Health & Science

Dogs shower their owners with affection and demand walks on a regular basis. And according to medical researchers, a corresponding link between dog ownership and heart health — previously called "probable" by experts — is supported by Swedish data.

An examination of Sweden's national records — spanning more than 3.4 million people and 12 years — found that registered dog owners had a lower rate of cardiovascular disease and a lower risk of death.

After Hurricane Harvey, some Texas residents, politicians and scientists are wondering whether the whole U.S. system for predicting floods is any good.

The storm's deluge flooded parts of southeast Texas that had rarely, or never, been underwater before. Some areas got more than 50 inches of rain in a few days. "When the numbers started coming in it was a little scary," says Matt Zeve, the director of operations for the Harris County Flood Control District, which includes Houston.

How Much Hotter Is It In The Slums?

Nov 20, 2017

When Nairobi gets hot, its slums get even hotter.

That's what a new study published in PLOS ONE has found. In 2015, researchers put dozens of thermometers in poor communities and monitored them during Nairobi's warmest months of December, January and February — during what turned out to be the capital's hottest summer in 30 years.

They found that slums were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the city's official weather station less than half a mile away.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was expected to sign legislation on Monday that would cement in state law the Obama-era mandate for free birth control regardless of changes in federal policy or future repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

"Shine bright like a diamond!!!!" said an early post on the "Miss Albinism Zimbabwe" Facebook page, a nod to Rihanna. Another message, "Beauty beyond the skin!!! Come and witness beauty of albinism, see you there!!!!"

Last Friday night, 15 women had planned to compete in the beauty pageant. But with protesters calling for an end to the 37-year-old rule of President Robert Mugabe, the show just couldn't go on.

Years ago, Google's founders wondered what would happen if they could take their pieces of technical knowledge and apply them to cities.

"We started talking about all of these things that we could do if someone would just give us a city and put us in charge," Eric Schmidt, CEO of Alphabet, Google's parent company, joked recently.

In The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce describes the mind as "a mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain," engaged in a futile attempt to understand itself "with nothing but itself to know itself with."

The FCC And The Wave Of Deregulation

Nov 20, 2017

While much attention has been paid to potential legislation passing through Congress or to the actions of the president, the Federal Communications Commission has been quite active, according to the headlines:

The Keystone XL pipeline, an $8 billion project that has attracted significant protest from environmental groups, has cleared a major regulatory hurdle on its path to completion. On Monday, the Nebraska Public Service Commission certified the pipeline to run through the state.

Spit Test May Help Reveal Concussion Severity

Nov 20, 2017

A little spit may help predict whether a child's concussion symptoms will subside in days or persist for weeks.

A test that measures fragments of genetic material in saliva was nearly 90 percent accurate in identifying children and adolescents whose symptoms persisted for at least a month, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

That's in contrast to a concussion survey commonly used by doctors that was right less than 70 percent of the time.

When was the last time you were asked to sit without saying a word for five minutes before your blood pressure was measured? If your answer was "I never remember doing that," you're in good company.

Yet that is one of the many rules that medical professionals are supposed to follow when measuring your blood pressure.

If you're gluten-free, you may turn up your nose at Aunt Betsey's macaroni and cheese. And what if you've got a vegan teenager in the family who'd like the Thanksgiving feast to be turkey-free?

A poll from the University of Michigan finds that for families with a picky eater or someone on a special diet, holiday meals can be tricky.

If Houston's record deluge during Hurricane Harvey highlighted the dangers of unchecked, sprawling development, then Tulsa — another city built on oil — is a showcase for the opposite.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with combat, but trauma comes in many forms.

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