Oct 18, 2021

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Report: Pop-up clinics, other outreach, boosted vaccination of severely mentally ill

By Katti Gray
  • Although people with schizophrenia, severe bipolar disorder and other serious psychiatric disorders worldwide have been less likely to get vaccinated against COVID-19, people with mental illness in one Georgia county got vaccinated at a higher rate than people without mental illness, according to a September 2021 survey conducted by the Washington D.C.-based Treatment Advocacy Center and Clubhouse International .
  • The analysts didn’t provide hard data, but suggested that Clubhouse efforts, beyond Floyd County, resulted in higher vaccination rates among their members than the general public.
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Facebook says Craig Kelly’s content on United Australia Party page OK after banning MP

By Katharine Murphy Political editor
  • “As a matter of public record, under our harmful health misinformation policy, we have removed the Facebook and Instagram accounts representing Mr Craig Kelly MP for repeated violations of our community standards,” Garlick said in correspondence seen by Guardian Australia.
  • Facebook says the United Australia Party’s page does not violate the social media giant’s community standards despite carrying prominent content from Craig Kelly, whose accounts have been banned for breaching the social media company’s misinformation policy.
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How easy is it to fake a Covid-19 vaccination certificate?

By Presented by Laura Murphy-Oates and reported by Josh Taylor; produced by Karishma Luthria, Jane Lee , Allison Chan and Camilla Hannan; the executive producers are Miles Martignoni, Gabrielle Jackson and Laura Murphy-Oates

Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination certificates can be displayed digitally on a series of apps, developed by both state and federal governments. However experts claim they’re able to hack into these apps and fake these certificates – all in under 10 minutes.

Laura Murphy-Oates speaks to software engineer Richard Nelson and reporter Josh Taylor about the key flaw that’s undermining this whole system

You can also read:

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Valneva Covid vaccine could be as effective as Oxford jab, study suggests

By Nicola Davis Science correspondent
  • Results released by Valneva on Monday suggest the Covid vaccine may trigger a stronger immune response than the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
  • The results from 990 participants aged 30 or over – about half of whom were given each jab – suggest the Valneva Covid vaccine, VLA2001, triggered about 40% higher levels of neutralising antibodies on average than the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
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La cadera como punto de unión: Pruebas genéticas revelan causa común para dolor de cadera en 4 miembros de una familia

By Sharon Theimer
ROCHESTER, Minnesota: Barbara Domaille, Deborah Neville, Pamela Neville y Rylie Ronnenberg pertenecen a la misma familia y comparten entre ellas muchas cosas preciadas, pero hay una que desearían no tener en común: se trata de una anomalía en la articulación de la cadera que les provoca dolor y emite ruidos como de chasquido o crujido. Después de someterse a pruebas genéticas en Mayo Clinic, las cuatro mujeres se enteraron de que su afección, llamada pinzamiento femoroacetabular, era consecuencia de una conexión genética escondida. Aunque saberlo no cambia la forma de controlar la afección, sí alivia en algo las quejas pertinentes. Además, […]Read more >Similar articles >
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How different types of physical activity affect cardiorespiratory fitness

  • In this analysis, investigators found that people who increased their steps per day, participated in a greater amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, or reduced their sedentary time between the two exams showed improvements in distinct aspects of cardiorespiratory fitness throughout exercise sessions, from warm-up to peak exercise to recovery.
  • “The most surprising finding of our study was that individuals with higher-than-average steps per day or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity had higher-than-average fitness levels regardless of how much time they spent sedentary.
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Covid Queries: Do I need the vaccine if I’ve had COVID-19?

By amandadyslin
  • "Even if you've had COVID-19, whether it was a mild case or more severe, we still very much recommend that you get the vaccine," says Martin Herrmann, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca and New Prague.
  • Monoclonal antibodies are proteins made in a laboratory that mimic the body's immune response, and they can keep you from developing a robust response to the vaccine.
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EPA unveils new strategy to address US contamination of ‘forever’ chemicals

By Carey Gillam
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday announced a “strategic roadmap” it said would help restrict a class of toxic chemicals from being released into the environment and accelerate the cleanup of existing contamination of so-called “forever chemicals” that are associated with a range of human health dangers.
  • The news comes a day after the Guardian revealed an EPA data set that lists roughly 120,000 industrial sites around the country that may be, or may have been, handling PFAS chemicals.
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The big idea: Is it your personality, or a disorder?

By Lucy Foulkes
  • Of course I’m in favour of raising awareness of specific disorders, but I want to raise awareness of another idea, too: that there’s a broad range of psychological colour within all of us that cannot be named, that doesn’t need to be diagnosed at all.
  • Many mental health campaigns are specifically designed to raise awareness about what different disorders really are, with the goal of better understanding the people who have them.
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No 10 appears to confirm Nimco Ali’s Christmas stay with Johnsons

By Peter Walker Political correspondent
  • “It is entirely accurate to say that they followed coronavirus rules at all times,” the spokesperson said, rejecting the argument that it was legitimate to seek clear answers on the arrangements given lockdown breaches by senior government figures such as Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings and the ex-health secretary Matt Hancock.
  • A close friend of Boris and Carrie Johnson did stay with the couple during the peak of the coronavirus lockdown last Christmas, Downing Street has in effect confirmed, while insisting no Covid rules were broken.
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Covid live: No 10 denies UK PM and wife broke rules over Christmas; warning of ‘challenging’ British winter as cases rise

By Tom Ambrose (now); Martin Belam and Samantha Lock (earlier)

Reports claim UK PM and wife spent holidays with friend despite restrictions; Britons warned of difficult months ahead as cases rise

Australia’s Northern Territory chief minister, Michael Gunner, has hit back at US senator Ted Cruz who criticised the Northern Territory’s vaccine policy, telling the Texan conservative “you know nothing about us”.

