May 16, 2021

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When celebrities attack children with food allergies

By Lianne Mandelbaum
  • I am not aware of any research that asserts that parents who have children with food allergies are less likely to vaccinate their children than their non-allergic peers.
  • Recently, I came across two high-profile Twitter accounts sharing a meme insinuating that parents who have children with nut allergies are hesitant to give the coronavirus vaccine to their children.
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WHY DOCTORS SHOULD MEDITATE: 5 steps physicians can take to become better healers

By Alan J. Steinberg, MD
I’m a primary care internist working with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills. I’ve been caring for my patients since 1984. It’s very important to me that I help my patients become as healthy, physically and psychologically, as they can be. I feel I have a duty to do whatever I need to do to accomplish that goal. I believe all physicians should feel that way. Over my many years of practice, I’ve come to realize that to help The post WHY DOCTORS SHOULD MEDITATE: 5

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What threat does Indian Covid variant pose and do vaccines work against it?

By Denis Campbell Health policy editor
  • Prof John Edmunds, a member of Sage, said that while the Indian variant represented “a new threat”, the UK was in a much better position than it was before Christmas, soon after the Kent variant was discovered.
  • According to the minutes of a meeting last Tuesday of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage), advisers believe the transmission of B.1.617.2, as the Indian variant is known, “is currently faster than that of the B.1.1.7 variant” – the Kent variant.
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Matt Hancock: unlocking will go ahead next week despite India variant – video

The health secretary told the BBC's Andrew Marr that the next stage of opening England up from lockdown would still go ahead this week despite concerns about the India variant.

'I'm confident that we can take the step tomorrow, but we should all be careful about how we take that step,' Hancock said.

He added that the government would announce a decision on whether to end all lockdown measures – currently planned for 21 June – on 14 June

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Samaritans to extend help for frontline health and care workers

By Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent

Helpline for staff in England and Wales dealing with Covid-related stress to stay open at least until September

The Samaritans is extending its help for frontline health and care workers amid rising demand for long-term support for stress and anxiety.

More than 20,000 health and care workers have contacted the charity’s helplines since Covid started spreading last spring, and the Department of Health and Social Care has agreed to extend funding for a dedicated line until at least September.

The Samaritans’ dedicated helpline for NHS and social care workers in England is 0800 069 6222; the number in Wales is 0800 585 0555

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Tantrums of ‘terrible twos’ seen in much older children in pandemic

By Steven Morris
  • Helen Bould, a consultant and senior lecturer in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Bristol, said: “This work highlights the negative impact that Covid-19 and the lockdowns are having on the mental health of younger children.”
  • Rebecca Pearson, a senior lecturer in psychiatric epidemiology at the University of Bristol, said: “Emotional problems usually peak around age two and then decline over childhood, but during the pandemic older children had much higher levels of emotional difficulties than would be expected at their age.
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How teeth sense cold; the efficacy of digital advertising

By Peter Attia
  • It involves a kind of stem cell beneath the surface of dentin (the calcified tissue layer beneath the enamel of a tooth; Figure below), called an odontoblast, which forms microscopic protrusions with special cold-detecting proteins.
  • This podcast episode takes a hard look at the evidence for the efficacy of digital advertising, such as the social media ads and email marketing.
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Hancock defends India travel ban delay as Covid variant cases mount

By Jessica Elgot Deputy political editor
  • Government scientific advisers suggested that people should still avoid indoor socialising when rules are relaxed on Monday and Labour’s Yvette Cooper said the government should pause plans to allow international travel.
  • Hancock told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show that five people who had received a single jab of a Covid vaccine have been hospitalised with the variant in Bolton, and one person who had received both.
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More than 60 care homes investigated for banning family visits during lockdown

By James Tapper
  • Kate Terroni, the chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC, said: “Concerns have been raised with us about 37 potential blanket bans and we have taken action in every case, including following up with providers, inspecting, raising safeguarding alerts where appropriate, and following up with local authorities.
  • R&RA chair Judy Downey said in a letter to the CQC last week that callers to the association’s helpline had reported that some care homes still had a blanket ban on visits from relatives and even from doctors and healthcare workers.
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How will isolation affect long-term immunity?

By Amelia Tait
  • Like Rook, Bridle worries about a rise in immunological disorders caused by lockdown limiting children’s exposure to the natural world – even before the pandemic, scientists documented that “those who grow up in large urban centres tend to have a much higher incidence of allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases”.
  • “A child on the 24th floor of a tower block is simply not meeting the appropriate microbiota,” Rook says, explaining that staying indoors away from the natural world and other people limits the microbes encountered, as does having an unvaried diet (which he fears may be a problem for children going without school meals).
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The Observer view on the spread of the Indian variant in the UK | Observer editorial

By Observer editorial
  • Yet as we stand on the cusp of the next easing of social restrictions, happening across England, Wales and most of Scotland tomorrow, there are worrying signs that the B.1.617.2 variant first detected in India is spreading quickly in some parts of the country.
  • Scientists are now confident that B.1.617.2 is at least as transmissable as the B.1.1.7 variant originally detected in Kent, which contributed to the terrible death rates we saw in the second wave, and quite possibly more so.
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Low Sugar Metabolite Associated With Disability and Neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis

