The Week: Most Recent Health Posts recent posts.en-usMon, 15 Sep 2014 09:25:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Health Posts from THE WEEKMon, 15 Sep 2014 09:25:00 -0400Is back pain ruining your sex life?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Sex and lower back pain might be the perfect recipe for a screwball comedy, but both the pain and the fear of exacerbating it are very real downers for a couple's sex life. Take heart, though: A new guide to sexual positions could help improve the mood.</p><p>Somewhere around four in five people will experience serious back pain at least once in their lifetimes, and a third or more of those report that pain affects their sex lives, says Natalie Sidorkewitz, a doctoral student at the University of Waterloo's Spine Biomechanics Laboratory and lead author of a new study that takes a look at how men's...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Nathan CollinsMon, 15 Sep 2014 09:25:00 -0400The next pandemic<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong> How likely is a pandemic?<br /></strong>Epidemiologists believe we're statistically overdue for a global viral outbreak, which occurs every generation or so. This year's Ebola crisis is probably just a dress rehearsal: Though the virus has killed at least 1,420 people in Africa in the last five months, Ebola is transmitted only through intimate contact with bodily fluids and doesn't have the global reach of a true pandemic, such as Spanish influenza in 1918. Humanity had no prior exposure or immunity to the Spanish flu, which is believed to have incubated in birds and pigs. So it spread like wildfire, infecting...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 30 Aug 2014 08:00:00 -0400How snake venom could help fight cancer<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Generally, most of us try to get through life without having to cross paths with a venomous animal. But the dangerous substances in a snake's bite or a scorpion's sting may actually have value: In recent years, scientists have begun to investigate the disease-fighting properties of venom.</p><p>"Cancer [treatment] is an emerging area in venom research," says Mand&euml; Holford, a biochemist at the City University of New York's Hunter College. Her research subjects are venomous marine snails, which she describes as "walking drug factories," due to the useful medicinal compounds in their venom.</p><p>There...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eli ChenMon, 25 Aug 2014 09:30:00 -0400How collaborative innovation led to the experimental serum for Ebola<img src="" /></P><p>Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, the two American aid workers infected with the Ebola virus while volunteering in Liberia, were released from the hospital yesterday after they recovered from the illness.</p><p>They were both given an experimental serum, Zmapp, before being flown from Liberia to CDC facilities in Atlanta, Georgia, three week ago. Brantly &mdash; who was seriously deteriorating before the drug was administered &mdash; yesterday appeared overjoyed, telling the media he was "thrilled to be alive."</p><p>These two Americans might have recovered anyway. In the West African communities that have...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/john-aziz" ><span class="byline">John Aziz</span></a>Fri, 22 Aug 2014 11:04:00 -0400The persuasive power of the sugar cube pyramid<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>With New York City's ban on jumbo-sized soft drinks officially dead, it's clear that any reduction in consumption of these obesity-promoting beverages will need to be a matter of persuasion rather than law. Fortunately, a research team has found a simple way to convince consumers to think twice before taking their next swig of soda.</p><p>Their method is to show people just how much sugar they are consuming per can through the use of an easily understandable visual device: A pyramid of sugar cubes.</p><p>This "concrete representation" of an otherwise abstract calculation such as "70 grams of sugar" reduced...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Tom JacobsThu, 21 Aug 2014 14:35:00 -0400This German hospital is ready for an Ebola outbreak<img src="" /></P><p>The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has claimed more than 1,000 lives since it first appeared in March, making it one of the worst in history. Because it is the first major outbreak in the region, health care workers were ill prepared to contain the virus and protect themselves and others, allowing the disease to spread quickly.</p><p>But hospitals all over the world are stepping up their game in preparation, should the virus jump continents. The Charit&eacute; hospital in Berlin has the largest isolation unit in Germany and can handle up to 20 patients suffering from highly infectious diseases.</p><p>Recently...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:14:00 -0400Inside the mystery serum that could save Ebola victims<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Earlier this month, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were close to death. The two American aid workers infected with the deadly Ebola virus were flown from Liberia to Atlanta, Georgia, where they were promptly sent to the Emory University Hospital. At the moment, there is no officially approved treatment or vaccine for the Ebola virus, which has a 50 to 90 percent mortality rate. But Brantly and Writebol were each given doses of an experimental anti-Ebola serum that had never been tested in humans. Soon after, according to Emory University doctors, both patients were improving.</p><p>Named after...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Eli ChenWed, 13 Aug 2014 09:05:00 -0400Are vitamin pills even necessary?<img src="" /></P><p><strong> Are vitamins good for you?</strong><br /> In natural form, they're essential to the proper functioning of our bodies. The term "vitamins" covers a diverse array of molecules that fulfill a huge variety of biochemical functions &mdash; helping human beings to grow, repair damaged tissue, and avoid such diseases as scurvy, rickets, and pellagra. In the modern world, the abundant supply of a wide variety of foods makes it possible to satisfy virtually all nutritional needs by eating a healthful, balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and protein sources. But based on the idea that more of a good thing is better...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 12 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0400This is a perfect example of why Democrats aren't the party of science<img src="" /></P><p>This probably passed you by, but last October 7-13 was "Naturopathic Medicine Week," a distinction bestowed unanimously by the U.S. Senate recognizing "the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care." And if you missed it, fear not! Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) has introduced another resolution to celebrate it this October, too. This is a baffling move for the so-called party of science.</p><p>For the uninitiated:</p><p >Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a system of medicine based on the healing power of nature. Naturopathy is a holistic system, meaning...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Josiah NeeleyFri, 11 Jul 2014 06:12:00 -0400Selfies fuel cosmetic surgery boom, doctors say<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>The selfie revolution is upon us and everywhere you look someone is holding up their smartphone and snapping a picture of their face, which will then promptly be posted to a social media outlet &mdash; or three.</p><p>This social phenomenon is having a surprising impact on consumer behavior, according to some plastic surgeons, who are crediting an uptick in business to social media's selfie obsession.</p><p>Last year, the cosmetic surgery business was worth around $12.8 billion, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons &mdash; and it's only expected to keep climbing&hellip; one selfie at a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Brianna EhleyFri, 13 Jun 2014 08:25:00 -0400