Health & Medicine, News, World Problems

The ‘egg conspiracy': government-back lobby wanted to ruin a startup that makes eggless Mayo

Hampton Creek,a San Francisco-based food startup best known for its egg-free mayonnaise spread and cookie dough, has garnered attention at every step of its recent development. Picture on the left is the company's CEO, Josh Tetrick.

A startling report by The Guardian reveals how the American Egg Board (AEB) – a government-backed board which gets a levy of 20 cents per case of eggs sold by its constituent members – lobbied against a food startup that’s been gathering steam lately. Feeling threatened, AEB used its influence to put pressure on the FDA, USDA and Unilever to basically ruin Hampton Creek’s business. Hampton Creek is a Silicon Valley startup which has so far gathered $120 million in funding. Its flagship products include eggs made out of plants and egg-less mayo, called Just Mayo which Joanne Ivy, president of the American Egg Board, refers to as “a crisis and major threat to the future of the egg product business.”

Health & Medicine, News

Man excretes polio virus for nearly three decades despite being vaccinated

A simulated virus particle shows some of the changes in surface regions (red) that interact with human immune proteins and elsewhere (blue). Image: PLOS

Doctors found that a British man has been excreting live polio virus for nearly 28 years, despite being vaccinated. These sort of cases aren’t unique, but this is by far the longest cases seen thus far. Moreover, the immune deficiency has allowed the virus to mutate and replicate inside the man’s body. Doctors say, however, that there are no health hazards involved since the man lives in a immunized community.

Environment, News, Nutrition, Science ABC

Is organic food actually good? Here’s what the science says


It happens to all of us. You’re in the supermarket, you’re buying vegetables and produce, and you’re faced with the inevitable choice: regular or organic? It’s a surprisingly complex question, that carries a different significance for different people. For some, organic means healthier, or more nutritious. For others, it means eco-friendly, or tastier. It can mean clean, good, or just…

Health & Medicine, News

The best cure against hangovers is drinking less

Image: Hangover School

Is this our most obvious, useless headline yet? Might be, but don’t hate the messenger. I’m just reiterating the findings of Canadian and Dutch researchers who performed two distinct studies to see what’s the best relief against hangovers. Their conclusions are stark: there is no proven remedy against hangovers. If you want to avoid feeling like train wreck in the morning you should simply drink less.

Health & Medicine

This simple device helps teenage girls living in poverty cope with having a period


For girls about to have their first period in rural India, menstruation can change their lives for the worst. Unable to afford disposable pads and tampons, girls often use rags which they reuse risking all sorts of health complications due to lack of sanitation. Many also decide to drop out of school out of fear that their rags might show or leak blood. “A fear of staining their clothes and being teased or humiliated about it by their male classmates seems to be a major reason of girls themselves choosing to miss their classes,” Maria Fernandez Ruiz de Larrinaga, communications specialist at UNICEF India says.

Mind & Brain, Psychology

Overthinking and neuroticism could be cornerstones of creativity, opinion paper suggests

Image via themonitordaily

A new opinion paper published in the September 2015 edition of the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, suggests that the part of the brain associated with self-generated thoughts — the sort involved in both rumination and introspection — tends to be overactive in neurotic people, leading to unhappiness as well as creative problem-solving.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Scientists reprogram cancer cells back to normal

Photo: Wellcome Collection

For the first time, aggressive breast, lung and bladder cancer have been neutralized and turned back to normal cells, prevented from excessive multiplication. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, US, likened it to applying brakes to a speeding car.

Health & Medicine, News, Nutrition, Science, Studies

Eating food rich in protein can boost cardiovascular health as much as exercise or quitting smoking


The results of a new UEA study reveal that people who eat high levels of certain amino acids found in meat and plant-based protein have lower blood pressure and show less arterial stiffness, directly translating to higher levels of cardiovascular health. The magnitude of the association is similar to those previously reported for lifestyle risk factors including salt intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Health & Medicine, News

Good news: we’re living longer. Bad news: longer in sickness

old age

Life expectancy has gone up by six years on average throughout the world since 1990, according to a survey led by scientists at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. The extensive survey analyzed records from 188 countries. Japan tops the list with an average life expectancy of 83 years. While there’s reason to rejoice in the news, it’s worth mentioning that living with disabilities and illness has also been prolonged. The same advances that helped us live longer have also prolonged our suffering and this is where scientists are trying to invest their energy: focus less on extending life expectancy and more on the quality of our last years on this planet.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Simple blood test predicts which breast cancer patient will have a relapse months in advance

Image: Dr Meletis

The trend is clear: medicine is becoming more and more personalized. Ultimately, when you’ll enter a hospital for a diagnosis or treatment, a (likely digital) doctor will use tailored solutions to address your health needs, all based on your past medical and genetic records. Considering diagnosis, just a few drops of blood will be enough to diagnose a plethora of afflictions. Take the latest news coming from the The Institute of Cancer Research in London, for instace. There, British doctors were able accurately predict which breast cancer patient will relapse next by tracking key mutations of residual cancer cells found in the blood. It’s a very powerful tool – one that will probably become standard practice soon.