By Neuroscience News
  • A new University of California, Irvine-led study finds low serum levels of the sugar N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), is associated with progressive disability and neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • “We found the serum levels of a marker of GlcNAc was markedly reduced in progressive MS patients compared to healthy controls and patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis” explained Michael Demetriou, MD, PhD, FRCP(C), professor of neurology, microbiology and molecular genetics at UCI School of Medicine, and senior author on the paper.
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Children Likely to Be Pleading Guilty When Innocent

By Neuroscience News
  • Dr Rebecca Helm, from the University of Exeter, who led the research, published in the Journal of Law and Society, said: “The criminal justice system relies almost exclusively on the autonomy of defendants, rather than accuracy, when justifying convictions via guilty plea.
  • Young people need additional support and protection in the criminal justice system because they are more susceptible to pleading guilty when innocent, a new study argues.
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It’s on our plates and in our poo, but are microplastics a health risk?

By Graham Readfearn
  • Dr Jake O’Brien, a lead author of the study from the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences, says the higher levels of plastic in precooked samples was more likely down to the extra processing it goes through before it’s packaged, rather than the plastic packaging itself.
  • The study says a 100g serve of rice typically contains 3.7mg of microplastics if it’s unwashed, 2.8mg if it’s washed or 13.3mg for instant rice (in the microwaveable pouches).
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Fairness: ‘Important – but Not Enough’

By Neuroscience News
  • Being treated fairly is important – but fairness alone isn’t enough to make people feel valued in a workplace or other groups, new research suggests.
  • Summary: While being treated fairly in a workplace setting is important, distinctive treatment, where a person’s skills and qualities are recognized, also provides a sense of value while reinforcing a person’s sense of inclusion.
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How to cure type 2 diabetes – without medication

By Donna Ferguson
  • “If people really do want to make it happen, then in the first few years of diagnosis, it’s almost universal that their health can be returned to normal,” says Taylor, who is professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University.
  • I t’s 10 years since Professor Roy Taylor revolutionised treatment for type 2 diabetes with a groundbreaking study that showed the disease could be reversed through rapid weight loss.
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Councils in England facing funding gaps plan to cut special needs support

By Chaminda Jayanetti
  • Campaigners fear children could lose some of their support as local authorities try to clear yawning historical deficits, with government rules stopping them using other reserves to help to fund the special educational needs and disabilities (Send) system.
  • A council spokesperson said: “In addition to the continuing rise in the number of education, health and care plans (EHCPs) being allocated to those in need, we are seeing an increase in the complexity of need among our children and young people.
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The week in audio: the best of Mental Health Awareness Week

By Miranda Sawyer
  • Radio X, which has more than its fair share of such listeners, teamed up with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) to broadcast some short programmes for its Mental Health Tool Kit .
  • It is a bit weird, though, to witness how much music has been forced into this box: there are umpteen different chill-out mindful mixes for mental health, including ex-Radio 1 host Phil Taggart’s ChillDaBeats (pronounced it like wildebeest) on Spotify.
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Why physicians should use a nondeductible IRA

By Syed Nishat, BFA
  • Blending the two types of contributions can make tax requirements more confusing to track, as the pre-tax money contributed to the account is still taxable upon distribution, and the amount of nondeductible contribution, or basis, must be reported on tax returns using Form 8606.
  • The basic premise of contributions made into a traditional IRA is that those contributions are pre-tax dollars, meaning the investor will pay taxes when the funds are withdrawn from the account at a later date.
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CONSPIRACY THEORIES IN A CONFUSING TIME: What makes them so convincing?

By Spencer Jones
Conspiracy theories have always circulated throughout various media, from Flat Earth theories, to claims that the moon landing was Hollywood magic, to the idea that Elvis is still alive and singing rock ‘n’ roll from an underground bunker. However, since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, many of these conspiracy theories have gone from borderline harmless to fuelling stigmatization and fear-mongering in otherwise reasonable people. This begs the question: Why are

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Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories linked to greater egotism

By Christian Rigg
  • As the authors note, it is a well-documented phenomenon that conspiracy theorists tend to demonstrate greater concern, alienation, mistrust and anger.
  • To better understand the relation between COVID-19 conspiracy theories and one of the fulcrums upon which human behaviors hinges—concern for oneself versus concern for others—researchers from Australia, Italy, France and Germany collected data from 4245 participants in eight nations (the authors’ countries of origin, plus the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the USA).
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Torture victims kept in solitary by Home Office for up to a year

By Mark Townsend
  • The Home Office has pursued a policy of psychological brutality by locking up scores of torture survivors in solitary confinement for indefinite periods, according to fresh testimony from immigration detainees.
  • His witness statement, dated 10 May, says that despite the Home Office possessing three separate medical reports on his unsuitability for detention – including being a torture victim and suicide risk – it still contested his release from prison.
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There’s a score to quantify childhood trauma. Some health experts want you to know yours.

By Richard Morgan
  • Proponents of the measure, which was developed in the late 1990s, say a patient’s ACEs score is important to know, because adverse childhood experiences can be linked to widespread negative adult health outcomes, such as asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
  • Sarah Marikos, the epidemiologist leading the Number Story project, said it is taking a different approach than past ACEs education efforts.
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Fatigue, perceived cognitive impairment and mood disorders associated with post-COVID-19 syndrome

  • ­­­— Patients diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome, also known as "PCS," "COVID-19 long-haul syndrome" and "Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS COV-2," experience symptoms such as mood disorders, fatigue and perceived cognitive impairment that can negatively affect returning to work and resuming normal activities, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings .
  • The study reports on the first 100 patients to participate in Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 Activity Rehabilitation program (CARP), one of the first multidisciplinary programs established to evaluate and treat patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome.
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How do patients really feel about virtual care and electronic patient engagement?

