Human health

fda.gov

We've all heard that washing your hands is the best way to protect against infectious germs like the cold and flu. Now, new research suggests that it may also help lower your exposure to potentially harmful synthetic chemicals, like flame retardants.

Ronaldo Arthur Vidal / unsplash

Drinking coffee could help you live longer, and not by just a little bit.

Experts say FIFA can do better at treating concussions.
Pal Berge, http://bit.ly/2JbjXys

The FIFA men’s World Cup has been a been a tournament full of surprises and upsets. But it’s also been a example of how not to handle concussions, according to experts. And the problems started well before the latest World Cup. 

Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde / Wiki Commons / https://bit.ly/2tM5qo9

Some new research may help us understand the divide over President Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy. While the majority of Americans found the practice of separating families at the border objectionable, about a quarter of Americans supported the practice.

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We all know we feel better when we’re well-rested, but why do we sleep? And how much is enough?

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In the past two months, more than 2,300 immigrant children have been separated from their parents after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. President Trump has issued an executive order ending the practice, but it’s not clear when or how the previously separated families will be reunited.

Residents of Cape Cod are no strangers to chemical contaminants in their drinking water. The military base here has been a Superfund site since 1989 due to jet fuel and other contaminants in the groundwater. But a new class of chemicals came onto the scene a few years ago, not only on Cape Cod, but around the country. They’re known as PFASs and they come from things like firefighting foam, flame retardants, and non-stick coatings.

NIH / https://bit.ly/2JdN1cC

A new report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health shows opioid-related deaths are down five percent compared to this time last year. And opioid prescriptions have also dropped here in the Commonwealth and nationwide. Still, the opioid epidemic is far from over, and the pace of research on effective pain management seems to be picking up. 

Faustin Tuyambaze / unsplash

Massachusetts highest court has ruled that MIT is not responsible for the suicide in 2009 of a twenty-five-year-old graduate student. MIT does have a higher suicide rate than other schools, but depression, anxiety, and suicide are a prevalent problem throughout academia.

Small gasoline-powered engines help create air pollution on sunny days.
piviso.com / http://bit.ly/2FSkjID

This past week brought the first real taste of spring or maybe even summer weather. Along with the warmth came something less desirable -- air quality alerts. From Connecticut to southern Maine, ozone levels mid-week rose to what the EPA considers unhealthy for those with asthma or other lung problems.

Mary Woesner

Children of the Cold War grew up ducking under their desks to practice for the possibility of a nuclear attack. Now, nine out of ten public schools hold lockdown drills to prepare for an active shooter scenario. One psychiatrist wonders if we know enough about the long-term mental health effects of forcing kids to confront, even act out, these violent and deadly threats.

baa.org

Not all marathoners are twenty-somethings, or even forty-somethings. Last year, the oldest finisher in the Boston Marathon was eighty four years old. This year, a seventy-nine year old three-time cancer survivor is running the race. What is the secret of these older athletes?

We know we have an opioid epidemic. Opioid overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental deaths for Americans under the age of 50. But the problem is far worse in some places than in others. A new county-by-county analysis of deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse highlights just how enormous the disparities can be.

Millions of people use social media, many overuse it, and some are actually clinically addicted. Isaac Vaghefi, assistant professor at the Binghamton University School of Management, says that about fifteen to twenty percent of the college students he works with fall into the problematic category. But who is most likely to develop a social media problem?

L. Lerner

There’s been a steady decline in mental health among teens and young adults in recent decades. Since 1960, anxiety, depression, and addiction have increased, as as has the number of young people who say they aren’t the ones in control of their lives. That lack (or perceived lack) of control may be at the heart of the problem.

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