Science | Health vox

Genetic engineering—the bloodsucker’s doom

Scientists believe they can reduce mosquito populations by using a bacteria that interferes with the insects’ reproductive cycle. (For Spectrum Health Beat) Some mosquitoes spread diseases to humans through their bite, passing along harmful pathogens like Zika, dengue fever, West Nile virus and chikungunya.Now humans are turning the tables, infecting these dangerous mosquitoes with bacteria...

Programmed to pack pounds?

The genetic traits that helped our ancestors battle food scarcity could today be contributing to excess weight and related illnesses. (For Spectrum Health Beat) It’s not easy maintaining a healthy weight. Even when you manage to drop a few pounds, they often return.Why would the body seem to encourage obesity? New research suggests the answer lies...

Is your mattress malicious?

Researchers are concerned that chemicals used in the manufacture of mattresses could affect the health of children and infants. (For Spectrum Health Beat) Most people consider their bed a safe haven, but new research suggests your body heat might trigger the release of potentially harmful chemicals from your mattress.Mattresses are known to release minute amounts...

Can DNA predict your heart health?

Searching for genetic biomarkers of heart disease in people who have no history of heart problems could help doctors identify at-risk patients early on. (For Spectrum Health Beat) Can a DNA test predict a person’s future heart health? Perhaps, researchers say.A team of Canadian researchers found that by analyzing a person’s entire genome, it might...

The science of shape

About two dozen genetic variations help determine if a person is prone to carrying weight around the belly, according to new research. (For Spectrum Health Beat) A large, new study has uncovered 24 genetic variations that help separate the apple-shaped people from the pear-shaped ones.Researchers said the findings help explain why some people are prone...

Smart money’s on the symphony

Acuity in music tends to lead to sharper skills in language and sound, which can be important for academic success throughout childhood and beyond. (For Spectrum Health Beat) Not every budding musician will become a rock star, but studying music has brain bonuses for kids, even those who don’t take up an instrument until their...

The functional fern

Researchers say they’ve genetically modified a species of ivy to filter out harmful pollutants. Other common houseplants are likely next. (For Spectrum Health Beat) A common houseplant to help keep your home’s air cleaner and safer?Scientists report they have genetically altered pothos ivy to filter certain hazardous chemicals from household air. Many people use HEPA air...

Unspooling the catnip conundrum

The chemical processes that make catnip so appealing to cats could also lead to discoveries in the manufacture of medicine. (For Spectrum Health Beat) Rolling around, meowing and generally acting blissed-out: cats love the plant known as catnip. Now, British scientists say they’re closer to knowing how catnip works—and their insights might end up helping felines’...

Rapunzel’s Hair Spell !

Most of us consider hair as a reflection of our identity. Why is it that hair has always been so special and valuable since ages? Both the genders have always been giving great importance to the way their hair looks, even though hair is just a bunch of dead cells which looks hideous when...

Top 5 Snacks to Fuel Your Workout

Khloe Kardashian has been hitting the gym hard and has not been letting herself slack, no matter what is going on in her life, as well as making sure that she sticks to a very strict diet. Khloe has since gone on to lose around 35lbs. "Khloe gives as much to the gym as the...

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