By Betty Rabinowitz, MD
  • One of the most striking results of the survey was that nearly half of U.S. patients (48%) reported that they have sought (4%) or would be likely to seek care (44%) from a different health care provider if their current provider did not offer telehealth appointments.
  • Survey respondents were asked about the patient engagement capabilities that they would prefer their new health care provider offered, 49% selected online appointment scheduling, 49% selected the ability to check-in or complete health forms/appointment paperwork online before an appointment, 48% named online prescription management and online medical records access.
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Net profit: tackle shop sales soar as UK catches fishing bug in lockdown

By Sarah Butler
  • The number of annual rod licence applications in England and Wales surged by more than 120,000 in 2020, up 15% on the previous year, according to the Environment Agency, with a big increase in the number of women and families heading to the waterside.
  • But almost a third of new licence applicants in the 15-44 age group were from women, with much of the increase thought to be a result of mums seeing fishing as a cheap and accessible way to get their children out and about while so many other sporting activities, such as football and indoor swimming, were locked down.
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Coronavirus live news: Taiwan raises its Covid-19 alert level

By Tobi Thomas
  • Taiwan has raised its Covid-19 alert level on Saturday for the capital, Taipei, and New Taipei city, bringing in a two-week clampdown on gatherings as well as the closure of many venues as the government has reported 180 new domestic infections.
  • Australia has carried out its first repatriation flight from India after the government temporarily banned all travel from the country last month, with 80 passengers arriving in Darwin from New Delhi.
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Study finds the caloric density of #FoodPorn influences social media engagement

By The Conversation
  • Given the ubiquity of food media online, understanding the specific characteristics that shape engagement is of critical importance to several groups: content producers looking to tailor media towards viewer preferences; advertisers seeking to increase marketing impact; and health advocates interested in helping consumers make better eating choices.
  • We examined the recipes and ingredients for hundreds of Facebook videos from Buzzfeed’s Tasty profile and found that caloric density can positively influence social media engagement.
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Using captured CO₂ in everyday products could help fight climate change, but will consumers want them?

By USC News
  • The technology to capture climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions from smokestacks, and even from the air around us, already exists; so too does the technology to use this carbon dioxide to make products like plastics, concrete, carbonated drinks and even fuel for aircraft and automobiles .
  • We asked over 2,000 survey participants if they would be willing to consume or use various carbon dioxide-based products, including carbonated beverages, plastic food storage containers, furniture made with foam or plastic, and shatterproof glass.
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Graduating senior uses ancient knowledge to fight pandemics

By USC News
  • Inspired by the material's natural anti-viral properties, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering graduating senior has been applying this to her research project- - a copper coating for face masks that will allow them to be reused, improving their effectiveness and reducing waste.
  • "I knew I didn't have the ability to make those type of masks without some major equipment," Banks said, "but instead I could just formulate a copper dip coating, something that could work on the plastics that they use.
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Spikes in Asia, variant spread keep global health officials on edge

By Lisa Schnirring
  • At a World Health Organization (WHO) media briefing today, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said that while India's situation is still "hugely concerning," several countries are also reporting worrying numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths and have emergency needs.
  • As cases in India remain high, with about 4,000 more deaths reported today, the situation in New Delhi has stabilized and health officials there are able to share supplies with other parts of the country experiencing shortages, according to the New York Times .
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What Does Your Voice Say About You? Study Links Personality Traits to Voice Characteristics

By Neuroscience News
  • The researchers found that people with lower pitched voices were more dominant, extroverted and higher in sociosexuality (eg were more interested in sex outside a relationship).
  • The researchers discovered that a lower pitched voice is associated with individuals who are more dominant, extrovert and higher in sociosexuality (more interested in casual sex).
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Our Dreams’ Weirdness Might Be Why We Have Them

By Neuroscience News
  • Inspired by techniques used to train deep neural networks, Erik Hoel, a research assistant professor of neuroscience at Tufts University, argues for a new theory of dreams: the overfitted brain hypothesis.
  • The hypothesis, described May 14 in a review in the journal Patterns, suggests that the strangeness of our dreams serves to help our brains better generalize our day-to-day experiences.
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History of Significant Head Injury in Women Prisoners Linked With Disability and Past Abuse

By Neuroscience News
  • The University of Glasgow-led study – funded by the Scottish Government and published today in the Lancet Psychiatry – also found 66% of women prisoners had suffered repeat head injuries for many years.
  • New research has found that 78% of women prisoners in Scotland have a history of significant head injury – most of which occurred in the context of domestic abuse that often lasted over periods of several years.
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How the budget will impact Australia’s mental health system – Australian politics podcast

By Hosted by Katharine Murphy, produced by Miles Martignoni and Hannah Izzard

Katharine Murphy talks to Christine Morgan, CEO of the national mental health commission, about the budget’s $2.3bn mental health package which the Coalition has touted as ‘the largest single mental health and suicide prevention’ plan. Will the extra funding fix systemic problems? Or will the proposal fail when it comes to negotiating with the states and territories?

