The looming superbug crisis: Politics, profit, and Big Pharma

Here's how we stop a health crisis before it wreaks havoc on us.

  • Alexander Fleming discovered a fungus that produced a chemical that could stop nearly every bacteria in its path.
  • The 1950s are known as the Golden Era of Antibiotic Development. However, today, there is a looming superbug crisis because bacteria has mutated whilst we've focused on treating other diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
  • Many companies in the pharmaceutical industry don't want to take on the expensive risk of finding another antibiotic drug. However, a potential superbug crisis may compel us to use tax-break and patent policies to incentivize them to do so.
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Videos

Psychedelics change how you read faces. That may help alleviate anxiety and depression.

Even more intriguing is the reason: recognizing facial expressions.

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
  • A new systematic review states that serotonergic hallucinogens help users recognize emotions in facial expressions.
  • Sufferers of anxiety and depression often only read negative emotions in other people's faces, adding to their malaise.
  • While more research is needed, psychedelics could prove to be a powerful agent in battling mental health disorders.
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Surprising Science

How opioid abuse is lowering our average life expectancy

Normally, life expectancy increases every year. For Americans, the opioid epidemic is changing that.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Americans' life expectancy dropped between 2014 and 2017, a significant downtrend that hasn't been seen since World War I.
  • An analysis by the CDC identified the opioid epidemic as the cause.
  • How did the opioid epidemic get so bad, and what can we do to stop it?
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Politics & Current Affairs

Watch what happens when vaccinations drop by 10%

Don't believe a small reduction in immunization matters?

Image source: FRED Web/USF
  • Universities of South Florida and Pittsburgh publish an online immunization simulator.
  • The simulator shows the stunning effect of even small drops in vaccination rates.
  • It's not just anti-vaxxers threatening community health. There are economic and geographical factors as well.
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Politics & Current Affairs

Over half of Americans are stressed because of medical bills

Anxiety does not help other medical conditions, adding trouble on top of trouble.

Photo credit: Leonard Ortiz / Digital First Media / Orange County Register via Getty Images
  • More than 137 million people in the United States are struggling to pay their medical bills, according to new research.
  • A recent survey also suggests that employer-based insurance programs are not helping as much as believed.
  • The worst hit group is uninsured Americans, who struggle to keep up with mounting medical expenses.
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Politics & Current Affairs