Without This Protein, Part Of The Brain's Sex System Would Die

Sometimes, bad luck leads to insights. A study published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has added a new twist to our understanding of the way the system that controls puberty in mammals develops inside the brain – thanks to two brothers who both inherited the same rare disorder.
» 5/18/15 6:10pm Monday 6:10pm

Three Things You Probably Didn't Know About Crab Lice

Crab lice (Pthirus pubis) aren’t crabs at all—they’re parasitic insects that feed exclusively on human blood, and their bites can cause intense itching in their hosts. Often, this itching happens in the pubic area, which is why they’re also known as “pubic lice”—which, it turns out, is actually a misnomer. » 5/15/15 7:25pm 5/15/15 7:25pm

My Cyborg Ear: How a Surgeon and Titanium Cured My Lifelong Deafness

I’ve never been able to hear well. As a child, I was in and out of the hospital as doctors struggled to treat chronic ear infections that left me in throbbing pain and, eventually, relative silence. By the time I went to college, I had only one half-functioning ear drum and no hope of regaining the hearing I’d lost… » 5/15/15 4:00pm 5/15/15 4:00pm

3D Tissue Engineering May One Day Solve Both Impotence And Miscarriage

A study published last week in the journal Biofabrication describes a new technique to build replacements for damaged three dimensional human tissues. The researchers running the study are trying to make an eardrum. But their technique, if successful, might also one day create replacements for complex reproductive… » 5/14/15 6:50pm 5/14/15 6:50pm

There Was No Viagra in 1918. But There Was This Penis Splint.

Nearly 100 years ago, there was no drug to help with erectile dysfunction, but Bernard Scheinkman came up with an alternative. It’s not clear whether this nightmarish penile splint was ever manufactured — but you have to love the baroque logic of combining a cock ring, an open condom, and a shelf. » 5/14/15 5:50pm 5/14/15 5:50pm

How Viruses Hide Inside Your Eyeballs, Even When You're No Longer Sick

Last week brought the horrifying news that the Ebola virus can live in the eyeballs of survivors, even after it’s been eliminated from the rest of the body. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, though. Viruses have always hidden in parts of our bodies you’d never expect. In fact, we’re all walking virus reservoirs.
» 5/13/15 11:26am 5/13/15 11:26am

3D-Printing Oddly Shaped Pills Can Change How Fast They're Absorbed

Medicine is one of the more exciting fields that 3D printing promises to radically innovate. Doctors have already used the technology to help repair damaged airways in children with a 3D-printed splint, but researchers in the pharmaceutical field have instead been dabbling with custom-shaped pills optimized for every… » 5/13/15 11:05am 5/13/15 11:05am

The US Is Finally Getting Access to a Promising Cancer Drug From Cuba

Tourism isn’t the only industry eager to benefit from the relaxing of the decades-long trade embargo against Cuba. Medical researchers on both of sides of the Straits of Florida now have the chance to collaborate with previously off-limits colleagues. Of particular interest to the U.S. is a Cuban lung cancer drug that… » 5/11/15 6:55pm 5/11/15 6:55pm

The Autism Epidemic: Increasing Cases or Just Increasing Diagnoses?


An interesting new study was recently published in the British Medical Journal about the ‘autism epidemic’ we have been experiencing in recent years (1). The Swedish authors of the study used data from children born between 1993 and 2002 to compare time trends in the rates of the autism symptom phenotype (i.e. the… » 5/11/15 3:30am 5/11/15 3:30am