Category Archives: Science

CDC releases new STD report, ruins Valentine’s Day for everyone


According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young people ages 15 – 24 account for half of the 19.7 million sexually transmitted infections diagnosed annually. The CDC reported data on eight sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, herpes and HPV.

So, you know, happy Valentine’s Day or whatever.


Tracey Conway: Your Sweet Heart: A Survivor’s Story

Valentine’s Day. Those two words summon a lurch in my stomach and a flutter in my heart. Who among us has not suffered at least one disappointing February 14, our hearts shattered by an unappreciative or unrequited love? Some of us, however, take a broken heart to a whole other level. Literal heartbreak. I did.

Eighteen years ago, shortly before Valentine’s Day, my heart began to race chaotically and erratically fast. I got light-headed, passed out and then — I died. This is not an exaggeration. I have proof: a copy of my Medical Incident Report. Question 24 of the form asks, “Patient Condition on Arrival of First Fire Department Unit.” Two answer options are provided: (1) Alive, or (2) Dead. My report has a big circle around option two. So it’s official.

It still seems absurd that a vibrant and healthy woman in her 30s could literally drop dead within seconds of growing dizzy. That just doesn’t happen to physically active, young people who are non-smokers. Or does it? I am here to assure you — it happens! Much more often than most of you know. Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of natural deaths in the United States.

Read more: Tracey Conway: Your Sweet Heart: A Survivor’s Story –

Scientists Restore Hearing in Animals Using Human Stem Cells

Health & Family

In a promising early study, researchers from the U.K. restored hearing in deaf gerbils by using human embryonic stem cells. It’s an encouraging finding for some of the millions of people who suffer from hearing disorders.

“We have the proof of concept that we can use human embryonic stem cells to repair the damaged ear,” lead author Marcelo Rivolta, a stem cell biologist at the University of Sheffield, in England, toldNature News. “More work needs to be done, but now we know it’s possible.” The study was published in the journal Nature.

Hearing loss is typically caused by disruptions in the connection between the hair cells of the inner ear and the brain. Hair cells turn sounds into electrical signals, which are then carried by auditory neurons to the brain. In the new research, the researchers studied gerbils with damage to the auditory nerves and attempted to replace…

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100,000 LED lights down the Sumida River, Japan


The inaugural Tokyo Hotaru festival was held last weekend. And kicking off the festivities were an impressive display of 100,000 LED lights – made to resemble hotaru (fireflies) – that floated down the Sumida River through central Tokyo. Dubbed “prayer stars,” the LEDs were provided by Panasonic, who claims that the balls, which were designed to light up upon contact with water, were 100% powered by solar energy. After illuminating a large stretch of the river, which also hosts a popular fireworks festival in the summer, the LEDs were all caught in a large net. Continue reading 100,000 LED lights down the Sumida River, Japan

Money and Happiness: China Surveys Suggest a Limited Link

After two decades of extraordinarily rapid economic growth, people in China aren’t much happier than when they started, suggests a new review of happiness and national income in the world’s largest, most economically accelerated country.

On the whole, China’s wealthy are slightly happier than before, but little appears to have changed among middle-income earners. Among lower income brackets, life satisfaction seems to have dropped precipitously.

These trends are not an argument against capitalism or economic growth — but they do hint at shortcomings in using standard economic metrics as shorthand for well-being.

“There is no evidence of an increase in life satisfaction of the magnitude that might have been expected to result from the fourfold improvement in the level of per capita consumption,” write researchers led by economist Richard Easterlin in their May 15 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper. Continue reading Money and Happiness: China Surveys Suggest a Limited Link

Five Charged in China After Teen Sells Kidney for iPhone and iPad


Camping overnight at the Apple store looks pretty tame after this case. Five people in southern China have been charged for taking a 17-year-old boy’s kidney in exchange for an iPad and an iPhone.

According to Reuters, one of the defendants received $35,000 for arranging the transplant for an unknown client. He split that money with a surgeon and three other defendants.

(MORE: Report: Cheap Google Tablet Delayed Until July, Apple Testing Smaller iPad)

The boy, identified only by his surname Wang, confessed to selling his kidney after his mom asked him where his new Apple products came from. Prosecutors from Chenzhou, in the Hunan province, say that he now suffers from renal deficiency.

The worst part? Wang got a terrible deal. In China, iPhones start at 3,988 yuan ($633) and iPads 2,988 yuan ($474). Now, I’m no professor of economics, but that comes out to a combined…

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