Smartphone Cameras Could Help Diagnose Ear Infections Right at Home

Ear infections, the number one reason parents take kids to the doctor, are an exceedingly common and exceedingly annoying fact of life. But a new smartphone app and accessory could help ease the irritation (of going to to the doctor's on a false alarm) by promising to diagnose ear infections right from home. » 12/18/14 11:30am Thursday 11:30am

A Scientific Defense of Santa's Weight

"Santa's behaviour and public image are at odds with contemporary accepted public health messages," argues a British Medical Journal editorial written by Dr. Scrooge and colleagues. Given Santa's tremendous popularity, particularly among children, the authors of the editorial argue the public should become aware of… » 12/18/14 6:30am Thursday 6:30am

The Flu Shot Isn’t a Good Match This Year. Is It Ever?

The CDC announced recently that this year's flu vaccine is missing a key strain, one that accounts for 48% of what's circulating. That strain, a "drifted" version of H3N2, was discovered in March 2014, but the vaccine strains for the Northern hemisphere, including the US, had been decided a month earlier. (The… » 12/16/14 5:15am Tuesday 5:15am

Cows With Human Chromosomes Can Now Make Human Antibodies 

Cows are big hulking creatures—not so great for tipping over while drunk, but great for turning into living factories that make massive quantities of antibodies. Scientists have inserted a modified human chromosome to cows that can now make human antibodies for hantavirus. Other deadly disease like Ebola and MERS… » 11/26/14 7:00pm 11/26/14 7:00pm

What Is the Scariest Disease?

Whether you're personally afraid of Ebola or not, you have to admit it's a scary disease: no vaccine, no cure, and high fatality rate are just a few of its distinguishing features. Recently I polled my friends on what diseases they were afraid of, and many of the ones that made the list were things like cancer and… » 11/03/14 7:30am 11/03/14 7:30am

Google Flu Trends Resorts to Actual Data Because It Got It Wrong

Remember how excited everyone was about Google Flu Trends last year when it confirmed all of our deepest and darkest fears that we were doomed to a winter of misery? Apparently, using peoples' neurotic self-diagnoses isn't the most accurate way to track disease. So now, Google has decided to introduce a "new"… » 10/31/14 5:18pm 10/31/14 5:18pm

Google X Wants to Track Cancer With Nanoparticles and Wearables

Google X, the company's secretive arm tasked with dreaming up the future, is as you would imagine pretty ambitious. But in the area of medicine, their plans seem ripped from the pages of science fiction. Today at the WSJD conference, Google X announced a project that wants to track cancer in your blood with the help… » 10/28/14 3:34pm 10/28/14 3:34pm