Consuming CAN can increase Death due to High Blood Pressure.

Smoking pot is often considered safer than smoking cigarettes, but a new study suggests that marijuana use may increase a person’s risk of death from high blood pressure.

Over the two-decade-long study period, marijuana users, whose level and frequency of smoking was not assessed in the study, had a more than threefold greater risk of dying from hypertension than nonusers. This increase in risk was greater than that associated with cigarette smoking, the researchers said.

“Support for liberal marijuana use is partly due to claims that it is beneficial, and possibly not harmful, to health,” lead study author Barbara Yankey, a doctoral student of epidemiology and biostatistics at Georgia State University, said in a statement. “However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and [stroke] mortality.” [25 Odd Facts About Marijuana]

The risks associated with smoking cigarettes, on the other hand, are well established, according to the study, published today (Aug. 9) in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Studies linking heart disease deaths and cigarettes, for example, are “extensive,” leading the researchers to hypothesize that smoking pot would be

Why Lice Can Spread Lots of Diseases?

There’s a long list of diseases that you can get from a tick bite, including some that can actually kill you. In fact, the tiny bloodsucking critters can transmit a wider variety of bacteria, viruses and parasites than any other arthropod, a category that includes not only ticks but also insects such as mosquitoes.

More than 80 species of ticks are found in the United States, and about a dozen of these species can bite humans and are considered medically important, said Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Moreover, infections from tick-borne diseases in the United States are increasing steadily, and the geographic range of ticks that transmit diseases is also expanding, Eisen told Live Science.

Geographically, the greatest expansion of deer ticks (which spread Lyme disease) has been observed in northeastern and north-central states, while remaining stable in southeastern states, according to a recent report on ticks by Eisen and her colleagues published in the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) journal. The expanded range of this tick may be

Bacteria That Cause Disease Outbreaks Found in Arizona Flea

Fleas carrying the plague have been found in some parts of Arizona, according to health officials.

On Friday (Aug. 11), the Navajo County Health Department (NCHD) announced that fleas collected in the town of Taylor, Arizona, had tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague.

The department “is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease,” officials said in a Facebook post.

Separately, officials in nearby Coconino County also warned of fleas carrying plague in that area. [10 Bizarre Diseases You Can Get Outdoors]

The plague is perhaps best known for killing millions of people in Europe in the 1300s in a pandemic called the Black Death. Today, the infection is relatively rare in the United States, but it still occurs, mainly in the Southwest — in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. Earlier this year, New Mexico officials reported that three people in the state had been infected with plague.

Plague is carried by rodents and their fleas, and most often, the disease is transmitted to humans through fleabites, according to the Centers for

Rejecting Junk Food Can Be Easier When Shopping Online

For people who just can’t seem to pass up the candy in a supermarket checkout line, perhaps grocery shopping online could help reduce these impulse purchases, a new study suggests.

In the study, college students who were asked to shop for groceriesonline made similar food choices to one another, regardless of how impulsive the individuals were.

The findings are preliminary, and more research is needed to confirm the results, but the study suggests that online grocery shopping could help people stick to a healthy diet, said lead study author Jaime Coffino, a public health researcher at the University at Albany, State University of New York. [The Science of Hunger: How to Control It and Fight Cravings]

Previous research shows that people who are more impulsive may be less healthy than less impulsive people, Coffino told Live Science. In a grocery store, that impulsiveness could lead to a shopping cart filled with junk food.

The new study looked at 60 college students who filled out questionnaires that assessed their levels of impulsiveness as well as how they respond to the presence of food. The students were then told they had $48.50 for grocery shopping, and

Why Your Maus Moscow Drink May Be Dangerous

Your Moscow mule cocktail may look pretty in a copper mug, but officials in Iowa say that using copper containers for this beverage, and similar drinks, could be hazardous for your health.

Recently, Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverages Division issued an advisory stating that pure copper mugs should not be used to serve Moscow mules or other acidic beverages with a pH below 6.0, including fruit juices, vinegar and wine. Traditionally, Moscow mules contain vodka, ginger beer and lime and have a pH well below 6.0, the advisory said.

When copper comes into contact with acidic foods and beverages,copper may leach into the food or drink. Ingesting too much copper can lead to copper poisoning, the advisory said. Symptoms of copper poisoning include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin, according to the National Institutes of Health. [Top 7 Germs in Food that Make You Sick]

The Alcoholic Beverages Division said it issued the advisory because of the recent rise in popularity of Moscow mules, which has led to questions about the safety of copper containers for this beverage.

