Sunday, July 17, 2016

Science Stories for Today

From today's Star Tribune Science & Health section, several bits of knowledge or glimpses of possibilities. These stories are all from other newspapers, but I see them combined into one small section on Sundays, so I always look forward to reading that.

Mary Todd Lincoln may have had pernicious anemia (B12 deficiency), explaining both her erratic behavior and known physical symptoms. I've always thought she sounded as though she had bipolar disorder, but one doctor's current thinking is different. (From the New York Times)

A new look at Alzheimer's disease finds correlations between genes and brain factors, even when people are young (18 - 36), that later can predict Alzheimer's onset with some reliability. I may have overstated or misstated that; it's pretty complicated. (From the Los Angeles Times)

Yet, remember, dementia rates have been declining 20 percent per decade over the past 40 years. Other conditions that are declining: colon cancer (50 percent decrease since the 1980s) and hip fractures (15 - 20 percent declines per decade for 30 years). One possible explanation for the hip fracture decrease is that as people have gotten heavier, their bones have become stronger, preventing hip fractures. (From the New York Times)

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