First Ebola boy likely infected by playing in bat tree

First Ebola boy likely infected by playing in bat tree

The Ebola victim who is believed to have triggered the current outbreak – a two-year-old boy called Emile Ouamouno from Guinea – may have been infected by playing in a hollow tree housing a colony of bats, say scientists.

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Genome Sequencing in Babies to Begin as Part of Study

Genome Sequencing in Babies to Begin as Part of Study

Genome sequencing of infants could provide doctors and parents data likely to reveal a wider range of potential medical risks than the traditional heel-prick test. Most of the human genome remains a mystery, and it isn’t certain doctors will know how to interpret the information sequencing provides.

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A Holiday Guest Is Leaving Dangerous Poop in Your Couch

A Holiday Guest Is Leaving Dangerous Poop in Your Couch

We have long known that we can catch germs while traveling. Recent years have shown that we can also bring home bed bugs. This holiday season, a PLoS One study informs us that by merely plopping into the seat of a car or airplane, we can unknowingly pick up dust mites—microscopic 8-legged arthropods that eat the dead parts of our bodies such as skin scales, dandruff flakes, and hair. Dust mites are eyeless, headless, and heartless, yet they’re expert travelers.

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Finding gene activity differences in identical twins

Finding gene activity differences in identical twins

They're called identical twins because their genomes are identical. But even though all of their DNA is the same, they clearly are not. The environment must play a role in how identical twins—and everyone else—uses their genes to become who they are.

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U.S. Health Agency Says Nearly 6.5 million People in HealthCare.Gov Plans

U.S. Health Agency Says Nearly 6.5 million People in HealthCare.Gov Plans

Nearly 6.5 million people either selected or were enrolled in a new individual insurance plan for 2015 on the HealthCare.gov website through Dec. 26, the U.S. government health agency said.

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Mysterious Virus That Killed a Farmer in Kansas Is Identified

Mysterious Virus That Killed a Farmer in Kansas Is Identified

Researchers have identified a previously unknown virus, thought to be transmitted by ticks or mosquitoes, that led to the death of a farmer in Kansas last summer. The illness was fast-moving and severe, causing lung and kidney failure, and shock. The man, previously healthy, died after about only 10 days in the hospital, according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious disease specialist who treated the patient at the…

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Cuban doctor cured of Ebola to return to West Africa

Cuban doctor cured of Ebola to return to West Africa

A Cuban doctor who was cured of Ebola after contracting it in Sierra Leone said Monday he will go back to West Africa to fight the deadly virus. Felix Baez, 43, will return to the region in January after ensuring he is fully recovered, he told state newspaper Granma. "I feel very well physically and emotionally," Baez said.

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Whooping cough ‘evolving fast’

Whooping cough 'evolving fast'

Whooping cough may be evolving to outsmart the currently used vaccine, say researchers. Analysis of strains from 2012 shows the parts of the pertussis bacterium that the vaccine primes the immune system to recognise are changing. It may have "serious consequences" in future outbreaks, UK researchers state in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. But experts stressed the vaccine remains highly effective in protecting the most vulnerable young babies.

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