- -01-31-11 Editorial: Results from the Crusade of Jack LaLanne (New York Times)
"There’s a bullying strain to the modern fitness ethos, a blurred line between cheerleading and hectoring. And it’s hard not to wonder whether that kind of intimidation — in addition to the social and economic realities of diet and exercise — helps explain the paradox that for all the newfangled aerobic machines and reduced-rate January gym memberships, Americans aren’t noticeably haler and healthier." 01-11
- -03-18-11 How Close Are You to a Nuclear Power Plant? (CNN News)
Provide your zip code and get your distance to the nearest nuclear power plants in the United States. 03-11
- -03-24-11 Alcohol Wipes Contaminated by Bacteria (MSNBC News)
"Two-thirds of tested samples of alcohol prep pads tied to a massive recall, serious infections and death were contaminated with dangerous bacteria, including tainted products from eight of 10 separate lots, according to a new government report." The pads were from 39 brands, including those from many national chain stores. 03-11
- -03-26-11 Stem Cells, Disease, and Aging (New York Times)
"Thomas Rando, a researcher at Stanford University, thinks stem-cell treatments may enhance healing in older patients who have difficulty recovering from surgery or a fracture. But he's also thinking about deeper issues involving the power of regenerative medicine. 'There are very basic questions I hope we can make headway on using stem cells — in terms of understanding cellular aging, how that's related to tissue aging and the aging of an organism,' he says. Which leads to the interesting possibility that with stem cells, we may no longer define age as how old we think we are but as how old our cells tell us we are." 03-11
- -04-10-11 Ways to Slash Fat Without Realizing It (MSNBC News)
"Dieting doesn't have to mean giving up pizza forever, or eating boring, tasteless foods. You can enjoy your favorite foods with all their flavors and still slim down if you employ these strategies." 04-11
- -06-04-11 Success with HIV/AIDS in Brazil (CNN News)
"As we mark the 30th anniversary of the CDC's official reporting of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it's surprising to see which nation has fared the best in response. It's not the United States; it's not China, India, or even Russia ... It's our good friend to the south, Brazil."
"After several trips to cities throughout the country, interviewing AIDS patients, health officials, and activists, it gradually became clear that the government was indeed fully committed to eradicating AIDS, in turn proving to the world that it had the technical capacity and political commitment needed to do so." 06-11
- -06-21-11 Graphic New Labels for Tobacco (CNN News)
"Nine new graphic cigarette warning labels showing cancerous lesions and other impacts of smoking were unveiled Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration, part of the agency's sweeping new powers to regulate tobacco and tobacco products."
Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called smoking and other tobacco use the " 'number one cause of preventable death' in America, claiming more than 440,000 lives a year." 06-11
- -08-17-11 New Drug Treats Skin Cancer (U.S. News)
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday gave its approval to Zelboraf (vemurafenib), a first-of-its-kind drug for the treatment of an often lethal form of melanoma."
"The drug targets a gene mutation that's present in about half of melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer.” 08-11
- -12-13-11 Medical Myths Debunked in 2011 (CBS News)
"There's no proof that multivitamins prevent chronic diseases or premature death - yet 40 percent of Americans take them. Two large 2011 studies have discredited their use: One study found no change in heart disease, cancer, or deaths among multivitamin users and the other suggested that multivitamins and other supplements, particularly iron, might actually increase the risk of death in older women." 12-11
- -Medical Schools Starting to Test for People Skills in Doctors (New York Times)
"In fact, candidate scores on multiple mini interviews have proved highly predictive of scores on medical licensing exams three to five years later that test doctors' decision-making, patient interactions and cultural competency, Dr. Reiter said."
"A pleasant bedside manner and an attentive ear have always been desirable traits in doctors, of course, but two trends have led school administrators to make the hunt for these qualities a priority. The first is a growing catalog of studies that pin the blame for an appalling share of preventable deaths on poor communication among doctors, patients and nurses that often results because some doctors, while technically competent, are socially inept."
" 'The second and related trend is that medicine is evolving from an individual to a team sport. Solo medical practices are disappearing. In their place, large health systems - encouraged by new government policies - are creating teams to provide care coordinated across disciplines. The strength of such teams often has more to do with communication than the technical competence of any one member." 07-11
- New Brain Scan for Diagnosis of Early Alzheimer's (Time.com)
"Alzheimer’s disease has always been difficult to diagnose — the only way to identify it definitively is by autopsying the brain after death — but scientists may now have an easier way to spot the degenerative brain disease long before that, even before symptoms appear, using brain scans." 12-11
- New Lenses Have Adjustable Focus (CBS News)
" 'Superfocus' glasses change the strength of their liquid lenses, enabling you to see different distances by moving a tiny, adjustable lever."
- New Way of Treating Concussions in Youth (USA Today)
"Athletes at the 25 public high schools in Fairfax County, an affluent suburb of Washington, take baseline tests like the ones used by NFL players. The ImPACT tests are one tool doctors and athletic trainers can use to tell when it is safe to return to the field. That's crucial because a second concussion when not fully healed from a first one is dangerous." 05-11
- PQQs for Better Longevity (RealAge.com)
"Mitochondria, the cellular power plants that generate virtually all the energy your body requires, play a vital role in keeping organs youthful and healthy, too."
"So what can you do to keep those mitochondria powered up? Try reaching for the green -- like green pepper, green kiwifruit, and green parsley. Green-pigmented foods like these are rich in pyrroloquinoline quinone -- or PQQ for short -- a powerful antioxidant that shields mitochondria from oxidative damage in such vital organs as the brain and heart." 08-11
- Very Dangerous New E. Coli Infection (Time.com)
"Indeed, the worst cases of the outbreak have involved acute kidney failure, which is often a life-threatening complication of normal E. coli outbreaks. But usually E. coli, like most food-borne illnesses, only poses a mortal threat to very young children or those who are already weak. In the case of the current outbreak, however, women make up more than two-thirds of those affected, and young and middle-aged adults — the very patients who should be able to weather the bacteria without major risk — form a very high percentage of the worst cases. Those acute cases are also occurring with unusual frequency; while kidney complications might occur in 5% to 10% of most E. coli outbreaks, Germany has reported 470 kidney failure cases out of about 1,500 known infections." 06-11
- New Alzheimer's Diagnostic Tool (Time.com)
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the O.K. last Friday to a new radioactive dye that helps doctors scan the brain for Alzheimer’s disease."
"The dye, called Amyvid (florbetapir), made by Eli Lilly & Co., binds to the sticky amyloid proteins that build up in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s. The dye can be detected by using positron emission tomography, or PET scans."
"The test could allow doctors to diagnose Alzheimer’s much earlier and more accurately. In patients with symptoms of cognitive decline, the presence of amyloid would support an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The dye cannot be used alone to diagnose Alzheimer’s, however, especially not in people without symptoms because people with normal brain function may accumulate amyloid plaques as they age, and because the plaques can be associated with neurological conditions other than Alzheimer’s." 04-12