Disease

According to the CDC, the percentage of children who have ever had chickenpox has fallen dramatically since a vaccine was licensed for use in the U.S. in 1995. But because fewer kids have chickenpox, there is less virus circulating among the public. It's thought that exposure to the virus helps keep shingles in check, which is normally associated with older folks.
Drugs submitted for FDA approval must have safety and efficacy data for the condition they're designed to treat. Sometimes, however, a drug is found to be effective for another condition, and doctors are within their rights to prescribe it for such "off-label" uses. Such may soon be the case for metformin.
A 38-year-old former NFL running back believes he's currently experiencing symptoms of CTE, the degenerative brain disease that currently can only be diagnosed after death. Can his insight help researchers better understand this disease? Is it meaningful, or meaningless?
If you're not a Game of Thrones fans, you should change that status immediately. Yes, it is that great. And one of the many things that makes it great is the character Tyrion Lannister, who is played by the incomparable Peter Dinklage. Photos: IMDb (left), NY Daily News (right)
Scientists report they have successfully treated hemophilia B by giving sufferers gene therapy. When they infuse a gene for the correct blood-clotting factor, it's taken up by the patient who then can produce it on their own. So they no longer have to inject clotting factor to avoid potentially crippling or fatal consequences.          
The Centers for Disease Control reports more than 7,000 confirmed cases of the flu. That's more than twice the number reported at this time last year. This is centered in at least five Southern states, as well as Massachusetts and Virginia, where "widespread influenza activity" is occurring.
To make progress in this investigation of a suspected sonic attack against American diplomats, the U.S. will Cuba's cooperation. That seemed to be occurring, but no longer. This week Cuban scientists declared that there was no sonic attack at all. Instead, they blamed stress and mass hysteria.
Obesity is known to be a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, as well as for the insulin resistance that's a hallmark of the disease. Mouse studies suggest that obesity results in the production of microRNAs by adipose tissue, which diminishes the ability of tissues to respond to insulin.
Clostridium difficile infections are terrible, because they are both debilitating and very costly. But researchers are now considering the use of an unexpected tool that might prevent these infections. 
Everyone knows you get a fever when you have an infection. But why? And while we're on the topic, what causes our temperature to rise?        
Concussion research is hampered by only having subjective diagnostic criteria. Without an evidence-based diagnosis, there can be no evidence-based treatment. However, saliva may hold a key objective measure.     
A pilot study of involving veterans from this war conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs may indicate a decades-long infection with a parasite could be causing cancer of the bile duct.