The spat began when the US Republican shared a video of Gunner announcing the territory’s wide-ranging vaccine mandate for workers. Cruz lamented the “Covid tyranny of their (Australia’s) current government,” which he said was “disgraceful and sad”.

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Building the Behavior Change Toolkit: Designing and Testing a Nudge and a Boost

By Henrico van Roekel, Joanne Reinhard, and Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen
  • We tested and compared the effectiveness of both interventions in a preregistered quasi field experiment in a large Dutch hospital on a specific behavior: hand hygiene compliance among nurses.
  • To improve hand hygiene compliance, we developed a nudge and a boost that were adapted to these specific behavioral challenges.
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‘I Don’t Know That I Would Even Call It Meth Anymore’

By Sam Quinones
  • Drugs made in a lab were not subject to weather or soil or season, only to chemical availability: With this new method and full access to the world’s chemical markets through Mexican shipping ports, traffickers could ramp up production of P2P meth in quantities that were, effectively, limitless.
  • In due course, a five-gram sample of that seizure landed on the desk of a 31-year-old chemist named Joe Bozenko, at the Drug Enforcement Administration lab outside Washington, D.C.
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Watch: Going Beyond the Script of ‘Dopesick’ and America’s Real-Life Opioid Crisis

  • KHN and policy colleagues at our parent organization KFF teamed up with Hulu for a discussion of America’s opioid crisis, following the Oct. 13 premiere of the online streaming service’s new series “Dopesick.”
  • It quickly moved on to a deeper discussion of how the fictionalized version of the opioid epidemic portrayed in the Hulu series dovetailed with the broader reality KFF’s journalists and analysts have been documenting in their work for the past few years.
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What Will It Take to Boost Vaccinations? The Scene From Kentucky’s Back Roads

By Sarah Varney, Kaiser Health News
  • “Some of our older people don’t have access to vehicles because their family works,” said Maxine Shepherd, a regional health coordinator for Leslie County and four-decade-long member of Full Gospel Church.
  • “We do not like to be shoved,” said David McKenzie, who grew up in Louisa, a once-booming coal town on the West Virginia border, and now owns the local nursing home.
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#180 – AMA #28: All things testosterone and testosterone replacement therapy

By Peter Attia
  • In this “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) episode, Peter and Bob discuss all things related to testosterone: what happens when testosterone levels are low, and the potential benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
  • They have a detailed discussion about existing literature, which reveals vast potential structural, functional, and metabolic benefits of testosterone replacement therapy.
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USC Dornsife’s grant strategist explains how she can help junior faculty secure funding

By USC News
  • As a grant strategist at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, she helps USC Dornsife faculty members polish their proposals and secure funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies.
  • Grant strategist Heidi Smith Parker works with junior faculty to obtain grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health and other governmental agencies
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From childlessness to the climate crisis, why is the blame always on us? | Nesrine Malik

By Nesrine Malik
  • To the British generation that came of age in a post-financial crisis world and were slammed into a decade of rightwing government, the line was that the calamity was brought on by individuals overspending, drunk on cheap credit and affordable housing, when the reality was that the global financial system was (and remains) so unregulated that it turned people’s loans into gambling chips and literally bet their houses.
  • It constitutes a huge transfer of responsibility from governments and corporations to individuals whose actions cannot offset the impact of the systems that they live in.
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TGA dismisses bid to make contraceptive pill available over the counter in Australia

By Melissa Davey Medical editor
  • “This option to obtain ongoing supply of selected oral contraceptives can increase opportunity for women to be take responsible actions in self-managing sexual and reproductive health,” the submission said.
  • “The use of oral contraceptive pills can cause significant adverse effects that are not consistent with over the counter medicines,” the interim decision said.
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Factory farms of disease: how industrial chicken production is breeding the next pandemic

By John Vidal
  • Governments and the £150bn-a-year poultry and livestock industries emphasise how intensive farming is generally extremely safe and now essential for providing fast-growing populations with protein, but scientific evidence shows that stressful, crowded conditions drive the emergence and spread of many infectious diseases, and act as an “epidemiological bridge” between wildlife and human infections.
  • Wild birds are routinely blamed by governments and industry for spreading avian flu along migratory routes, but evidence is mounting that intensive farms are potential “mixing pots” for new, deadly viruses.
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Paws for thought: Dogs have a theory of mind?

By mdbownds@wisc.edu (Deric Bownds)
  • During the process the researcher tested the dog on three conditions: in one they attempted to offer a treat but “accidentally” dropped it on their side of the screen and said “oops!”
  • appear to demonstrate that dogs can attribute thoughts and motivations to humans, distinguishing intentional from unintentional actions.
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Doctor who advocated Covid-19 therapy including ivermectin applied for patent on same unproven treatment

By Melissa Davey Medical editor
  • Kelly told Guardian Australia in a statement: “I have no problems with people like Prof Borody seeking to protect their intellectual property when they discover a new treatment, as do the big pharmaceutical companies who aggressively protect their intellectual property, even to the extent of denying access to developing countries.
  • Prof Thomas Borody has been quoted in medical newsletters and publications, and in news outlets including the Financial Review, the Daily Telegraph and the Australian, promoting what he describes as a “triple therapy protocol” to treat and cure Covid-19.
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Psychosis cases soar in England as pandemic hits mental health

