Why Elephants don’t get Cancer

We know that elephants never forget, but researchers know that they rarely get cancer either. Understanding why elephants are so cancer-resistant may inform future cancer therapeutics for humans. Peto’s Paradox We understand cancer as a collection of related diseases resulting from uncontrolled cell division. Intuitively, organisms with more cells should have a greater likelihood of developing cancer. However, in 1977, epidemiologist Richard Peto noticed that … Continue reading Why Elephants don’t get Cancer

Incidence of Leukemia increases in white Hispanic children

The incidence of childhood leukemia is rising among white Hispanic children in the United States, according to researchers from the University of California system. Researchers analyzed data obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute, which provides statistical information about cancer in the United States. The data on childhood leukemia, collected between 1992 and 2013, suggests that the … Continue reading Incidence of Leukemia increases in white Hispanic children

Happy New Year from Contagion!

It’s a new year, and a new opportunity for breakthrough ideas, technologies, policies, and social opinions to revolutionize how we understand and control disease. That in part depends on you! Think of the ways you can help combat disease. Do you have the scientific skill set to understand the molecular basis of disease? Are you a computationalist that can explore aspects of disease that are … Continue reading Happy New Year from Contagion!

Narcolepsy and Driving

Patients with narcolepsy often have trouble staying awake, including on the road. Are motorists with sleeping disorders a danger to everyone else? What is narcolepsy? According to the National Institutes of Health, narcolepsy is a chronic brain disorder that affects regulation of sleep-wake cycles. People with narcolepsy typically have reduced alertness, a feeling of overwhelming drowsiness during the daytime, and have difficulty staying awake for … Continue reading Narcolepsy and Driving

Obesity is a Mentality Problem

The greatest challenge to addressing obesity in the United States is changing America’s perspective on the disease. What is obesity? Obesity is a more extreme form of being overweight. Overweight individuals have excess body weight. A human’s weight comes from muscles, bone, fat, and water, but excess body fat is the greatest health concern. The body mass index (BMI) calculator is a generalized tool used … Continue reading Obesity is a Mentality Problem

Grooming Pubic Hair could Increase STI Risk

Those that groom their pubic hair have a higher self-reported history of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), according to researchers from California. The study examined the grooming practices of both men and women and found that those who groom (either by shaving, waxing, or cutting with scissors) had a higher incidence of contracting STI’s than those that do not. The association was stronger for … Continue reading Grooming Pubic Hair could Increase STI Risk

U.S. Life Expectancy Decreases

The life expectancy of the U.S. population in 2015 was 78.8 years, down from 78.9 years in 2014. Life expectancy for males in 2015 was 76.3 years (down from 76.5 years in 2014). Life expectancy for women was 81.2 years (down from 81.3 years in 2014). The decrease in life expectancy is attributed to increases in deaths from heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional … Continue reading U.S. Life Expectancy Decreases