  • For immediate support, you can call Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36
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New research suggests depression impacts emotional responses to autobiographical memories

By Beth Ellwood
  • Lira Yoon sought to build on a previous study that showed that people with elevated depressive symptoms differed in their emotional responses to personal memories compared to healthy individuals.
  • When compared to healthy controls, individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) reported less happiness when recalling positive memories but more sadness when recalling bad memories.
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Researchers Observe New Complexity of Traveling Brain Waves in Memory Circuits

By Neuroscience News
  • Using a special “micro-grid” recording device developed by colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the UCSF researchers were able to measure hippocampus activity in study participants undergoing surgery to treat severe epilepsy.
  • To Jon Kleen, MD, PhD, lead author on the study and assistant professor of neurology in the Weill Institute for Neurosciences, this one-way travel wasn’t sufficient to explain how this small brain region manages to link multiple types of information to form a memory.
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Childhood Abdominal Pain May Be Linked to Disordered Eating in Teenagers

By Neuroscience News
  • The study, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, suggests that recurrent abdominal pain, the most common gastro-intestinal complaint of childhood, may be an independent risk factor for later fasting to control weight.
  • However, there was no association found between childhood abdominal pain suffered 5 or more times a year and later adolescent fasting for weight control at aged 16 years.
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A commencement two years in the making begins: Classes of 2020 and 2021 walk the Coliseum stage

By USC News
  • Perseverance was a consistent theme throughout Friday morning's ceremony, from President Folt to the classes' valedictorians to Bina Venkataraman, editorial page editor at The Boston Globe and USC's 2021 commencement speaker.
  • It was the first time in 70 years that USC's commencement had taken place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum -- complete with a lit torch.
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Study suggests “Zoom fatigue” is a real psychological phenomenon — but there are three ways to help prevent it

By Eric W. Dolan
  • We now have some robust scientific data to back up this phenomenon: Over 92% of participants in this study recognized feeling fatigued and tired after a videoconference,” Bennett told PsyPost.
  • New research provides evidence that videoconferences can be mentally exhausting, especially when participants don’t feel some sense of group belonging.
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Vaccines for all, including adolescents, pave way to loosen masks, social distancing restrictions

  • “We support this new guidance from the CDC loosening restrictions on wearing masks and social distancing because of the growing evidence that vaccines are nearly 100% effective against deaths and hospitalization from COVID,” said American Heart Association President Mitchell Elkind, M.D., M.S., FAHA, FAAN, a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and attending neurologist at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
  • The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to a world of longer, healthier lives, supports these new recommendations and continues to urge everyone who is eligible, now including adolescents, to get the COVID-19 vaccine available to them.
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Politically Polarized Brains Share an Intolerance of Uncertainty

By Neuroscience News
  • “This is the first research we know of that has linked intolerance to uncertainty to political polarization on both sides of the aisle,” said study co-author Oriel FeldmanHall, an assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown.
  • To investigate that question, scientists at Brown University measured and compared the brain activity of committed partisans (both liberals and conservatives) as they watched real political debates and news broadcasts.
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What Does Approval of the Pfizer Vaccine for Teens and Preteens Mean for My Child?

By Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, Kaiser Health News
  • Results show the vaccine is safe to use in this age group, causing side effects similar to those seen in young adult populations for whom it had already been cleared, according to the FDA in a press release .
  • The CDC this week recommended use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 after the Food and Drug Administration extended its emergency use authorization to include these preteens and young adolescents.
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The Eyes Offer a Window Into Alzheimer’s Disease

By Neuroscience News
  • According to new research by scientists at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, retinal scans can detect key changes in blood vessels that may provide an early sign of Alzheimer’s, while offering important insights into how one of the most common Alzheimer’s risk genes contributes to the disease.
  • In the new study, which published May 11, 2021, in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, Elahi and her team have shown that APOE4-associated capillary changes can be detected in humans through an easy, comfortable eye scan.
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Mixed reactions to CDC’s revised COVID mask mandate

By Lisa Schnirring
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) announcement that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not have to use masks in most settings has prompted some states to drop mask mandates.
  • Others, however, have said they need to take time to look at their state's specific COVID situation, and health experts, state and local governments, business owners, and the public have had similar guarded reactions.
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USC Annenberg doctoral graduate delves into China’s Silicon Valley

By USC News
  • With her successful defense of her dissertation on Shenzhen's innovation and development model earlier this year, Wang will graduate with a PhD in communication from USC Annenberg in May.
  • But during her second year, she took a class with her advisor, Manuel Castells, University Professor and Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society, and "my whole intellectual pursuit and interest has changed," she said.
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India variant could seriously disrupt lifting of lockdown, says Boris Johnson

By Aubrey Allegretti, Nicola Davis, Helen Pidd, Josh Halliday and Libby Brooks
  • The final stage of lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions across England could face “serious disruption” due to the India variant, the prime minister has warned, as he announced plans to accelerate the vaccine programme to curb its spread.
  • Johnson said plans to ease restrictions on 17 May – allowing people to meet in groups of six indoors – would go ahead but that the variant “could make it more difficult” for the final stage of unlocking to proceed on 21 June.
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Vaccinate vulnerable global poor before children in rich countries, WHO says

