Doctors may have a new way to assess a baby's likelihood of allergies very early on. (Unsplash/Chiến Phạm)
Doctors may have a new way to assess a baby's likelihood of allergies very early on. (Unsplash/Chiến Phạm) A baby's first poop correlates with whether the newborn will develop allergies later on, because the metabolite content of this earliest excretion may play an important role in teaching an infant's immune system to accept stimuli ranging from peanuts to pollen.

Kratom use is legal at the federal level, but several states are less indulgent, and its therapeutic properties are unproven as yet. (AP Photo/Mary Esch)
Kratom use is legal at the federal level, but several states are less indulgent, and its therapeutic properties are unproven as yet. (AP Photo/Mary Esch) Americans' use of kratom, a plant-based drug often promoted as an alternative to opioids that has been banned in several states, is rare overall but more common among those who use other drugs, according to research published Thursday.

One of the many effects of Parkinson's disease is that some patients see "ghosts." Now we might know why. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
One of the many effects of Parkinson's disease is that some patients see "ghosts." Now we might know why. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Using robotics and brain imaging, researchers have discovered an abnormality in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease that may explain why some experience "presence hallucinations," sensing the shadowy presence of another person when nobody is there.

Blacks and other minorities bear the brunt of U.S. air pollution. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Blacks and other minorities bear the brunt of U.S. air pollution. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. are consistently exposed to more deadly fine particulate air pollution on average than white people, a disparity that is present across virtually all regions and income levels, research published Wednesday shows.

This image shows lymphocytes (purple) among blood vessels (orange), and the calcium signalling (green) that results from noradrenaline neurotransmitter release and causes immune cells to stop moving. (Scott Mueller)
This image shows lymphocytes (purple) among blood vessels (orange), and the calcium signalling (green) that results from noradrenaline neurotransmitter release and causes immune cells to stop moving. (Scott Mueller) In a finding that could have key implications for cancer and viral infections in human patients, Australian researchers induced sickness in mice and then stressed them out, showing for the first time that the rodents' white blood cells effectively lost the ability to move, potentially leading to a slowed immune response and an increased vulnerability to further infection.

Hallucinogens such as peyote could have therapeutic uses with the aid of a new sensor. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Hallucinogens such as peyote could have therapeutic uses with the aid of a new sensor. (AP Photo/LM Otero) A new bioluminescent sensor can identify substances that provide the clinical benefits of hallucinogenic drugs for depression, substance use disorder and other conditions without hallucinogens' intense psychoactive side effects, allowing researchers to find potential psychiatric treatments more efficiently.

We're getting closer to having a full map of vertebrate genomes. (NIH/Genome.gov)
We're getting closer to having a full map of vertebrate genomes. (NIH/Genome.gov) Researchers have published the most complete and highest-quality set of reference genomes for 16 vertebrate species, creating a resource that could help scientists address fundamental questions in biology, medicine and biodiversity conservation.

New capsules might replace the scratch-and-sniff test currently used for COVID-19 diagnosis. (Unsplash/Kate Hliznitsova)
New capsules might replace the scratch-and-sniff test currently used for COVID-19 diagnosis. (Unsplash/Kate Hliznitsova) A new smell testing device developed by U.K. researchers, which uses breakable capsules filled with scented oils, has the potential to replace the "gold standard" scratch-and-sniff tests and help diagnose both chronic neurological conditions and acute respiratory infections that involve an impaired sense of smell, including COVID-19.

Not only is it the most important meal of the day, breakfast might help you avoid risky behavior. (Unsplash/Rachel Park)
Not only is it the most important meal of the day, breakfast might help you avoid risky behavior. (Unsplash/Rachel Park) New evidence shows that changing the amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in breakfast impacts serotonin levels in the brain and the riskiness of people's behavior.

The AstraZeneca vaccine's benefits outweigh its risks. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)
The AstraZeneca vaccine's benefits outweigh its risks. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru) Pausing AstraZeneca vaccinations because of suspected links to deadly blood clots may have allowed COVID-19 to spread unchecked and resulted in hundreds of additional deaths among those vulnerable to the virus, vastly outweighing the risk of death from adverse vaccine side effects, according to a new European study.

