Why the Silence Comandante Ortega? That paraphrasing of a headline from the great Spanish daily El Pais introduced a story in the paper on the difficulties that Nicaragua has faced in coming to grips with the death and disability wrought by a still-unexplained kidney disease epidemic.
The Olympics are not just a chance for countries to bring home the gold. They also provide a perfect chance to spread infections all over the world.
Healthy humans are strangely impervious to fatal fungi. It usually takes something like a shot in the spine with a contaminated drug to give fungi the necessary upper hand.
Zombies. They’re everywhere. My dentist and his assistant spent my last visit and chatting about The Walking Dead while drilling into my head, and it seems like every reasonably large town hosts a zombie run.
When we get infected by salmonella, it usually comes from things like undercooked meat or contaminated eggs. Sometimes, it comes from sharing germs with Komodo dragons, as some Colorado children found out in 1996.
The ongoing measles outbreak in the U.S., which has spread to 14 states, has provoked a rising vilification of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.
Yesterday morning as I was tucking into my first cup of tea, I received the startling news that I’ve won the American Meteorological Society’s Award for Distinguished Science Journalism in the Atmospheric and Related Sciences.
In 2012 I wrote a story for Nature about a strange illness called Kawasaki Disease whose cause has eluded scientists for over 50 years. The diseases causes inflammation of the blood vessels in small children that leads to fever, rashes and reddening, and even coronary aneurysms that can cause heart attacks in the young.
The medical sleuths of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been thrust into the limelight with the recent Ebola epidemic. Charged with chasing diseases and stopping outbreaks, they're a geeky bunch of young doctors, veterinarians and scientists, who prefer to work behind the scenes.
The coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa by U.S. media has often seemed unremittingly grim. So it was with some trepidation that I boarded a plane for Sierra Leone.
The question is: what do you use to study the health of whales in the wild? The answer is: not what you’d think. Unlike smaller sea mammals like seals or sea lions, it is very hard to obtain blood samples from whales without first killing them.
The basic reproduction number and why it matters
While I was working on the “H1N-What?” post, I also knew there would soon be questions about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), just as there were about SARS.
Accelerated testing of compounds that have shown efficacy against the virus may lead to new drugs and vaccines