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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.

News & Views: Can Connecticut force a teenager to undergo chemotherapy?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit4, Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

Cassandra, a 17-year-old with Hodgkin lymphoma

A 17-year-old says she doesn’t want to undergo treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, but her doctors and the state say she will die without it. The Connecticut Supreme Court is hearing the case.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Your e-reader might be disturbing your sleep
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

reading on a screen may disrupt sleep

A new study suggests using an e-reader before trying to nod off may disrupt sleep more than reading a paper book. Scientists suspect the screen’s blue light is messing with the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Teens who skimp on sleep have more drinking problems later
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

sleep deprived teenager

Missing out on sleep can lead to more than grumpiness. Teenagers who aren’t getting enough sleep are also more apt to binge drink, a study finds, even years later.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: The doctor who championed hand-washing and briefly saved lives
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Ignaz Semmelweis washing his hands in chlorinated lime water before operating

One of the most important medical advances may also be the simplest: hand-washing. It’s the best defense against spreading disease. And its power was discovered long before anyone knew about germs.

Read more about the history of hand-washing at NPR.org.

News & Views: Cake laced with synthetic drugs makes dozens of people hallucinate
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Synthetic drugs, gathered in evidence bags

After eating sweet bread from a Santa Ana bakery, thirty people got ill, complaining of heart palpitations and hallucinations. The deputy health counselor for the Orange County Health Agency said that people developed symptoms somewhere between 20 minutes and two hours after they consumed the rosca de reyes — Mexican sweet bread, traditionally eaten on Jan. 6 for Dia de los Reyes (The Three Wise Men Day). Preliminary lab results indicate the presence of a synthetic drug in the bread. A criminal investigation has been launched.

Around the same time as the incident, senators from California and Ohio introduced legislation that takes aim at producers and importers of synthetic drugs. The bill is called the Protecting Our Kids from Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Act.

Read more about the evolving problem of synthetic drug use at NPR.org.

News & Views: New device curbs hunger by zapping a nerve
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Enteromedics new pacemaker-like device

Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new device that aims to curb hunger by zapping a nerve. The device stimulates the vagus nerve and may curb hunger by blocking communication between the stomach and the brain, but researchers still aren’t sure why it makes people feel less hungry.

Read more about the new device at NPR.org.

News & Views: A bed of mouse cells helps scientists identify new cancer treatments
Posted on January 7, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Cancer | | Add comment |


Dr. Richard Schlegel and postdoctoral fellow Nancy Palechor-Ceron use a microscope to look at human epithelial cells growing on mouse fibroblasts at Georgetown University Medical Center. Source: Lauren Wolkoff/Georgetown University.

Historically, it has been difficult to culture human cell lines in the lab, but the discovery that human cells grow well on a bed of mouse cells has opened the door for new studies of human disease. Using this new technique of culturing human cancer cells on a bed of mouse cells, researchers at Georgetown University have identified a new treatment for cervical cancer — a drug that is used to treat malaria.

Read the full story at NPR.org.

News & Views: What can heroin addiction teach us about changing our bad habits?
Posted on January 6, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson5-5, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

U.S. soldiers line up to give urine samples before leaving South Vietnam

How many times have you said you’re going to exercise more or eat better? Maybe the reason it is so hard to keep resolutions is because your environment is sabotaging you — or at least that’s what some psychologists are saying based on a study of U.S. soldiers’ heroin addiction during the Vietnam War.

Read the full story at NPR.org.

News & Views: Human Embryonic Stem Cells Help Restore Vision
Posted on October 15, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Steven Schwartz

A new study published in Lancet on Tuesday presents the first strong evidence that human embryonic stem cells are helping patients. Human embryonic stem cells, which can become any cell in the body, have long been thought of as a source for replacement tissue. In this study, stem cells were transformed into retinal pigment epithelium cells, and then injected into one eye of patients going blind. After injection, the patients were followed for an average of 22 months, and two of them for over three years. While the study was mostly designed to see if the treatment was safe, many of the patients were pleasantly surprised that their vision improved due to treatment. In fact, vision improved by what is considered to be a significant amount in eight of the eighteen treated eyes. The scientists caution though that this work is in its early stages, but are expanding the trial and following more patients.

Read more of New York Time’s coverage at NYTimes.com.

News & Views: How is Ebola spread?
Posted on October 14, 2014 by Desislava Raytcheva | Categories: Infectious Disease, News | | Add comment |

Ebola viruses (in blue) leaving an infected cell (in yellow). Image by the NIAID.

This PBS article contains detailed information on the Ebola path of transmission from person-to-person. It also describes in depth the mechanisms by which it causes damage to the host.

News & Views: Can the Ebola virus mutate and go airborne?
Posted on by Desislava Raytcheva | Categories: Infectious Disease, News | | Add comment |

A drawing of the Ebola virion.