It turns out we've got brain-development patterns in common with chimpanzees, too. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
It turns out we've got brain-development patterns in common with chimpanzees, too. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Neuroscientists have long debated whether our prefrontal cortex takes longer to develop than it does in other primates — and if this extended period gives us exceptional cognitive abilities — but new research suggests that human brain circuitry matures much like that of chimpanzees and macaques.

Air pollution from wildfires causes even more problems than we thought. (Unsplash/Joanne Francis)
Air pollution from wildfires causes even more problems than we thought. (Unsplash/Joanne Francis) Air pollution from wildfires could worsen eczema and itchy skin, according to the first study to examine the link between wildfire smoke on skin disease.

A new technique allows drug researchers to see the action of RNA viruses much more clearly. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
A new technique allows drug researchers to see the action of RNA viruses much more clearly. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) A recently developed platform lets researchers watch any RNA virus — including the one that causes COVID-19 — in real time, quickly learn its behavior and fast-track screening of antiviral compounds for possible repurposing.

Higher education doesn't necessarily give protection from cognitive decline as we age. (Unsplash/Matthew TenBruggencate)
Higher education doesn't necessarily give protection from cognitive decline as we age. (Unsplash/Matthew TenBruggencate) Numerous studies have indicated that educational attainment may correlate with improved health and socioeconomic outcomes, but a group of European researchers found that university attendance does not appear to stave off cognitive decline.

Eating more chicken to be healthier? It turns out you might just be eating more meat in general. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Eating more chicken to be healthier? It turns out you might just be eating more meat in general. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) Meat consumption is going up globally, and while meat is inherently greenhouse gas-intensive, an analysis found that less carbon-polluting meats aren't acting as a replacement — they're just piling on.

Overcrowded prisons in Central and South America are driving outbreaks of tuberculosis. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Overcrowded prisons in Central and South America are driving outbreaks of tuberculosis. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Mass incarceration in Central and South America in recent decades has driven an escalating tuberculosis crisis within prisons, threatening progress against one of the world's deadliest diseases, according to new research.

Anxiety seems strongly linked to the risk of Type 2 diabetes. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Anxiety seems strongly linked to the risk of Type 2 diabetes. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) A new study suggests that generalized anxiety disorder independently correlates with a steeply increased susceptibility to Type 2 diabetes, highlighting a potential and debilitating long-term effect of everyday worrying that's familiar to many.

Some essential oils might contribute to seizure disorders, so be careful before filling that atomizer or setting up your aromatherapy. (Unsplash/Chelsea Shapouri)
Some essential oils might contribute to seizure disorders, so be careful before filling that atomizer or setting up your aromatherapy. (Unsplash/Chelsea Shapouri) Certain essential oils have convulsant properties and have been associated with seizures for centuries, though everyday use of oils has generally been considered safe for the average person. But after conducting the largest ever case study of essential oil-related seizures in adults, a group of Indian neurologists have found evidence suggesting their use may not be as safe as we previously assumed.

A part of the brain linked to autism in females has been identified. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
A part of the brain linked to autism in females has been identified. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) Researchers have isolated sex differences in the brains of females with autism spectrum disorder and aligned those results with their genetics, providing valuable insights into a population that has long been understudied.

New evidence contradicts the belief that weight gain in later years protects against cognitive decline. (Unsplash/Ravi Patel)
New evidence contradicts the belief that weight gain in later years protects against cognitive decline. (Unsplash/Ravi Patel) A study examining data from over 58,000 European participants calls into question the cognitive "obesity paradox," a controversial belief that higher weight in older age can protect against cognitive decline, which has taken hold among some clinicians in recent decades.

A new, cheaper "food" for culturing cells will make stem cell research easier and cheaper. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
A new, cheaper "food" for culturing cells will make stem cell research easier and cheaper. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Researchers have created a highly affordable formula for a human stem cell growth medium that could save labs millions of dollars in reagent costs and eliminate the need for weekend "feeding" of stem cells.