By Staff and agencies in Geneva
  • The WHO has urged wealthy countries to reconsider plans to vaccinate children against Covid-19 and instead to donate doses to poorer nations, while warning that the pandemic’s second year looks set to be more deadly.
  • Instead of offering jabs to young and healthy people, countries should give their doses to the Covax global vaccine-sharing scheme and thereby ensure that those most in need in all countries receive protection, he said.
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Why genocide survivors can offer a way to heal from the trauma of the pandemic year

By USC News
  • Looking at such extreme cases of genocide-related trauma can shed light on the experience of loss, isolation and fear that many people have experienced during the pandemic.
  • The growing body of research on trauma and the pandemic suggests that these experiences parallel, even if to a reduced degree, some of the characteristics I have observed among genocide survivors.
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COVID mRNA vaccines induce immune response in pregnant, lactating women

By Lisa Schnirring
  • COVID-19 mRNA vaccines trigger an immune response in pregnant and breastfeeding women, and maternal antibodies transfer into infant cord blood and breast milk, a small descriptive study yesterday in JAMA finds.
  • Levels of vaccine-induced antibody function and T cell responses were similar in all 30 pregnant, 16 lactating, and 57 nonpregnant women 2 to 8 weeks after they received their second dose of vaccine, and their immune responses were stronger than that triggered by natural coronavirus infection.
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News Scan for May 14, 2021

By Lisa Schnirring
  • A crowdsourcing appeal for creative solutions for safely reopening the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill amid the COVID-19 pandemic in fall 2020 netted 82 submissions from 110 students, faculty, and staff, according to a qualitative study today in JAMA Network Open .
  • Four African countries—Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Yemen—reported new polio cases this week, all involving vaccine-derived strains, according to the latest weekly update from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
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Los latinos son los que más quieren vacunarse, y los que más obstáculos enfrentan

Una nueva encuesta revela que los hispanos tienen el doble de interés en vacunarse “lo antes posible” que los blancos no hispanos o personas de raza negra no hispanas. Los datos muestran que los problemas de acceso siguen siendo difíciles para la población. Un tercio de los hispanos no vacunados dicen que quieren las dosis, en comparación con el 17% de los negros y el 16% de los blancos, según la encuesta publicada por KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). “Los resultados reflejan una oportunidad para que los departamentos de salud pública y los gobiernos locales lleguen a los hispanos con información y equipos de vacunación”, señaló Liz Hamel, […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Paul Harker obituary

By Lisa Harker

My father, Paul Harker, who has died aged 77 of pancreatic cancer, devoted his career to working for the National Health Service – championing community-based services to reduce health inequalities, first as a paediatrician, then as a director of public health.

Paul was born in London, son of Kenneth Harker, a solicitor, and his wife, Dorothy (nee Beacall). He attended Dulwich prep school and St John’s school, Leatherhead.

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La fatiga, el deterioro cognitivo percibido y los trastornos del estado de ánimo se asocian al síndrome posterior a la COVID-19, según un estudio de Mayo Clinic

By Sharon Theimer
ROCHESTER, Minnesota — Los pacientes a los que se les diagnostica el síndrome posterior a la COVID-19, también conocido como "PCS", "síndrome de COVID-19 de larga duración" y "secuelas posagudas del SARS COV-2", experimentan síntomas como trastornos del estado de ánimo, fatiga y deterioro cognitivo percibido que pueden afectar de manera negativa el regreso al trabajo y la reanudación de las actividades normales, según un estudio de Mayo Clinic publicado en Mayo Clinic Proceedings. El estudio informa sobre los primeros 100 pacientes que participaron en el Programa para rehabilitación en la actividad después de […]Read more >Similar articles >
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India variant could lead to serious third wave of Covid in UK

By Ian Sample Science editor
  • Assuming the vaccines hold up, more people could be hospitalised than in the first wave – putting the NHS at risk – if the variant is much more than 30% more transmissible, University of Warwick models show.
  • Without the new variant, outbreak modellers advising Sage anticipated a modest third wave in July and August, with perhaps 4,000 to 11,000 more deaths, but nothing on the scale of the devastating winter wave.
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Using Zoom could help older people avoid dementia, study reveals

By Amelia Hill
  • “This shows for the first time the impact of diverse, frequent and meaningful interactions on long-term memory, and specifically, how supplementing more traditional methods with online social activity may achieve that among older adults,” he said.
  • Researchers have found that older people who frequently use online communication alongside traditional social interactions in person or over the phone showed less of a decline in episodic memory – the ability to recollect meaningful events, the impairment of which is a sign of major forms of dementia.
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Coroner in Ana Uglow inquest will write to schools to raise sepsis awareness

By Steven Morris and agency
  • During a five-day inquest at Avon coroner’s court, her parents, David and Natalia Uglow, said Ana had asked teachers if she could see a doctor two days before her death but allege this was “refused”.
  • Ana Uglow, 17, a student at Bristol Grammar School, collapsed in a hotel room and was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai West hospital just before Christmas in 2019.
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America Is Already on the Vaccine Honor System

By Ian Bogost
  • Distributed by the CDC to those administering the vaccines, these cards are supposed to help recipients get the correct second dose, if needed, and offer a personal record, Jason Schwartz, a Yale public-health professor, told me.
  • In March, New York launched Excelsior Pass, a free app that claims to provide secure vaccine verification for entry into venues such as theaters and stadiums.
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Indian Covid variant: which countries have highest infection rates?

