Nibiru easily ranks as the pseudoscience doomsday scenario I get most questions about. Many people, including teenagers, are terrified that we are all about to be killed by a planet called Nibiru which they think is going to hit Earth or do a close flyby in the very near future, for instance many of them have come to believe that it is going to hit us some time before Christmas, or shortly afterwards.

A new analysis has found that if you are on Medicare, it's better to get a female internist than a male. Female internists have lower rates of 30-day mortality and hospital readmission than those patients treated by men.

Obviously it could be a variety of other factors - modern medicine, and its government control, has created a "teach to the protocol environment", and women are more likely to adhere to guidelines -but the authors postulate that female physicians more likely to adhere to clinical guidelines and provide preventive care more often, meaning that even if their careers are interrupted by child-bearing they should be paid more than men.

We've had fake news world ending prophecies for centuries. But now we have exaggerated scientific scenarios to add to the list, so that we can get scared by asteroid impacts, nuclear war, runaway warming and so on. These are mixed with pseudoscience, and hoaxes, to the extent that it's often hard to figure out what is fake doomsday news, what is exaggerated, and what is the sober truth. It's easy to get a feeling of a doomsday helplessness. Yet we are far from helpless. These fake scenarios distract us from many real issues that we can do something about. Some vulnerable people, including teenagers, get so terrified by this fake doomsday news that they become suicidal. I've written many doomsday debunking articles, and have now published a new kindle book Doomsday Debunked.

There remain a lack of safeguards built into the health-care system for fitness trackers.

Personal health wearable devices that are used to monitor heart rates, sleep patterns, calories, and even stress levels have led to new privacy and security risks. Though watches, fitness bands, and so-called "smart" clothing are part of a growing "connected-health" system in the U.S., promising to provide people with more efficient ways to manage their own health, it isn't a Utopia if you aren't a fan of weak and fragmented health-privacy regulatory system.
Though environmental activists are aghast that Republicans now control the White House, the Senate and the House for the first time since the 1920s, at least a few have come to some self-awareness that non-stop lobbying against jobs and poor people, and for higher regulations and cost, are to blame for why their candidate lost.

What they don't realize is that there is actually a great deal of opportunity for environmentalists during the Trump years. In most ways, he is a lot more like Democrats than he is like Republicans, they just need to stop being against everyone and everything except higher taxes and more federal rules.

It may be time to mix it up, when the writing is on the wall that being "anti-" is not working for anything except their bank statements.
Newborns with the common virus in the herpes family known as congenital cytomegalovirus have an increased risk of developing acute lymphocytic leukemia, according to a new analysis. The authors say the risk is even greater in Hispanic children, who are already at the highest risk for developing ALL.

This is something you hear said so often - that we risk being hit by an asteroid that could make humans extinct. But do we really? This is the article I’m commenting on, a recently breaking news story: Earth woefully unprepared for surprise comet or asteroid, Nasa scientist warns. Some are already worrying that it means that we are all due to die in the near future from an asteroid impact. Well, no, it doesn't mean that. So, what is the truth behind it? 

The source of all this is a comment by Dr Joseph Nuth who warns:

When Prophecy FailsOne of the many classics in social psychology from the mid-20th century was Leon Festinger’s When Prophecy Fails (1956). The point of the study was to infiltrate a doomsday cult. It was a cult whose leader had declared the world would come to an end on a specific day.

Pigs are a main livestock species for food production worldwide and is also widely used as an animal model in biomedical research. Today we know that the many types of bacteria that inhabit the gut are important for health and disease. Knowledge of the genes of these bacteria and their function therefore constitutes the first step towards a more comprehensive understanding of how bacteria in the gut affect health and disease.

An international consortium of researchers from INRA (France), University of Copenhagen and SEGES (Denmark), BGI-Shenzhen (China) and NIFES (Norway) has now established the first catalog of bacterial genes in the gut of pigs. This achievement is published in the latest issue of Nature Microbiology.

Vitamin D, which is produced by the body through exposure to sunshine, helps the body control calcium and phosphate levels, important for healthy bones. It can also be obtained from food sources such as fatty fish and egg yolks but it can be difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from food alone in countries with little sunlight so food is often fortified. 

For the benefit of the never-ending supplement fad industry, some papers have linked vitamin D deficiency with a host of health problems including cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions, and now Vitamin D levels have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, though the source is a systematic review of just seven studies so it may not warrant a panic attack just yet.