Health & Medicine, News, Science, Studies

Birth controll pill for men might be just around the corner

Image via

Two drugs, currently prescribed to organ transplant patients to suppress their immune system after the procedure, show great promise as birth-control medicine for men, according to a study published in the journal Science.

Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

Tall people are more likely to get cancer


For every extra 10 cm in height from the median, the chance of getting cancer increases by 11% for men and 18% for women. The link was reported by Swedish researchers at the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology meeting in Barcelona, Spain. While other studies have reported this link, this was the largest yet performed involving 5.5 million Swedish men and women ranging in height from 1 meter (3.3 ft) to 2.25 meters (7.4 ft).

Genetics, News

Scientists talk about micro-pigs as pets

Image via BGI.

Yesterday, we wrote about how the Chinese will be selling genetically engineered micro-pigs as pets; the pigs, which were originally developed to serve as cheaper models for the human body, were engineered to grow only up to 25 kgs, but they also raise some important concerns: is it ethical? Should we engineer animals so that they make cuter or smaller

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Effectiveness of talk therapy overstated, study finds

Image via Wiki Commons.

Publication bias strikes again: because only positive results are published in scientific journals, medical literature greatly overstates the benefits of talk therapy for depression.

Health & Medicine, News

England and Wales ban smoking in cars with children

Image via Wiki Commons.

Drivers and passengers who light one up while kids are in the car now face fines in England in Wales, in an attempt to curve down the effects of passive smoking.

Genetics, Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News

The universal test for viral infections could be a game changer


In what can only be classed as a breakthrough in medicine, a team at Washington University in St. Louis found a way to make an universal test that can identify virtually any known virus. The method works by analyzing bodily samples for signature genetic markers unique to each virus. It’s surprisingly accurate, as the researchers report the test not only identified the viruses on par with standard tests, but found additional ones which would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Once it passes extensive clinical trials, doctors using the test could come up with a complete list of viral infections harbored inside a patient’s body, correctly diagnose their condition and apply the right treatment. In some situations, it could mean the difference between life and death.

Biology, Genetics, News

Adorable gene-edited micropigs to be sold as pets in China – and this is a problem

Credit: BGI

Many researchers have expressed concerns about using such advanced techniques for such frivolous purposes, and personally, I feel like this could cascade onto many other problems – despite their undeniable cuteness.

Mind & Brain, News

First long term study on medical cannabis shows only small adverse effects, but also small reductions in pain

Image via Wiki Commons.

A new study conducted on medical consumption of cannabis came up with some good news, and some bad news: for starters, while there were some adverse effects on consumers, no serious effects were reported. However, the reduction in pain also seems to be very small.

Biology, Diseases, Geology, News

Flea trapped in amber for 20 million years might hold earliest evidence of bubonic plague

Image credits: George Poinar.

Paleontologists believe they have found the oldest evidence of the bubonic plague, embedded in a flea trapped in amber for the past 20 million years. This could provide insight onto how this devastating disease appeared and evolved.

Mind & Brain, Science

Exerting self-control impairs your capacity to form memories

Image via cbsnews

Our ability to inhibit impulsive behaviors, to exercise willpower, is considered a core feature of the brain’s executive functions. This, along with others such as reasoning, working memory and attention regulate our thoughts and guide our behavior, allowing us to adapt them to the changing demands of our environment. But the effort our brain puts into refraining from impulses is so great that it can actually diminish its ability to form memories of the experience.