Environmental Factors



6 February 2014

Temporary blindness may fix hearing problems


Researchers have long known that young brains are malleable enough to re-wire the circuits that process sensory information. A young child who is blind, for example, develops a much keener sense of hearing. Now, researchers have overturned conventional wisdom, showing that adult brains can also benefit from the Ray Charles Effect...

29 January 2014

Foodborne bacteria may be trigger for multiple sclerosis


A new study adds to the growing body of evidence that multiple sclerosis may be triggered by Clostridium perfringens, a spore-forming bacterium that is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness...

29 December 2013

A good book can rewire your brain


The scientists behind a novel study into reading say that when we immerse ourselves into a work of fiction, lingering changes occur in the connectivity of our brain...

29 September 2013

Wine drinkers clueless about alcohol servings


Scientists know that environmental cues like plate size can impact eating behaviors, but the effect of environmental factors on wine consumption has, until now, not been studied in detail...

16 September 2013

Painkiller addiction in U.S. an "epidemic," say senior medicos


Over the last ten years, prescriptions for strong opioid medications for non-cancer pain have doubled and public health experts say the rise is almost entirely due to rocketing levels of abuse and addiction...

26 July 2013

Human sleep influenced by Moon


European scientists say they have the first convincing scientific evidence to support the notion that humans have a circalunar clock that is affected by the geophysical rhythms of the moon...

2 April 2013

Age-related height loss linked to cognitive health


In the first study of its kind, University of Southern California researchers have identified a number of surprising factors linked to how much we shrink as we grow older...

5 October 2012

BPA metabolite findings may reveal real estrogenic culprit


Bisphenol A (BPA), the much maligned chemical that studies have tied to obesity and birth defects, may not be the real villain after all, with researchers now saying it is one of BPA's metabolites that is the culprit...

18 June 2012

TV remotes a bacterial cocktail


A study that investigated bacterial populations on hotel room surfaces found television remote controls and housekeeping carts to be amongst the most heavily contaminated items...

9 June 2012

Antidepressants in water induce autism-like gene expression in fish


Antidepressants and other psychoactive medications in water were found to affect the gene expression profiles of minnows in a way that mimics the gene expression patterns associated with autism spectrum disorder...

22 May 2012

Virus linked to macular degeneration


US scientists have found that a type of herpes-virus infection of the eye is associated with age-related macular degeneration, a disease that causes blindness in the elderly...

20 February 2012

Energy poverty killing more people than malaria


A lack of clean energy for cooking is causing severe respiratory diseases that kill around two million people each year, says a Canadian scientist...

2 January 2012

Hazardous levels of noise exposure for 90% of city dwellers


Nearly all city folk are exposed to sound levels that can cause permanent hearing loss, but researchers studying urban noise exposure were more surprised to learn that MP3 players, rather than noisy workplaces, were to blame...

30 November 2011

More evidence for environmental chemicals contributing to Parkinson's disease


A new study involving human twins has found a significant association between exposure to trichloroethylene and other chemicals used in dry cleaning, paints and cleaning products and the development of Parkinson's disease...

15 November 2011

The Pill to blame for rise in prostate cancer?


Intriguing new findings from Canadian researchers link rates of prostate cancer around the globe to environmental estrogen pollution caused by the contraceptive pill...

27 September 2011

Adolescent boys aspire to be average


An intriguing study that looked at male adolescence and body image found a prevailing view among boys that the pursuit of a chiseled body was unnatural and feminine, and that most boys simply wanted an "average" physique...

22 September 2011

Radiation's bad rep a beat-up, controversial new research claims


A researcher digging through documents in the bowels of the Atomic Energy Commission says he found proof that the father of radiation genetics, Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller, knowingly lied when he claimed in 1946 that there is no safe level of radiation exposure...

30 June 2011

BPA exposure makes male animals "less desirable"


New experiments with BPA show that the chemical causes male deer mice to become demasculinized and behave more like females, leading the researchers to posit that daily exposure in the developed world could be reducing men's reproductive fitness...

