Sláinte! It’s St. Patrick’s Day

Despite its religious origins, since Boston Irish first marked the occasion with a parade in 1737, St. Patrick’s Day, for many, has evolved into a secular, and international, festival of excess. And while there’s nothing wrong with donning some green and enjoying a pint or two of Guinness in honor of the Emerald Isle, before you toss …

Study: morning-after pill doesn’t reduce unwanted pregnancy

When the emergency contraception—or the morning-after pill—became available to adult women without prescription in the U.S. in 2006, it predictably whipped up a public health controversy. Some commentators said it would encourage unprotected sex and raise the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The Food and Drug …

UN: conservative laws linked to rise in HIV

Rates of new HIV infection among gay men, drug users and prostitutes are increasing because laws against these practices deters people from seeking medical help, according to Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, the Associated Press reports. Sidibé said that the fact that homosexuality is still criminalized in 85 …

How bananas could help prevent the spread of HIV

In laboratory tests, a chemical derived from bananas proved as effective against HIV as two currently used pharmaceuticals, according to new research published in the March 19 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dr. David Markovitz* and colleagues at the University of Michigan found that a lectin, or protein, in bananas may be …

Making memories may be in the timing

Why is it that most of us can remember our precise surroundings the moment that we first learned of JFK’s assassination, the Challenger explosion or the fall of the Twin Towers, but not say, what grocery aisle we were standing in when the phone call came to remind us to pick up milk? What is it about the timing—or more specifically, …

Adding oxygen to alcohol to sober up faster?

Alcoholic beverages that have been pumped full of oxygen may take less time to process in the body—meaning that drinkers sober up faster, according to a new study published this month in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. A team of researchers from Chungnam National University in South Korea began with the …

Communication breakdown in hospital hand-offs

Transferring the care of a patient from one physician to another is a standard—and necessary—part of hospital care. Yet, among trainee doctors, important information often gets overlooked during these hand-offs, according to a new study published in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics. Researchers at the University of Chicago …

Can the birth control pill help you live longer?

Women who have taken the pill may live longer because they face less risk of heart disease and cancer, according to new study led by Dr. Philip Hannaford from Scotland’s University of Aberdeen. The study, published this week in the British Medical Journal, followed more than 46,000 female patients from 1,400 medical practices throughout …

Not coping with stress may increase teeth-grinding

People who are stressed are more likely to grind their teeth in their sleep—clenching, and working their jaws throughout the night, slowly wearing teeth smooth or even chipping them, and awakening with headaches and muscle tension. Yet, according to new research published last week in the journal, it’s not solely feeling stressed, but …

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