Worry Fuel



13 June 2014

Feminization of men causing obesity epidemic, say Aussie researchers


An imbalance of female sex hormones among men in Western nations may be contributing to high levels of male obesity, as men artificially imitate the female pattern of weight gain...

19 May 2014

Windshield washer water a "significant" source of Legionnaire's


Outbreaks of Legionnaire's disease are most often linked to large-scale air conditioning systems, but new research shows that automobile windshield washers can harbor the Legionella bacteria for long periods and release potentially dangerous numbers of these bacteria into the air...

4 March 2014

Massive decline in food crop diversity threatens global food security


A detailed new study into global food supplies confirms for the first time what experts have long suspected: human diets around the world have grown ever more similar and the trend shows no signs of slowing, with major consequences for human nutrition and food supply reliability...

5 November 2013

A bad boss can cripple your immune system


A stressful workplace can dramatically change gene expression in our immune system and significantly impact our health, say Ohio State University scientists...

15 October 2013

Human carriers of mad cow disease double previous estimate


Analyzing thousands of tissue samples from surgical procedures carried out around the United Kingdom, researchers have estimated that the number of people carrying variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob prions to be double previous estimates...

16 September 2013

TV drug ads mostly false


Analyzing several years' worth of pharmaceutical advertisements, researchers found that 6 out-of 10 claims in prescription drug ads on television were misleading or false and over-the-counter drug ads were even less reliable...

27 May 2013

Honey, I baked the kids


The relaxation of marijuana laws in Colorado has caused a surge in the number of young children being treated for accidentally eating marijuana-laced cookies and candies, say medicos from the University of Colorado...

7 May 2013

Nocebo effect behind electrosmog illnesses, say European researchers


An investigation into the purported health risks associated with electromagnetic fields has shown that media reports alone may cause suggestible people to develop symptoms of a disease...

24 April 2013

Ecotourism wildcard in African disease cocktail


Somewhat counter-intuitively, protected areas of Africa where numbers of humans are limited appear to also be hotspots for the exchange of fecal matter between animals and humans. The researchers behind the discovery say it could have important implications for antibiotic resistance and the emergence of new diseases...

24 March 2013

New analysis pokes holes in biodiversity's supposed link to human disease


One of the most important ideas in disease ecology - that biodiversity abundance is linked to a reduced disease risk for humans - is likely wrong, according to a new Stanford study...

13 March 2013

Pesticides may be source of norovirus in food


Outbreaks of norovirus (also known as the winter vomiting bug) are frequently linked to the consumption of fresh food and a new study indicates that contaminated water used to dilute pesticides may be how the virus enters the food chain...

3 February 2013

Oxycontin overdoses at epidemic levels


While heroin overdoses have declined, overdoses from prescription opioids such as Oxycontin increased seven-fold in New York City over a 16-year period. The researchers behind a new study analyzing this prescription opioid epidemic say it is especially prevalent among higher-income white residents...

17 December 2012

Steroid use found to damage brain's spatial functioning


Long-term use of anabolic-androgenic steroids appears to severely impact a user's ability to accurately recall the shapes and spatial relationships of objects, say U.S. medicos...

7 November 2012

Birds provide new vector for hemorrhagic fever


For the first time, scientists have found ticks infected with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever on migratory birds that fly between Africa and Europe...

28 September 2012

Novel rabies-like virus behind hemorrhagic fever outbreak


A 2009 outbreak of acute hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo was likely caused by a novel virus that appears to be closely related to the types of viruses that cause rabies...

23 August 2012

Cause of global throat cancer epidemic a mystery


The "astounding" increase in cases of esophageal cancer around the world seems to have begun in the UK in the 1950s, but a recent comprehensive analysis of historical data has brought scientists no closer to identifying the cause...

20 July 2012

Diesel fumes causing waistlines to bulge?


Pregnant mice exposed to diesel exhaust pollution gave birth to offspring with a significantly higher rate of obesity and insulin resistance in adulthood. The effect, say the researchers, was especially prevalent in male mice, which were heavier regardless of diet...

26 May 2012

PVC flooring chemicals taken up by skin contact


Higher levels of the plastics chemicals known as phthalates have been found in children from homes containing PVC flooring materials, suggesting these softening agents can be absorbed by contact with the skin...

