When residents of Rockford, Michigan began looking into the redevelopment of a famously stinky tannery, something was fishy. When officials reported no known contamination at the shuttered factory, they demanded a deeper investigation. When they didn’t get one, they…

Abby Goudnough tells the story of how cheaper-to-produce, deadlier fentanyl is edging out heroin in cities dotting the US Eastern Seaboard—putting people at greater risk of overdose.   The Quote: “The diminishing supply should be a victory for public health and law…

Welcome to The Fungus Olympics: Where the competitors are fungi, the stadium is a petri dish, and performance enhancing substances are encouraged.   Fungal teams receive microscopic mazes by mail and subject their fungal athletes to tests judging their speed, agility, and “…

The now-ubiquitous imagery of plastic mounting in oceans and in the bellies of wildlife has sparked a dialogue about plastic pollution. But there’s a missing link, notes a new report from the Center for International Environmental Law. Plastic products result from a long…

Ultraprocessed foods may trigger overeating, according to a new study in Cell Metabolism. Participants ate more and gained more weight eating a diet of industrially processed foods—like hot dogs—compared to minimally processed foods like grilled chicken. 

Trauma surgeons may see “the equivalent of a mass shooting every 2.5 months”—clusters of 4 or more gunshot victims–contributing to burnout or “moral injury.” Per a 2014 survey, 40% of trauma surgeons have PTSD symptoms and 15% meet criteria for PTSD diagnosis. But…

The most detailed map to date of HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa, published yesterday in Nature, zooms in on the worst-affected areas—not just by country, but down to the size of a small town.   The epidemiologists behind the tool hope it will help target resources…

North Carolina is suing Juul Labs for allegedly deceiving the public about the dangers of nicotine and for aggressively marketing vapes to young people. The state is now the first to take legal action against the vaping giant. The complaint seeks to go further than FDA…

Low birthweight takes an alarming toll worldwide, according to the first roundup of global progress on the problem.

From 2013-2017 the US government paid some $229 million per year to patients who claimed vaccines harmed them. For any other drug, manufacturers would be liable for harm done. But decades ago the possibility of bank-breaking lawsuits discouraged drugmakers from getting…