‘God knows how Im alive’: how a teen defied his parents to get vaccinated

One teens story of breaking with his anti-vaxxer parents went viral. Now he wants to be a voice for the importance of vaccines Last November, Ohio teen Ethan Lindenberger entered a subcommunity on Reddit called No Stupid Questions and a measles outbreak in Washington state refueled debates around the small, but energetic anti-vaccination movement in the country. The social media post gave people hope that those raised to believe unfounded claims about vaccines could change their minds and make a different decision than their parents. Close to two dozen teens and young adults have reached out to him on Reddit and Instagram since journalists began writing about him, Lindenberger told the Guardian. But theres no evidence indicating a wave of …

This is the Stanford thesis presentation that launched Juul

Against a backdrop of public backlash and looming federal regulations, the world’s biggest e-cigarette manufacturer has released video of the original thesis presentation that launched Juul, with the hopes of making the case that its purpose is to do no harm — or at least less harm. The founders of Juul have told their story before — the two met and became friends over smoke breaks at Stanford University, and eventually decided to design an alternative product to cigarettes. Juul today released a video of that thesis, presented by James Monsees (MFA in Product Design) and Adam Bowen (MSME in Product Design). Bowen and Monsees say they started with the principle of harm reduction, aiming to keep the “good” and …

Cuba’s tobacco growers confront climate change

San Lus, Cuba (CNN)Looking at the plain, one-story wooden shacks that dot the countryside in Cuba’s vuelta abajo region, one would never guess that the farmers here grow one of the island’s most valuable natural resources: cigar tobacco. Usually, the winter months are the dry season, perfect for growing and harvesting tobacco for top brands like Cohiba, Montecristo and Partagas. With this harvest, though, there was so much rain that fields are muddy. Some of the plants are flopping over or have grown so tall that they need to be pruned so the leaves, which are rolled into cigars, don’t lose their potency. “It’s not normal. We start to grow tobacco in November. Normally, there’s no rain, just a little …

YouTube demonetizes anti-vaccination videos

YouTube will demonetize channels that promote anti-vaccination views, after a report by BuzzFeed News found ads, including from health companies, running before anti-vax videos. The platform will also place a new information panel that links to the Wikipedia entry on “vaccine hesitancy” before anti-vax videos. Information panels (part of YouTube’s efforts to combat misinformation) about the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine had already appeared in front of anti-vaccination videos that mentioned it. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a YouTube spokesperson said “we have strict policies that govern what videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content are a violation of those policies. We enforce these policies vigorously, and if we find a video …

Two Chairs nabs $7M for its client-therapist matching app and brick-and-mortar clinics

The future of healthcare isn’t entirely digital. For encounters as intimate as the client-therapist dynamic, a face-to-face relationship is still key. For those able to afford tech-enabled therapy services, Two Chairs, a San Francisco-headquartered mental healthcare business, may be of interest. The startup believes in the power of in-person therapy, as opposed to the new variety of affordable digital tools meant to replace or coexist with therapy services. Today, the company is announcing a $7 million Maveron-led Series A financing to open additional brick-and-mortar clinics and build out its client-therapist matching app, which leverages technology to pair its customers with a therapist best-tailored to their needs. The company currently operates four clinics in the Bay Area, where patients can access …

Meet Hippocamp, Neptune’s new moon

(CNN)For the first time in decades, a new tiny moon has been found in orbit around the gas giant Neptune, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Hippocamp is in close orbit to Proteus, the largest and outermost of Neptune’s inner moons. And the researchers believe that Hippocamp is a fragment of Proteus. Since the discovery of the small inner moons, scientists have believed that they are younger than Neptune and that they formed after Neptune captured its largest moon, Triton. They also thought these inner moons were fragmented due to impacts by comets. This discovery adds to that evidence. Hippocamp orbits within 12,000 kilometers of Proteus, and due to Neptune’s gravity, the two moons have a …

Could squid protein be an eco-friendly answer to our plastic problem?

(CNN)More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year, killing marine life and damaging ecosystems. But the same seas might also hold the key to reducing plastic pollution. Demirel says these natural materials are biodegradable — and could provide an “excellent” alternative to plastics. The SRT proteins can be produced in the laboratory using genetically engineered bacteria, which means they don’t need to use any squid. The process is based on fermentation, using sugar, water and oxygen. ‘Self-healing’ properties According to the researchers, SRT proteins have “remarkable properties” and materials made from them are elastic, flexible and strong. They also have thermal, self-healing and electrical conducting capabilities, which gives the potential for some new applications. …

Science being ‘debunked:’ Why are some countries making a vaccine U-turn?

(CNN)More than a century before Facebook, anti-vaccination campaigners had another method for spreading their message — an eye-catching march through town with tiny children’s coffins emblazoned with the words: “Another victim of vaccination.” British parents in the 19th century didn’t take kindly to government-mandated smallpox vaccinations although the gruesome process — a series of deep cuts in the arms of the child — was a world away from today’s sterile practices. But the anti-vaxxers of the time were also joined by libertarians, who believed the compulsory vaccinations violated their personal freedoms. Today, that anti-government control sentiment “continues to be a thread in the anti-vaccine movement — particularly in this era of mistrust in government,” Professor Heidi Larson, director of the …

Immunotherapies could change kidney cancer care, studies suggest

(CNN)The way doctors typically approach kidney cancer treatment could be evolving. Targeted cancer therapies are drugs or other substances that block cancer growth by interfering with specific molecules that are involved in the growth, progression and spread of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Immunotherapy is a treatment approach that harnesses certain parts of the body’s own immune system to target and attack a disease, such as cancer. This approach can come in many forms — vaccines, antibody or cellular therapies, or drugs — and can be administrated through injections, pills or capsules, topical ointments or creams, or a catheter. An immunotherapy can also be combined with another therapy as a form of treatment, as seen in the two …

Deer in 24 states infected with chronic wasting disease

(CNN) Chronic wasting disease has been detected in wild deer, elk or moose in 24 states, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning hunters to avoid handling or eating potentially infected meat. Currently, there is no evidence the disease can spread to humans, but the CDC warned hunters to be cautious around potentially infected animals. It advised people not to handle or eat meat from deer and elk that seem sick or have been found dead. It says latex or rubber gloves should be worn when handling the meat and contact kept to a minimum — especially when handling organs such as the brain or spinal cord. In deer and other cervids, the disease has an incubation period …

Nearly 100 children dead from Ebola in DRC as crisis worsens

(CNN)Nearly 100 children have died since the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo started last year — and the crisis is gathering pace, with the number of new cases doubling last month, according to charity Save the Children. The current outbreak in Congois the second-deadliest and second-largest in history, topped only by one in West Africa in 2014, when the disease killed more than 11,000 people, according to the World Health Organization. In total, Congo has seen 806 cases, since August, the country’s Ministry of Health said on Saturday. Of those cases, 745 are confirmed and 61 are probable. There have been 505 cases resulting in death. “We are at a crossroads. If we don’t take urgent steps …