3 May 2012

Controversial bird flu research finally published


After an unprecedented recommendation by a government review panel to block publication, a study that shows how the avian H5N1 influenza virus could become transmissible in mammals was published in full today...

28 April 2012

Antibiotics found to have epigenetic effects


Male pseudoscorpions treated with tetracycline suffer significantly reduced sperm viability and this toxic effect is passed on to their untreated sons, say US researchers who believe a similar effect could occur in humans...

22 March 2012

More evidence for opiates role in cancer growth


Two new studies have found that the opiate drugs used to relieve pain in cancer patients appear to stimulate the growth and spread of tumors...

29 December 2011

Shift work should carry health warnings, say medicos


The strong correlation between shift work, obesity and type 2 diabetes has led health experts to call for the poor diet of shift workers to be considered a new occupational health hazard...

5 October 2011

Alzheimer's may be transmissible a la mad cow disease


Alzheimer's disease may originate in a form similar to that of infectious prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; suggests new research that shows an infectious spreading of Alzheimer's disease in animal models...

25 August 2011

Scented laundry products emitting carcinogens


The United States' top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheet emit carcinogenic chemicals from dryer vents...

2 August 2011

EMF exposure in pregnancy increases asthma risk


A new study has identified a dose-response relationship between a mother's electromagnetic field exposure level in pregnancy and the asthma risk in her offspring...

27 June 2011

Large number of common drugs linked to brain impairment


A large, long-term study has found that medications with anticholinergic activity - typically over-the-counter and prescription drugs taken by older adults - cause cognitive impairment...

10 June 2011

BPA exposure estimates wrong, say US researchers


New experiments by researchers at the University of Missouri show that exposure to the controversial chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) through diet has likely been underestimated by previous laboratory tests...

23 March 2011

New Chinese virus has "alarmingly high" mortality rate


Scientists say a previously unknown and dangerous virus carried by tics has been responsible for seasonal outbreaks of the disease in six of China's most populated provinces...

14 January 2011

Mad cow disease airborne


European researchers have discovered that prions - the infectious proteins that can cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - can be transmitted through the air. The surprising finding will likely mean a whole new raft of precautionary measures for scientific labs, slaughterhouses and animal feed plants...

2 December 2010

Vintage goods a toxic threat to hipsters


Toys, home décor items, crockery, architectural salvage, kitchen utensils and jewelry purchased through antique stores, junk shops and thrift sales have been found to contain surface lead concentrations more than 700 times higher than the federal limit...

5 November 2010

Obesity to affect at least 42 percent of adults, say Harvard researchers


Mathematical models of social contagion suggest that America's obesity epidemic won't plateau until at least 42 percent of adults are obese and that social networks are largely to blame...

7 October 2010

Americans' lagging life expectancy blamed on healthcare system


Obesity, smoking and homicides aren't to blame, claims a new report "What Changes in Survival Rates Tell Us About U.S. Health Care." Instead, the costly, specialized and fragmented U.S. healthcare system is responsible for Americans' relatively poor life expectancy...

28 September 2010

Report reveals enormous global cost of Alzheimer's


Already costing 1 percent of global GDP and growing rapidly, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are the single most significant health and social crisis of the 21st century, warns a new multinational report...

3 September 2010

Bright light at night carcinogenic


A new study confirms the theory that bright artificial lighting at night disrupts the body's production of melatonin and increases susceptibility to prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women...

27 August 2010

Shortage of medical isotopes at crisis point


Radioactive isotopes are used to perform tens of millions of medical scans and treatments every year, but scientists this week said a global shortage of these materials will likely jeopardize patient care and drive-up health care costs...

13 August 2010

Oral sex study worries health experts


According to new Canadian research, one-third of women find fellatio empowering and half regard oral sex as less intimate than intercourse. Of more concern, however, is the finding that more than 80 percent of 18-25 year olds don't use protection when engaging in oral sex...

2 August 2010

Surgery linked to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease


A Spanish study has found a significant correlation between the risk of certain neurological diseases and surgical procedures. The findings follow on from a separate study that showed that disease causing prions can form when brain tissue is exposed to iron...

