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News & Views: Nigeria celebrates one year without a single polio case
Posted on July 29, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Final Project, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Rotary International

Health officials in Nigeria are celebrating an impressive milestone: The country has gone one year without a single case of polio. The world is now one step closer to making polio the second human infectious disease – after smallpox – to be eradicated with an effective vaccination campaign.

Read more at iflscience.com.

News & Views: World’s first malaria vaccine gets green light
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ID Lesson3-3, ID Unit3, Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

AMISOM via Flickr

The world’s first malaria vaccine has just passed an important hurdle. The vaccine, which researchers have been working on for 30 years, has been given a green light by European regulators.

Read more at iflscience.com.

News & Views: The placebo effect works even when you know you are taking a placebo
Posted on July 28, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, ND Unit3, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Okawa Somchai/Shutterstock

The placebo effect is already known to be pretty bizarre, but a new study has ramped up the weirdness factor. Researchers have found that people can be trained to believe in a placebo so much, it still works even when they’re told it isn’t real medicine.

Read more at iflscience.com.

News & Views: Can ‘sleeping on it’ really be the best way to solve a problem?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Lesson4-1, ND Lesson4-2, ND Lesson4-3, ND Lesson4-4, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Karramba Production/Shutterstock

Have you ever struggled to finish a level of Candy Crush or complete a Sudoku puzzle in the evening but breezed through it the following morning? The reason may please anyone who’s been told they spend too much time in bed asleep. A new study suggests that ‘sleeping on it’ can improve problem solving.

Read more at iflscience.com.

News & Views: Even if you’re lean, 1 soda per day ups your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Posted on July 27, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Final Project, MD Unit5, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Ryan Kellman/NPR

A daily habit of sugary-sweetened drinks can boost your risk of developing the disease — even if you’re not overweight. And diet soda might not be doing you any favors, either.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: No more hidden sugar: FDA proposes new label rule
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit1, Metabolic Disease, News | | Add comment |

NPR Photo Illustration/FDA

The FDA wants to revamp the Nutrition Facts panels on foods. The labels would have to list how much added sugar the foods contain — and how much it counts against your recommended daily allowance.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: What if chemo doesn’t help you live longer or better?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

Terminal cancer patients sometimes get chemotherapy in the belief that it will ease their symptoms. But a study finds that many who get the treatment near death actually have a poorer quality of life.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: The Gene for Sweet: Why we don’t all taste sugar the same way
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit1, Metabolic Disease, ND Final Project, ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Ryan Kellman/NPR

We know that a gene can determine how strongly we experience bitter flavors. Scientists wanted to know if this was also true for sweet. Their study shows genetics may affect our taste for sugar, too.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: A scientists deploys light and sound to reveal the brain
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Lesson1-3, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Geoff Story/Courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis

Try to look inside the brain and you’re not going to get very far. But photoacoustic imaging may be a solution for the shortcomings of conventional imaging. It uses lasers to make the brain sing.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: How walking in nature changes the brain
Posted on July 24, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Getty Images

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that may improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

Read more at NYTimes.com.

News & Views: A teenager develops a test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s before symptoms
Posted on July 23, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Lesson2-5, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

sfam_photo/Shutterstock

A teenager from the U.K. has designed what could be a minimally invasive test that offers an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Grammar school student Krtin Nithiyanandam from Surrey is one of 90 regional finalists in the 2015 Google Science Fair.

Read more at iflscience.com.

News & Views: Could boredom cause addiction?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Lesson5-1, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Emily Strange

Mice given even brief opportunities to solve puzzles are less likely to become addicted to cocaine, a study has found. The research adds to an increasing body of work suggesting that addiction is in large part a reaction to living in an intellectually and emotionally unsatisfying environment, and indicates that intellectual stimulation could be more lasting than has been realized.

Read more at iflscience.com.

News & Views: Younger adults with Alzheimer’s are key to drug search
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Lesson2-5, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Courtesy of Tal Cohen

A very rare genetic mutation causes some people to develop Alzheimer’s in their 30s. It also makes these people the ideal candidates for tests of potential Alzheimer’s drugs.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: More Mammograms May Not Always Mean Fewer Cancer Deaths
Posted on July 22, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

A comparison of women in 547 U.S. counties found that getting more women in for screening mammograms didn’t lower death rates from breast cancer. More small cancers were found.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Teens Dying Of Cancer Face Intensive Treatments In The Final Days
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

James Bridges/Temple Hill
Entertainment/Kobal Collection

Young cancer patients are more likely than older adult patients to be hospitalized or get chemo in the month before death, a study finds. Talking about end-of-life wishes is crucial, researchers say.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Despite National Progress, Colorectal Cancer Cancer Hot Spots Remain
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit1, Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

Alyson Hurt/NPR

Since 1970, the national colorectal cancer death rate has been cut in half. But progress has lagged in the Lower Mississippi Delta, Appalachia and counties in eastern Virginia and North Carolina.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Prozac in the yogurt aisle: Can ‘good’ bacteria chill us out?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

