Health

Placebos can have a powerful effect even if they’re not a secret

Placebos can have a powerful effect even if they’re not a secret

The potential for placebos -- 'medications' that don't have an active ingredient, that is -- is well-known, though the exact reasons for their effectiveness remains a mystery. Generally speaking, a placebo is kept a secret; the idea is that if the recipient knows they're receiving a sugar pill or some other faux intervention, the positive effects will disappear. A new study suggests that is not the case, however, finding 'powerful' effects even in cases where the placebo is known to the recipient.

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Obesity has a terrifying effect on brain health and function, study warns

Obesity has a terrifying effect on brain health and function, study warns

Being overweight or obese has a noticeable, alarming impact on brain health that impacts its function and paves the way for mental health issues and dementia, a new study warns. The research was based on brain scans from more than 17,000 people; the results were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. Key to the disruption is a change in blood flow and the parts of the brain impacted by this change.

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American Heart Association warns marijuana is a ‘substantial’ health risk

American Heart Association warns marijuana is a ‘substantial’ health risk

The American Heart Association has published a new scientific statement warning that cannabis ("marijuana") is not without health risks -- and that some of them may be 'substantial.' The advisory comes at a time when a number of states and countries have legalized cannabis to various degrees, offering the opportunity to study the drug and its potential health benefits and downsides.

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US Government cuts $1 billion deal for experimental COVID-19 vaccine

US Government cuts $1 billion deal for experimental COVID-19 vaccine

The US Government will spent more than $1 billion on an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, inking a deal for millions of doses of the drug assuming it passes FDA authorization. One million doses of the vaccine, Johnson & Johnson's Ad26.COV2.S, will be secured in the deal, though the door has been left open for significantly more should that be required.

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Canada just gave some people permission to use magic mushrooms

Canada just gave some people permission to use magic mushrooms

For the first time in decades, Canada has granted special permission that allows some people to consume psilocybin, the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms. This psychedelic has been increasingly studied for its potential to help resolve anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. One study, in fact, found that psilocybin helped terminal patients accept their mortality.

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Popular frozen Mexican foods recalled over plastic contamination risk

Popular frozen Mexican foods recalled over plastic contamination risk

The US Department of Agriculture has warned that multiple varieties of popular frozen Mexican foods from a Texas producer have been recalled over potential contamination with small pieces of plastic. These frozen food products are commonly found in grocery stores and convenience stores throughout the United States -- and, quite obviously, eating one that has a small piece of plastic may result in choking.

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Harvard study links certain type of childhood trauma with faster aging

Harvard study links certain type of childhood trauma with faster aging

A new study from Harvard University has linked childhood trauma with changes in how fast one experiences biological aging. Known as adverse events in early life, this trauma can vary and include things like neglect, living in poverty, violence in the household, and similar things. Past research has linked these experiences with poor health outcomes later in life; the latest study builds upon that, linking trauma and abuse with earlier puberty and more.

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Marijuana may interfere with dozens of common prescription drugs

Marijuana may interfere with dozens of common prescription drugs

A new study out of Penn State warns that the various cannabinoids found in cannabis ("marijuana") may interfere with a variety of prescription medication, including commonly prescribed drugs. Research into this topic is particularly important in light of the growing use of cannabinoids for medicinal purposes. Among other things, the researchers encourage doctors to explore the potential of cannabinoid-medication interactions among their patients.

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The FDA just authorized a special new COVID-19 test

The FDA just authorized a special new COVID-19 test

New COVID-19 tests that can tell not only whether you have had coronavirus before, but estimate how many antibodies to the virus are present in the body, have been given authorization by the US FDA. The latest iteration of so-called serological tests, the two new diagnostics aren't designed to identify whether a patient is currently infected by COVID-19, but instead could be essential in figuring out whether having had coronavirus then grants an individual immunity against it in future.

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FDA says there’s a new Salmonella outbreak: onions recalled across US

FDA says there’s a new Salmonella outbreak: onions recalled across US

The FDA has published an advisory warning that a new Salmonella outbreak has resulted in nearly 400 cases across the United States. Though the agency says that it and the CDC are still investigating and that a final conclusion isn't yet available, the issue may be linked to onions from Thomson International. As a result, the company has recalled many of its onions 'out of an abundance of caution.'

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Coca-Cola plans hybrid drink that blends ‘authentic’ Coke flavor with coffee

Coca-Cola plans hybrid drink that blends ‘authentic’ Coke flavor with coffee

A day after its hard seltzer announcement, the Coca-Cola Company has returned to reveal that it will soon release a 'hybrid' beverage combining the 'authentic' flavor of its cola product with coffee. Unlike the Topo Chico drink, which will be launched this year in a limited number of cities, Coca-Cola says it plans to make its new coffee beverage available across the United States starting next January.

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The first US COVID-19 exposure tracing apps using Apple and Google’s system are coming

The first US COVID-19 exposure tracing apps using Apple and Google’s system are coming

Google says the first COVID-19 contact tracing apps in the US should roll out in the next few weeks, several months after the search giant partnered with Apple on a cross-platform exposure notifications system. The technology, which the two firms offered to public health authorities, allows iOS and Android devices to securely check in with each other when within close physical distance, data which can be essential for understand coronavirus spread.

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