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News & Views: Thoughts Can Fuel Some Deadly Brain Cancers
Posted on May 15, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit1, Cancer, ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Scott Camazine/Science Source

A doctor-scientist’s long quest to help children with a rare form of brain cancer has led to the discovery that high levels of brain activity can make glioma tumors grow faster.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why Some Doctors Hesitate To Screen Smokers For Lung Cancer
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

Medical Body Scans/Science Source

Medicare now pays for some long-term smokers to get an annual test. These scans could save thousands of lives each year, but some doctors still worry risks outweigh benefits.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Federal Panel Revisits Contested Recommendation On Mammograms
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

Kari Lehr/Image Zoo/Corbis

In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said the benefits of mammograms for women under 50 were small at best. A firestorm ensued. Now the organization is back with the same message.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Screening Tests For Breast Cancer Genes Just Got Cheaper
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

A company has priced its test for mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer at $249 — far less than the thousands of dollars another firm charges. But is there a downside for the worried well?

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: The Great Success And Enduring Dilemma Of Cervical Cancer Screening
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

American Cancer Society/AP

The Pap smear has dramatically decreased rates of cervical cancer, but testing too often has a downside, too. Many women say they aren’t yet ready to follow new guidelines and skip the annual tests.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Small Plague Outbreak In People Tracked To Pit Bull
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Lesson1-2, ID Unit1, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Science Source

A woman who caught pneumonic plague in Colorado last summer likely contracted it from her friend or his dog. Antibiotics limited the outbreak to four people and cured them.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Sepsis, A Wily Killer, Stymies Doctors’ Efforts To Tame It
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Lesson4-2, ID Unit4, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

It’s a deadly combination of infection and inflammation striking more than a million Americans every year. Doctors can treat the symptoms of sepsis, but they still can’t treat the underlying problem.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Western Hemisphere Wipes Out Its Third Virus
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Lesson5-5, ID Unit5, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Ira Gay Sealy/Denver Post via Getty Images

It took 15 years and 250 million vaccines, but this week, health authorities officially declared North America and South America free of rubella — a virus that can cause severe birth defects.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: How Newbie Gardeners Can Safely Grow Food On Urban Land
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Lesson1-3, MD Unit1, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Sergio Ruiz/Flickr

More and more city dwellers are trying their hand at urban gardening. Most know to be wary of lead in their soil, but fewer are aware of how to avoid other types of contaminants.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why We Can’t Take Chipotle’s GMO Announcement All That Seriously
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Lesson1-2, MD Unit1, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Test tubes.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Chipotle says providing “food with integrity” means dropping genetically modified ingredients. But critics say the company’s new policy is inconsistent and even dishonest.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Urine for a Surprise: Your pee might reveal your risk for obesity
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit2, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Test tubes.iStockphoto

There are clues about your activity level and metabolism in urine. Researchers hope to one day predict obesity risk by tracking the different levels and ratios of certain molecules in pee.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Scientists crack a 50-year-old mystery about the measles vaccine
Posted on May 14, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Unit5, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Worth a little pain? Back in 1990, a school boy got a measles shot in the U.K. and it turns out he got protection from more than just the measles.Photofusion/UIG via Getty Images

When the U.S. introduced the measles vaccine, childhood deaths from all infections plummeted. Scientists think they might know why: Benefits of the measles vaccine go way beyond the measles.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why do we need sleep?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson4-1, ND Lesson4-2, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Russell Foster.James Duncan Davidson/TED

What do we know about one of our most basic needs: sleep? Not a lot, says circadian neuroscientist Russell Foster. We know we need to do it to stay alive, but much about it remains a mystery.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why not start addiction treatment in the ER?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-5, ND Lesson5-6, ND Lesson5-7, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Doctor at patient bedside.iStockphoto

Like asthma or diabetes, opioid addiction is a chronic condition. Could treatment that begins when people show up in the ER get them on the right road faster? New studies suggest it could.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Your tough job might help keep you sharp
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Engaging work is better for the brain.iStockphoto