Since the Ebola outbreak spread from Africa to other continents, many people have expressed concerns that it may mutate and gain the ability to go airborne (stay active in the air for long enough to travel and be spread to other people). But how likely is that to happen? This article in the NYT shares the professional opinions of virologists on the virus evolution, properties, and their thoughts on the probability of the occurrence of such a major shift.

News & Views: First Ebola case is reported in the U.S.
Posted on October 1, 2014 by Desislava Raytcheva | Categories: Infectious Disease, News | | Add comment |

The U.S. has now reported the first Ebola case diagnosed in the country. The patient arrived in Dallas from Liberia a few weeks ago. Read more about the case on the NPR website. Authorities are certain they will be able to control the spread of the diseases. Ebola is not airborne which means that the virus cannot survive in a free form in the air so it is not easily spread from person to person. However, this case reminds us of how connected we are and how any deadly infectious disease outbreak no matter how distant from our living place matters now even more than ever since infectious diseases do not recognize international borders.

An electron micrograph of the Ebola virus.

An electron micrograph of the Ebola virus.

News & Views: An interactive graphic to track the current Ebola outbreak
Posted on by Desislava Raytcheva | Categories: ID, ID Unit3, Infectious Disease, News | | Add comment |

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 6.03.41 PM
The New England Journal of Medicine has published an interactive graphic to track the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The map contains information on past outbreaks too as well as basic description of the disease, how it spreads, etc. You can view the graphic on the NEJM website.

 

News & Views: Is there a neural basis for altruism?
Posted on September 22, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

cartoon of altruism

New research indicates that there just might be a neural basis for altruism. Using structural and functional MRI, researchers imaged the brains of extraordinary altruists (people who volunteered to donate a kidney to a stranger). The scans showed that compared to control subjects, the extraordinary altruists not only had larger amygdalas, but that their amydalas had greater activation when they viewed pictures of people displaying fear. Interestingly, these results are the polar opposite from the researchers’ earlier work with psychopaths. The psychopaths were found to have smaller amygdalas with less activation when viewing faces displaying fear compared to control.

Read more of NPR’s coverage at NRP.org.

News & Views: Colorado’s message to teens “Don’t be a lab rat”
Posted on September 17, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders, Uncategorized | | Add comment |

human-sized rat cage(1)

Public health officials in Colorado are facing an unprecedented challenging: explaining to teens why they shouldn’t smoke marijuana after the state legalized it. Campaigns against teen drug use usually rely on the scientifically proven health risks, but the studies on the risks of marijuana, especially to the developing teen brain, are still in their preliminary stages. Colorado’s public health campaign hinges on that exact idea and tells teens “Don’t be a lab rat”, complete with human-sized lab rat cages.

Read more about Colorado’s public health campaign at NRP.org.

News & Views: Could the slower development of a neural network cause ADHD?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit1, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders, News, Uncategorized | | Add comment |

Connection maps of brain areas are helping reseachers study the causes of ADHD

New research suggests that the neural network that controls attention may develop more slowly in children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While previous research suggested that the brains of children with ADHD develop more slowly, this new research was able to detect changes in connectivity within and between key brain regions.

Read more about the research at NRP.org.

News & Views: Amputee feels in real-time with bionic hand
Posted on September 2, 2014 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Sorensen using bionic hand

Dennis Aabo Sorensen became the first amputee to feel sensory information in real-time from a prosthetic that had been wired the nerves in his upper arm. With the new prosthetic, Sorensen can grasp objects intuitively and can identify the shape and texture of objects by touch while blindfolded.

Read more and watch a video of Sorensen here.

News & Views: Nutrition science is “evolution, not revolution”
Posted on August 20, 2014 by Stephanie Tammen | Categories: MD Final Project, MD Lesson4-3, MD Unit4, Metabolic Disease, News | | Add comment |

Warning

In a recent article written for Tufts Now several scientists describe a set of useful guidelines to follow when attempting to understand the validity of a diet trend. The faculty members of the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University explain that many dietary claims or fads surface because the message “eat more fruits and vegetables” is boring, and people crave exciting, breakthrough advice. The guidelines for debunking false information are called “10 Red Flags of Junk Science”, and have been developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American College of Nutrition and the American Society for Nutrition. To read through a description of each guideline check out the Tufts Now article.

