Health & Medicine, News

Drinking too much water can be fatal: just do it when you’re thirsty

too much water

Just before sport camps and marathon training begins in the US, doctors report a new set of guidelines that should be reviewed to ensure athletes don’t consume more water than they should. Drinking excessive amounts of water can result in potentially serious reductions in blood sodium a condition called hyponatremia. Last year, two high school football players died of exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH). So, what do you need to do to be on the safe side? Just drink water when you’re thirsty. If you have to drink in advance for various reasons – say, if you’re a marathon runner – keep the excess water at sensible levels.

Animals, Genetics, News, World Problems

Tracing Ivory DNA helps curb massive poaching that’s killing 1 in 10 elephants each year

To keep the ivory from the black market, a plainclothes ranger hacks the tusks off a bull elephant killed illegally in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. In the first half of this year six park rangers died protecting Kenya’s elephants; meanwhile, rangers killed 23 poachers. Photograph by Brent Stirton

We seem to be losing the war on elephant poachers, but a new toolset that involves tracing slaughter hotspots in Africa based on DNA taken from ivory might be exactly what law enforcement needed all these years. This way, researchers at University of Washington, in collaboration with INTERPOL, found that most of the ivory seized since 2006 originates in just two areas.

Health & Medicine, News

Finger-prick test can diagnose Ebola as easily as a pregnancy test

Image: Corgenix Medical Corp

A new mobile Ebola test can detect the virus using a single drop of blood and reports a positive or negative result in under 15 minutes. When the ReEBOV test was applied in the field, it identified 100 percent of all infected patients who also got positive results with the lab test. Coupled with other recent advances in the fight against Ebola, like antiviral vaccines, the new test will help prevent another outbreak and hopefully contain the virus for good.

Mind & Brain, News

Your memories last as long the neural connections: a long-standing theory now confirmed

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Neuroscientists have long posited that memories last as long as the connections in the brain, but putting this theory to test has always proved challenging. Using the latest imaging techniques and sheer innovation, a group at Stanford confirmed this as being true after the researchers literally peered into the brains of mice and studied brain connections as they formed or were replaced. Once the connection was lost, so was the memory.

Health & Medicine, News

One in Eight HIV-positive Americans are not aware they’re carrying the virus

HIV blood test

A new extensive report carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found approximately 1 in 8 Americans with human immunodeficiency disease (HIV) are unaware of their condition. Overall, that means 14 percent of undiagnosed cases among 1.2 million patients with HIV in the US. An undiagnosed population is the prime contributor to the spread of the disease. Clearly, there’s much room for improvement.

Health & Medicine, News

What the SPF number on your sunscreen means

woman sunscreen beach

According to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in the UK, most Britons are unaware that the SPF rating label displayed on sunscreens does not reflect full spectrum protection against damaging sunburns and cancer causing UV wavelengths. Moreover, a quarter of the questioned participants had no idea what SPF means. Companies aren’t helping either, further fueling confusion by releasing SPF 80 or SPF 100+ products, which trick bewildered consumers into thinking they’re wearing double or even triple protection, when in fact the benefit is marginal at best. With this in mind, the RPS suggests it’s now time to introduce a new sun protection rating system, one that covers both types of cancer causing UV rays (A and B), which is less ambiguous.

Nutrition, Videos

Why corn is a fruit, tomatoes are berries, rhubarb is a vegetable, and strawberries are neither

Berries are red, berries are blue, botany you're strange, I just don't get you.

Fruits and vegetables – they’re tasty and they’re healthy… but do you know what they really are? Hank Green, which we know for developing EcoGeek, explained on Youtube why some things are fruits, some things are vegetables, and some things are neither. Prepare to have your mind blown: We generally consider vegetables as a side dish or a part of a

News, Nutrition

New dietary guidelines will bring fats back

Image via UIC.

“Fat is bad” seems to be a general rule when concocting dietary guidelines, but fatty foods may be making a comeback for all the right reasons. The latest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which is due out later this year will eliminate the upper limit for total dietary fat intake.

Health & Medicine, News

This baby was born with a rare condition that deformed his skull

Matthew Boler

Meet Matthew, a bright eyes, chubby cheeked baby. On the outside he looks and behaves like any regular baby his age, with one exception: an usually oblong-shaped head. At first, his parents dismissed it as a family feature, but when Matthew turned two months and visited the pediatrician for his regular check-up the doctor immediately knew something was wrong when

Nutrition, Technology

When supercomputers start to cook: meet Chef Watson

ibm-cognitive-cooking

There are probably a million cooking apps out there, but none of them are backed by a supercomputer. Meet Chef Watson: a “cognitive computing app” that promises to revolutionize the way you cook and expand your gastronomic comfort zone.