By Helen Pidd
  • There was a 75% increase in the number of people referred to mental health services for their first suspected episode of psychosis between April 2019 and April 2021, NHS data shows.
  • Cases of psychosis have soared over the past two years in England as an increasing number of people experience hallucinations and delusional thinking amid the stresses of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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NHS England hospitals having to rely on ‘obsolete’ imaging equipment

By Linda Geddes Science correspondent
  • According to data obtained through freedom of information requests by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, 27.1% of trusts in NHS England have at least one computerised tomography (CT) scanner that is 10 years old or more, while 34.5% have at least one magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner in the same category.
  • The [NHS England report] called for doubling the number of scanners – we firmly support that call, and recommend a government-funded programme for equipment replacement on an appropriate cycle so that radiologists can diagnose and treat their patients safely.
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Booster shots challenge governments during global vaccine inequality

By PBS NewsHour
COVID-19 was the number one cause of death for people between the ages of 35 to 54 during some months since the pandemic began last year, according to recent data. Meanwhile, as the Delta variant continues to drive infections around the world, the push for booster shots in the U.S. has raised concerns since many are still awaiting their first dose. ProPublica's Caroline Chen joins. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Study pinpoints three markers of masculinity that are associated with the likelihood of lying

By Beth Ellwood
  • In a sender-receiver game in the lab, men with a higher facial width-to-height ratio engaged in more deception, while those with a higher ratio between the lengths of the index and ring fingers engaged in more truth-telling.
  • A study published in Frontiers in Psychology has identified three masculine physical traits that are associated with the likelihood of lying or telling the truth in strategic communication.
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Sir Gerry Robinson obituary

By Martin Adeney
  • Sir Gerry Robinson, who has died aged 72, was one of the most articulate and successful British business leaders of the 1990s, despite being branded “the upstart caterer” by John Cleese when he shocked the media establishment by taking over as chief executive of Granada, owner of Granada Television.
  • Four years later, when Alex Bernstein, chairman of Granada, was looking for a new chief executive, city bankers encouraged his appointment.
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Psychologists identify “shared reality” as a key component of close relationships

By Eric W. Dolan
  • In nine studies with 1,571 participants in total, the researchers found evidence that the subjective experience of sharing a set of feelings, beliefs and concerns about the world was a defining feature of close relationships.
  • “I got interested in this topic because I wanted to know the role of shared reality — whether between strangers, close friends, or colleagues — in shaping our sense of social connection to those around us and our perceptions of the world.”
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Ecstasy, LSD and magic mushrooms: are these drugs the future of therapy?

By Presented by Rachel HuRachel Humphreyswith Robin Carhart-Harrisand Rachel Yehuda; produced by Hannah Mooreand Dominic Fitzgerald; the executive producers of Today in Focus are Nicole Jacksonand Phil Maynard; addition production by Daniel Semo

Scientists treating depression and a range of other mental illnesses have been running controlled trials using MDMA and psychedelic drugs such as LSD, and the results have been encouraging.

Dr Robin Carhart Harris, head the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, discusses his work showing how psilocybin (or magic mushrooms) can be used to assist psychotherapy for difficult-to-treat depression.

Dr Rachel Yehuda, director of the Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research at Mount Sinai school of medicine in New York, discusses her success in trials using MDMA as a treatment for PTSD

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Manx country diary was worth the wait | Brief letters

By Letters
  • A big thank you to Derek Niemann for visiting the Isle of Man and writing a country diary about one of its outstanding habitats, the limestone pavements and rock pools of the Scarlett peninsula ( 13 October ).
  • Re snacks in exams ( Letters, 15 October ), 64 years ago, in 1957, our primary school class teacher gave us all a hard-boiled sweet to suck at the beginning of our 11-plus exam – unheard of in those days.
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‘At once intolerable and addictive’: five wellbeing courses and apps, road-tested

By Nadine von Cohen
  • ReachOut’s WorryTime is an anxiety management app from the online youth mental health service that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to disrupt and manage repetitive thinking.
  • A ustralians are the world’s biggest consumers of health and wellness apps, punching well above our per capita weight in our quest for peak physical and mental condition, according to research from telecommunications company Uswitch.
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Australia could see Covid surge from new variants even after 80% vaccination when border reopens

By Melissa Davey Medical editor
  • If the Australian international border is reopened while highly transmissible Covid-19 variants are circulating overseas or locally, large and disruptive outbreaks will still be possible after 80% of people aged 16 years are fully vaccinated, modelling published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday says.
  • However, were the variant to enter Australia of similar infectiousness to the Delta variant, and circulated when 80% of people aged 16 years or more were fully vaccinated (64% of the total Australian population), opening the international border was followed by surges in both infections and hospitalisations.
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Medical debt is the enemy of everyone

By Robert E. Goff, MBA
  • For individuals who fall into arrears in their payments, who cannot pay their financial obligations, unpaid debt means their ability to buy goods and services is curtailed or perhaps ended.
  • Personal debt from being unable to pay for necessary health care services is the cause of medical debt.
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We put our child in charge for a day – it was both terrifying and freeing

By Donna Ferguson
  • A day when all the traditional hierarchies between parent and child are reversed, when she can fulfil her fantasies, refuse to do anything she doesn’t want to and experience a taste of power, authority and absolute freedom.
  • And I soon came to realise that if I wanted all that, my husband and I would need to set boundaries and learn how to say no to our child.
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Ten errors in randomized experiments

By Peter Attia
  • Randomization, a method by which study participants are assigned to treatment groups based on chance alone, is a critical component in distinguishing cause and effect.
  • Recently, David Allison and his colleagues published an excellent review discussing ten errors in the implementation, analysis, and reporting of randomized experiments — and outlined best practices to avoid them.
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Stop making the menopause into a brand! It’s about healthcare, not money

