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Focus on Health

Pollution particles 'get into brain'

Tiny particles of pollution have been discovered inside samples of brain tissue, according to new research.

Suspected of toxicity, the particles of iron oxide could conceivably contribute to diseases like Alzheimer's - though evidence for this is lacking.

The finding - described as "dreadfully shocking" by the researchers - raises a host of new questions about the health risks of air pollution.

Many studies have focused on the impact of dirty air on the lungs and heart.

7 Surprising Benefits of Exercise

You probably have a vague sense that exercise is good for you—and you’ve probably heard that it’s “healthy for the heart.” But if you’re like most people, that’s not enough motivation to get you to break a sweat with any regularity. As I report in the TIME cover story, “The Exercise Cure,” only 20% of Americans get the recommended 150 minutes of strength and cardiovascular physical activity per week, more than half of all baby boomers report doing no exercise whatsoever, and 80.2 million Americans over age 6 are entirely inactive.

How Simply Moving Benefits Your Mental Health

While it is obvious that your feelings can influence your movement, it is not as obvious that your movement can impact your feelings too. For example, when you feel tired and sad, you may move more slowly. When you feel anxious, you may either rush around or become completely paralyzed. But recent studies show that the connection between your brain and your body is a “two-way street” and that means movement can change your brain, too!

Newest Policyholders Under Health Law Are Sicker and Costlier to Insurers

People newly insured under the Affordable Care Act were sicker, used more medical care and had higher medical costs than those who already had coverage, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association said Tuesday in a new study of its policyholders.

NIH to retire all research chimpanzees

Two years after retiring most of its research chimpanzees, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is ceasing its chimp programme altogether, Nature has learned.

In a 16 November e-mail to the agency's administrators, NIH director Francis Collins announced that the 50 NIH-owned animals that remain available for research will be sent to sanctuaries. The agency will also develop a plan for phasing out NIH support for the remaining chimps that are supported by, but not owned by, the NIH.

The Surprising Factor That Affects Your Future Baby’s Health

Trying to get pregnant? Then you’re probably popping prenatal vitamins, laying off the sushi and extra-large lattes, and generally watching what you eat in the name of fertility and healthy babies.

But, according to new OB-GYN guidelines from the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, or FIGO, it’s not just what you eat once you’re “trying” that affects your fertility and future baby’s health. It turns out, what you eat as a child also influences your chances of getting pregnant – and of having a healthy pregnancy and baby – decades later. 

Pseudo-Therapy Apps

There’s a life-threatening condition that prevents people from feeling pain. An afflicted person may leave their hand on a hot stove without realizing it. There are only 20 reported cases, because the genes responsible have been weeded out by evolution. Pain is adaptive.

A Flame Retardant That Came With Its Own Threat to Health

If you closely examine your living room couch, your favorite easy chair or your child’s car seat, the odds are strong that you will find upholstery that is filled with polyurethane foam treated with a chemical flame retardant. Some may find that comforting: Isn’t it desirable to hold an accidental fire at bay, one caused by, say, a burning cigarette or faulty electrical wiring?

The Secret to Eliminating Stress

As is often said, stress isn’t about what happens to us, it’s how we react to it. This is very true.

We don’t feel as stressed when we feel in control. Again, the emphasis is on feel. Even illusory feelings of control can eliminate stress. (This is the secret to why idiots and crazy people may feel far less stress than those who see a situation clearly.)

Nutritionists silenced about ag

A government-appointed group of top nutrition experts, assigned to lay the scientific groundwork for a new version of the nation's dietary guidelines, decided earlier this year to collect data on the environmental implication of different food choices.

Congress now has slapped them down.

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