New & Views: Is what you eat more important than how much?
Posted on May 22, 2014 by Stephanie Tammen | Categories: MD Lesson3-3, MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, News | | Add comment |

carbs

When it comes to weight loss there is never a lack of opinions and advice. Many people claim that low-fat diets is the key to losing weight, others say that counting total calories is the only effective measure to take. In a recent opinion article in the New York Times, two scientists attempt to uncover why the type of food you eat, not how much you eat, may be more important in terms of regulating hunger. The claim is that when extra energy from food (in the forms of glucose and fatty acids) is stored in the fat tissue instead of circulating in the blood our brain will tell us to eat more. Therefore, the fatter you get, the more energy the fat tissue takes up and the hungrier we become, leading to a vicious cycle of weight gain. The culprit in all of this? Insulin – the hormone that is released from the pancreas in response to an increase in blood glucose concentrations. Insulin tells fat cells to take in glucose and fatty acids from the blood, so they can either be used for energy or stored for later. The scientists, Dr. Ludwig and Dr. Friedman, state that foods that cause a higher insulin spike will cause more energy to be stored, thereby causing more hunger in the longterm. Foods that are high in processed carbohydrates and simple sugars cause a larger spike in insulin because glucose gets to our bloodstream quicker when foods can be easily digested and absorbed. Foods that contain fiber, protein and fats take longer to digest and absorb, so the entry of glucose into the blood (and subsequent release of insulin) after eating them is slower.

So what do you think, is it total calories or total carbohydrates that should be the focus of weight loss advice? As always, it is important to think critically when it comes to using the advice of others for your own health goals. So go ahead, do your research and decide what a healthy lifestyle looks like for you. To read the full opinion article head to the New York Times.

News and Views: The fate of the last living samples of smallpox
Posted on May 8, 2014 by Desislava Raytcheva | Categories: Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

An electron microscope image of smallpox

Smallpox virions (electron microscopy image). Source


Smallpox is the only human infectious disease which was eradicated from planet Earth. The success was the result of a massive worldwide vaccination campaign that finished successfully in the late 1970s of the twentieth century. But USA and Russia kept live samples of the virus. Later this month the WHO will discuss again whether to keep or destroy the samples.
Should We Destroy Our Last Living Samples of the Virus That Causes Smallpox?

News and Views: The CDC confirms first case of MERS in the USA
Posted on May 2, 2014 by Desislava Raytcheva | Categories: Infectious Disease, News | | Add comment |


An electron microscopic image of the virus causing MERS. Source.


MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) is caused by a virus which appears to have jumped from camels to people and can now spread between people. It was first detected in the Middle East in 2012. Health officials are keeping a close eye on it. Read more in the news link below:

ABC News: CDC Confirms First Case of MERS in US

News & Views: Can you think yourself to satiety?
Posted on April 16, 2014 by Stephanie Tammen | Categories: MD Lesson3-3, MD Unit3, Metabolic Disease, Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

milkshake

 

The world of nutrition has a long way to go before it fully understands the complex relationship between the brain and the gut, but a recently published study seems to have made a significant step in an interesting direction. The study, published the journal Health Psychology, asks the question of whether our beliefs about a particular food change us physically – that is, if you think a food is good (or bad) for you, do we have a different physiological response to that food? To answer this question researchers had study participants drink either a rich, high-calorie milkshake called “Indulgence”, or a more healthy, low-calorie milkshake called “Sensishake”, then measured blood levels of ghrelin – a hormone that signals to the brain that we’re hungry. The trick? Both milkshakes were actually identical, with no difference in ingredients (or calories). Even so, the participants that drank the “Sensishake” had higher levels of ghrelin than those that drank the “Indulgence”, making them feel hungry sooner!

Read more (with a link to the published article) at NPR.

News and Views: Ebola Outbreak In West Africa
Posted on April 10, 2014 by Jane Newbold | Categories: ID Lesson3-1, ID Unit3, Infectious Disease, News | | Add comment |

[describe image in words]
“A health specialist prepares to work in an isolation ward where patients displaying symptoms of Ebola are held at the Doctors Without Borders facility in Guekedou, Guinea.” Source

A recent outbreak of Ebola in Guinea has experts worried and nearby West African countries watching their borders. Read about why — and what’s being done at Al Jazeera America (International W.H.O. says fight against West Africa Ebola outbreak just beginning) or listen at NPR (The Ebola Outbreak 3 Weeks In: Dire But Not Hopeless).

News & Views: Google Unveils Nutrition Comparison Tool
Posted on March 25, 2014 by Stephanie Tammen | Categories: MD Lesson1-5, MD Lesson1-6, MD Unit1, Metabolic Disease, News | | Add comment |

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 3.24.28 PM

Google has made it even easier to compare two types of foods. Just type the names of those foods versus one another into the search bar (for example: “wheat bread vs white bread”) and the nutrient composition for the two foods will pop up. This side-by-side comparison includes the total calories, macronutrients and micronutrients. There are of course some limitations of the tool, you can only compare two foods at a time for example, and the information may not be completely accurate, but this tool does allow for some quick and easy comparisons. Try it out and see what you discover!