Have a cup of mint tea and call me in the morning?

A centuries-old folk remedy for aches and pains just earned a nod of recognition from modern medicine: researchers from the U.K.’s Newcastle University determined that Hypnis crenata, or Brazilian mint, is an effective pain reliever. Researchers first traveled to Brazil to observe traditional preparation of the remedy to determine …

Chemistry and Cranberry: the Science of Thanksgiving

Ever wonder how that little plastic pop-up timer knows when the turkey is done? Or why potatoes are the preferred starch of Thanksgiving? In this illuminating video, shot in a lecture hall at Catholic University of America, chemistry professor Diane Bunce sets out to answer those questions. Incorporating a power point presentation and …

The politics of perceiving skin color

Whether or not you agree with Barack Obama’s politics may influence how dark- or light-skinned you think he is, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, which set out to determine whether political views can skew skin color perception, included three experiments. In all three, …

Early exposure to smoke, lead increase ADHD risk

Prenatal exposure to tobacco, coupled with lead exposure in infancy and early childhood can dramatically increase the risk for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children, according to research published online today in the journal Pediatrics. Together these environmental factors can increase a child’s risk for ADHD by …

Can morphine accelerate the spread of cancer?

Research presented last week at a major cancer research conference suggests that morphine, which is regularly prescribed to cancer patients to treat pain, may actually spur cancer growth. For the past seven years, the notion that opiates might stimulate cancer growth has slowly been gaining attention in the medical research community, …

CDC confirms 4 cases of drug-resistant swine flu

Tests run by the Centers for Disease Control confirm that four patients at Duke University Medical Center have strains of Tamiflu- (oseltamivir) resistant H1N1 flu. All four patients with the resistant strains had underlying conditions that compromised their immune systems, and were being treated in an isolated unit at the North Carolina …

Scientists use embryonic stem cells to grow skin

A new technique using human embryonic stem cells may enable doctors to grow “replacement skin” that can be used to help treat burn victims, according to research published this week in the British medical journal The Lancet. Doctors have been using burn patients’ own cells to grow new skin to repair injuries for more than two decades. …

Torn hamstring? Try horse placenta

When it comes to innovative and bizarre remedies for injuries, professional athletes have long been trendsetters. And the latest trend in hamstring and ligament repair among English Premier League footballers is no exception. Robin van Persie, who plays striker for Arsenal, was scheduled to fly to Serbia this week to meet with a daring …

The Science Behind Moving Smoking Bans Outside

When, more than a decade ago now, smoking bans began to take effect around the world, researchers and public health officials feverishly collected data demonstrating the health benefits: lower levels of respiratory illness were reported among bar workers from Dublin to San Francisco after indoor smoking bans took effect, saliva tests …

Former Kiss Drummer Battled Breast Cancer

Peter Criss grew concerned after he noticed a small lump in his left breast. When the Catman, as he was known during his days as the make-up smeared drummer for Kiss, noticed that the lump was growing larger and more painful, he decided to see a doctor. After a series of tests, he soon learned that he had breast cancer, the Associated …

Mummies offer clues about the history of heart disease

It turns out that artherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, isn’t an entirely modern condition. In fact, evidence published in today’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that, as long as 3,500 years ago, well-to-do Egyptians suffered from the disease. Researchers were able to diagnose the medical malady …

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