We're all The Walking Dead – we just don't realize it yet

We're all The Walking Dead – we just don't realize it yet

Last night, the final episode of the fifth season of The Walking Dead screened on Australian television. The hit US series has for the last five years constantly reached larger and larger audiences around the world. In the US, each new season continues to break cable ratings records.

Nigerians defy bad technology, violence in chaotic election

Nigerians defy bad technology, violence in chaotic election

The 2015 elections in Nigeria were chaotic, but the country’s voters displayed immense courage in showing up at all. More than 20 people were killed, not in electoral violence between competing parties but by gunmen who didn’t want the elections to happen at all. A further 23 were rumored beheaded on the eve of the vote.

Cats in surgery relax most to the sound of classical music

Cats in surgery relax most to the sound of classical music

According to research published today, music is beneficial for cats in the surgical environment. But not all music is equal in this respect - cats, it seems, benefit most from classical music.

Temperature-sensitive engineering from nature: From tobacco to cyberwood

Humans have been inspired by the designs of nature since the beginning of our existence so it only makes sense that to develop an extremely sensitive temperature sensor, engineers took a close look at temperature-sensitive plants. Then they developed a hybrid material that contains, in addition to synthetic components, the plant cells themselves.

Statins or no statins?

Cholesterol-lowering statins have transformed the treatment of heart disease. But while the decision to use the drugs in patients with a history of heart attacks and strokes is mostly clear-cut, that choice can be a far trickier proposition for the tens of millions of Americans with high cholesterol but no overt disease.

Now a report from preventive cardiologists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere offers a set of useful tips for physicians to help their patients make the right call.

Fasting plus less-toxic cancer drug may work as well as chemotherapy

Fasting in combination with chemotherapy has already been shown to kill cancer cells, but a pair of new studies in mice suggests that a less-toxic class of drugs combined with fasting may kill breast, colorectal and lung cancer cells equally well.

If shown to work in humans, this combination could replace chemotherapy and make fasting a potent component of a long-term strategy to treat cancer, according to senior author Valter Longo of USC.

Oral drug normalizes blood potassium in 98 percent of kidney patients

Patients with chronic kidney disease may be treated with a class of medications called Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System inhibitors (RAASI's). Although these drugs protect the heart and kidney, a significant percentage of patients develop a dangerous side effect -- high potassium levels in the blood (hyperkalemia).

Elevated potassium puts patients at risk of death from cardiac arrhythmias. Lacking a drug to treat the problem, doctors either stop these beneficial drugs or may use kidney dialysis to quickly lower the potassium.

Women of childbearing age need more white potatoes

A new study finds that vegetable consumption is very low among women of childbearing age (WCBA), and that the nutrient-rich white potato is an important vegetable to this population's diet, particularly among subgroups with the lowest intake.

Misconception: Except in bladder disease cases, urine is sterile

Bacteria have been discovered in the bladders of healthy women, which undermines the common belief that normal urine is sterile.

Koko: Crowdsourcing depression

A new peer-to-peer networking tool enables sufferers of anxiety and depression to build online support communities and practice therapeutic techniques. A study involving 166 subjects who had exhibited symptoms of depression allowed researchers to compare their tool with an established technique known as expressive writing. The new tool yielded better outcomes across the board, but it had particular advantages in two areas: One was in training subjects to use a therapeutic technique called cognitive reappraisal, and the other was in improving the mood of subjects with more severe symptoms.