In recent years, a body of research has shown that beneficial microbes play a critical role in how our bodies work. And it turns out there’s a lot of communication between our gut and our brain.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Genetic tweaks are restoring hearing in animals, raising hopes for people
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Lesson1-4, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Corbis

The latest accomplishment for gene therapy involves mice with inherited deafness. Meanwhile, the drugmaker Novartis is conducting the first trial of gene therapy for people with hearing loss.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Trying to remember multiple things may be the best way to forget them
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders, Uncategorized | | Add comment |

Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Getty Images

When you have to remember many things at once, you might try to juggle all those to-do items in your head simultaneously. But new scientific research suggests there might be a better approach.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Screaming for Science: The secrets of crying babies and car alarms
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Simone Golob/Corbis

Why do screams demand our attention like no other sound? The answer seems to involve an acoustic quality called roughness that triggers fear circuits in the brain.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Alzheimer’s drugs in the works might treat other diseases, too
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-5, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Thomas Deerinck/NCMIR/Science Source

By targeting the process that creates toxic clumps of protein in brain cells, scientists hope to help not just Alzheimer’s patients, but perhaps also people with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Scientists say they can read your mind, and prove it with pictures
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Source

Scientists say they can now download signals from your brain — and translate them back into a picture that you saw. The images aren’t crystal clear, but you can make out what’s going on.

Listen to the story at NPR.org.

News & Views: Women’s brains appear more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s than men’s
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-5, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Lizzie Roberts/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Researchers at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference say there’s growing evidence that women are more likely than men of the same age to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: What the textbooks don’t tell you about Phineas Gage
Posted on July 6, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Lesson1-1, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Photograph by Jack Wilgus of a daguerreotype of Phineas Gage in the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus.

Thanks to painstaking historical analysis of primary sources (by Malcolm Macmillan and Matthew Lena) – much of it published between 2000 and 2010 – and the discovery during the same time period of new photographic evidence of post-accident Gage (see image, right), it is now believed that Gage made a remarkable recovery from his terrible injuries. He ultimately emigrated to Chile where he worked as a horse-coach driver, controlling six horses at once and dealing politely with non-English speaking passengers. The latest simulations of his injury help explain his rehabilitation – it’s thought the iron rod passed through his left frontal lobe only, leaving his right lobe fully intact.

Read more at BPS Research Digest.

News & Views: How your brain remembers where you parked the car
Posted on July 2, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

David Williams/Illustration Works/Corbis

When people saw photos that linked a famous person with a famous place, it changed the behavior of certain neurons in their brains. And it changed their memories, too.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Living in a former meth house can cause health problems
Posted on July 1, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Barbara Brosher/WFIU

The residue from meth labs can cause health problems, but people aren’t always told that the house they’re buying is contaminated. An Indiana law requires disclosure but not mandatory testing.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Dynamic Duos: How to get more nutrition by pairing foods
Posted on June 30, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Photo illustration by Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Adding eggs to salads helps us absorb the beneficial pigments like beta carotene in the raw vegetables, a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds. Here are other foods that, when eaten together, pack a more nutritious punch.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Curb your appetite: Save bread for the end of the meal
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

A hot bread basket is a tasty way to start off dinner. But all those carbs before the main fare can amp up appetite and spike blood sugar. A new study published in Diabetes Care finds that saving the carbs for the end of the meal can help avert that.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function in mice
Posted on June 26, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-5, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Source

Researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques, which are the structures that are responsible for memory loss and decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. Of the mice that received the treatment, 75 percent got their memory function back, according to the study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine earlier this week.

Read more at ScienceAlert.com.

News & Views: Will a surgical mask keep you safe in a viral outbreak?
Posted on June 23, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

When Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) erupted in South Korea, people started wearing masks everywhere, even at weddings. So how good are these masks at stopping MERS or even the flu?

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Can the bacteria in your gut explain your mood?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Source

The rich array of microbiota in our intestines can tell us more than you might think.

Read more at NYTimes.com.

News & Views: Gut bacteria might guide the workings of our minds
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Illustration by Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Anxious mice calm down when they get an infusion of gut microbes from mellow mice. That has scientists wondering if gut microbes play a role in the human brain, too. Research on that is only just beginning. But it’s intriguing to think there could be a real truth to the phrase “gut feelings.”

Listen to the story, read more, and watch a video at NPR.org.

