One of the surprises of this work...is that the circadian clock operates in essentially all cells that contain a nucleus, not only specialized cells in the brain, allowing PER and TIM to “affect other aspects of physiology” with “implications for work schedules, sleep hygiene,” and more, ushering in the field of chronobiology.

The new reality is captured by a single, stark fact: Across the world, more people are now obese than underweight. At the same time, scientists say, the growing availability of high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods is generating a new type of malnutrition, one in which a growing number of people are both overweight and undernourished ... The prevalence of obesity has doubled in 73 countries since 1980, contributing to four million premature deaths

Sea salt around the world has been contaminated by plastic pollution, adding to experts’ fears that microplastics are becoming ubiquitous in the environment and finding their way into the food chain via the salt in our diets ... Some researchers...now believe sea salt could be more vulnerable to plastic contamination because of how it is made, through a process of dehydration of sea water.

For only a few years, it has been clear that bacteria are completely dominant in a healthy human being: On top of our ten billion body cells, there are one hundred billion microbial cells that play a role in our metabolism. This enormously increases the options for our bodily processes: If we include the microbes’ genes, then we have over 100,000 genes at our disposal, as opposed to just over 20,000.

untreated dental problems tax our health care system. More than a million Americans a year show up at hospital emergency rooms with nontraumatic dental problems—costing more than $1 billion annually. In Minnesota, about 400,000 preschoolers were brought to hospital emergency rooms with severe oral conditions during a recent five-year period. The visits cost $80 million, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported last year.

The treatment requires removing millions of a patient’s T-cells...and genetically engineering them to kill cancer cells. The technique employs a disabled form of H.I.V....to carry new genetic material into the T-cells to reprogram them. The process turbocharges the T-cells to attack B-cells, a normal part of the immune system that turn malignant in leukemia. The altered T-cells...are then dripped back into the patient’s veins, where they multiply and start fighting the cancer.

Women in their 60s are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the course of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer. Once women develop mild cognitive impairment, their cognitive decline is two times faster than men. And no one knows why women are so disproportionately affected by the disease.

Treating addiction is a growing business, but a lot of the treatment that's available is expensive and patients often relapse. Fortunately, there is a way to help some people pay less for better results ... For a year of treatment, Anthem says it's paying Aware about the same as the cost of a month or two of inpatient treatment. Anthem also says 72 percent of Aware clients are either sober at the end of one year or still in active treatment.

Americans pay the highest health-care prices in the world, including the highest for drugs, medical devices, and other health-care services and products. Our fragmented system produces many opportunities for excessive charges. But one lesser-known reason for those high prices is the stranglehold that a few giant intermediaries have secured over distribution. The antitrust laws are supposed to provide protection against just this kind of concentrated economic power.

Medical devices with...wireless connectivity, remote monitoring, and near-field communication tech...allow health professionals to adjust and fine tune implanted devices without invasive procedures. That’s a very good thing. But those conveniences also create potential points of exposure. And the proprietary code on these devices means it takes painstakingly reverse-engineering the software...for anyone outside a manufacturer to even assess the security of a device, much less discover flaws.