27 July 2010

Mad cow disease... sans cow!


In a startling new study, scientists have shown for the first time that abnormal prions - fragments of infectious protein that can cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - can erupt from healthy brain tissue...

31 May 2010

Breakthrough in Ebola treatment


Using genetic particles known as small interfering RNAs, scientists have halted the replication process of the deadly Ebola virus in monkeys; a breakthrough that the researchers say should be reproducible in humans...

15 January 2010

Antiviral drugs could create "super viruses"


Medications that kill viruses by forcing their nucleic acid to mutate rapidly might actually, in some instances, cause them to emerge from the process stronger, perhaps even more virulent than before drug treatment...

23 November 2009

Plastics chemicals linked to ADHD symptoms


Adding to concerns that phthalates are feminizing boys' brains and causing genital deformities, Korean scientists say they now have evidence linking ADHD symptoms to the ubiquitous chemicals...

20 November 2009

Popular cigarette brands loaded with bacteria


Cigarettes are "widely contaminated" with bacteria known to be harmful to humans, a new study claims. And, according to the researchers, some of the organisms identified are resilient enough to survive the burning process...

15 September 2009

Showerheads delivering a pathogen payload


Analyzing 50 showerheads from around the US, researchers found that a third of them harbored slimy biofilms of Mycobacterium avium at more than 100 times the concentrations found in municipal water supplies. M. avium is linked to pulmonary disease and can cause serious conditions in people with compromised immune systems...

30 January 2009

New evidence for environmental chemicals impacting female fertility


Researchers have found the first evidence that chemicals used in everyday items such as food packaging, pesticides, clothing, upholstery, carpets and personal care products may be associated with infertility in women...

29 January 2009

Fresh concerns about BPA


Common assumptions about the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) may be wrong, with new research showing that high levels of BPA remain in the body even after fasting for as long as 24 hours. This suggests that BPA exposure may come from non-food sources, or, that BPA is not rapidly metabolized, or both...

9 September 2008

Size matters! Nanosilver risks unknown, says industry watchdog


Widespread use of nanoscale silver in consumer products will challenge regulatory agencies to balance important potential benefits against the possibility of significant environmental risk, says a new report by industry watchdog The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies...

5 September 2008

Scientists create species-jumping hybrid prions


In research with profound implications for public health, scientists have created entirely new strains of infectious prions in the laboratory by simply mixing infectious prions from one species with the normal prion proteins of another species...

29 July 2008

9 Out Of 10 Americans Obese Or Overweight By 2030


Most adults in the United States will be overweight or obese by 2030, with related health care costs hitting nearly a trillion dollars, say the researchers involved in a new multi-institute study...

28 July 2008

Dementia In Developing World "Substantially Underestimated"


Health experts had previously estimated the prevalence of dementia in the developing world at between a quarter and a fifth of that recorded in developed nations, but these figures may have substantially underestimated the problem, suggests new research...

17 February 2008

Hormones Gone Wild


Hormones are essential for the regulation of tissue function, growth and development, metabolism and mood. Disruption to our hormonal system can have serious consequences, which is why scientists are becoming increasingly worried about the chemicals known as "endocrine disruptors" that are found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products...

15 February 2008

New Cell-Phone Cancer Link


An Israeli study has found that heavy cell phone users are subject to a higher risk of benign and malignant tumors of the salivary gland...

23 January 2008

Cell Phone Radiation Triggers Insomnia


Researchers in the United States and Sweden have found that cell phone use immediately prior to going to bed can disrupt sleep patterns...

21 November 2007

Call For Review Of "Safe" Lead Levels


A new study has found that even very small amounts of lead in children's blood - amounts well below the current federal standard - are associated with reduced IQ scores...

7 November 2007

Prof Pooh-Poohs Western World's Anti-Bacterial Crusade


An immunologist says society's infatuation with anti-bacterial products makes children and adults more likely to develop asthma and allergies - and perhaps even mental illnesses...

3 October 2007

Environmental Persistence Of Tamiflu Causes Concern


Researchers have found that Tamiflu persists through sewage treatment and its ongoing presence in bodies of water could allow influenza viruses to develop resistance to the drug...

