Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:55 am
Prehistoric humans didn't have toothbrushes. They didn't have floss or toothpaste, and they certainly didn't have Listerine. Yet somehow, their mouths were a lot healthier than ours are today.
"Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth," says Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. "[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up."
Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 8:04 am
As you solve outbreaks, you earn points and work your way to becoming an assistant disease detective.
Credit Screenshot from Solve The Outbreak/Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
Disease detectives are kind of the rock stars of public health.
They travel around the world, on a moment's notice, to track down an Ebola outbreak in Uganda or stop a cholera epidemic in Haiti. And Kate Winslet and Lawrence Fishburne played them in the movie Contagion, for crying out loud.
This year's flu vaccine looks like it's not doing much to protect older people. New numbers in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the vaccine has only been effective about a quarter of the time for people 65 and older. NPR's Rob Stein joins me to explain what that means. And Rob, tell us more about these numbers coming from the CDC.