By Tobi Thomas and Ashley Kirk
  • The US, Singapore and Germany are the only other countries to have sequenced more than 100 cases of the B.1.617+ variant, according to the Gisaid Initiative .
  • There are also national disparities in sequencing rates, with the UK sequencing a large proportion of its positive Covid-19 cases and therefore recording a higher number of variants as a result.
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The Cardiovascular Research Institute 8th Annual Symposium

By Ana Rodríguez
  • His talk, “Aortic Heterogeneity as the Basis for Aortopathies,” focused on the vital role Angiotensin II plays in thoracic aortic aneurysms via involvement of various smooth muscle cells and deletion of LDL Receptor Related Protein 1 (LRP1).
  • During the symposium, participants heard a keynote lecture by Dr. Alan Daugherty, Gill Foundation Chair of Preventative Cardiology and Director of the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.
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What we know about the Indian Covid variant so far | Julian Tang

By Julian Tang
  • If the virus comes in a more rapidly spreading form (like the Kent or Indian variant), we could imagine this as a faster-moving predator chasing us down.
  • The bad news is that we think all the Indian variants contain the L452R mutation, which is also found in the Californian variant, and which seems to confer some vaccine resistance and possibly more transmissibility.
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We Can’t Hide in Our Bubble of Immunity Forever

By James Hamblin
  • Instead, we’ve tried to have it both ways: saying that we care about global health and are doing everything we can to protect it, while at the same time hoarding hundreds of millions of vaccine doses, as well as the technologies and information necessary to produce more.
  • In April, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. would give away 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses (which we didn’t need) to other countries.
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What can England do to combat the Indian Covid variant?

By Peter Walker
  • The possible spread of the much-transmissible B.1.617.2 variant of Covid, first identified in India, threatens to hamper the timetable for removing lockdown restrictions, with a series of localised outbreaks detected .
  • Surge testing, with associated genome-sequencing to identify the spread of variants, has become the default response to such variants, and is now taking place in 15 locations across England, The Department of Health and Social Care has said.
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Cornwall ‘beach school’ aims to offer hope for vulnerable children

By Steven Morris
  • The idea behind the Wave Project’s school at Gwithian Towans, near St Ives, is to provide an alternative place of education close to the surf for vulnerable Cornish children struggling to engage in mainstream education and at risk of being permanently excluded.
  • Children referred to Wave Project beach classes attend for one full day per week during school time, providing them with a break from normal classes.
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Agriculture secretary will headline Rural Health Journalism Workshop 

By Jeff Porter
  • Health journalists will find story after story during the easy-access workshop, designed to bring journalists together with health care and policy experts who focus on medical needs in rural areas and how they differ from urban needs.
  • And after the free, three-day workshop, AHCJ members will have access session recordings and speaker presentations.
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Dean Paul Rothman and Bill Moss Talk About COVID-19 Vaccines

By Johns Hopkins Medicine
JHM Dean/CEO Paul Rothman talks about COVID-19 vaccines with Bill Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center, and a professor at both the Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health and Medicine. They discuss the safety of vaccines for children and pregnant women, what the future may hold, and the idea of delaying a second dose in countries with less access to vaccine supplies. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine/ #Covid19Vaccine #JohnsHopkins […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Weekend reading: Backyard Chickens!

By Marion
  • Hatched is Gina Warren’s exceptionally thoughtful account of raising backyard chickens from chicks to dinner, with dumpster diving in between–actions that reflect her deep respect and care for the animals we eat and her profound commitment to living ethically.
  • This book is a welcome addition to others about the backyard chicken movement, a subset of the greater food movement.
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Are they experimental? Can they alter DNA? Experts tackle lingering coronavirus vaccine fears.

By Allyson Chiu
  • To develop the two mRNA vaccines, all scientists essentially needed to do was plug in the molecular code for the coronavirus’s spike protein, said Rob Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health and a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Northwestern University.
  • Public health experts said these cell lines were used in the development of both of the mRNA coronavirus vaccines to understand how they worked.
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‘Isn’t life about breaking the cycle?’: Prince Harry appears to criticise father’s parenting – audio

The Duke of Sussex has appeared to criticise the way he was raised byPrince Charles, discussing the 'genetic pain and suffering' in the royal family, and stressing that he wanted to 'break the cycle' for his children.

In a wide-ranging 90-minute interview with the American actor Dax Shepard for hisArmchair Expert podcast, Prince Harry, who is expecting a daughter with his wife, Meghan, and is already father to Archie, two, likened life in the royal family to being in a mix of The Truman Showand a zoo.