In an eight-year study of older people, those who held mentally demanding, stimulating jobs tended to retain their mental agility better than people whose work was less stimulating.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Concussions can be more likely in practices than in games
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

High school football team charges the field.iStockphoto

A new study finds long hours in practice might account for the higher concussion risk in high school and college football. Some schools are retooling practice to reduce the number of hits.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Short on sleep? You could be a disaster waiting to happen
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson4-2, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Workers try to remove some of the 11 million gallows of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez off Alaska in 1989.Rob Stapleton/AP

Mega-disasters like Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez oil spill were set off by people who were sleep-deprived. Researchers say they’re able to pinpoint how lack of sleep derails decision-making.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Brain Boost: Mediterranean diet may fend off memory loss
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit5, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

A whole range of foods common in the Mediterranean diet -- from fish to nuts to fruits and vegetables -- are rich in antioxidants and may protect against cognitive declineiStockphoto

A recent study finds that people in their 60s and 70s who followed the Mediterranean diet for four years held steady on cognitive tests. But the cognitive test scores of people following a lower-fat diet went down.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why the FDA has never looked at some of the additives in our food
Posted on April 21, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Lesson1-2, MD Unit1, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In recent decades, the number of food additives has skyrocketed from about 800 to more than 10,000. A legal loophole in food safety law means companies can add them to foods with no government review.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: The hidden cost of mammograms: More testing and overtreatment
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

Hero Images/Corbis

Each year the U.S. spends billions of dollars on unnecessary tests and treatments that result from inaccurate mammograms, some scientists say. They’re calling for more selective screening.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Personalizing cancer treatment with genetic tests can be tricky
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Cancer | | Add comment |

Kevin Curtis/Science Source

Genetic profiling of cancer cells can help guide treatment, but such profiles can be ambiguous. Results would be more accurate if all labs tested normal cells from each patient too.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Scientists probe puppy love
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Cute sure. But is that love?Bullcitydogs/Flickr

Research published in the journal Science suggests that love (or something close) could be behind that stare. The work shows that when dogs and their people gaze into each other’s eyes, all get a boost in their circulating levels of oxytocin — a hormone thought to play a role in trust and emotional bonding.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Use of e-cigarettes triples among U.S. teens
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Nicotine exposure at a young age  iStockphoto

Even as the use of traditional cigarettes and most other tobacco products dipped or stayed the same from 2013 to 2014, the use of e-cigarettes climbed among students in high school and middle school. This concerns Dr. Tom Frieden, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, because nicotine exposure at a young age “may cause lasting harm to brain development.”

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Setting the record straight on the phrase ‘Gateway drug’
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

cigarette.Source

Denise Kandel coined the term, often associated with marijuana, in a research paper 40 years ago. But her work suggested nicotine, not pot, was most likely to lead to the use of harder drugs.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Babies learn from magic tricks
Posted on April 3, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-1, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

baby watching a magic trick.Len Turner, Dave Schmelick and Deirdre Hammer/Johns Hopkins University Office of Communications

We’re born knowing certain rules of the world, but what happens when those rules appear to be broken? A new study in the journal Science explores the power of surprise to motivate infant learning.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Drug-Resistant Food Poisoning Lands in the U.S.
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Unit3, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Shigella is a huge problem around the world. The bacteria infect about 100 million people each year and kill about 600,000.CDC/Science Source

Travelers are bringing a nasty bacterial disease to the U.S. and spreading it to others. The bacteria cause bad diarrhea and are touch to treat because they’re resistant to the top antibiotic.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Critic faults Alcoholics Anonymous for lack of evidence
Posted on April 2, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-6, ND Lesson5-7, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Bettmann/Corbis

Gabrielle Glaser challenges the usefulness of Alcoholics Anonymous in April’s issue of The Atlantic. She claims that the program’s tenets aren’t based science and that other options may work better.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: A new therapy for colorblindness?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

a simulation of what color blindness looks likeCourtesy of Neitz Laboratory

Six years ago, husband-and-wife scientists used gene therapy to cure colorblindess in monkeys. Now they’re trying to make it work for the millions of people with faulty color vision.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Angelina Jolie Pitt has ovaries removed, citing cancer fears
Posted on March 24, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

angelina jolie

Writing in the New York Times, the actress, who had a preventative double mastectomy two years ago, says she carries a gene that gives her an elevated risk of cancer and describes the decision to undergo preventative surgery to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.