By Eleanor Mills
  • A survey conducted last week by Noon, the platform I founded for women in midlife, with supplement brand Lyma, found 85% of women wanted more and better information about menopause (we’ve just published our six-part guide, The Feelgood Menopause, written by health journalist Jo Waters) and 65% said they were confused, particularly about the safety of HRT.
  • A slew of celebrities from Davina McCall to Meg Mathews can’t stop talking about hot flushes, brain fog and vaginal atrophy and on Monday it is World Menopause Day.
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Revealed: more than 120,000 US sites feared to handle harmful PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals

By Carey Gillam and Alvin Chang
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified more than 120,000 locations around the US where people may be exposed to a class of toxic “forever chemicals” associated with various cancers and other health problems that is a frightening tally four times larger than previously reported, according to data obtained by the Guardian.
  • Oil and gas operations lead the list of industry sectors the EPA says may be handling PFAS chemicals, according to the Guardian analysis.
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The dark side of wellness: the overlap between spiritual thinking and far-right conspiracies

By Eva Wiseman
  • “Much of what I read took a hard stance against the pharmaceutical industry and western medical philosophy, and was particularly critical of individuals like Bill Gates, who seemed to have an incredible amount of influence and involvement in public health policy,” continues Rein Lively.
  • It originated on far-right message boards before entering online wellness communities, where it found a largely female following, who continue to share phrases like “Save the Children”.
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Pregnant women at risk from health professionals’ mixed messages over safety of jab

By Hannah Summers
  • Pregnant women are being advised by some health professionals not to have the Covid vaccine despite an edict from the NHS that they should encourage them to get the jab.
  • Yet messages sent to the Vaccines and Pregnancy helpline, launched on 20 August to help pregnant women navigate information about the vaccine, suggest that some midwives are advising against the jab.
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Sharing Mayo Clinic: 100 miles away his medical team could see the truth about his heart

By Cory Pedersen
  • But when Dan told his primary care doctor at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, that the dizzy spells occurred even while he was sitting and watching television, the seriousness of his symptoms began to come into full view.
  • In addition to that, Dan’s primary care doctor referred him to Mayo Clinic Health System cardiologist Diana Trifa, M.D.
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Former USC, NFL AND CFL end Paul Salata, 94, founder of Mr. Irrelevant Award

By USC News
  • LOS ANGELES--Paul Salata, an end on the USC football team in the mid-1940s and then in the NFL and CFL who founded the Mr. Irrelevant Award to honor the last selection of the NFL Draft, died today (Saturday, Oct. 16) in Newport Beach, Calif., of natural causes.
  • The Trojans won league titles each year and played in the Rose Bowl in the 1944 (he caught a touchdown in a shutout win over Tennessee) and 1947 seasons.
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Discovery of New Role for the Brain’s Immune Cells Could Have Alzheimer’s Implications

By Neuroscience News
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have revealed a vital but previously unknown role for immune cells that protect the brain from disease and injury: The cells, known as microglia, also help regulate blood flow and maintain the brain’s critical blood vessels.
  • In addition to revealing a new aspect of human biology, the findings may prove important in cognitive decline, dementia and stroke, among other conditions linked to diseases of the brain’s small vessels, the researchers say.
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AI Used to Reproduce Lost Picasso Nude

By Neuroscience News
  • A painting of a naked woman by Pablo Picasso that has been hidden beneath one of his ‘Blue Period’ masterpieces for more than a century, has been recreated by UCL scientists using a combination of X-rays, AI and 3D-printing.
  • Dubbed ‘The Lonesome Crouching Nude’, the image is also depicted as an unfinished painting in the background of Picasso’s famous La Vie (The Life).
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Real-Life Social Network in Schizophrenia Patients and Individuals With Social Anhedonia

By Neuroscience News
  • Dr. Raymond Chan’s team from the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has recently shown that both patients with schizophrenia and individuals with social anhedonia exhibited alterations in the social brain network and diminished correlation with real-world social network size characteristics.
  • To further clarify these issues, the researchers have conducted two studies to specifically examine the association between social brain network and real-life social network size in schizophrenia patients using a hub-connected functional connectivity approach, and they verified the prediction of the identified social brain connectivity in individuals with social anhedonia.
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Scientists uncover a psychological factor that explains support for QAnon better than political ideology

By Eric W. Dolan
  • “Especially with the ascendance of Donald Trump, we witnessed a blending of left-right political concerns (e.g., partisanship, liberal-conservative ideology) with antagonistic orientations toward the political establishment,” Enders said.
  • Anti-establishment sentiments are a key component of political opinion and behavior in the United States and are distinct from traditional indicators of political ideology, according to new research.
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The myth of the climate moderate

By Rebecca Leber
  • Policy battles like this show that Americans need a new way to talk about the politics of climate change, as a range of strategists, pollsters, and lawmakers told Vox. Instead of focusing on “centrist” or “moderate” politicians, they said, political observers should distinguish between the many Democrats who support addressing the crisis at hand and the few who support an unacceptable status quo.
  • Supporters of modest climate action are ignoring the magnitude of the problem, argued Ryan Fitzpatrick, director of the Climate and Energy Program at Third Way, a group that says it promotes center-left policies.
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A&E crisis leaves patients waiting in ambulances outside hospitals for 11 hours

