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Erin RichardsRSS Feed of this column.

I am a current graduate student at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. I write for Neon Tommy, a digital news website, as a science writer. My undergraduate degree is from the... Read More »

There are a few things that are a given when it comes to understanding the human body. Long periods of stress are bad. We all know this. Stress from relationships, work or other causes are bad for us. We get less sleep, eat worse and we get sick more often. We also know that exercise is good for us. This is also a given.
Autoimmune diseases are some of the most confounding diseases that affect the human body. Viruses, bacteria and parasites are all simple compared to the complexities and complications that arise when faced with treating an autoimmune disease. Researchers and physicians alike are unsure of the root of most autoimmune diseases and can only guess as to what specifically triggers our immune system to turn on itself. Treatment for most autoimmune diseases is brutal, consisting of high doses of steroids which suppress immune system function.

The seasons are shifting. For most places, colder weather and less daylight means the steady approach of winter. In my home in Northern California, summer lasts through October.  The sun shines steadily, temperature drops to a tolerable high 60’s and not a drop of rain is  seen. Suddenly,  it’s dark by 5:00pm and the cuffs of your pants are constantly wet from trudging through the rain puddles, you know that the dreaded winter is here.

In California, we definitely have seasons.

For those that suffer from Huntington’s Disease or worry about its development, a new hope for a treatment may be on the horizon. Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. has announced that it will collaborate with researchers from French university Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d’Angers (CHU d’Angers) on the development of its proprietary drug delayed-release cysteamine bitartrate (DR Cysteamine) in a Phase II clinical trial for treatment for patients with Huntington’s Disease.
I love to travel. Exploring new places, seeing new sights and eating new types of food are among the top greatest things. But traveling has some serious consequences. Not only do you have to deal with the circus that ensues when you try to get on the plane, and must sit on a plane for however many hours that it takes to get to your destination, but then you have to spend the next significant chunk of your

precious travel time adjusting to the time. What if you could skip the recuperation time and avoid your jet lag? According to a new study published in Minerva Cardioangiologica, you can by taking pine bark extract.

Now that the magical glow of Halloween is over, and in its wake you realize that you have decimated the entire tub of Halloween candy that failed to attract enough trick-or-treaters. You also realize that now that the winter months are approaching, bringing with them cold, rain, snow, wind, Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas feast and New Years debauchery.