28 April 2011

"Hazardous" drinking levels good for the heart


A controversial new study from Boston University shows that alcohol appears to have cardio-protective effects not only in moderate drinkers, but also in those individuals with patterns of alcohol use traditionally considered as hazardous...

6 December 2010

Season of birth defines personality, but it's "not astrology," say researchers


The season in which babies are born can have a dramatic effect on their future propensity to neurological disorders as well as their overall personality and general mood...

27 October 2010

Gender-bending pollutants' impact quantified


A four year study from the UK has shown that the effects of hormone-like pollutants are very damaging to fish populations, reducing their reproductive performance by up to 76 percent...

12 October 2010

Lighten up to get heavy


Regular exposure to light at night may lead to weight gain, even without changes in food intake or physical activity, according to new research conducted with mice...

17 June 2010

Pollutants make free-range eggs less healthy


Free-range eggs may not be as healthy as consumers think, with new research showing alarmingly high levels of dioxins in free-range eggs compared to cage or barn laid eggs...

18 May 2010

New hypothesis links smallpox vaccination and HIV


Smallpox immunization may confer protection against HIV, say researchers who suggest that the end of smallpox vaccination in the mid-20th century may have caused the rapid contemporary spread of HIV...

31 March 2009

Season of conception linked to birth defect risk


Birth defect rates in the United States are highest for women conceiving in the spring and summer - the time when pesticide levels in surface water across the country reach their peak...

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...

20 October 2008

Slavery to blame for racial disparities in health?


Two new studies contend that poor nutrition and stress - stemming back to the days of slavery - could help explain modern-day black-white differences in cardiovascular health in the United States...

17 September 2008

Experts demand FDA act on BPA report


A new study that uncovered a significant relationship between the widely used environmental estrogen bisphenol A (BPA) and cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities has prompted scientists to urge the FDA to enact regulations to limit human and environmental exposures to BPA...

6 February 2008

More Of The Same From The Net


While Internet search results do bring up a variety of useful materials, researchers have found that people pay more attention to information that matches their pre-existing beliefs and prejudices...

30 November 2007

Warning Over Hereditary Effects Of Common Environmental Toxins


Researchers say they have evidence that mothers who are exposed to certain common toxic environmental compounds prior to pregnancy could limit their offspring's fertility...

26 June 2007

Smog And Women - A Bad Combination


Ozone - a major component in air pollution - may be much more harmful to women than men...

25 May 2007

Train Drivers On Express Track To Leukemia


A Swiss study conducted over 30 years has linked extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields to leukemia...

18 May 2007

Chinese Seafood Tainted With Organochlorines


Exports of fish and fish products from China have been found to contain levels of organochlorine pesticides high enough to pose a serious threat to human health...

5 April 2007

Battlefield Byproduct Damages Lungs


Nitrogen dioxide gas, produced by military munitions and explosive detonations, can cause serious lung damage...

8 March 2007

Is Your Carpet Making You Fat?


Researchers are investigating whether the increasingly widespread use of fire retardant chemicals in household items might be linked to rising levels of obesity...

2 February 2007

UV Damage To DNA Clocked


Chemists have used a special technique to watch strands of DNA sustain damage from ultraviolet light - sunburn - in real time...

16 January 2007

Size Of Family Associated With Stomach Cancer Risk


A new study has found that family size can greatly influence the development of stomach cancer linked to the bacterium Helicobacter pylori...

28 November 2006

Scottish Doctors Say "Nay" To Modern Medicine


Healthcare authorities in the UK are alarmed that more than half of all Scottish doctors prescribe homeopathic or herbal remedies through the National Health Service...

14 November 2006

Did Poo Problems Plague Dead Sea Scroll Sect?


An ancient Jewish sect linked to the Dead Sea Scrolls appear to have had unusual toiletry and hygiene practices, which may have led to their poor longevity...

