Brewing up a healthier image for coffee

By: Laura Janecka
Posted on: April 15, 2011

There’s something inexplicable about our relationship with coffee. It percolates through our day from the moment we wake, enlivening our senses and galvanizing us into action. It’s an affair that’s been going on for over 500 years, since the first cafes set up tables in the Middle East.And it’s now gathering steam as quality-obsessed kiosks add conviviality and... READ MORE

Brain ‘pacemakers’ to treat mental illness

By: Lauran Neergaard
Posted on: April 01, 2011

Call them brain pacemakers — tiny implants that hold promise for fighting tough psychiatric diseases, if scientists can just figure out where to put them in all that gray matter.Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has proved a powerful way to block the tremors of Parkinson’s disease, working immediately to deliver relief.Blocking mental illness isn’t nearly as easy a task.... READ MORE

Is that test really necessary, doctor?

By: Marilynn Marchionne
Posted on: April 01, 2011

Orthopedic CT scans, MRIs and other pricey imaging tests are often performed more for the doctor’s benefit than the patient’s, new research confirms.Roughly one-fifth of tests that bone and joint specialists order are because a doctor fears being sued, not because the patient needs them, a first-of-its-kind study in Pennsylvania suggests. The study comes on the heels of a push... READ MORE

New technologies ease everyday tasks

By: Barbara Ruben
Posted on: March 29, 2011

From easier-to-use keyboards and cell phones to innovative ways to read and listen to books, technology is making it easier to communicate and use the computer. Here are a few new products and services:The MoreKeyboard has larger keys with large print designed to benefit those who are physically challenged, visually impaired or larger-framed. The easy-to-see, raised lettering enables those... READ MORE

Five ways to save money at the pharmacy

By: Dr. Kenny Lin
Posted on: March 29, 2011

With our nation still mired in a deep recession, many of us are having a tough time paying for prescription drugs — especially those for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.In fact, a Consumer Reports survey last year found that 28 percent of Americans have taken drastic steps to cut costs, like not filling their prescriptions, skipping dosages, and cutting pills in... READ MORE

This is your brain on drugs or…music?

By: Malcolm Ritter
Posted on: March 09, 2011

Whether it’s the Beatles or Beethoven, people like music for the same reason they like eating or having sex: It makes the brain release a chemical that gives pleasure, a new study says.The brain substance is involved both in anticipating a particularly thrilling musical moment and in feeling the rush from it, researchers found.Previous work had already suggested a role for dopamine... READ MORE