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More than half your body is not human

Human cells make up only 43% of the body’s total cell count. The rest are microscopic colonists.

Understanding this hidden half of ourselves – our microbiome – is rapidly transforming understanding of diseases from allergy to Parkinson’s. 54 more words

General Health Information

Too many antibiotics can give preemies a lifetime of ill health

Like that baby, the vast majority of the nearly half-million infants born prematurely in the United States are given antibiotics, even without evidence of infection. Many preemies are kept on the drugs after blood tests say they are not sick. 51 more words

General Health Information

How Social Media Can Reveal Overlooked Drug Reactions

Partly because of that experience gap, doctors and drug companies are keen to learn from online communities, too. They’re analyzing social networks to get a faster, wider look into how patients react to drugs, sometimes picking up information about side effects that clinical trials missed. Read more.

General Health Information

To treat some diseases, researchers are putting immune cells on a diet

Yet a study published online this week in Science provides more support that inhibiting immune metabolism can quell human diseases. The work centers on a drug, dimethyl fumarate, that has already received approval from the U.S. 56 more words

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When antibiotics turn toxic

In 2014, Miriam van Staveren went on holiday to the Canary Islands and caught an infection. Her ear and sinuses throbbed, so she went to see the resort doctor, who prescribed a six-day course of the popular antibiotic levofloxacin. 113 more words

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Mutating DNA caught on film

DNA mutations cause tumor cells to grow out of control, but they also generate variety that enables organisms to adapt to their environments and evolve. Until now, biologists have only had crude methods for estimating the average rates and effects of mutations. 18 more words

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Prosthetic hands feel more real, thanks to some good vibrations

When you go to catch a Frisbee, you don’t need to stare at your hand until it makes contact. You have an intuitive sense of where your arm is—and where it’s going—based on how your muscles and joints feel. 72 more words

General Health Information