WebMD, one of many symptom checkers available on the internet designed to aid self-diagnosis, is careful to advise users it isn’t a “substitute for pr(...)

The word placebo comes from the Latin, meaning “I shall please”. By the early 19th century, placebo had acquired its modern medical meaning as somethi(...)

We have just welcomed a new kitten to the house. A cheeky ball of black fur, whose hair stands up as if he is in permanent contact with a Van de Graaf(...)

Awake or asleep, our heart beats constantly. Driven by a natural pacemaker, it beats regularly at different speeds depending on the demands placed (...)

A woman walks past South Korean policemen wearing face masks in Seoul, South Korea. Photograph: Getty

Almost exactly a year ago I asked the question: could Mers become the next Sars? My answer was that it could, but that we were at least two genetic(...)

The Hiqa review into the deaths of five babies in the maternity unit at the Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise, uncovered multiple examples of poor oversight and a failure to take action by the HSE. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

It’s six weeks since the the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) published one of the most damning reports on the public health system eve(...)

Would you like to know your risk of dying within the next five years? Or, if you have just been discharged from hospital, would you be interested t(...)

A possible link between a widely prescribed drug that suppresses stomach acid and an increased risk of heart attack has emerged in US research publ(...)

Lead was used for pipework and watertanks before the 1970s in many homes. Lead from these pipes leeches into water with contamination levels of up to 80 times the legal limit found in drinking water in parts of Dublin. File photograph: Juri Samsonov/Getty/iStockPhoto

Lead was first linked to adverse health as far back as 250 BC and has been the subject of environmental controls since the late 20th century, when lea(...)

Walking in central London recently, I noticed a group of teenagers inhaling the contents of balloons in an alleyway. There was a lot of giggling and h(...)