May 15th, 2013
05:02 PM ET
We think of malaria as a disease that infects more than 200 million people a year, with transmission happening through mosquito bites.
But it's not entirely the fault of the mosquitoes. Scientists are exploring how the malaria parasite itself may actually change a mosquito's behavior to make it more attracted to humans, as if controlling its mind so that the bug goes after us.
A new study in the journal PLOS One demonstrates, for the first time, that mosquitoes infected with malaria are more attracted to human odor than uninfected mosquitoes. This is only a proof of concept, however; more research needs to be done to confirm.
May 14th, 2013
04:12 PM ET
Hospital-acquired infections are a huge problem in the United States. Wouldn't it be amazing if they could be prevented merely through the materials used in the hospital room?
Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina explored covering key surfaces in hospital intensive care units in copper alloy, and found that this is an effective measure against the spread of some key types of bacterial infections. Their study is published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.
May 2nd, 2013
07:02 AM ET
Kids don't all learn at the same pace, or in the same way. Extra tutoring doesn't always help either, but for some it helps a lot. Why?
Researchers, publishing this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, believe the answer is in the brain. By looking at the structures and wiring of children's brains, they've developed a method of predicting who will benefit most from tutoring.
This doesn't mean, however, that you will be seeing brain scans in every school.
"What we’ve done is much more modest, in terms of trying to understand what are the systems that underlie individual differences in response to math tutoring," said Vinod Menon, professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and senior author of the study.
March 20th, 2013
12:06 PM ET
There are pouches on each side of the human nose below the eyes that are called maxillary sinuses. They're involved in sinus infections, so you may already have a bias against them.
But Nathan Holton, a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of orthodontics at the University of Iowa, wanted to find out why there's such variation in these structures, and how they are affected by variation in the nasal cavity. A study on the subject is published in the journal The Anatomical Record.
Holton and colleagues took computed tomography scans of 40 people. About half of them were European-Americans, and the other half were African-Americans or native South Africans. FULL POST
March 12th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
We've heard a lot about the benefits of breastfeeding, and the idea that it reduces the risk of a child becoming overweight or obese has been around for decades.
But a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association contradicts that idea. It suggests that though breastfeeding has many benefits, reducing the likelihood that a child becomes obese or overweight may not be one of them. The evidence to support this conclusion is strong as the study was based on a large randomized controlled trial.
March 11th, 2013
12:01 AM ET
A new study from Stanford University looks specifically at aspirin's role in reducing the risk of melanoma , a form of skin cancer that is on the rise.
The study found a significant association between frequent usage of the drug and this form of cancer; aspirin users were less likely to get melanoma than those who did not take aspirin.
This is not proof, however, that aspirin is directly responsible for lowering the risk.
February 28th, 2013
04:29 PM ET
How long have you been sitting today? Here's one more reason that you should get up and move around once in a while.
A new study in the journal Diabetologia suggests that reducing your sitting time is more important in lowering your risk of diabetes than exercise. This is just the latest in a string of research suggesting that moving around helps your health. But the new results should not replace standard recommendations for exercise, and more research is required to understand the reasons for the findings, said lead study author Joseph Henson.
"It looks as if just sitting for long periods of time has a real negative impact upon overall health," Henson said.
February 20th, 2013
03:39 PM ET
The fact that many people's backs and feet hurt is news that's millions of years old.
It's because of the way we have evolved, uniquely from other mammals, that we also have a lot of aches and pains that our close relatives do not experience, anthropologists said last weekend at a briefing at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.
"We’ve known for a long time, since Darwin’s time, that humans have evolved, and that humans are not perfect, because evolution doesn’t produce perfection," said Jeremy DeSilva, anthropologist at Boston University.
January 23rd, 2013
01:01 PM ET
The stuff we’re made of may be the means by which we store information that we want kept around long after we're gone.
Scientists have developed a technique of storing information in DNA, the molecule found in living creatures including humans that contains genetic instructions. The experiment is discussed in a new study in the journal Nature.
Researchers aren't using DNA from any living organism, or one that was once alive; instead, they are synthesizing it.
January 23rd, 2013
01:00 PM ET
Drama surrounding research on the deadly H5N1 avian flu continues, as 40 scientists urge work on the virus to continue in countries that have established guidelines on the safety and aims of the research. The United States is not among them.
"We declared a pause to this important research to provide time to explain the public-health benefits of this work, to describe the measures in place to minimize possible risks, and to enable organizations and governments around the world to review their policies (for example on biosafety, biosecurity, oversight, and communication) regarding these experiments," the letter states.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.