Public Health

City folk may not think much of rural living - but they are healthier.

A new study finds that diabetes, once rather uncommon, is now affecting 387 million people worldwide - and 77 percent of it is in developed nations.

The reason is stress, write the authors of a paper in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology&Metabolism. City life - noise, crime and traffic all lead to higher stress and the body producing more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can counteract insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar, and slow the body's production of it and that makes people more susceptible to diabetes. 

Airline pilots can be exposed to the same amount of UV-A radiation as if they visited a tanning bed, because airplane windshields do not completely block UV-A radiation.

Lots of people say they care about their weight, and there is no end to weight-loss schemes available on websites, but if you ask nutritionists, personal trainers and even some doctors where fat goes when people lose weight, they can't tell you the right answer.

Caveat emptor

The most common misconception is that the missing mass has been converted into energy or heat. It's physics, after all. Except it isn't, not in the way they think it is. To lose 10 kilograms of fat requires 29 kilograms of oxygen for the body and that metabolic process produces 28 kilograms of carbon dioxide and 11 kilograms of water. It didn't convert to energy, you didn't "burn" fat.

The drive for energy efficient homes is increasing asthma risk, finds a team at the University of Exeter Medical School. People are so concerned about energy savings they end up with homes that are not properly heated or ventilated, which could lead to more people developing asthma.

Working with a UK social housing provider, Coastline Housing, the research team assessed data from the residents of 700 properties in Cornwall. They found that people living in more energy efficient homes had a greater risk of asthma, and that the presence of mold doubled this risk.

Creativity is a complex and vast construct that has been vital to the progress of human civilization and the development of human reasoning processes. Indeed, the immense array of creative endeavors encompasses the works of such disparate activities as those undertaken by painters, sculptors, nuclear engineers, landscape architects, graphic designers, and software developers.

If you are buying herbal dietary supplements like Ginkgo biloba (G. biloba)
to boost cognitive capacity, the first thing you should do is stop spending money on herbal dietary supplements like Ginkgo biloba and the next thing you should do is wonder how, in a completely unregulated market, you can even know if it is real.

It might not be. Even the olive oil industry thinks supplement makers need to be more honest. A new study in Genome used DNA barcoding to test the authenticity of Ginkgo biloba (G. biloba) found that almost 20 percent of samples didn't even have any. 

When a broken bone protrudes through the skin, causing a puncture wound, it is called an open break. It is understandably traumatizing for kids and perhaps even more so for parents but there may be good news for those daunted by the prospect of surgery on top of all that - it may not be necessary.

Many children who sustain open bone fractures in the forearm or lower leg heal safely without surgery, according to the results of a small study in the Journal of Children's Orthopaedics, if the wound is small -- less than a half-inch in diameter -- and the surrounding tissue is free of visible contamination with dirt or debris. 

Past your bedtime? Mikael Damkier/Shutterstock

By Elizabeth Englander, Bridgewater State University

In modern times, it seems a little strange to read claims in Europe and in U.S. cities like San Francisco that cell phone radiation is harmful to humans - but their reasoning is based on work in the 1970s which found an epidemiological association between increased risk of childhood leukemia and living near overhead power lines.

Like most epidemiology claims that find two curves going the same way and garner media attention, some skepticism is warranted, and later studies were unable to find the same connection, but the perception has held. Regardless,  groups like the International Agency for Research on Cancer have categorized low frequency magnetic fields as "possibly carcinogenic" even though a mechanism for this association has never been found.

E-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than cigarettes for former smokers - and this could assist in efforts to understand how to curb cigarette smoking, according to researchers.

The popularity of e-cigarettes, which typically deliver nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin and flavorings through inhaled vapor, has increased in the past five years. There are currently more than 400 brands of "e-cigs" available. E-cigarettes contain far fewer cancer-causing and other toxic substances than cigarettes, however their long-term effects on health and nicotine dependence are unknown.