By Jon Ungoed-Thomas
  • West Midlands ambulance service (WMAS) said its longest handover delay in August and September at the Worcestershire Royal hospital in Worcester was 11 hours and 46 minutes.
  • Doctors are warning that accident and emergency departments are on the “edge of a precipice”, with patients forced to wait in ambulances for up to 11 hours outside hospitals.
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The inverse relationship of efficiency and resilience

By Erin Maslowski, MD
  • These modifications are brilliant if they provide more space for the unexpected, but they can also rob us of our breathing room, our ability to absorb the ebbs and flows of taking care of people.
  • Our conversation meandered toward an interesting conclusion: the more she focused on efficiency, the more likely she was to feel overwhelmed and to deny herself basic human needs (like drinks of water and potty breaks).
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New study helps explain why increasing population densities are linked to decreasing fertility rates

By Mane Kara-Yakoubian
  • They derived these predictions from life history theory which suggests that in environments with low mortality risk, whereby ability-based competition is heightened, people can enhance their competitive edge by investing more resources into long-term strategies – such as, pursuing education.
  • The researchers theorized that in increasingly competitive (dense) environments, people would opt to have fewer children and invest more resources per child.
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Long Covid: what are you entitled to if you can’t work in the UK?

By Suzanne Bearne
  • If an employer is unable to accommodate the suggested adjustments then the employee is entitled to remain off sick from work until they feel well enough to go back, she says.
  • “If a GP suggests certain workplace adjustments within a fit note then an employer is obliged to consider whether it is possible and reasonable to implement them,” says Charlotte Geesin, the head of employment law at Howarths.
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Journalists Tell How Covid Complicates Organ Transplants and the Health of Rural America

KHN senior correspondent JoNel Aleccia discussed organ transplants and the covid-19 vaccine on NBC’s “NBC Now” on Oct. 8. Click here to watch Aleccia on “NBC Now“Read Aleccia’s “Organ Centers to Transplant Patients: Get a Covid Shot or Move Down on Waitlist“KHN Midwest correspondent Lauren Weber discussed covid deaths in rural America on Iowa Public Radio’s “River to River” on Oct. 7. Click here to hear Weber on “River to River“Read Weber’s “Covid Is Killing Rural Americans at Twice the Rate of Urbanites“KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Covid live: New Zealand vaccinates 2.5% of population in a day; UK investigates testing errors

By Aamna Mohdin

Record number of Covid jabs administered by healthcare workers; questions over company linked to suspected wrong PCR results

Russia reported a record high 1,002 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, Reuters reports. It’s the first time the number has passed the 1,000-mark since the beginning of the pandemic, pushing the national death toll to 222,315.

New Covid-19 cases, confirmed in the past 24 hours, also hit record high at 33,208, the Russian coronavirus task force said, bringing the official total case tally to 7,958,384.

Immensa Health Clinic is under scrutiny after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found at least 43,000 people may have been wrongly given a negative Covid test result, leading to the suspension of operations at its privately run laboratory in Wolverhampton.

It followed an investigation into reports of people receiving negative PCR test results after previously testing positive on a lateral flow device, many of them in the south-west and Wales.

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Science Saturday: An inside look at the state-of-the-art supports enabling invention

By Dana Sparks
  • One of the more low-profile assets in Mayo Clinic Laboratories ’ innovation arsenal is the media kitchen, where specialized media and reagents used in some of the laboratories’ most esoteric assays come to life.
  • The media kitchen, or media laboratory, supports testing in three of the clinical microbiology laboratories’ culture-based labs — bacteriology, virology, and mycology — as well as testing for Mayo Clinic’s internal practice.
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Living with Huntington’s disease: ‘For our family, the end of days is always close at hand’

By Charlotte Raven
  • Arguments about wallpaper had run their course; our cats had made their peace with our one-year-old daughter, Anna; and I was pleased to have married a responsible hedonist who liked babies but never made me feel guilty for finding them boring.
  • A few days later, I ran into a friend and told him I’d met the person I was going to marry.
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‘It spreads like a disease’: how pro-eating-disorder videos reach teens on TikTok

By Kari Paul
  • The platform in 2020 imposed additional restrictions on weight-loss ads after facing criticism for promoting dangerous diets, and in March launched a program to connect users who search hashtags related to eating disorders with a helpline.
  • An additional 11 hashtags relating to disordered eating content that were not on Instagram were also operational on the platform, including #skinnycheck with 1m views, #size0 with 1.4m views, and #thighgapworkout with 2.6m views.
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Behavior Resembling Human ADHD Seen in Dogs

By Neuroscience News
  • Moreover, they indicated similarity with human ADHD, consolidating the role of dogs in ADHD-related research,” says Professor Hannes Lohi, head of a canine gene research group at the University of Helsinki.
  • “ Canine hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention share similar demographic risk factors and behavioural comorbidities with human ADHD ” by Hannes Lohi et al.
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The FDA’s Vaccine Expert Panel Recommends Approval of a J&J Booster for Anyone Who Had an Initial Shot

By Alice Park
  • He noted that had the two-month data on immune responses to the second dose been available at the time that the companies originally requested an emergency use authorization (EUA) back in February, the committee likely would have recommended the vaccine be given in two doses, rather than one.
  • One of the committee members, Dr. Hayley Gans, professor of pediatrics at Stanford University, noted the apparent paradox inherent in J&J’s request for an authorization of a booster: if a single dose of J&J provided this sort of consistent protection, especially against severe disease, why would a booster be needed?
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Genes Play Key Role in Exercise Outcomes

