Nicole Wetsman

writing & reporting on science & medicine
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Bad Police Fingerprint Work Undermines Chicago Property Crime Cases

Eyewitness testimony was shaky, so Cook County prosecutors relied on a fingerprint lifted from a laptop as their key evidence in the trial of a juvenile charged with robbery. The strategy did not go well. Presiding over the 2016 case, Judge Stuart…

Eyewitness testimony was shaky, so Cook County prosecutors relied on a fingerprint lifted from a laptop as their key evidence in the trial of a juvenile charged with robbery. The strategy did not go well. Presiding over the 2016 case, Judge Stuart…

Eyewitness testimony was shaky, so Cook County prosecutors relied on a fingerprint lifted from a laptop as their key evidence in the trial of a juvenile charged with robbery. The strategy did not go well. Presiding over the 2016 case, Judge Stuart…

Aug 15, 2019
Your annual checkup could soon include screening for illicit drug use

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends doctors should ask their patients about all the drugs they use.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends doctors should ask their patients about all the drugs they use.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends doctors should ask their patients about all the drugs they use.

Aug 13, 2019
Ebola hasn't been cured yet, but two experimental drugs are showing significant progress

“It’s premature to say that this is a curative treatment. We should be optimistic, but not overstate.” Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Popular Science may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this…

“It’s premature to say that this is a curative treatment. We should be optimistic, but not overstate.” Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Popular Science may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this…

“It’s premature to say that this is a curative treatment. We should be optimistic, but not overstate.” Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Popular Science may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this…

Aug 9, 2019
The CDC says more prescriptions of overdose reversal drug naloxone are needed

Getting naloxone could require navigating insurance, stigma, lack of pharmacist education, and cost.

Getting naloxone could require navigating insurance, stigma, lack of pharmacist education, and cost.

Getting naloxone could require navigating insurance, stigma, lack of pharmacist education, and cost.

Jul 30, 2019
A rare, deadly virus is circulating in Florida—and this is just the beginning

Climate change might make the Eastern equine encephalitis virus more common in the United States.

Climate change might make the Eastern equine encephalitis virus more common in the United States.

Climate change might make the Eastern equine encephalitis virus more common in the United States.

Jul 23, 2019
Americans reported hearing torturous sounds in Cuba—and now their brains seem changed

People with “Havana syndrome” have differences in their brains compared to healthy people.

People with “Havana syndrome” have differences in their brains compared to healthy people.

People with “Havana syndrome” have differences in their brains compared to healthy people.

Jul 18, 2019
Brain interfaces aren't nearly as easy as Elon Musk makes them seem

We don’t know enough about the brain for you to control your smartphone with yours.

We don’t know enough about the brain for you to control your smartphone with yours.

We don’t know enough about the brain for you to control your smartphone with yours.

Jul 16, 2019
People in cancer treatment during hurricanes have lower survival rates

Delay in treatment during natural disasters can be detrimental for certain cancer patients.

Delay in treatment during natural disasters can be detrimental for certain cancer patients.

Delay in treatment during natural disasters can be detrimental for certain cancer patients.

Jul 11, 2019
Growing up without a permanent home can negatively affect children's health

Kids with special health needs are more likely to experience housing instability throughout childhood.

Kids with special health needs are more likely to experience housing instability throughout childhood.

Kids with special health needs are more likely to experience housing instability throughout childhood.

Jul 9, 2019
We're still finding new ways in which the Zika virus hurts infants

Zika causes neurodevelopmental delays in one-third of infants, according to a new study.

Zika causes neurodevelopmental delays in one-third of infants, according to a new study.

Zika causes neurodevelopmental delays in one-third of infants, according to a new study.

Jul 3, 2019
Data from health apps offers opportunities and obstacles to researchers

Researchers are eager to tap into the steadily expanding pool of health information collected from users by products like Fitbit, Clue, and the Apple Watch. But while these datasets could be a scientific treasure trove for scientists, they also pose…

Researchers are eager to tap into the steadily expanding pool of health information collected from users by products like Fitbit, Clue, and the Apple Watch. But while these datasets could be a scientific treasure trove for scientists, they also pose…

Researchers are eager to tap into the steadily expanding pool of health information collected from users by products like Fitbit, Clue, and the Apple Watch. But while these datasets could be a scientific treasure trove for scientists, they also pose…

Jun 28, 2019
Poor lung cancer screening guidelines miss too many African American smokers

African American smokers tend to smoke fewer cigarettes, but have a higher risk of lung cancer.

