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Fears of a polio resurgence in the US have health officials on high alert

Photo of Medicalstaff learning to work with Iron Lungs for Polio patients
Critical-care patients in the emergency polio ward at Haynes Memorial Hospital in Boston in August 1955. Associated Press photo

A virologist explains the history of this dreaded disease

Rosemary Rochford, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Fears of polio gripped the U.S. in the mid-20th century. Parents were afraid to send their children to birthday parties, public pools or any place where children mingled. Children in wheelchairs served as a stark reminder of the ravages of the disease.

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Arctic is warming nearly four times faster than the rest of the world – new research

Phto of large slabs of ice falling into the ocean
New research estimates that the Arctic may be warming four times faster than the rest of the world. Netta Arobas/Shutterstock

Jonathan Bamber, University of Bristol

The Earth is approximately 1.1℃ warmer than it was at the start of the industrial revolution. That warming has not been uniform, with some regions warming at a far greater pace. One such region is the Arctic.

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Climate change is making flooding worse: 3 reasons the world is seeing more record-breaking deluges and flash floods

Photo of a road washed-out by flooding
Fast-moving floodwater obliterated sections of major roads through Yellowstone National Park in 2022. Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service

Frances Davenport, Colorado State University

Heavy rainfall turned into dangerous flooding in rugged Appalachia in late July, sweeping away homes and killing at least 25 people, Kentucky’s governor announced. The destruction followed flooding a few weeks earlier in the mountains of Virginia and Tennessee.

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How the omicron subvariant BA.5 became a master of disguise – and what it means for the current COVID-19 surge

Computer-designed image of a coronavirus
New variants of the coronavirus are all slightly different from the original strain that vaccines were based on, so immunity to variants may be different. Alexey Solodovnikov, Valeria Arkhipova/WikimediaCommons, CC BY-SA

Suresh V. Kuchipudi, Penn State

The omicron subvariant known as BA.5 was first detected in South Africa in February 2022 and spread rapidly throughout the world. As of the second week of July 2022, BA.5 constituted nearly 80% of COVID-19 variants in the United States.

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Protecting yourself from UV radiation

Photo Credit{ CDC.gov

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Taking steps to protect yourself from the sun is a year-round responsibility. Protect yourself and others from the sun with shade, a shirt, or sunblock (SPF 15+) all year long.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds. While it has some benefits for people, including the creation of Vitamin D, it also can cause health risks.

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Farm runoff causing devastating algae blooms and dead zones in the oceans

Photo of a large algae bloom
Satellite photo of an algal bloom in western Lake Erie, July 28, 2015. NASA Earth Observatory

To reduce harmful algal blooms and dead zones, the US needs a national strategy for regulating farm pollution

Donald Boesch, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Donald Scavia, University of Michigan

Midsummer is the time for forecasts of the size of this year’s “dead zones” and algal blooms in major lakes and bays. Will the Gulf of Mexico dead zone be the size of New Jersey, or only as big as Connecticut? Will Lake Erie’s bloom blossom to a human health crisis, or just devastate the coastal economy?

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Understanding the many ways that your internal clock affects your health

Drawing depicting the human brain with a mounted alarm clock overlayed onto a scrolling day and night background
Syncing your circadian rhythm to a natural light-dark cycle could improve your health and well-being.nambitomo/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Your body has an internal clock that dictates when you eat, sleep and might have a heart attack – all based on time of day

Shogo Sato, Texas A&M University

Anyone who has suffered from jet lag or struggled after turning the clock forward or back an hour for daylight saving time knows all about what researchers call your biological clock, or circadian rhythm – the “master pacemaker” that synchronizes how your body responds to the passing of one day to the next.

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Stunning images open the era of the James Webb Space Telescope

Photo of stars and galaxies
The mirror on the James Webb Space Telescope is fully aligned and producing incredibly sharp images, like this test image of a star. NASA/STScI via Flickr

The James Webb Space Telescope is finally ready to do science – and it’s seeing the universe more clearly than even its own engineers hoped for

Marcia Rieke, University of Arizona

NASA is scheduled to release the first images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope on July 12, 2022. They’ll mark the beginning of the next era in astronomy as Webb – the largest space telescope ever built – begins collecting scientific data that will help answer questions about the earliest moments of the universe and allow astronomers to study exoplanets in greater detail than ever before. But it has taken nearly eight months of travel, setup, testing and calibration to make sure this most valuable of telescopes is ready for prime time. Marcia Rieke, an astronomer at the University of Arizona and the scientist in charge of one of Webb’s four cameras, explains what she and her colleagues have been doing to get this telescope up and running.

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What is monkeypox? A microbiologist explains what’s known about this smallpox cousin

Microscopic photo of viruses
Photo Credit - CDC

Rodney E. Rohde, Texas State University

On May 18, 2022, Massachusetts health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed a single case of monkeypox in a patient who had recently traveled to Canada. Cases have also been reported in the United Kingdom and Europe.

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Understanding and treating sepsis

Artist drawing of many cell types found in blood
Sepsis begins with infection by bacteria or a virus. This panoramic illustration inside a blood vessel shows rod-shaped bacteria, red blood cells and immune cells called leukocytes. Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

Sepsis still kills 1 in 5 people worldwide – two ICU physicians offer a new approach to stopping it

Emily Brant, University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences and Kristina E. Rudd, University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences

Can an otherwise healthy young woman die from what starts out as something akin to a common cold? The answer is, shockingly, yes, when certain telltale signs of a more serious problem go undetected.

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