Will America be ground zero for the next pandemic?
Researchers have analyzed 36 U.S. animal industries, including fur-farming, hunting, industrial agriculture, and the exotic pet trade, to assess future disease threats. They found that these industries are far less regulated than the public believes, and many high-risk interactions between humans and animals occur all the time. The findings are published in the Animal Markets and Zoonotic Disease in the United States report (Harvard Law School).
Grief may be making you sick
Research in the journal PLOS One has found that losing a parent or caregiver at a young age negatively affects your immune system later in life. These findings are consistent across all races and ethnicities, and still held true even when scientists accounted for poverty, chronic conditions, and poor education. The researchers hope this study helps guide healthcare for children who lost a parent to Covid-19 (University of Michigan).
A new experimental therapy is saving cancer patients
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a rare cancer in white blood cells that mostly affects young people. The SWOG Cancer Research Network recently finished a phase three clinical trial for a new drug combination to treat the cancer. The study shows that 86% of patients using the current treatment achieved remission, but that number shoots up to 94% for those who used the new method. Scientists believe these results will change the standard treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma (University of Rochester).
Music is good for the soul—and your health
Dr. Larry Sherman, a professor of neuroscience at Oregon Health and Science University, says music keeps us sharp. Simply listening to songs triggers all different types of neurons and stimulates brain activity. Likewise, learning to play an instrument is a challenge that can boost creativity and create new connections in our brain (University of Chicago).
Listen to the episodes of the Big Brains podcast featuring Dr. Sherman below: