing and dangerous symptoms. “Low-level nerve agent exposure leads to ambiguous signs and symptoms that cannot be easily discriminated from other conditions, which may result in a delay in treatment and permanent damage,” says an expert. “If trace amounts can be detected quickly, you can prevent permanent damage to human health.”

  • Public healthWildfire smoke is becoming a nationwide health threat

    By Richard E. Peltier

    The impacts of recent forest fires in California reach well beyond the burned areas. Smoke from the Camp Fire created hazardous air quality conditions in San Francisco, more than 170 miles to the southwest – but it didn’t stop there. Cross-country winds carried it across the United States, creating hazy conditions in locations as far east as Philadelphia. As an air pollution exposure scientist, I worry about the extreme levels of air pollution that rise from these fires and affect many people across great distances.

  • Public healthE coli probe prompts CDC warning to avoid all romaine

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday warned consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce and for retailers and restaurants not to sell or serve it, as US and Canadian officials investigate an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak.

  • GunsFirearm deaths, injuries among children

    Nearly 28,000 American children and teens have died because of firearms in the past decade – second only to the 44,800 who died in motor vehicle collisions. But while the number of young people who die each year from car and truck crashes has fallen, it’s stayed about the same for guns.

  • Truth decayAn information “echo chamber” impedes flu vaccination for children

    Parents who decline to get their child vaccinated against the flu may be exposed to a limited range of information, a new national poll suggests. And depending on which sources parents turn to the most, inaccurate information may influence their decision about flu vaccine for their child.

  • Truth decayThe counties where the anti-vaccine movement thrives in the U.S.

    By Peter J Hotez

    As a pediatrician-scientist who develops new vaccines for neglected diseases, I followed the emergence of doubt over vaccine safety in the general public. Ultimately, in scientific circles, any debate ended when an overwhelming body of scientific evidence demonstrated there was no association between vaccines and autism. In Texas, however, the anti-vaccine movement is aggressive, well-organized and politically engaged. There are now at least 57,000 Texas schoolchildren being exempted from their vaccines for nonmedical reasons, about a 20-fold rise since 2003. I say “at least” because there is no data on the more than 300,000 homeschooled kids.

  • Truth decayVaccination myths must be debunked: Experts

    An analysis of anti-vaccine witness statements presented during the Texas Legislature’s 2017 session revealed recurring misconceptions that need to be challenged, according to an experts. The experts say that there are five recurring misconceptions about vaccines: that they are ineffective; herd immunity is a myth; vaccines “shed” and cause the spread of disease; the impacts of vaccine-preventable diseases are minor; and vaccine-exempt children are not spreading disease. “Each of these myths is inaccurate and unscientific,” the experts say.

  • GunsU.S. doctors slam NRA for telling them to “stay in their lane”

    The NRA told U.S. physicians to “stay in their lane” after a medical association recommended steps for reducing gun violence. Some U.S. doctors responded with graphic images of their attempts to treat gunshot victims.

  • GunsLax state gun laws linked to more child, teen gun deaths

    States with strict gun laws have lower rates of gun deaths among children and teenagers, and laws to keep guns away from minors are linked with fewer gun suicides in this age group, a Stanford study found.

  • Mass shootingsPittsburgh trauma surgeon: “Stop the Bleed” training saved lives after shooting, but stopping the need must be next

    By Matthew D. Neal

    I am a trauma surgeon who cared for many of the critically wounded victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. As we raced to find the source of blood loss in one of the most severely injured patients, one of my trauma surgeon partners, a U.S. Army veteran of multiple tours, joined me in the operating room to assist. His first comment upon seeing the injuries that we were managing struck me. He said he last saw such destruction from military weaponry when he was serving in Afghanistan.

  • Terrorism“Terrorism does not terrorize”: Study

    The impact of terrorism on post-traumatic stress may be less significant than we thought, argue the authors of a significant new study. A major review of over 400 research articles studying the association between acts of terrorism and mental health has reached the significant conclusion that “terrorism isn’t terrorizing” – at least not in a way that causes increases in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) greater than would be expected from any other distressing event.