By Neuroscience News
  • A new study has found that genes play a significant role in how our bodies respond to exercise and has identified a number of specific genes that influence the outcomes of different kinds of physical activity.
  • The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE and led by experts from the Cambridge Centre for Sport & Exercise Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in England, found that up to 72% of the difference between people in performance outcome following a specific exercise can be due to genetic differences.
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A Map of Mouse Brain Metabolism in Aging

By Neuroscience News
  • It covers 1,547 identified metabolites, enabling analysis of many chemical conversions for energy, neurotransmitters or complex lipids in the brain,” said Professor Oliver Fiehn, director of the West Coast Metabolomics Center at the UC Davis Genome Center and senior author on the paper.
  • The dataset includes 1,547 different molecules across 10 brain regions in male and female laboratory mice from adolescence through adulthood and into advanced old age.
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Our Brains Have a Fingerprint Too

By Neuroscience News
  • “My research examines networks and connections within the brain, and especially the links between the different areas, in order to gain greater insight into how things work,” says Amico.
  • Our connectomes change based on what activity was being carried out and what parts of the brain were being used,” says Amico.
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U.S. health officials say states can pre-order COVID vaccines for younger children

By Mike Stobbe, Associated Press
  • It’s not yet clear how many people will get shots for their younger kids right away, said Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
  • U.S. health officials are setting the stage for a national COVID-19 vaccination campaign for younger children, inviting state officials to order doses before the shots are authorized.
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Genetic Risk for Clinical Depression Linked to Physical Symptoms

By Neuroscience News
  • People with higher genetic risk of clinical depression are more likely to have physical symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue and migraine, University of Queensland researchers have found.
  • The research found that participants with higher genetic risk for clinical depression are more likely to experience physical symptoms such as chronic pain, fatigue and migraine.
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How the Brain Deals With Uncertainty

By Neuroscience News
  • “A lot of cognition is really about handling different types of uncertainty,” says MIT associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences Michael Halassa, explaining that we all must use ambiguous information to make inferences about what’s happening in the world.
  • By manipulating and recording activity in the animals’ brains, the researchers found that the prefrontal cortex got involved every time mice completed this task, but the mediodorsal thalamus was only needed when the animals were given signals that left them uncertain how to behave.
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FDA advisors approve J&J COVID vaccine boosters

By Jim Wappes
  • Today's vote by the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC)—affirming that data support the safety and effectiveness of the J&J booster dose—was unanimous and followed the group's unanimous nod for Moderna boosters yesterday for high-risk groups.
  • Also today, the experts discussed mix-and-match dosing, raising several questions and airing multiple issues, but they took no vote on the issue.
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Understaffed, underfunded, under siege: US public health amid COVID-19

By Jim Wappes
  • The researchers said that while the US public health workforce has attended to the COVID-19 pandemic, many critical services have been limited, suspended, or eliminated, including investigation of non–COVID-19 infectious diseases, noncommunicable diseases, and foodborne illnesses; research into opioid abuse prevention; and provision of routine vaccinations.
  • A study yesterday in PLOS One details how the COVID-19 pandemic pummeled an already underfunded and understaffed US public health system, straining workers, upending services, and putting patients at risk.
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COVID-19 Scan for Oct 15, 2021

By lmclerno_91236
  • Asymptomatic infections (2 studies), symptomatic infections (9), the compound outcome of severe disease and hospitalization (3), and hospitalization alone (4) were looked at, as were VE against Alpha versus Delta (9) and waning immunity (2).
  • A 17-study literature review looking at vaccine effectiveness (VE) during the Delta (B1617.2) variant shows a pooled VE of 90.9% versus hospitalization with a 75.7% and 63.1% VE against symptomatic and asymptomatic infection, respectively.
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COMMENTARY: What can masks do? Part 2: What makes for a good mask study — and why most fail

By Jim Wappes
  • As an example, when a mask or respirator is tested in actual use, data about filter performance, breathing resistance, and fit in a controlled setting on human subjects should also be provided for context and to allow comparison with other studies.
  • New studies in alerts 2 through 5 were considered insufficient for evidence of cloth face coverings or surgical mask effectiveness in healthcare settings.
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Tips to keep your kids safe this Halloween

By Deb Balzer
  • "This year, we're looking toward a Halloween that hopefully brings back some of the activities that kids really enjoy this time of year," says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases physician with Mayo Clinic Children's Center .
  • For younger children who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and most likely want to trick or treat, Dr. Rajapakse says Halloween safety means adding a few more tactics to your planning.
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UK ministers face questions over firm linked to suspected Covid test errors

By Rowena Mason and Jamie Grierson
  • Immensa was founded in May 2020 by Andrea Riposati, a former management consultant and owner of a DNA testing company, just three months before it was awarded a £119m PCR testing contract by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
  • Immensa Health Clinic is under scrutiny after the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found at least 43,000 people may have been wrongly given a negative Covid test result, leading to the suspension of operations at its privately run laboratory in Wolverhampton.
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I was astronomically unlucky to get a rare cancer. Good job I was in a band

By Gerard Sampaio
  • The first new song to emerge, Positive, was meant to be about the hell of being told to “stay positive” in the face of impossible odds … but it morphed into a very frank, episodic account of that action-packed first year living with the enemy inside:
  • For the first time in my precarious freelance career, I had money in the bank, a whole six months of work lined up, and we were flying out the next day for a special-treat holiday in Portugal with the kids.
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Tory austerity caused misery – and now they want to make it worse | Polly Toynbee

By Polly Toynbee
  • But new research from University of York’s renowned Centre For Health Economics only confirms the inevitable consequence: an extra 57,550 people in England died in the five years from 2010, a level of deaths beyond the statistically normal.
  • But below the radar, below the level of all these countable death certificates, consider the suffering imposed on millions by withdrawing care, support and income.
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Why Britons are tolerating sky-high Covid rates – and why this may not last