6 September 2007

Ozone And Skin Oils Make For Unhealthy Airplanes


Chemical reactions between body oils and the ozone found in airplane cabins can lead to the formation of a whole range of unpleasant chemical byproducts...

3 August 2007

Global Food Trade A Target For Terrorists, Conference Told


Because the food industry is becoming an increasingly complex global network of supply chains, experts say the need for security collaboration between public and private trade partners has never been more pressing...

20 April 2007

Electronic Maladies


PCs, plasma screens, cell phones, laptops, wireless gadgets - we can't seem to get enough of them. And why not? They've reduced our workloads and dramatically increased our social networking capabilities. But could all this modern technology be adversely affecting our health?

15 December 2006

Obesity Could Bankrupt UK Health System


English doctors are concerned that if nothing is done, the rising prevalence of obesity could bankrupt the country's health system...

9 November 2006

Tattoo Inks A Toxic Brew


Dangerous chemicals - some carcinogenic - are being used in tattoo parlors as pigments...

30 October 2006

Pharmacologists Confirm Chemo's Brain Damaging Effects


A new study confirms that "chemobrain" is a real side-effect of chemotherapy treatment, causing a decline in memory and other cognitive functions...

13 April 2006

Can Computing Power Thwart Avian Flu?


Using a supercomputer, scientists at Los Alamos have made some predictions about how avian flu may spread in today's environment of worldwide connectivity. The team used a large-scale, stochastic simulation model to predict what possible path a human-to-human transmissible version of the H5N1 virus might take. The simulation, using city, census and Department of Transportation travel data, shows how the virus would spread among a population of 281 million people over a period of 180 days...

20 March 2006

Big Problems From Small Avian Flu Mutations


Researchers say that only minor mutations are needed for the binding site preference of the avian H5N1 virus to switch from receptors in the intestinal tract of birds to the respiratory tract of humans...

27 January 2006

H5N1 Vaccine Proves 100 Percent Successful In Animal Tests


A bird flu vaccine created by genetically engineering a common cold virus has so far proven to be completely successful in tests on mice and chickens...

19 December 2005

25 Percent Of Prescribed Antibiotics Ineffective


Older antibiotics, such as penicillin and amoxicillin, are failing to the point that experts are advocating the routine use of newer agents, despite concerns over antibiotic resistance...

1 November 2005

Probiotics Touted As New Weapon Against Hospital Bugs


Surgeons should stop relying on antiseptic soap-scrubbing and wash their hands in yoghurt instead, says an expert on infectious diseases...

20 October 2005

Take A Chance With DNA Vaccine For Bird Flu, Say Chemists


Chemists in Britain say we should be tooling up now to produce a DNA vaccine for the H5N1 virus, even though DNA vaccines have not yet been proved effective or safe for human use...

17 October 2005

Doubts Over Effectiveness Of Tamiflu


A strain of avian influenza from an infected Vietnamese girl has been found to be resistant to the drug Tamiflu...

6 October 2005

Reconstructed 1918 Flu Could Yield Vaccine Clues


Researchers who reconstructed the Spanish influenza virus using a technique known as reverse genetics hope their work will lead to novel vaccines and treatments...

14 September 2005

Adenovirus Vaccine May Be Key To Beating Bird Flu


Traditional flu vaccines are slow to make and only effective against specific strains, so researchers are looking at new virus-based vaccines that could be mass-produced quickly and would provide broader protection...

26 August 2005

The Race To Understand Skin Cancer


The incidence of skin cancer among young adults has been steadily increasing over the past thirty years, but for researchers, the relationship between UV's effects on DNA and the formation of skin cancers remains elusive. But fundamental research into how ultraviolet radiation affects our DNA may at last help us to understand how skin cancers form...

21 July 2005

Prevalence Of Antibiotic Resistance Surprises


People who have taken a prescription of antibiotics within the previous two months have double the chance of carrying antibiotic resistant bacteria...

31 December 2004

Antibiotic Misuse A Serious Concern


Scientists say life-threatening conditions such as meningitis and pneumonia may become untreatable if the spread of antibiotic resistance continues...

24 May 2004

Thousands In UK May Be Infected With Mad Cow Disease


Researchers in the UK testing stored tissue samples have proposed some frightening figures concerning the potential number of infected humans...

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