But Moscow mule enthusiasts need not despair — you can still use

Do You Eat Worm Parasite Eggs? Why A Company Wants To Sell It As Food

The German government is considering approval of a food ingredient that most people try their best to avoid: parasite eggs.

The country’s Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety is evaluating the safety of a product that consists of pig whipworm (Trichuris suis) eggs, New Scientist reported Aug. 7. If approved, the eggs would be sold as a food ingredient.

The product, made by a Thai company called Tanawisa, would be sold in small vials containing up to 2,500 eggs, which could be added to foods or drinks. It was approved for sale in 2012 in Thailand.

The company argues that parasite infections may have some health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease. Tanawisa selected the pig whipworm for its product because the parasite cannot survive and reproduce in humans. (Thehuman whipworm, called Trichuris trichiura, on the other hand, is responsible for more than 600 million infections worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and can cause symptoms including severe iron deficiency and slowed growth in children.)

Some experts have dismissed the idea that self-infecting with a parasiteis a good idea.

Pig-to-Human Transplantation CRISPR Genes Editing May Make This Possible

We are one step closer to having pig organ transplants, a new study shows.

Using the genetic cut-and-paste tool CRISPR, scientists have removed DNA-based viruses that usually infect pig organs, raising the chances that these animal organs could be safely transplanted into human patients one day, a process known as xenotransplantation.

Still, that doesn’t mean pig organ transplants are just around the corner; scientists would still need to change other elements of pig transplants to ensure the human body doesn’t reject them.

Currently, there is a dramatic shortage in the number of organ transplants available for people who need them, and many people die before they receive one. Animals such as pigs could theoretically supply an unlimited source of such organs. But immune incompatibilities and viruses that are incorporated into the pig genome, called porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs), have made it very likely that such pig organs would never take on their own. [11 Body Parts Grown in the Lab]

To get around those PERVs, scientists at eGenesis, a bioengineering company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, used CRISPR-Cas 9, a genetic tool that cuts the genome wherever it’s targeted, to remove 62 PERVs in pig cells

Opioid Crisis Is a National Emergency, What Happens Now?

President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a “national emergency,” but what happens now, and could this declaration really help address the crisis?

On Thursday (Aug. 10), Trump told reporters that the opioid epidemic is a national emergency. “We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” he said.

In a statement, the White House said Trump had ” instructed his administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic.”

The declaration follows a recommendation from Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis, which urged the president to declare a national emergency over the issue.

Experts said that the declaration was encouraging, but it’s uncertain how big of an impact it will have on the opioid crisis.

“To me it’s an important step, [but] there need to be many steps after this,” said Dr. Bradley Stein, a psychiatrist and senior physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization. Stein noted that the opioid epidemic has evolved over decades and is not something that can be solved overnight. “There’s not

What is MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)? Here’s his Explanation!

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), also known as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, is a scanning technique for creating detailed images of the human body.

The scan uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to generate images of parts of the body that can’t be seen as well with X-rays, CT scans or ultrasound. For example, it can help doctors to see inside joints, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons, which makes it helpful for detecting various sports injuries.

MRI is also used to examine internal body structures and diagnose a variety of disorders, such as strokes, tumors, aneurysms, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and eye or inner ear problems, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is also widely used in research to measure brain structure and function, among other things.

“What makes MRI so powerful is, you have really exquisite soft tissue, and anatomic, detail,” said Dr. Christopher Filippi, a diagnostic radiologist at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York. The biggest benefit of MRI compared with other imaging techniques (such as CT scans and x-rays) is, there’s no risk of being exposed to radiation, Filippi told Live Science.

During

Next Stop for Researching Parkinson’s Disease

In an effort to find new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, researchers are sending their experiments to space.

This Monday (Aug. 14), researchers will launch a key Parkinson’s disease protein, called LRRK2, to the International Space Station (ISS). The microgravity conditions in space should offer a better test environment for their experiments with this protein, the researchers said.

The materials for their experiments will travel aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule as part of a mission to send supplies and science experiments to the ISS.

The work is a collaboration between The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).

LRRK2 is a type of protein that modifies other proteins. Mutations in the gene that codes for LRRK2 are thought to cause Parkinson’s disease in some people. Researchers have hypothesized that developing drugs to inhibit LRRK2, or block its activity, could help prevent Parkinson’s or slow its progression. [10 Celebrities with Chronic Illnesses]

But before scientists can develop a drug to inhibit LRRK2, they need to know the precise structure of this protein. One way to get a detailed view of its structure is by growing crystals

Why Does The Hot Weather Make You Feel Tired?