By Hannah Devlin
  • It’s one of the conundrums of the current phase of the Covid pandemic; the UK has among the highest number of infections across the world and a death toll that continues to steadily climb, yet the national mood seems sanguine.
  • “We’re in a phase where we still have large numbers of people dying from this disease,” said Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh.
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AI will improve healthcare, but doctors and patients need legal safety net

By Clarice
  • This is important because it demonstrates that except for using the AI incorrectly, the physician’s reliance on the AI decision is safe from liability, even when that output goes against the established medical consensus and is ultimately proven wrong.
  • But what happens when an AI produces a wrong breast cancer diagnosis (perhaps based on a bias ), the physician accordingly fails to assign the right treatment, and the patient suffers metastasized cancer?
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Cómo hacer desaparecer una deuda médica: 5 consejos para usar la asistencia caritativa del hospital

¿Qué pasa si se aprueba una ley pero nadie la hace cumplir? Eso es básicamente lo que ha ocurrido con una pequeña pero útil normativa sobre los hospitales y la asistencia financiera para cubrir facturas médicas. La Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA), también conocida como Obamacare, requiere que los hospitales sin fines de lucro pongan a disposición de los pacientes de bajos ingresos asistencia financiera, y que publiquen esas políticas en línea. En los Estados Unidos, más de la mitad de los hospitales son sin fines de lucro, y en algunos estados todos o casi todos los hospitales lo son. Pero muchas personas que califican para […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Arsenic in rice: What is and isn’t safe for adults and children

By Cara Rosenbloom
  • Conrad Choiniere, director of the Office of Analytics and Outreach at the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, explains by email: “The adverse health effects from arsenic exposure depend on a variety of factors, including the type of arsenic (organic or inorganic); the level of exposure; and the age of the person exposed to the arsenic.”
  • The greatest health risk comes from chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic, and that’s more likely to come from contaminated water rather than rice.
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Sunak expected to confirm end to public sector pay freeze

By Heather Stewart Political editor
  • The TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “In the face of a looming cost-of-living crisis the government must increase departmental budgets so that every public sector worker gets a meaningful, real-terms pay increase.
  • However, each Whitehall department will have to fund any pay increases from within its own budget, and TUC analysis shows that many public sector workers have seen their pay fall significantly in real terms after years of tight settlements.
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Opting out of advanced math education alters adolescents’ neural development, study finds

By Beth Ellwood
  • Young adults who had chosen not to pursue advanced math had lower levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) within the middle frontal gyrus when compared to students who were continuing their math education.
  • Study authors George Zacharopoulos and his team proposed that a lack of math education might be associated with neural changes in particular brain regions that are implicated in mathematics.
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A New Study Makes the Case for Mixing and Matching the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and J&J Vaccine Doses

By Alice Park
  • It wasn’t designed to directly compare immune responses of one booster to another, but rather to give researchers a broad sense of whether overall, the antibody responses produced were similar across all three boosters—for example, to see whether people who initially got Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine produced similar immune responses after getting an additional dose of a Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or J&J’s shot.
  • For the mix-and-match study, the researchers studied 458 people who were originally immunized with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson&Johnson-Janssen vaccines and then randomly assigned to get a booster dose of one of the three, about four to six months later.
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The American food conspiracy

By Hans Duvefelt, MD
  • Things made from flour — like bread, crackers, boxed and instant cereal, pasta, and snacks like pretzels or chips other than plain potato chips — raise blood glucose levels faster than eating table sugar: The breakdown of flour starts in our mouths because of enzymes in our saliva while sucrose doesn’t break down until it reaches our small intestine.
  • Sugary foods, even candy like Twizzlers, are advertised as “fat-free,” which is a relic from the days when fat was believed to be bad for you.
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Covid: how did error over wrong PCR test results in UK happen?

By Jamie Grierson
  • An estimated 43,000 people may have been given wrong negative PCR Covid test results, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.
  • NHS Test and Trace (NHS TT) has suspended testing operations provided by Immensa Health Clinic Ltd at its laboratory in Wolverhampton following an investigation into reports of people receiving negative PCR test results after they have previously tested positive on a lateral flow device (LFD).
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Stop all the clocks: why are we so bad at going to bed?

By Rebecca Seal
  • In China, most sleep or bedtime procrastinators are workers on the soul-sapping and horribly common 9-9-6 schedule (9am-9pm, six days a week) who, despite being exhausted, use their late-night, post-work hours to claw back some sense of self, even when they know they should be sleeping.
  • But from anecdotal evidence and a few studies, I’m going to bet it’s a lot, and rising: in a global survey of 13,000 people by Philips this year, 70% of adults reported a new sleep issue since the pandemic began.
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Digested week: it’s good to be back after recent lows with mental health

By John Crace
  • Throughout this time I couldn’t have been looked after better as I have been supported by so many people from family, friends and colleagues at work to mental health professionals – I was lucky enough to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital at my lowest point – yet I am still unable to say exactly why I had such bad depression and anxiety at this particular point.
  • But PR stunt aside – and Bezos certainly got full value out of his freebie to Shatner with the second flight of his spacecraft getting at least, if not more, media coverage – I can’t help feeling there’s something rather pointless, not to mention, self-indulgent about the billionaire space race between Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson.
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News avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with better mental well-being

