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Fur Color Identified In 3 Million Year Old Mouse

Were dinosaurs green? You'd think so going by pop culture imagery but there is no way to know if...

Probability Abuse: Why P-Values And Statistical Significance Are So Often Misunderstood

Have you read this week a claim by the Harvard School of Public Health that Food Z is linked to...

The Dark Side Of 'Clean Eating': Obsession, Compulsion, And Poor Body Image

Eating sensibly is an important part of a healthy lifestyle but for some people this preoccupation...

Will We Finally Get A Viable Alternative To Styrofoam?

Advocates for getting rid of gasoline love to use images from the 19th century, asking why the...

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Cigarette smoking among kids has continued to fall and since, as we have long noted, "smoking is a pediatric disease". if people don't take it up as children they likely never will. That will pay public health dividends. But with a problem about to be eliminated so is hundreds of billions of dollars that have been given to anti-smoking advocates, and many of them are scrambling to justify why their funding should continue.
An entire generation of parents was brought up believing that if hospitals used antimicrobial soap, then homes deserved it too. An entire generation of doctors were brought up in a defensive medicine culture and taught that if a patient really wanted something, like antibiotics for a flu, they had to get it, or lawyers and politicians would be using them for media soundbites. An entire generation of the public were taught that every drug should have the lower cost of generic versions, which has stymied creativity. An entire generation of regulators told us that the solution to a drug like Vioxx harming anyone was to double the cost and time of studies needed for approval.
In a world where "antibiotic resistance" has been a concern, not just among those opposed to medical science but by mainstream consensus, it may seem odd to discuss the benefits of preventative antibiotics, but a large randomized trial indicates that the World Health Organisation and other national organizations should change antibiotic guidelines, at least for assisted childbirth.

In 2016, an estimated 19,500 women died because of pregnancy-related infections globally. Even in high-income settings, infections account for 1 in 20 maternal deaths, and as many as 1 in 8 in the USA. For every woman who dies from pregnancy-related infection, another 70 women develop a severe infection and survive often with long-term health consequences.
With summer just around the corner in Europe and America, it's time to think about the risk of too much sun exposure.  One greater hazard has less risk - melanoma - but though it is less common than some other types of skin cancer, it is more likely to grow and spread. 

In 2019, an estimated 96,000 new melanomas will be diagnosed and men are far greater impacted than women. About 7,000 people will die, nearly twice as many men as women. It is 20X more common in people of Caucasian descent than people of African descent. Though the average age of diagnosis is 63, it defies the cancer stereotype in young people, being one of the most common cancers in young adults.
When most people think of bats they think of vampires or the World's Greatest Detective, but biologically they are much more diverse than pop culture reveals. With more than 1,300 species worldwide they are one of the largest groups of mammals. Some have large ears, others sport elaborate noses or long jaws. There's a lot of morphological variety, and that's a great lesson for what types of evolutionary forces shape the shapes of animals. Like their skulls.
Do you vape? A new paper suggests you may have been abused as a child - at least in statistical parsing of a small survey.

A sample of 208 people aged 18-21 was used to create a correlation between childhood maltreatment and e-cigarette use, and explored the potential role of impulsivity in linking childhood maltreatment to e-cigarette use via a series of models controlling for demographic characteristics. Other papers have claimed that smoking is caused by childhood maltreatment but this is the first to claim a link between nicotine vapor and child abuse.