Harry was promoting hisnew Apple TV+ seriesabout mental health, The Me You Can’t See, with Oprah Winfrey, which launches next week

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The COVID-19 pandemic vowels: adaptability, empathy, innovation, optimism, unity

By Ricardo Chujutalli and Daniel Azzam
  • When the current model of health care was no longer effective, the University of California (UC) Irvine Medical Center took the initiative to innovate new solutions that would address the needs of its communities and patients.
  • In some instances, I feel that the six essential lessons — adaptability, empathy, innovation, optimism, unity — from various health care entities can be applied more broadly to those eyeing towards a progressive mindset and seeking to bring cohesive productivity and to mitigate undesired consequences in their field.
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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Addressing equity in clinical trials

By Jennifer O'Hara
  • "That's a real concern and a real issue because you want to make sure that the results of the clinical trial are applicable to the whole population," says Dr. Gerardo Colon-Otero, a Mayo Clinic oncologist and medical director for the Center for Health Equity and Community Engagement Research at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
  • "Firstly, when it comes to diverse communities, people need to be aware that these studies are out there, and that they give you hope," says Goins.
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Vaccine supply to Covid hotspots in England must ‘at least double’

By Josh Halliday North of England correspondent
  • Dominic Harrison, the director of public health of Blackburn with Darwen council, said on Friday he was “furious” that local health officials had not been allowed to order surge vaccinations to combat the outbreak.
  • Public health officials, local MPs and the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, have asked the government to offer vaccinations to all people over 16 in hotspot areas in an attempt to curb infections.
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Listen: Pandemics, Patents and Profits

President Joe Biden has thrown his support to an international effort to waive drugmakers’ patent rights on the covid vaccines, but the pharmaceutical industry vows to fight back. Julie Rovner, KHN’s chief Washington correspondent, joins The Atlantic’s “Social Distance” podcast, hosted by Dr. James Hamblin and Maeve Higgins, to talk about the current patent controversy and how the drug industry has protected itself over the years with vibrant campaigns about the needs for high profits to support drug development. KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy […]Read more >Similar articles >
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UK Covid live: officials consider ‘surge vaccinations’ to combat spread of Indian variant

By Mattha Busby
  • The two-metre physical distancing rule in Wales will not change on Monday, mainly due to the Indian variant, Drakeford has said this morning.
  • The top story this morning surrounds concern that the spread of a variant first found in India could derail the planned easing of restrictions in England, with officials considering “flexing” the country’s inoculation campaign and adopting a policy of “ surge vaccinations ”.
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England will ‘flex’ Covid vaccinations to tackle India variant, minister says

By Alexandra Topping
  • “Even if you get your first dose now it’ll take two to three weeks before that protection’s in place and it begins to affect transmission rates, which especially among the younger cohorts is what’s important to break the cycle of transmission.”
  • On Sky News, Zahawi said younger people in affected areas could be vaccinated sooner, and second doses of the vaccines could be brought forward depending on clinical advice.
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Students propose solutions for struggling small businesses in L.A.’s Little Tokyo

By USC News
  • "Little Tokyo Service Center provided young volunteers for almost all the small businesses to help them form a new business model so that they could at least try to stay afloat during the hardest time of the pandemic," Okamura said.
  • As Mulcahy indicates in her project, the pandemic is just the latest in a string of challenges Little Tokyo businesses have faced since the neighborhood's inception more than 130 years ago.
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Agoraphobic pregnant woman can be forced into hospital, judge rules

By Press Association
  • Justice Holman said everyone involved in the case agreed it would be best if the woman left home, on a specified day near her due date, so she could give birth in hospital in a “planned way”.
  • Justice Holman concluded that it would be in the 21-year-old’s best interests to allow staff trained in restraint techniques to use minimum force if the woman refused to leave home.
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Prince Harry appears to criticise way he was raised by his father

By Caroline Davies
  • In a wide-ranging 90-minute interview, Prince Harry, who is expecting a daughter with Meghan and is already father to Archie, two, likened life in the royal family to a mix between being in The Truman Show and being in a zoo.
  • The Duke of Sussex has appeared to criticise the way he was raised by Prince Charles, discussing the “genetic pain and suffering” in the royal family and stressing that he wanted to “break the cycle” for his children.
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Four in five female prisoners in Scotland found to have history of head injury

By Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent
  • For the study, researchers interviewed 109 women – around a quarter of Scotland’s female prison population – between 2018 and 2019 and assessed them for a history of head injury as well as for disability and mental and physical health conditions.
  • Four in five female prisoners in Scotland have a history of significant head injury, with sustained domestic abuse the most likely cause, according to research that experts argue bolsters the case for routine screening of inmates.
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‘They saw me as mad and needing to be medicated’ | Modern Masculinity

By Iman Amrani, Noah Payne-Frank, Mat Heywood, Kyri Evangelou, Katie Lamborn and Charlie Phillips

In this episode of Modern Masculinity, journalist Iman Amrani speaks to Chris, who after being diagnosed with schizophrenia spent a long time in the mental health system. They discuss medication, frustration at the system, and the importance of being listened to and heard. Dr Rufus May, a clinical psychologist, speaks about how he worked with Chris and other patients to show compassion and empathy, and how this can help people with mental health issues navigate society

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Some people with color blindness report improved color vision after psychedelic drug use

By Beth Ellwood
  • The study discusses 23 anecdotal reports describing improved color blindness after taking drugs like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin (also known as “magic mushrooms”).
  • In a previous research project, Anthony and colleagues received reports from participants who described changes in their color blindness symptoms following the use of psychedelics.
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Podcast: Share the Vaccine ‘Recipe’

  • Hamblin: Do you have concerns about the argument people like Bill Gates have made, that if we set a precedent now that vaccine patents can just be made public, that there will be even less investment from the industry in vaccines we might need for future pandemics?
  • Rovner: The U.S. is also doing other things to help countries that desperately need vaccines.
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Delay in giving second jabs of Pfizer vaccine improves immunity