If you’re out and about on a sweltering day, it probably won’t be long before you start to feel tired and sluggish. But why does being out in the heat bring on feelings of drowsiness?

The reason for this lethargy is simple: Your body is working hard to keep you cool, and this extra labor makes you feel tired, said Dr. Michele Casey, the regional medical director at Duke Health in North Carolina.

“Your body, especially in the sun, has to work hard to maintain a consistent, normal, internal temperature,” Casey told Live Science. [What Would Happen If You Fell Into a Volcano?]

On a hot day, your body makes several adjustments to maintain its temperature. For instance, it dilates your blood vessels, a process known as vasodilation, which allows more blood to flow near the skin’s surface. This allows warm blood to cool off, releasing heat as it travels near the skin, Casey said.

This increased blood flow near the skin explains why some people look redder when they’re feeling hot, according to the BBC.

In addition to vasodilation, the body secretes sweat onto the skin. This sweat then cools the skin

Urinary Tract Infection Following Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a bacterial infection of any part of the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, kidneys, ureters (tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder) and the urethra (the tube that allows the bladder to be emptied). Infections of the bladder or the urethra are the most common.

In the United States, about 8.1 million people visit the doctor due to a urinary tract infection each year,according to the American Urological Association.

Most often, a UTI occurs because bacteria enter the urethra and travel up to the bladder, where they multiply.

Bladder infections are typically caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, which are common bacteria in the human gut, according to the Mayo Clinic. Infections of the urethra can be caused by E. coli, or by sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes or chlamydia.

Bacteria in the bladder can also move up to the kidneys and cause a kidney infection (known as pyelonephritis), which can cause permanent kidney damage. An untreated UTI in the bladder can lead to such an infection.

According to the National Institutes of Health, symptoms of

A Bodybuilder Died Because Most Drink Protein Shakes

A 25-year-old woman in Australia died after consuming too much protein, in the form of shakes, supplements and protein-packed foods, the New York Post reported yesterday.

The woman, a bodybuilder named Meegan Hefford, was found unconscious in her apartment and was taken to the hospital. Hefford was declared brain-dead by doctors and died two days later.

After Hefford’s death, the doctors discovered that she had a rare condition called a urea cycle disorder, which affects how the body breaks down protein, according to the New York Post. [7 Foods You Can Overdose On]

What is a urea cycle disorder, and how can too much protein lead to death?

When a person eats protein, the body breaks the macronutrient down into its building blocks, called amino acids. After using what it needs, the body converts the leftover amino acids into nitrogen, which is removed from the body, according to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. To remove the nitrogen, enzymes convert the chemical into a compound called urea, in a process called the urea cycle. This substance is then excreted from the body in a person’s urine.

But when a person has a urea cycle

Flu Shot Facts & Side Effects

The flu can be a very serious illness, especially in young children, adults ages 65 and over, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women.

The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and family from the flu, the CDC says.

Strains of the flu virus are constantly changing, so a new flu vaccine is made each year. Scientists make the vaccine before the flu season starts by predicting which flu strains are likely to be the most common during the upcoming season.

“Since the flu virus frequently drifts in its genetic composition, you have to reformulate the vaccine, and this is one of the reasons that people have to [get a flu shot] on an annual basis,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine and infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Flu shots protect against three or four strains of flu virus. Trivalent flu vaccines protect against two influenza A strains — H1N1 and H3N2 — and one influenza B strain. Quadrivalent flu vaccines — offered for the first time in the 2013-2014 flu season — protect against the

How to CT Scan from Olive Led to Man’s Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis

When a 24-year-old man in Belgium went to the hospital because he had belly pain, doctors found an olive stuck in his small intestine — and soon after, diagnosed him with Crohn’s disease.

The man had sudden and severe abdominal pain for two days before he went to the doctor, according to a report of the man’s case, published Aug. 9 in the journal BMJ Case Reports. The incident took place about six months ago.

The doctors performed a CT scan of the man’s abdomen to see if they could spot the reason for his pain. They found that a portion of the wall of the small intestine was thickened, and within that thickened tissue, they discovered an odd-looking spot that turned out to be a black olive. [Here’s a Giant List of the Strangest Medical Cases We’ve Covered]

Olives were one of the man’s favorite foods, and he had accidentally swallowed the olive whole, pit included, said lead author Dr. Halil Yildiz, an internal-medicine physician at University Hospital Saint-Luc in Belgium who treated the man.

To confirm that the spot on the scan was an olive, however, the doctors did something that had

Why You Need Eclipse Glass, to Stare at it?

