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The bacterial horror of hot-air hand dryers

Follow me on Twitter @JohnRossMD If you’re the kind of person who avoids public bathrooms at all costs, you may feel validated, as well as disturbed, by a new study from researchers at the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University. They suspected that hot-air hand dryers in public restrooms might be sucking up bacteria from…

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4 things to know about ticks and Lyme

As the weather gets better and school vacations begin, along with sunburns and water safety there is something else parents need to think about: ticks and Lyme disease. Lyme disease is spread by the bite of the blacklegged tick. While there are cases in various parts of the country, it’s most common in the Northeast…

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PrEP: Protection against HIV in a pill?

HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) weakens the human immune system and destroys the important cells that fight disease and infection. A person can get HIV when bodily fluids — including blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, or vaginal fluids of a person with the virus — come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged…

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The psychology of Internet rage

Have you ever noticed that you tend to get a lot angrier on the road with other drivers than you do with people in the rest of your life? To a large degree, the experience of road rage is universal, and can be explained by the emotional distance that is created between drivers when there…

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Fermented foods for better gut health

Naturally fermented foods are getting a lot of attention from health experts these days because they may help strengthen your gut microbiome—the 100 trillion or so bacteria and microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. Researchers are beginning to link these tiny creatures to all sorts of health conditions from obesity to neurodegenerative diseases. Fermented…

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Choosing life with a VAD (ventricular assist device)

Rain splattered, blurring my view of the Massachusetts state highway. The rental car’s wipers squeaked as they dragged across the windshield. Though I was briefly tempted to turn back, I kept driving. The man with the battery-operated heart had invited me to his home, and I didn’t want to be late. I am a critical…

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