Read more her full statement at NYTimes.com.

News & Views: Stats split on progress against cancer
Posted on March 23, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

cancer line graphMatthias Kulka/Corbis

When you dig into the numbers on cancer, the results are mixed. Overall, deaths are up. But survival five years after diagnosis has improved for many forms of the disease, including breast cancer.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why hasn’t the war on cancer been won?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit1, Ca Unit5, Cancer, News | | Add comment |

doctor searchingVidhya Nagaragjan for NPR

Medical researchers have made only modest progress treating the most common cancers since the war on cancer was declare in 1971. The disease has proved far more complicated than doctors had hoped.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Wireless sensors help scientists map staph spread inside hospital
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Lesson4-2, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

network of contacts and exposure to MRSAObadia et al/PLOS Computational Biology

Over four months of tracking and testing, French researchers mapped the hops that bacteria made from one person to another. Within a month, a third of patients were newly colonized with staph.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: For a good snooze, take one melatonin, add eye mask and earplugs
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson4-3, ND Lesson4-4, ND Lesson4-5, ND Unit4 | | Add comment |

hard to get sleep in hospitalRoderick Chen/Getty Images

Hospitals are notoriously difficult places to sleep, despite efforts to make them less noisy. Cheap, simple workarounds can help, a study finds. Taking the sleep hormone, melatonin, helped the most.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Can we predict which teens are likely to binge drink? Maybe.
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-5, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

beer pongColin/Flickr

We know some people are more at risk for abusing alcohol than others. Now scientists say they’re getting closer to predicting which teenagers are most at risk.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Rethinking alcohol: Can heavy drinkers learn to cut back?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-5, ND Lesson5-7, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

walking along the top of martini glassesMaria Fabrizio for NPR

The limit for healthy drinking may be less than you think: one drink a day for women and two for men, according to the CDC. New strategies aim to help heavy drinkers reduce their intake.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Pain really is all in your head
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson3-1, ND Lesson3-4, ND Unit3, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

x-ray of headiStockphoto

Humiliation, fear and unpredictability all turn up the volume of pain, research shows. And meditation can turn down pain’s intensity, according to scientists who are starting to figure out why.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: How much can women trust that breast cancer biopsy?
Posted on March 19, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

slide pathologists use to look for signs of cancer in biopsyBoilershot Photo/Science Source

A new study finds pathologists are great at spotting cancer, but less so at identifying atypical cells and DCIS, which is troubling because both conditions can go on to become invasive cancer, and misdiagnosis could lead to women getting too much treatment — or not enough.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Distracted behind the wheel: Teens say they change clothes and do homework while driving
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-3, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

driving and putting on makeupiStockphoto

Teens do understand that texting while behind the wheel is dangerous. But putting on makeup and contacting lenses at 65 mph? No problem. Researchers in Oregon are trying to train teenagers on the risks of multitasking.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Mad cow research hints at ways to halt Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
Posted on March 18, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-5, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

empty beer and wine glassesScience Source

Alzheimer’s, Parkison’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ravage the brain in very different ways. But they have at least one thing in common, says Corinne Lasmezas, a neuroscientist and professor at Scripps Research Institute. Each spreads from brain cell to brain cell like an infection.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Drinking habits may be influenced by how much you make
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-4, ND Lesson5-5, ND Lesson5-6, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

empty beer and wine glassesCultura/Liam Norris/Getty Images

To keep people from getting into trouble with alcohol, it would be helpful to know why they’re at risk. Genes make some people more susceptible to dependence or addiction, while the surroundings exert a stronger pull on others. A new study published in the journal of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Review suggests that a person’s income level influences the push and pull of genes and the environment.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Clues to autism, schizophrenia emerge from cerebellum research
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-2, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

brain's cerebellum

New research suggests the brain’s cerebellum not only helps shape physical coordination, but also thinking and emotion. Could stimulating the cerebellum help ease some aspects of autism and schizophrenia?

