News releases about health, Earth science and social sciences make up EurekAlert!’s 2018 trending news list

Health-related news occupied six of the 10 most-viewed news releases on EurekAlert! in 2018. The most popular news release, “‘Study: Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette ‘vapors,” submitted by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health received 337,013 views.

A health-conscious year

The news release describes a study in Environmental Health Perspectives, which shows a significant amount of toxic metals, including lead, could leak from the e-cigarette vapors and may cause unwanted side effects to internal organs.

A second release about smoking, titled “Vapers and non-smokers have the same flourishing gut flora” made it to sixth place on the trending news list with 265,598 views.

Other health-related releases that made the top 10 described peer-reviewed studies on home remedies that combat inflammatory autoimmune diseases, the discovery of a hidden new organ, how music activates regions of the brain in Alzheimer’s patients, and the risks of normalizing “plus sizes” in the context of the obesity epidemic.

The other trending news releases focused on earth and social sciences: they describe the discovery of 13,000-year-old human footprints in Canada, how humans are exterminating animal species at an alarming rate, how earthquakes follow wastewater disposal patterns and how police departments could revamp institutional practices to better educate their workforce.

Most popular

The 2018 trending list collected a total of 2.6 million views and saw an increase in the average hits per release. Like years past, health-related releases were most popular and filled six out of the 10 slots. Seven of the top 10 releases were submitted by U.S. institutions; three came from institutions in the U.K.

The 10 most popular news releases on EurekAlert! in 2018 are:

    1. Study: Lead and other toxic metals found in e-cigarette ‘vapors’ (337,013)

    Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Environmental Health Perspectives

    2. Drinking baking soda could be an inexpensive, safe way to combat autoimmune disease (320,932)

    Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Journal of Immunology

    3. Mammals cannot evolve fast enough to escape current extinction crisis (307,239)

    Aarhus University, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    4. 13,000-year-old human footprints found off Canada’s Pacific coast (290,814)


    5. Earthquakes follow wastewater disposal patterns in southern Kansas (272,701)

    Seismological Society of America, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

    6. Vapers and non-smokers have the same flourishing gut flora (265,598)

    Newcastle University, PeerJ

    7. Bad policing, bad law, not ‘bad apples,’ behind disproportionate killing of black men (239,378)

    Rutgers University, Public Administration Review

    8. Newfound ‘organ’ had been missed by standard medicine for visualizing anatomy (200,888)

    NYU Langone Health/NYU School of Medicine, Scientific Reports

    9. Music activates regions of the brain spared by Alzheimer’s disease (194,759)

    University of Utah Health, The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

    10. Normalization of ‘plus size’ risks hidden danger of obesity, study finds (191,959)

    University of East Anglia, Obesity

Most shared

Health topics also dominated the most-shared list this year, with the top five covering topics such as low-carb diets and children’s screen time. Two of the top-shared were also on the top 10 most-visited list.

The most-shared release described a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s disease based on animal research: According to related peer-reviewed study published in the journal Brain Research, tests in mice showed a reversal of memory loss when treated with drugs originally developed to treat diabetes.

The five most-shared items on EurekAlert! in 2018 are:

    1. Diabetes drug ‘significantly reverses memory loss’ in mice with Alzheimer’s (920 shares)

    Lancaster University, Brain Research

    2. Newfound ‘organ’ had been missed by standard method for visualizing anatomy (836 shares)

    NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine, Scientific Reports

    3. Drinking baking soda could be an inexpensive, safe way to combat autoimmune disease (803 shares)

    Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Journal of Immunology

    4. Low carbohydrate diets are unsafe and should be avoided (384 shares)

    European Society of Cardiology, ESC Congress 2018

    5. New studies measure screen-based media use in children (296 shares)

    Pediatric Academic Societies, Pediatric Academic Societies 2018 Meeting

There were 278,200 shares through the AddThis tool on EurekAlert! in the period between December 16, 2017, and December 15, 2018. Facebook saw the most shares among social media platforms, with Twitter a close second, followed by e-mail shares.

More than 32,000 news releases were accepted onto EurekAlert! in 2018, on par with 2017. All news releases were submitted by accredited research institutions, peer-reviewed journal publishers, or their press agents and made available to registered reporters and the public. Each submission was reviewed against the non-profit distribution service’s longstanding eligibility guidelines prior to posting.

The annual EurekAlert! trending news release list was compiled based on the number of public and reporter visits to news releases between 16 December 2017 and 15 December 2018.


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