How can a pea plant grow in the lungs?

The Internet’s a-buzz with news of Ron Sveden, the 75-year-old Cape Cod man who discovered that a growth in his lung was not, as feared, a tumor — but rather a pea plant. A seed had somehow lodged itself in his lung, presumably after some food found its way down the wrong tube, and the seed then sprouted.

But how is this …

A culture of suicide

Rural Americans are more likely to kill themselves than urban Americans, and men are more likely to kill themselves than women — though women are more likely to consider suicide.

These patterns and more are part of the rich culture of suicide, discussed today in a panel at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological …

Menstrual pain can re-shape the brain

It’s a common gag that women don’t think quite the same they get their period. But according to neuroscientists in Taiwan, in some women menstruation may change the very structure of the brain.

In an MRI study of 32 women who suffer menstrual cramps and 32 similar women without pain — with members of the two groups matched on age and …

Stress may delay pregnancy, study finds

Women with mental stress may have more trouble conceiving than their unstressed peers, a new study shows. Among 274 English women, all trying to get pregnant, those with the highest levels of alpha-amylase — a salivary biomarker for stress — had an estimated 12% reduction in their chance of getting pregnant each menstrual cycle, …

Anxious kids? Let Them Walk to School

A stroll to school in the morning can help kids prep for the stresses that await them in the classroom. They’ll have less severe increases in heart rate and blood pressure when they’re put on the spot, and will feel less anxious about it to boot — or at least that’s the implication from a new study by researchers at the University of …

Staph ‘superbug’ infections are on the decline

From 2005 to 2008, the number of new infections caused by MRSA — the deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — fell by an average of 9.4% each year in hospitals and of 5.7% each year in other health-care facilities.

That good news is based on data collected over four years of active surveillance in nine U.S. …

The swine flu pandemic is over

So sayeth the World Health Organization (WHO)—and they should know, since they were the ones who declared a full, phase six-level pandemic a little more than a year ago. Now it’s done—this morning WHO head Dr. Margaret Chan announced that the group’s emergency committee of top flu experts had convinced her that the pandemic had …

More sugar is worse for your teeth? Not necessarily

It’s a common myth that the more sugar you  eat, the more likely you are to get cavities. But it’s not always so, says Tufts University professor of nutrition and oral health Carole Palmer. Writing with colleagues in the July/August issue of Nutrition Today, she explains that it’s not in fact the amount of sugar you ingest that …

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