Zika and the trouble with public health directives

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The disease points out the tension between the government’s macro view of health and our micro one.


More information on genetic risks is actually reassuring, study finds

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that giving a person more risk information than they expected based on genetic tests actually decreases distress.


// With new novel, she keeps her sister in mind

Michelle Adelman based the novel’s narrator on her older sister, Caren, who had a similar brain injury in childhood.


// Speed reading slows comprehension, study says

“There’s a trade-off between speed and accuracy,” says study co-author Elizabeth Schotter.


// Parents should talk to sick children about death

Pediatric specialists say not discussing it — with children who understand the concept — can make it harder for everyone.


// What is microcephaly?

Officials are still trying to determine if Zika definitively causes microcephaly, but concern about the condition is on the rise.


// Why the ‘easy’ fix for patient mix-ups isn’t easy at all

The idea of a universal (or national) patient identifier faces lots of obstacles.


// Paul Knoepfler, blogger at The Niche

Knoepfler is recognized as one of the best informed, most passionate, and thoughtful voices on stem cells and genetic engineering.

// The Boston doctor who studied autism before autism

Authors of a new book say Samuel Gridley Howe’s research was an early inquiry into people who could be retrospectively diagnosed on the spectrum.


// Study says that a social life is a healthy life

Close, supportive relationships are important to physical health in adolescence and old age, according to research.


// A doctor who found ‘Magic’ from an unusual encounter

Dr. Jim Doty’s memoir, “Into the Magic Shop,” tells of his unlikely journey.

// Local startup lets gamers get in a workout while they play

Cambridge-based VirZOOM is a pioneer in the somewhat scary new world of virtual reality fitness.


// Drug shortages in emergency rooms rising

From 2008 to 2014, the number spiked by 435 percent, according to a recent analysis.


// App users’ advice helps others out of stressful situations

Koko is dedicated to the idea that strangers can talk you out of a funk.


// Surprising facts about breast cancer

Here are five surprising — and important — facts about the disease.

// Five things to know about dog yoga

New York veterinarian Dr. Louise Murrray, predicts that dog yoga (also known as: doga) will be one of the top trends in pet care for 2016.


// Seeking the ‘just right’ dosage of vitamin D for seniors

High monthly doses of the sunshine vitamin actually increased falls in people over age 70, according to a randomized clinical trial.


// Dyslexia research provides insight into brain function

New research at Boston Children’s Hospital shows that kids with a strong family history of dyslexia have noticeable differences in key brain structures.

Illustration by John Ueland for The Boston Globe

Taking media out of social occasions

Social media’s link to jealousy and depression is well-chronicled, and the recent holidays amplify it.

Deep Breath

// McLean gives self-destructive teen girls the attention they need

Dr. Blaise Aguirre bases the care of teens who have tried to hurt or kill themselves on dialectical behavior therapy.

// Feet don’t fail them now? A look at an NFL scourge

What’s the science behind these injuries? How serious are they?

// For seniors, wired homes offer independent living

Companies are pouring millions into the idea that surveillance will allow the elderly to stay in their homes, while reducing health care costs.

Special section: Mass. health care law

Massachusetts health care law

Here you will find coverage of the law’s provisions, the debate that led to its enactment, Romney’s role in its passage, and what’s happened in Massachusetts since the law passed.