The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a number of new behaviours into daily routines, like physical distancing, mask-wearing and hand sanitizing. Meanwhile, many old behaviours such as attending events, eating out and seeing friends have been put on hold.

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Go ahead and consult ‘Dr. Google’ about your medical symptoms

The conventional wisdom may be wrong. Consulting Google for information about medical symptoms might not be as counterproductive as commonly thought, new research suggests.

  • Credit: bongkarn via Adobe StockConventional wisdom in healthcare holds that searching Google for medical information often leads to anxiety and false diagnoses.
  • However, a recent study found that searching Google helped participants more accurately diagnose medical conditions in hypothetical cases.
  • The results didn't show massive differences in accuracy, but they suggest searching Google for medical information probably won't harm patients.
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Scientists discover slug that can decapitate itself, grow new body

The bizarre discovery could pave the way for advances in regenerative medicine for humans.

Credit: S. MITOH AND Y. YUSA/CURRENT BIOLOGY 2021
  • In a recent study, scientists observed two species of sea slug that were able to self-decapitate, survive for weeks without organs, and regenerate entirely new bodies.
  • The study authors proposed that the slugs are able to survive as severed heads because of the unique way they obtain energy from algae.
  • While other animals engage in self-amputation (known as autotomy) to avoid predators, the study authors suggested that sea slugs might shed their bodies to avoid dying from parasites.
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How tiny bioelectronic implants may someday replace pharmaceutical drugs

Scientists are using bioelectronic medicine to treat inflammatory diseases, an approach that capitalizes on the ancient "hardwiring" of the nervous system.

Credit: Adobe Stock / SetPoint Medical
  • Bioelectronic medicine is an emerging field that focuses on manipulating the nervous system to treat diseases.
  • Clinical studies show that using electronic devices to stimulate the vagus nerve is effective at treating inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Although it's not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, vagus nerve stimulation may also prove effective at treating other diseases like cancer, diabetes and depression.
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JULIO CESAR AGUILAR/AFP via Getty Images
The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.
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