News & Views: A lifesaving medicine that my patient didn’t get in time
Posted on June 22, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Mel Evans/AP

Drug overdoses — many from opioid painkillers — cause more deaths in the U.S. than car crashes, shootings or alcohol. But stigma keeps many addicts from an antidote that could quickly save them.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: More evidence that parents’ ages could influence autism risk
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

A large, international study found that kids born to older parents had higher rates of autism. Having a teen mom or parents with a large gap between their ages also increased the autism odds.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Science Fair winner designs device to cut virus spread on planes
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Courtesy of Kathy Wolfe

When 17-year-old Raymond Wang read about how easily some diseases spread on planes, he thought airlines could do better. So he went to work — and won $75,000 at the International Science Fair.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Why Ebola won’t go away in West Africa
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Infectious Disease | | Add comment |

Michael Duff/AP

Over the past few months, case tallies have dipped toward zero, only to bounce back up. Health officials worry the outbreak could never end if people keep hiding cases and dead bodies.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Chocolate, chocolate, it’s good for your heart a study finds
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit5, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Regular chocolate eaters had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke compared to people who didn’t eat chocolate. The researchers say it’s more evidence that polyphenols may be protective.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: To ease pain, reach for your playlist instead of popping a pill
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit3, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Music can energize, soothe or relax us. And it can also help reduce pain. Researchers found that listening to a favorite song or story helped children manage pain after major surgery.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: When it comes to SPFs and sunscreens, we’re still in the dark
Posted on June 18, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit1, Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

Changes in sunscreen labels designed to make them clearer don’t seem to be doing the job, a survey finds. Less than one quarter of people knew that SPF value relates to preventing sunburns.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: It’s time to pay attention to ‘below-the-belt’ cancers
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: Ca Unit5, Cancer | | Add comment |

Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images

That’s another way of referring to gynecological cancers, which strike more than 1 million women a year — and are on the rise in the developing world.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Are some teens brains hardwired to make risky choices?
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson2-3, ND Unit1, ND Unit2, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Illustration Works/Corbis

Some young people are especially prone to making rash, risky decisions about sex, drugs and alcohol. Individual differences in the brain’s working memory — which allows people to draw on and use information to make decisions — could help explain why some adolescents are especially impulsive when it comes to sex, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Child Development.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Trickster journalist explains why he duped the media on chocolate study
Posted on June 17, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit5, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

John Bohannon, the man behind a stunt that bamboozled many news organizations into publishing junk science on dieting, talks to NPR’s Robert Siegel about why he carried out the scheme.

Read more and listen to the interview at NPR.org.

News & Views: Trader Joe’s ex-president opens store with aging food and cheap meals
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit1, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Jesse Costa/WBUR

Would you buy groceries with a shorter shelf life if they were sold at a steep discount? Doug Rauch will test the idea at a new grocery store stocked with food donated by wholesalers and markets.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: How ‘diet gurus’ hook us with religion veiled in science
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: MD Unit5, Metabolic Disease | | Add comment |

Meredith Rizzo

From Paleo to vegan to raw, nutrition gurus package their advice as sound science. But peel the studies away and you’ll find timeless myths and superstitions of religion.

Read more at NPR.org.

Online Summer Course
Posted on June 16, 2015 by Jane Newbold | Categories: Neurological Disorders, News | | Add comment |

Banner for online summer course on Neurological Disorders starting June 22nd or July 20th offered jointly by Great Diseases and the Virtual High School; use offer code 'Tufts25' for $25 off

Great Diseases: Neurological Disorders is an exciting new online summer course offered in partnership with the Virtual High School. The course focuses on how our brains work and how diseases and the choices we make can alter our brains. Students will explore how their brains sense and interpret the environment, uncover the molecular details of neuronal transmission, visualize how diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and addiction impact the brain, and consider how factors such as sleep and pain affect brain function.

To enroll or for more information please go to VHS Collaborative’s Summer Course Offerings. Use offer code ‘Tufts25′ for $25 off!

News & Views: To beat insomnia, try therapy for the underlying cause instead of pills
Posted on June 15, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Ikon Images/Corbis

A review of the medical evidence finds that therapy can break the cycle of chronic sleeplessness by addressing the anxieties that cause many people to stay awake.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Scientists investigate what makes us itch
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit1, ND Unit3, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Source

Scientists found a molecule crucial to perceiving the sensation of itching. It affects how the brain responds to serotonin, and may explain why anti-depressants that boost serotonin make some itch.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: When it comes to depression, serotonin isn’t the whole story
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Final Project, ND Unit1, ND Unit3, ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Paul S. Howell/Getty Images

The antidepressant Prozac selectively targets the chemical serotonin. When the drug was introduced in the 1980s, it helped solidify the idea in many minds that depression was the result of a chemical imbalance. But the real story is far more complicated.

Read more at NPR.org.

News & Views: Drinking too much? One-third of Americans say yes
Posted on June 8, 2015 by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Unit5, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

iStockphoto

Lots of people say they’re having trouble with alcohol. Native Americans and young, college-educated white men are most apt to be at risk. And most people don’t get any help cutting back.

Read more at NPR.org.

New & Views: Sleep like a baby (minus the night terrors) with good vibrations
Posted on by Katherine Malanson | Categories: ND Lesson4-2, ND Unit4, Neurological Disorders | | Add comment |

Courtesy of Lully

A startup has developed a method the firm says will put to bed kids’ night terrors, a sleep disorder that can impact a family’s quality of life. The device uses app-controlled timed vibrations that rouse a child into a lighter sleep stage and prevent night terrors, which occur during deep non-REM sleep.

Read more at NPR.org.