Carbonated drinks top the list of non-alcoholic beverages. Ironically, while it continues to receive less than flattering reports linking its toxicity with diseases like diabetes and obesity – the fizzy pop had its altruistic beginnings as a healing drink.

What is today regarded as a savoury ice cream topping, or a dipping sauce for fruits, was once part of the medical world. Chocolate syrup first made its appearance into the scene as a mask for bitter remedies by druggists back in the day. Its use has since evolved – but, the properties of cacao that promotes wellbeing continues to be raved about.

The pharmaceutical industry in the US is now supporting limiting prescriptions for opioid painkillers to seven-days for acute pain management. However, this widens the focus for patients who need opioids for chronic pain. Will such blanket prior authorisation protocols severely harm them instead?

As Asia ages and rates of terminal illnesses rise, there is an increasing demand for end-of-life care. And, we’re not talking about just basic end-of-life care; rather, a quality end-of-life care. In Asia, this notion has clearly progressed – with Singapore emerging second (and 12th globally) in the 2015 Quality of Death Index. Nonetheless, in many communities, the approach to end-of-life care remains passive – and decisions often come too late – to make choices about the kind of care wanted and where.

Science Bites seeks to compile the latest scientific research updates in bite-sized forms.

The medical world has come a long way in helping women deal with breast cancer and raising awareness about the disease. Recent studies, however, have discovered that mammogram does not necessarily prevent breast cancer death.

Yet, another drug for Alzheimer's disease had failed in its late phase clinical trial. Intepirdine, a selective serotonin receptor 6 antagonist developed by Axovant Sciences, did not halt disease progression – and missed the goal of improving memory and physical functions.

The ongoing effort to educate and raise public awareness on blood donation and the shortage of blood supply is indeed a positive thing. Nevertheless, there are certain matters pertaining to the issue of blood donation that needs to be highlighted based on recent development and research findings.

This week, researchers have identified a skin patch which is able to burn fat. Canadian surgeons have begun using a new hip replacement surgery method which improves recovery time and researchers find no association between genetics and toothaches.

As the countdown begins for the much anticipated 2017 Nobel Prize – where the winners walking away with the prestigious accolade would be announced starting 2 October – CRISPR/Cas9 stands a good chance of winning. But, how much do you know about the man behind the tech?

Beyond fame and riches, celebrities are getting a larger pulpit on the health arena – using media portals to open up their health battles. While they lift us up, their responsibility alongside their great influence remains debatable.