We know bushfire smoke affects health, but the long-term consequences are hazy

In previous years, Australians might have been exposed to bushfire smoke for a few days, or even a week. But this bushfire season is extreme in every respect. Smoke haze has now regularly featured in Australian weather reports for several weeks, stretching across months in some areas. What we considered to be short-term exposure we must now call medium-term exposure. […]

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Should we start asking our friends if they're in the right 'headspace' to chat?

When someone on Twitter shared an exchange where a friend asked if she was in the ‘right headspace’ before sharing something that might hurt them, the conversation quickly went viral. Yana Birt showed the message and posted; ‘I just want to say, a lot of y’all dump information on your friends at the wrong time without their consent. If you […]

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Looking at the way we walk can help predict cognitive decline

The way people walk is an indicator of how much their brains, as well as their bodies, are aging. Scientists reporting in a special supplement to the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD) say that gait disorders, particularly slowing gait, should be considered a marker of future cognitive decline. They propose testing motor performance as well as cognitive performance in older […]

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The night gardeners: Immune cells rewire, repair brain while we sleep

Science tells us that a lot of good things happen in our brains while we sleep—learning and memories are consolidated and waste is removed, among other things. New research shows for the first time that important immune cells called microglia—which play an important role in reorganizing the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage—are also primarily active while […]

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We used smartphones to screen young children for vision and hearing loss

Healthy hearing and vision in early childhood are the foundation for success at school. Hearing and vision difficulties are the most common developmental disabilities in children younger than 5 years, with more than 40 million affected globally. But more than 90% of children with hearing or vision loss live in low and middle-income countries where services to detect problems early […]

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The science of mindfulness—What do we really know and where do we go?

The historical practice of mindfulness is a burgeoning integrated medicine field associated with benefits for people with issues ranging from insomnia to chronic pain and fueled by more than $550 million in federal funding over the past 20 years. Yet the evidence for impact on health from mindfulness is sometimes outpaced by popular discourse on the promise. The science, hype […]

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We tested baby food sugar levels in South Africa. This is what we found

South Africa has the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world, with an alarming figure of 13%. The global average stands at 6%. One of the main causes of South Africa’s rate is the rapid growth of the country’s commercial food industry. This has led to increased consumption of cheap, easily accessible and ultra-processed food that is high in […]

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Can the Keto Diet Ease Your Worst PMS Symptoms? We Asked an Expert

It’s easy to see why the ketogenic diet continues to be so trendy. It can lead to weight loss, and followers get to eat the high-fat foods just about every other eating plan discourages. (A refresher: The keto diet restricts your daily intake of carbohydrates to about 5% and increases fats to about 75% of your daily calories, with the rest coming […]

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How live recordings of neural electricity could revolutionize how we see the brain

Red and blue lights flash. A machine whirs like a distant swarm of bees. In a cubicle-sized room, Yoav Adam, a microscope, and a video projector capture something no one has ever seen before: neurons flashing in real time, in a walking, living creature. For decades scientists have been searching for a way to watch a live broadcast of the […]

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