16 Depressing AF Science And Health Stories From 2016

Rising temps, medical failures, harassers, deniers...plus those poor giraffes. :(

1. The Earth got even warmer.

2. The North Pole got above the freezing point.

3. Meanwhile, Trump chose administration leaders who deny climate change exists, want to dismantle certain science agencies, and/or support the fossil fuel industry.

4. Scientists scrambled to copy scientific data from government servers, worried that Trump's team would erase it.

5. (Yet more) scientists were exposed for sexual harassment.

6. Opioids killed Prince, and some 30,000 other Americans.

7. Zika was declared a global health emergency and spread from Brazil to many other countries.

8. The government spied on us from above.

9. Scientists realized that giraffe numbers are dangerously low.

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The number of giraffes has dropped 40% over the last 30 years, thanks in large part to hunting and habitat loss, scientists revealed this month. There are now fewer than 100,000 giraffes in Africa. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has deemed the giraffe in danger of extinction, placing it on its "Red List."

10. Native Americans sued the government for not providing the free health care that it promised decades ago.

11. Brexit rocked European science.

12. One of the most promising experimental treatments for Alzheimer's failed in a big way.

When this happens, think of what it means for volunteers in clinical trials of new Alzheimer's drugs… https://t.co/uv00Q5AoVi

In November, pharma giant Eli Lilly announced that its experimental drug for Alzheimer's, solanezumab, did not improve symptoms in a study of 2,100 patients with mild dementia. The company's stock price plummeted after the news.

The drug targeted "amyloid plaques," proteins that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. Its failure undermines the amyloid strategy — which is at the heart of several other experimental drugs as well.

13. America's largest chain of psychiatric hospitals was exposed for allegedly locking patients in the psych ward for insurance money.

14. The first US uterus transplant failed two weeks later.

15. A super-scary, drug-resistant strain of E. coli hit the US.

16. Scientists discovered that human leprosy from the Middle Ages is still around — hiding in squirrels.

For some happier Best of 2016 content, click here!

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