9 November 2006

Tattoo Inks A Toxic Brew


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

21 September 2006

HIV Prefers Smokers


Smoking tobacco appears to trigger changes in the immune system, which can place smokers at a greater risk of HIV infection...

5 July 2006

Sleeping Less And Self-Deluding More


New research not only reveals that we don't get enough sleep, but we also think that we get more shuteye than we actually do...

27 June 2006

Cell Phone Emissions Beneficial?


A new study has found that cell phones can trigger "intracortical excitability" in the motor cortex of the brain. The researchers don't believe the effect is dangerous, and hypothesize that the effect could actually be beneficial...

19 June 2006

Rodent Comparison Supports Hygiene Hypothesis


A study comparing wild rodents with their laboratory counterparts may help to explain why people in hygienic industrialized societies have higher rates of allergy and autoimmune diseases than do people in less developed societies...

27 April 2006

Persistence Of Triclocarban Surprises


The antibacterial soap ingredient triclocarban, a reproductive toxicant, has proven to be remarkably resilient, persisting through wastewater treatment and ending up as a fertilizer and soil conditioner for crops...

7 April 2006

Uranium's Mutagenic Effect On DNA Established


New research has established that uranium ore and depleted uranium can bind to DNA; a finding that will have far-reaching implications for mining companies, residents of war-ravaged countries and the military...

14 March 2006

Standing Room Only In Classroom Of The Future


What's the most efficient way to tackle obesity in schoolchildren? Take their chairs away and make them stand up, says a Mayo Clinic obesity researcher...

24 February 2006

Prof Ponders Bacterial Benefits


Could persistent infection from what are considered to be disease causing bacteria actually be keeping us healthy, ponders a Stanford professor...

15 February 2006

Bacteria Hysteria In The Supermarket


A new report detailing the levels of bacteria found on objects like shopping carts and computer mice looks set to rekindle public concerns about microbe infestations...

2 February 2006

Ritual A Critical Element Of Placebo Effect


Harvard doctors uncovered some interesting findings when they compared the "effects" of a placebo pill to those of placebo acupuncture...

18 January 2006

Watch Comedies, Avoid Heart Attack


Researchers speculating that positive emotions may have a beneficial impact on a person's health have shown that watching comedy films boosts blood flow to the heart...

14 November 2005

Pollutants Linked To Suicide Rate?


An increased suicide rate in a community alongside a paper mill has prompted researchers to see if there might be a link between certain airborne pollutants and mental illness...

21 September 2005

Effects Of Air Pollution On Health Vastly Underrated


Rising gas prices could have a silver lining. Researchers studying air pollution in the Los Angeles area say that the associated chronic health effects are two to three times greater than earlier believed...

5 August 2005

Wastewater Reveals A Cocaine Surprise


An analysis of sewage water in Italy has revealed surprisingly high concentrations of the byproducts of cocaine use...

27 April 2005

Environmental Factors Damaging Men's Reproductive Health


New European studies seem to indicate that environmental pollutants are affecting men's reproductive systems and the sex chromosomes in their sperm...

18 April 2005

California Mulls Estrogen-Plastic Ban


Feeding a baby from certain types of plastic feeding bottles is as dangerous as giving the baby a birth control pill says an expert who is urging California to ban the plastic Bisphenol-A...

15 September 2004

Water Disinfection Leads To Toxic Tapwater


Water treatment plants are trying to move away from chlorine based treatments but some of the new disinfectants can lace tapwater with toxins that cause birth defects and cancers...

16 April 2004

Cleanliness Next To Sickliness


Scientists believe the key to decreasing the chances of developing autoimmune diseases may be to stimulate the immune system by priming people with germs...

8 September 2003

Mosquito Coils May Cause Cancer


Mosquito coils made in Asia that people use to ward off mosquitoes may be releasing cancer-causing smoke...

11 July 2002

Infant Virus May Cause Asthma


New research suggests that a viral infection in the first years of life may leave a lasting mark on the immune system, causing asthma in later years...

Related:
Diet
Emerging Threats
News From The Lab
Mental Health
Reproductive Health