Scientific American – Study Finds Fat Kills, Casting Doubt on ‘Obesity Paradox’
Being overweight or obese is linked to a higher risk of dying prematurely than being normal weight and the risk rises sharply as the extra pounds pile on, scientists said on Wednesday. In findings contradicting the “obesity paradox”, which had suggested a possible survival advantage to being overweight, researchers said excess body weight now causes 1 in 5 of all premature deaths in America and 1 in 7 in Europe. “On average, overweight people lose about one year of life expectancy, and moderately obese people lose about three years of life expectancy,” said Emanuele Di Angelantonio from Britain’s University of Cambridge, who co-led the research.

Tech Times – Alzheimer’s Gene Starts To Show Effects On Brain As Early As Preschool
A gene called apolipoprotein E, or APOE, is linked to risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, a neurological disorder which occurs when the brain cells die, causing memory loss and cognitive decline that get worse over time. Now, a new study has revealed that the effects of this Alzheimer’s gene on the mental ability and brain structure of a person may start to show as early as preschool, confirming what earlier studies have found. In the new study, researchers looked at the MRI brain scans of nearly 1,200 healthy children and young adults between 3 and 20 years old.

FOX News – Zika threat in US getting bigger, experts testify
At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, three senior U.S. government officials warned the Western hemisphere is under threat from the Zika virus, and that Florida, Puerto Rico and Brazil are the regions most at risk, McClatchyDC reported. The officials urged Congress to pass legislation stalled by partisan politics. In Florida, officials reported 13 new infections on Monday, bringing the state’s total known cases to 282, said state senator Marco Rubio, who convened the meeting of the Senate Foreign Affairs subcommittee focused on the Western Hemisphere. Of the sunshine state’s cases, 129 of them were identified in South Florida, a total more than any other state except New York, McClatchyDC reported. “The growing threat of the Zika virus as a full-blown public health crisis in the United States is a clear call to action,” Rubio said, according to McClatchy DC.

Reuters – Obama to sign bill to battle heroin addiction
U.S. President Barack Obama will sign legislation passed by Congress aimed at combating a nationwide epidemic of heroin and other opioid addictions, the White House said on Wednesday. After months of wrangling, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday, 92-2, to pass the bill that has also been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. The measure aims to help communities develop treatment and overdose programs at a time when fewer than half the estimated 2.2 million Americans who need help for opioid abuse are receiving it, according to the U.S. Centers for Human and Health Services. The White House said in a statement the bill “falls far short” of the necessary funding, but Obama would sign it “because some action is better than none.”