Melissa Healy

Writer

Melissa Healy is a health and science reporter with the Los Angeles Times writing from the Washington, D.C., area. She covers prescription drugs, obesity, nutrition and exercise, and neuroscience, mental health and human behavior. She's been at The Times for more than 30 years, and has covered national security, environment, domestic social policy, Congress and the White House. As a baby boomer, she keenly follows trends in midlife weight gain, memory loss and the health benefits of red wine.

Recent Articles

  • For some, violent criminality may be written in their genes
    For some, violent criminality may be written in their genes

    In an apparent first, a study of Finnish convicts has identified genetic variations at two key sites on the genome that may distinguish extremely violent criminals from the rest of us. The two single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, that appear to predispose an individual to committing...

  • Chocolate compound restores age-related memory loss
    Chocolate compound restores age-related memory loss

    The good stuff in chocolate brings not only good cheer and improved blood flow: A new study suggests it may have the power to turn back the clock on age-related memory loss. In research that will need to be replicated by larger trials, a concentrated daily dose of epicatechin, a...

  • Disorder among states' Ebola strategies raises worries
    Disorder among states' Ebola strategies raises worries

    The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on dealing with travelers from Ebola-stricken regions Monday, but its lack of firm rules left a patchwork of state-by-state strategies that include mandatory quarantines for some travelers.

  • Headache condition linked to weight-loss surgery
    Headache condition linked to weight-loss surgery

    By reshaping the gastrointestinal tract, bariatric surgery appears to set in motion a cascade of physiological changes -- most obviously weight loss. But a new study suggests that such surgery may also be linked, in rare cases, to a headache condition caused by a leak of cerebrospinal fluid...

  • Green coffee beans for weight loss? Um, never mind
    Green coffee beans for weight loss? Um, never mind

    Remember when green coffee bean extract was the next big thing in weight loss, a remedy with positive clinical findings touted as a breakthrough by Dr. Mehmet Oz and aggressively hawked online?

  • Supplements safe after FDA recall? Don't count on it
    Supplements safe after FDA recall? Don't count on it

    When the Food & Drug Administration recalls your "all natural" dietary supplement for containing prescription pharmaceuticals, you may think that ensures a rapid restoration of the misbranded product to its wholesome natural state, right?

  • With Ebola, it's better to screen outbound flights, study suggests
    With Ebola, it's better to screen outbound flights, study suggests

    The deceased Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan is unlikely to be the last person to carry the Ebola virus out of one of three West African countries, a new study suggests. Given current infection rates in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, a team of Canadian infectious disease specialists estimates...

  • More than a decade later, SARS offers lessons on Ebola
    More than a decade later, SARS offers lessons on Ebola

    It was a novel virus whose early symptoms could easily be mistaken for a dozen other common afflictions. With no treatment or vaccine in hand, it bubbled up — and quickly mushroomed — in a group of poor, populous countries.

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