African American smokers tend to smoke fewer cigarettes, but have a higher risk of lung cancer.

African American smokers tend to smoke fewer cigarettes, but have a higher risk of lung cancer.

Jun 7, 2019
Women soccer players usually peak in their 20s—here's why some excel into their 40s

There are plenty of reasons to watch the Women’s World Cup, which kicks off today at 3 p.m. with a game between the hosts, France, and South Korea: To follow the United States as they hunt for their fourth World Cup title (I’m stressed), to see…

There are plenty of reasons to watch the Women’s World Cup, which kicks off today at 3 p.m. with a game between the hosts, France, and South Korea: To follow the United States as they hunt for their fourth World Cup title (I’m stressed), to see…

There are plenty of reasons to watch the Women’s World Cup, which kicks off today at 3 p.m. with a game between the hosts, France, and South Korea: To follow the United States as they hunt for their fourth World Cup title (I’m stressed), to see…

Jun 4, 2019
Common dietary supplements linked to miscarriages in rodents

People who could become pregnant shouldn’t take dietary supplements that contain vinpocetine, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week, because the synthetic ingredient could hurt a developing fetus. The warning comes after a report from the…

People who could become pregnant shouldn’t take dietary supplements that contain vinpocetine, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week, because the synthetic ingredient could hurt a developing fetus. The warning comes after a report from the…

People who could become pregnant shouldn’t take dietary supplements that contain vinpocetine, the Food and Drug Administration warned this week, because the synthetic ingredient could hurt a developing fetus. The warning comes after a report from the…

May 30, 2019
Wildfire smoke is particularly bad for you—here's why

On an average day, the majority of air pollution in the United States comes from cars and powerplants. However, when wildfires start, they have an outsized impact on the quality of the nearby air—during wildfire season in the west, if an area has air…

On an average day, the majority of air pollution in the United States comes from cars and powerplants. However, when wildfires start, they have an outsized impact on the quality of the nearby air—during wildfire season in the west, if an area has air…

On an average day, the majority of air pollution in the United States comes from cars and powerplants. However, when wildfires start, they have an outsized impact on the quality of the nearby air—during wildfire season in the west, if an area has air…

May 30, 2019
Out of Pediatric Care, Into…?

CLINICAL CARE For young people with chronic illnesses, the transition into adult care can be uncharted—and dangerous—territory. Maria Ferris is a pediatric nephrologist at UNC Medical Center and specializes in children’s kidney disease. Yet despite…

CLINICAL CARE For young people with chronic illnesses, the transition into adult care can be uncharted—and dangerous—territory. Maria Ferris is a pediatric nephrologist at UNC Medical Center and specializes in children’s kidney disease. Yet despite…

CLINICAL CARE For young people with chronic illnesses, the transition into adult care can be uncharted—and dangerous—territory. Maria Ferris is a pediatric nephrologist at UNC Medical Center and specializes in children’s kidney disease. Yet despite…

May 29, 2019
Why Are So Many People Dying on Mount Everest?

DEADLY WAIT ‘As a climber, I’m offended, and as a physician, I’m horrified,’ Dr. Jeffrey Gertsch said. ‘It’s just a cattle call in a really dangerous place.’ It’s been a particularly deadly year on Mount Everest, with 11 people dying while attempting…

DEADLY WAIT ‘As a climber, I’m offended, and as a physician, I’m horrified,’ Dr. Jeffrey Gertsch said. ‘It’s just a cattle call in a really dangerous place.’ It’s been a particularly deadly year on Mount Everest, with 11 people dying while attempting…

DEADLY WAIT ‘As a climber, I’m offended, and as a physician, I’m horrified,’ Dr. Jeffrey Gertsch said. ‘It’s just a cattle call in a really dangerous place.’ It’s been a particularly deadly year on Mount Everest, with 11 people dying while attempting…

May 28, 2019
Opioid risks are different for kids and teens—the guidelines should be, too

As the opioid epidemic took hold and expanded in the United States, physicians and medical organizations researched and created better guidelines for prescribing the drugs and preventing misuse. Those guidelines, though, have focused primarily on…

As the opioid epidemic took hold and expanded in the United States, physicians and medical organizations researched and created better guidelines for prescribing the drugs and preventing misuse. Those guidelines, though, have focused primarily on…

As the opioid epidemic took hold and expanded in the United States, physicians and medical organizations researched and created better guidelines for prescribing the drugs and preventing misuse. Those guidelines, though, have focused primarily on…