The Week: Most Recent Health Posts recent posts.en-usFri, 22 Aug 2014 11:04:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Health Posts from THE WEEKFri, 22 Aug 2014 11:04:00 -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 -0400A scary new disease just got scarier<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>People who study infectious diseases have long been calling for better communication among governments around the world and better monitoring of the spread of diseases within individual countries. Last week, the world got another example of what they are so worried about.</p><p>The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia announced last Tuesday that it was updating the statistics on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a contagious flu-like disease that can be passed from person to person. The disease, a type of corona virus, is commonly abbreviated among infectious disease experts as MERS-CoV and is from...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Rob GarverThu, 12 Jun 2014 09:11:00 -0400Trapped between life and death<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong><span class="s1">IMAGINE YOU WAKE UP, </span></strong>locked inside a box," says Adrian Owen, a neurologist at the University of Western Ontario. "It's only just big enough to hold your body but sufficiently small that you can't move. It's a perfect fit, down to every last one of your fingers and toes. It's a strange box because you can listen to absolutely everything going on around you, yet your voice cannot be heard. In fact, the box fits so tightly around your face and lips that you can't speak, or make a noise. Although you can see everything going on around the box, the world outside is oblivious to what's going on inside...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Roger HighfieldSun, 08 Jun 2014 08:00:00 -0400Kickstarting a cure for rare diseases<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p class="TextBlock paragraph Block align-left effect-dropcaps" data-content_id="text:afef4d1081654afca696d3b86d8d01d6">The geneticist called it a one-in-three-billion chance.</p><p class="TextBlock paragraph Block align-left" data-content_id="text:c5fd583d380c4e70bf2684e9dcc42324">Just one. Out of three billion. Take a plane to Asia &mdash; absolutely anywhere in Asia &mdash; and randomly point to the first person you see. Is it Kim Jong-un, the fade-hairdoed leader of North Korea? Yes? Well, you've just beaten the odds we're talking about here.</p><p class="TextBlock paragraph Block align-left" data-content_id="text:006e315aa3ab45c597f9715b06d14478">But that's all the likelihood it took for Robert Stone &mdash; the only never-in-a-million-years, statistical screw-you that Robert's body needed to land him in a wheelchair and cause legions of medical know-it-alls to scratch their heads in wonder for 13 long and painful...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Noah RosenbergMon, 26 May 2014 12:00:00 -0400