By Ian Sample Science editor
  • The UK’s decision to delay second doses of coronavirus vaccines has received fresh support from research on the over-80s which found that giving the Pfizer/BioNTech booster after 12 weeks rather than three produced a much stronger antibody response.
  • A study led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Public Health England found that antibodies against the virus were three-and-a-half times higher in those who had the second shot after 12 weeks compared with those who had it after a three-week interval.
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Boost self-isolation payments or risk Covid resurgence, experts say

By Denis Campbell Health policy editor

Thinktanks urge UK government to fund system that would cover wages on a similar basis to furlough scheme

Payments to allow people with Covid symptoms to self-isolate need to be increased sharply or a return to normal life could lead to a resurgence in infections and deaths, ministers are being warned.

Two leading thinktanks have proposed that the government funds grants for employers and the self-employed, on a similar basis to the furlough scheme, to encourage more people to isolate.

(March 8, 2021) Step 1, part 1

Related: India Covid variant: is it a threat to the UK’s reopening plans?

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The CDC Says That The Fully Vaccinated Can Shed Masks—Both Indoors and Outdoors

By Alice Park
  • In news everyone has been waiting for since last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said May 13 that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can ditch their masks, both indoors and outdoors, and stop social distancing as well.
  • In a press briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky cited the vaccination effort, the real-world data showing the shots are working, the dropping case counts in the U.S., and scientific evidence that the vaccines protect against worrisome variants that have emerged around the world as reasons for the updating the agency’s mask advice.
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USC Thornton School of Music recognizes outstanding graduates

By USC News
  • "The most important thing I've learned at Thornton is being genuine and true to who you are as a musician and as a person, to just be yourself and develop your own sound and your own voice, and people will recognize that and love that as much as you will," Forde said.
  • As representatives of USC Thornton's Class of 2021, their stories touch on diverse opportunities, life-changing faculty and creative collaborations, and look confidently toward a future in music.
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School nurses, health service corps part of $7.4 billion virus plan

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is providing $7.4 billion to expand the nation’s public health capacity, including hiring school nurses to vaccinate kids, setting up a health care service corps and bolstering traditional disease detection efforts, White House officials said Thursday.
  • Biden administration coronavirus testing coordinator Carole Johnson said it’s part of a strategy to respond to immediate needs in the COVID-19 pandemic while investing to break the cycle of ‘boom and bust’ financing that traditionally has slowed the U.S. response to health emergencies.
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#Foodporn: People Are More Attracted to Social Media Content Showcasing Fatty Food

By Neuroscience News
  • Given the ubiquity of food media online, understanding the specific characteristics that shape engagement is of critical importance to several groups: content producers looking to tailor media towards viewer preferences; advertisers seeking to increase marketing impact; and health advocates interested in helping consumers make better eating choices.
  • We examined the recipes and ingredients for hundreds of Facebook videos from Buzzfeed’s Tasty profile and found that caloric density can positively influence social media engagement.
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Missing Piece of the Lyme Disease Puzzle Identified

By Neuroscience News
  • In this newest development, the lab discovered a protein associated with the peptidoglycan of Borrelia burgdorferi that plays an amplifying role in causing inflammation in Lyme arthritis patients by acting as a molecular beacon that antagonizes the patients’ immune system.
  • Summary: NapA, a protein associated with the peptidoglycan of Borrelia burgdorferi, plays an amplifying role in causing inflammation in Lyme disease associated arthritis.
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Missouri governor drops voter-approved Medicaid expansion

By David A. Lieb, Associated Press
  • (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson dropped plans Thursday to expand the state’s Medicaid health care program to thousands of low-income adults after the Republican-led Legislature refused to provide funding for the voter-approved measure.
  • Parson had opposed Medicaid expansion at the ballot box, but he said he would uphold the will of voters and so included $1.9 billion in federal and state funding for it in the budget he proposed to lawmakers earlier this year.
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India and its states seek to fill COVID-19 vaccine gaps

By Jim Wappes
  • Amid a continued surge in cases and deaths, India's government and individual states are pursuing ways to boost vaccine supplies and make the most of the doses the country currently has.
  • Today, a government panel recommended increasing the interval between the first and second doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine as a way to deliver more protection to more people with the first dose, according to the New York Times .
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Master’s student uses health data science to help save lives

By USC News
  • During her first year, she worked in Dan Ruderman's lab at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, developing a machine learning algorithm to help diagnose breast cancer tissues.
  • Since last summer, she has worked remotely in the Image Processing and Informatics Lab of Brent Liu -- a USC Viterbi associate professor and the healthcare data science program's co-director -- working on a radiation therapy decision support algorithm for head and neck cancer patients.
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Questioning federal milk guidelines

By nim135
A recent lawsuit by three doctors alleges that U.S. Department of Agriculture guidance suggesting that Americans consume three servings of dairy each day contradicts current scientific and medical knowledge and is harmful to the quarter of Americans who are lactose-intolerant. Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutritionat Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, agrees. In an April 29, 2021, article in the Washington Post about the lawsuit, he called the USDA’s recommendation “misleading and irresponsible.” Willett said that “the primary rationale for high dairy consumption is the idea that we need a huge amount of calcium […]Read more >Similar articles >