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Vaccination gaps helped fuel Disneyland measles spread
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Lesson5-6, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

DisneylandCredit: George Frey/Landov

The quick rise of measles infections in the wake of cases reported among Disneyland visitors underscores how even a small dip in vaccination rates can allow the virus to spread.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Circadian Surprise: How our body clocks help shape our waistlines
Posted on March 16, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Lesson3-3, MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

clocks adjust waistlineCredit: Katherine Streeter for NPR

We have different clocks in virtually every organ of our bodies. But living against the clock — eating late at night or working overnight — may set the stage for weight gain and chronic disease.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: A man’s incomplete brain reveals cerebellum’s role in thought and emotion
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-2, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

MRI scans of Jon Keleher (A,B) compared to a control (C,D) of the same ageSource: Massachusetts General Hospital; Credit: Courtesy of Jeremy Schmahmann

Jonathan Keleher is one of a handful of people known to have lived their entire lives without a cerebellum. His experiences are helping scientists show how this brain structure helps shape who we are.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Should dietary guidelines consider the planet? The fight is on.
Posted on March 2, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit1, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

meat sandwich

A panel of nutrition experts recommends a diet lower in meat in part because it’s better for the Earth. But the meat industry says environmental policy doesn’t belong in nutrition guidelines.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: A Possible Downside to Squeaky Clean Dishes
Posted on February 23, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Lesson3-1, ID Unit3, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

clean dishes from a dishwasher lead to allergies?

A new study suggests that Swedish kids growing up in families that wash their dishes by hand are less likely to develop certain allergies than those families with dishwashers. These findings are the latest support to the “hygiene hypothesis” that proposes a lack of childhood exposure to infectious agents and parasites increases susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing the natural development of the immune system. But there may be more to it…

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Science explains how marijuana causes the munchies
Posted on February 18, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Lesson3-3, MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, ND Unit4, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

marijuana

Where there’s pot, there’s often an insatiable hunger. A new study gives a clue why: Cannabinoids, the drug in marijuana, appear to flip a neural circuit that normally tells us we’re full into thinking we’re hungry.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Harnessing the Immune System to Treat Cancer
Posted on February 9, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

what if you could help the immune system respond to cancer cells?

Our immune systems constantly fight off disease — protecting us from colds, flu and infection, but could they also help us treat cancer? An experimental new treatment called immunotherapy is helping patients’ immune systems fight cancer.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Disneyland measles outbreak stirs vaccine debate
Posted on January 20, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Unit5, Infectious Disease, Uncategorized | | Add comment |

health official speculate that an internationl visitor to Disneyland California Adventure Park and Disneyland must have spread measles there

A measles outbreak linked to Disneyland has nearly doubled in size since last week with 45 reported cases in California and seven more illnesses confirmed in at least three other states and Mexico. A contagious disease expert contends that the recent spread of measles is being fueled by a portion of parents who refused to vaccinate their children — an estimated one in 10 people today is perhaps susceptible to the virus.

Measles is very infectious because it spreads through the air, so you can catch it by standing next to someone who is infected. Initial measles symptoms include fever, cough, running nose and red eyes. After a few days, a red rash appears on the face and then spreads downward to the rest of the body. Measles can be serious and even fatal for small children.

Read more at NBCNews.com.

News & Views: When you burn off fat, where does it go?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

person weighing self on home scale

Lipid metabolism may not sound sexy, but it’s how you fit into that smaller pair of jeans. And when the fat says farewell, it has to go somewhere — but where?

Read more at NPR.org.