Last updated January 9, 2018 at 8:57 am
The Check Up is a weekly feature highlighting some of the best, most fascinating, most important, or simply unmissable health, medical, and human stories from around the web. This is a supersized version to get you through the holidays – happy reading!
‘Smart’ prosthetic limbs
Let’s kick off by introducing you to Darren Wilson. He lost both his legs in a motorcycle accident, but he’s since undergone a procedure called osseointegration, where an implant is put directly into a bone. Darren then had ‘smart’ prosthetic limbs attached that use gyroscopes to help him walk and let him feel the surface he’s walking on!
The effects of Zika two years later
Can you believe it’s been two years since the Zika outbreak hit the news? The images of babies with microcephaly aren’t making front page news any more, but scientists are still tracking their development – and it’s not good. The only babies in this study who are hitting their milestones were probably misdiagnosed with microcephaly in the first place.
Prescription drug ingredients in cosmetics
So here’s a terrifying loophole – in the USA, beauty products don’t have to disclose or safety test prescription drug ingredients as long as they don’t make any health claims. The brands can say something like ‘improved appearance’ because that’s a cosmetic claim, but as soon as they say something like ‘lash growth’, they’re making a health claim.
The good and bad of mozzie coils
True story: when I was little my parents used to burn mosquito coils in my bedroom, and one time I touched the lit end, and that’s how I learnt that glowing red things are probably hot and that you shouldn’t touch them. Anyway, there might be other reasons why mozzie coils are bad for you.
Surviving Ebola means lifelong immunity
Surviving Ebola in Africa leaves you with stigma and scars, but also lifelong immunity – even after 41 years. What this scientist went through to find these survivors and prove they have valuable antibodies is incredible, and could help develop a vaccine.
There’s us, and there’s them
We’re hard-wired for us-and-them behaviour – that is, we trust and like people who we see as like us, and distrust and dislike those we don’t. But it’s a lot more complicated than that – the intricacies are fascinating. And while there are ways to change this behaviour, the author thinks we shouldn’t try to ‘cure ourselves’ – just be aware and work through it.
Alcohol is bad for your memory
Not to dampen your silly season buzz, but the pendulum has swung back to alcohol is bad for you again. Looks like even small amounts can damage your memory, even when you drink several days after you learn something new. It has to do with how it affects your sleep – lucky there’s plenty of time for naps over the holidays! (Disclaimer: you totally can’t make up for it with naps).
Ketamine rapidly lessens suicidal thoughts
Ketamine has huge potential to help people with their depression, and the latest research shows that this anaesthetic can ease suicidal thoughts within hours. It’s such a promising treatment, hopefully we can overcome its reputation as a party drug and start using it to help people.
And finally a double video treat! Check out the looks on these faces as they use amazing prosthetics!