13 Stories

Study: Being Cold Is Contagious

Study gives 'catching cold' new meaning

(Newser) - Struggling to keep warm this winter? You may want to avoid other people who look cold: A new study published in PLOS ONE suggests humans experience "temperature contagion." Subjects saw their own temperatures sink after watching videos of people putting their hands in chilly water, per a press... More »

Woman, 72: Delta Kicked Me Off Plane ... for Looking Sick

Suzanne Hays' daughter says her mother was just sleeping

(Newser) - An elderly woman says a Delta crew treated her "like I had leprosy" when they kicked her off a flight earlier this month … for looking sick. Suzanne Hays, 72, tells First Coast News she felt fine as she waited for her flight to Florida to take off on... More »

Here's What Would Happen if Ebola Infiltrated US

Experts say chances of outbreak here are 'remote' if we follow protocol

(Newser) - Should Americans be worried about the Ebola outbreak? The CDC tells the AP that chances are "remote" the disease will get to the US, and an expert who spoke to National Geographic says that even if the virus does make it here, "it's unlikely that we would... More »

Stress Can Spread Between Strangers

Even through a TV screen: study

(Newser) - Stress, it seems, is contagious—even when we don't know the anxious person we're witnessing. So suggests a new study, which paired observers and stressed-out people of the opposite sex. Stress was induced via math problems and interviews. Some of the observers knew and loved their partners in... More »

Yawning Gets Less Contagious When We're Older

And researchers aren't sure why

(Newser) - It can be tough not to yawn when the guy next to you does—but apparently, it gets a little easier to avoid doing so as we get older. The finding comes from a study of contagious yawning among 328 subjects who were shown a three-minute clip of others yawning.... More »

America's Worst Airport for Spreading Disease Is ...

... New York's JFK, scientists say

(Newser) - Which US airport is most likely to spread an infectious disease during an epidemic? This won't surprise New Yorkers: It's JFK. But its top ranking has nothing to do with dirtiness, reports the New York Daily News . MIT scientists who analyzed 40 of the biggest US airports compared... More »

Cavities Are Contagious

Sharing bacteria can spread tooth decay

(Newser) - Candy and cookies aren’t the only cavity culprits: tooth decay can actually be contagious, scientists have found. That’s because cavities result from bacteria hanging around in your mouth—and these germs can be passed from person to person, the New York Times reports. It’s a noted problem... More »

Japan Evacuees: Clinics Deny Care Over Contagion Fears

Worries are groundless—but unsurprising, says expert

(Newser) - Fearing contagion from exposure to radioactivity, Japanese shelters and clinics are rejecting hundreds of evacuees from near the Fukushima nuclear plant, reports the Telegraph . The institutions are requiring certificates from evacuees that show they haven’t faced exposure. Such concerns, however, are “completely irrational,” says a British expert... More »

Itchiness Can Be Contagious

Phenomenon may have had evolutionary advantages

(Newser) - As you're sitting at your computer reading this story, you'll probably find yourself scratching random parts of your body. That's because itchiness can be contagious, as scientists recently proved for the first time. You've probably been aware of the phenomenon for a while—as with yawning, seeing someone else scratch... More »

For Contagious Laughs, Open Your Mouth

... And get your vocal chords into it

(Newser) - When it comes to laughs, the bigger the better, at least if you want it to spread. In one of those science-confirms-the-obvious studies, researchers found that open-mouth laughs in which people use their vocal chords in "vowel-like bursts" are the most contagious, LiveScience reports. And the longer they last,... More »

Loneliness Is Communicable

Feel bad, friends feel bad—but only for 3 degrees of separation

(Newser) - Lonelyhearts of the world unite—your malaise may not be the fault of your particular situation, but rather that of contagious ill-feeling. A new study finds that loneliness is infectious—lonely neighbors that interact regularly with those next-door pass on increased loneliness. So “you can use your friends to... More »

Too Late to Contain Flu: WHO

(Newser) - Officials from the World Health Organization warn it’s too late to contain the swine flu and say governments should instead now focus on protecting their populations as best as possible, the BBC reports. The WHO bumped up its alert level from three to four—two levels shy of global... More »

Cancer Can Be Contagious

Tasmanian Devils transmit it by biting, dogs with sex

(Newser) - Contrary to long-held opinion, cancer can be contagious—and Darwin is to blame, a science reporter told NPR. It turns out cancer cells evolve as species do, and in some rare cases—a cancer affecting Tasmanian devils, two others in dogs and hamsters—the cancers have evolved to allow direct... More »

13 Stories