An American Has Died From Measles for the First Time Since 2003

A woman in Clallam County, Washington has died of measles. It is the first U.S. death since 2003 to be attributed to the highly infectious disease. State health officials say the woman’s case “illustrates the importance of immunizing as many people as possible to provide a high level of community protection against… » 7/02/15 1:18pm Thursday 1:18pm

XKCD Tips Its Hat to the Microbiome (and so Should You)

When was the last time you thanked the bugs in your belly? Even if the concept of a “healthy” microbiome is flawed, the trillions of microorganisms living in your gut (and mouth, and vagina, and nose, etc.) play a vital role in many of your body’s functions. They’re so essential, many refer to the microbiome as an… » 6/26/15 10:40am 6/26/15 10:40am

About That Ultramarathon You've Been Meaning To Run

A recently conducted study concludes that that when extreme athletes (like ultramarathoners) overextend themselves, their guts can leak microbes into their blood stream, “poisoning” their blood and triggering a harmful inflammatory immune response. Scientific American’s Christopher Intagliata has more details. » 6/22/15 10:20am 6/22/15 10:20am

Once Again, The Media Is Overhyping The Health Benefits Of Chocolate

“There does not appear to be evidence that chocolate should be avoided in terms of impact on cardiovascular risk.” So conclude the authors of a report published Monday in the august medical journal Heart. Their takeaway is decidedly unsexy (takeaways from well-conducted health studies, which the aforementioned… » 6/16/15 2:27pm 6/16/15 2:27pm

Recipient Of World's First Successful Penis Transplant Is A Father-To-Be

In March, the recipient of the world’s first successful penis transplant was said to have “made a full recovery and... regained all function,” based on his ability to urinate, produce an erection, orgasm, and ejaculate with his recently grafted member. Now, his girlfriend is pregnant. Fully functional, indeed. » 6/11/15 1:40pm 6/11/15 1:40pm

Chocolate Diet Paper Won't Be Retracted, Because It Was Never Published

Yesterday, John Bohannon reported on his deeply (and intentionally) flawed study claiming chocolate accelerates weight loss. Today, we have a new twist: The editor of the journal that published his paper claims they never really published it in the first place, despite emails to Bohannon to the contrary. » 5/28/15 2:40pm 5/28/15 2:40pm

I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.

“Slim by Chocolate!” the headlines blared. A team of German researchers had found that people on a low-carb diet lost weight 10 percent faster if they ate a chocolate bar every day. It made the front page of Bild, Europe’s largest daily newspaper, just beneath their update about the Germanwings crash. From there, it… » 5/27/15 1:23pm 5/27/15 1:23pm