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Good Sleep for Good Health

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Credit National Institutes of Health

Understanding why your brain needs you to get enough sleep

National Institutes of Health

But sleep is as important for good health as diet and exercise. Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health.

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New insights on how saturated fats hurt your health

Photo of Wall Clocks
Out of sync. Clocks via www.shutterstock.com.

Saturated fats make some cells lose track of time — and that’s bad

David J. Earnest, Texas A&M University

Foods high in fat, especially saturated fat, are bad for you. A high-fat diet is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease as well as metabolic disorders like obesity and type 2 diabetes. So why does saturated fat have these effects on the body? What’s going on in your body when you eat a fatty meal?

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Sea level rise is killing trees along the U.S. Atlantic coast

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Ghost forest panorama in coastal North Carolina. Emily Ury, CC BY-ND

Sea level rise is killing trees along the Atlantic coast, creating ‘ghost forests’ that are visible from space

Emily Ury, Duke University

Trekking out to my research sites near North Carolina’s Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, I slog through knee-deep water on a section of trail that is completely submerged. Permanent flooding has become commonplace on this low-lying peninsula, nestled behind North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The trees growing in the water are small and stunted. Many are dead.

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Time to upgrade Americas energy distribution technology

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The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Pine Tree Wind Farm and Solar Power Plant in Tehachapi, Calif., 115 miles from LA. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The US needs a macrogrid to move electricity from areas that make it to areas that need it

James D. McCalley, Iowa State University

Many kinds of extreme events can disrupt electricity service, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, extreme heat, extreme cold and extended droughts. Major disasters can leave thousands of people in the dark. The Texas deep freeze in February knocked out 40% of the state’s electric generating capacity.

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Stress hormones linked to changes in weight

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Stress hormones are closely tied to hunger and motivation. Karl Tapales/Moment via Getty Images

Unwanted weight gain or weight loss during the pandemic? Blame your stress hormones

Lina Begdache, Binghamton University, State University of New York


If you have experienced unwanted weight gain or weight loss during the pandemic, you are not alone. According to a poll by the American Psychological Association, 61% of U.S. adults reported undesired weight change since the pandemic began.

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Tracking Covid’s variants and spread with genomic surveillance

Photo of Scientists examining vial of blood
Sequencing the genetic code of virus samples taken from COVID-19 patients reveals how SARS-CoV-2 is spreading and changing. Nate Langer/UPMC, CC BY-ND

Genomic surveillance: What it is and why we need more of it to track coronavirus variants and help end the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexander Sundermann, University of Pittsburgh; Lee Harrison, University of Pittsburgh, and Vaughn Cooper, University of Pittsburgh

“You can’t fix what you don’t measure” is a maxim in the business world. And it holds true in the world of public health as well.

Early in the pandemic, the United States struggled to meet the demand to test people for SARS-CoV-2. That failure meant officials didn’t know the true number of people who had COVID-19. They were left to respond to the pandemic without knowing how quickly it was spreading and what interventions minimized risks.

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Already had coronavirus? You still need to get vaccinated

artist depiction of virus surrounded by vaccine syringes
Vaccination produces a much stronger and more consistent immune response than infection. Andriy Onufriyenko/Moment via Getty Images

Why you should get a COVID-19 vaccine – even if you’ve already had the coronavirus

Jennifer T. Grier, University of South Carolina

A few weeks ago, a message popped up in the corner of my screen. “What do you think about people who have recently had COVID–19 getting the vaccine?” A friend of mine was eligible for a COVID–19 vaccine, but she had recently gotten over an infection with SARS–CoV–2. More people are becoming eligible for vaccines each week – including millions of people who have already recovered from a coronavirus infection. Many are wondering whether they need the vaccine, especially people who have already been infected.

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Important progress on sickle cell disease

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Researchers have been investigating what causes inflammation in sickle cell disease. YurolaitsAlbert / Getty Images

National Institutes of Health

About 100,000 people in the U.S. are living with sickle cell disease. People with the condition are born with an abnormal type of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells. The abnormal hemoglobin can cause cells to bend into a fragile, crescent—or “sickle”—shape. Sickled cells can stick to blood vessel walls, causing inflammation and slowing or stopping the flow of blood.

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Viruses enlisted in the war against MRSA

Artist rendering of bacteria being attacked by viruses.
Bacteriophage (yellow) are viruses that infect and destroy bacteria (blue). Christoph Burgstedt/Science Photo Library,Getty Images

Engineered viruses can fight the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Kevin Doxzen, Arizona State University

As the world fights the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic, another group of dangerous pathogens looms in the background. The threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been growing for years and appears to be getting worse. If COVID-19 taught us one thing, it’s that governments should be prepared for more global public health crises, and that includes finding new ways to combat rogue bacteria that are becoming resistant to commonly used drugs.

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Energy systems beginning to falter due to extreme weather

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Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 16, 2021. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Texas blackouts showed how climate extremes threaten energy systems across the US

Roshanak (Roshi) Nateghi, Purdue University

Pundits and politicians have been quick to point fingers over the debacle in Texas that left millions without power or clean water during February’s deep freeze. Many have blamed the state’s deregulated electricity market, arguing that Texas prioritized cheap power over reliability.

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