With the Aug. 21 solar eclipse just days away, you’ve likely heard the warnings to never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. And for good reason: A recent case illustrates the real danger of doing so — A 12-year-old girl in Florida damaged her eyes by looking at the sun for 1 minute, according to a new report of the girl’s case.

One day after staring at the sun, the girl went to an ophthalmology emergency room because her vision had become blurry, according to the report, published today (Aug. 18) in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

The girl had a condition called “solar retinopathy,” which means her eyes were damaged from looking at the intense light of the sun, said Dr. Kara Cavuoto, an ophthalmologist at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Health System. Cavuoto and co-author Dr. Ta Chen Chang, also an ophthalmologist at the same institute, treated the patient. [2017 Total Solar Eclipse: Everything You Need to Know]

Solar retinopathy is thought to occur when extremely bright light creates molecules known as free radicals in a person’s eyes. These highly reactive molecules can kill cells in

Why Dangerous Hair Condition After Nuclear Attack

Last week, when North Korea was threatening to send a ballistic missile toward the U.S. territory of Guam, the island’s inhabitants were warned that in the case of a nuclear attack, they should not condition their hair.

Wait, what?

Hair conditioning might seem like the last thing that would be on a person’s mind following a nuclear attack, but this hair care advice has scientific merit: Conditioner can “bind radioactive material to your hair,” according to guidelines posted by Guam’s Office of Civil Defense Friday (Aug. 11). [Doom and Gloom: Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic Worlds]

It appears that the people of Guam are safe for the moment, however. North Korea has since de-escalated its threat, saying it would “wait a little more” before moving forward with the missile launchings, according to The New York Times.

Even so, the conditioner recommendations stand. During a nuclear attack, a fireball would pulverize everything in its path, launching the resulting vaporized material upward and mixing it with radioactive byproducts from the bomb to create a radioactive dust, according to NPR. This dust is known as nuclear fallout, and it can contaminate everything it falls on, including human hair.

Causes, Symptoms & Treatment, Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is a hard mass that forms in one or both kidneys from minerals in the urine, and if large enough, can cause severe pain. In the United States, kidney stones send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Kidney stones form when there is not enough liquid in the urine to dilute out waste chemicals, such ascalcium, oxalate and phosphorous. These waste chemicals become concentrated, and crystals begin to form, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

The most common type of kidney stones are calcium oxalate stones.

Kidney stones can vary in size, with some as small as a grain of sand, and others as large as a pea or even a golf ball, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Small stones may pass down the urinary tract and be excreted without causing symptoms. Larger stones may get stuck in the urinary tract and block the flow of urine, which can cause severe pain or bleeding, the NIH says.

People with kidney stones often seek medical care because they have severe pain in

Death Overdose of Adult Drugs Rises 19%

Drug overdose deaths among U.S. teens edged upward in 2015, after declining for several years prior, according a new report.

The report, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), looked at drug overdose deaths among Americans ages 15 to 19 over a 16-year period, from 1999 to 2015.

The report showed that from 1999 to the mid-2000s drug overdose deaths in this age group more than doubled, from 1.6 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 4.2 deaths per 100,000 people in 2007. This increase coincided with a rise in drug overdose deaths among the U.S. population as a whole, an increase that’s been partly attributed to the opioid epidemic.

However, after 2007, drug overdose deaths among teens declined, reaching 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014, the report said. (This drop was driven by a decrease in drug overdose deaths among males in this age group.)

But in 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, drug overdose deaths among teens increased again, to 3.7 deaths per 100,000 people, which is a 19 percent increase compared to 2014, the report said. In total, there were 772 drug overdose deaths

Can the solar eclipse harm the eyes?

Many watchers of today’s solar eclipse may have glanced at the sun without proper eye protection, if only for a brief moment. This can be dangerous, as looking directly at the sun can cause eye damage. But how do you know if you’ve hurt your eyes?

The solar eclipse wowed viewers across the United States today (Aug. 21) as it passed from the West Coast to the East Coast. As millions tried to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon, many may have taken a peek without proper eye protection, either intentionally or by accident. Even President Donald Trump was photographed apparently looking sunward at the eclipse without eye protection.

Experts stress that you should not look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, which includes special eclipse glasses or solar viewers. That’s because looking directly at the sun, even for a short period, can cause damage to the eyes’ retina — a condition known assolar retinopathy. The damage occurs in the fovea, a spot in the retina that is responsible for sharp, central vision, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

There’s no amount of time that’s considered “safe” to look at the