By Mane Kara-Yakoubian
  • Kiki de Bruin and colleagues conducted the two studies in multiple waves, asking participants the same questions relating to news consumption habits and mental health at each time point.
  • Uncertainty reduction theory would argue that in times of crisis, people attempt to reduce their uncertainty and negative emotions by seeking information in an attempt to learn more about the presenting issue; consulting news media would likely be the first course of action.
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Schedule Online Visits First? It’s the Next Big Thing in Health Insurance

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News
  • “I would describe them as virtual first, a true telehealth primary care physician replacement product,” said Carrie Kincaid, vice president of individual markets at Priority Health, which launched its plans in January as an addition to more traditional Affordable Care Act offerings.
  • Oscar Virtual Care health plans, sold in several states including Texas, Florida and New York, allow patients to choose between online or in-person services.
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Volunteers on Covid jab trials should get travel certificates, say top scientists

By Ian Sample Science editor
  • The UK has led the way in granting vaccine certificates to trial participants, but many countries have failed to follow suit and refuse to admit people unless they have had two doses of Covid vaccine that has already gone through trials and been approved by regulators.
  • The situation means many tens of thousands of people globally who enrolled in clinical trials to assess Covid vaccines, or combinations of different shots, cannot travel abroad unless they get an additional round of approved jabs.
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USC faculty and students produce short films to encourage COVID vaccinations and save lives

By USC News
  • "Communities surrounding our campuses in South Los Angeles and East Los Angeles were getting vaccinated at lower rates," said Kagan, a professor who teaches graduate courses in directing at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
  • "We held 30 focus groups to understand what the issues were surrounding vaccine hesitancy in the African American and Latinx communities in South and East Los Angeles," Murphy said.
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GPs have become the new fall guys for government failures | Gaby Hinsliff

By Gaby Hinsliff
  • People will always seek more from their NHS: who doesn’t want appointments on the day of our choice, the reassurance of being whisked through to a specialist for anything dubious, or prompt surgery if it’s needed?
  • Two weeks ago he told social care workers, already in desperately short supply, to “ get out and go and get another job ” if they didn’t want the Covid vaccine (compulsory from 11 November for working in a care home in England).
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Public urged to retake Covid tests after false negatives in Berkshire

By PA Media

West Berkshire council says some PCR tests at Newbury Showground may have come back with incorrect results

Members of the public have been urged to book for further testing after some PCR tests at a government-run site in Berkshire resulted in false negatives.

West Berkshire council said in a statement some of the tests at the Newbury Showground testing site, operated by the Department of Health and Social Care, “have had results sent out that may have incorrectly shown as negative for Covid-19”.

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Can medications and supplements interact with one another?

DEAR MAYO CLINIC:As I have gotten older, doctors have placed me on more medications, such as for blood pressure and cholesterol. Also, as I age, I have chosen to take some supplements that are supposed to improve my memory, reduce cholesterol and prevent cancer. Should I worry about these supplements interacting with one another or my medications? ANSWER:With age come more chronic health conditions. Also, some people may develop deficiencies in certain vitamins as they […]Read more >Similar articles >

A third chance for a young breast cancer patient

Breast cancer does not discriminate ― a truth that a young Florida woman knows three times over. While in college, Jessica Florence found a lump on her right breast. The 21-year-old initially did not believe what she found was serious until she was in pain and experiencing other symptoms. Watch: A third chance for a young breast cancer patient. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpSCKDvt7KA Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (2:00) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please […]Read more >Similar articles >

Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Continuing progress in battle against COVID-19

"October is going to be a very exciting month in the U.S., regarding COVID-19 vaccines," saysDr. Gregory Poland, head ofMayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "On Oct. 14 the Federal Drug Administration is going to look at COVID-19 boosters for Moderna. On Oct. 15, (the FDA will review) boosters for Johnson & Johnsons' COVID-19 vaccine. And on Oct. 29, the FDA will look at extending emergency use for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children down to […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Charities say Covid booster rollout for immunosuppressed is ‘chaotic failure’

By Peter Walker and Nicola Davis
  • The programme of giving third Covid vaccinations to people with compromised immune systems has been a “chaotic failure”, charities have said, with fewer than half of those eligible contacted about a third jab before an NHS deadline this month.
  • The third dose programme for people with compromised immune systems is separate to the wider rollout of booster jabs being offered to everyone over 50, and others with clinical vulnerabilities, which started on 15 September.
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New neuroscience research sheds light on the relationship between anger and brain structure

By Eric W. Dolan
  • Kim and his colleagues used the large fMRI dataset to conduct a connectome-wide functional connectivity study, which allowed the researchers to uncover connectivity patterns associated with trait anger across the entire brain.
  • “Our analyses highlighted a possible role for action-related brain regions in the expression of trait anger, patterns not previously detected in studies with fewer participants,” Kim told PsyPost.
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FDA Panel Votes to Recommend Moderna COVID-19 Booster Shot

By Alice Park
  • Especially lacking, committee members said, were risk-benefit data clearly demonstrating a Moderna booster dose would give younger people who mount adequate immune responses after the initial shots any extra protection.
  • The CDC followed up with a booster recommendation for anyone over 65 years old who received their last Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose at least six months earlier; and anyone aged 18 to 64 who is more vulnerable to complications of COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions or because they work in a higher risk setting including a hospital, grocery store or school.
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How fires, dry conditions are drastically increasing air pollution across California

Smoke and dust are blanketing central California. Air pollution is a chronic problem in the San Joaquin Valley but it is now reaching levels unlike any previously seen. With no measurable rainfall in weeks, and little chance of rain in the forecast, there is no end in sight. Community reporter Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado joins Judy Woodruff from Fresno with the latest updates. […]Read more >Similar articles >

Mix-and-Match Vaccines: A Shopper’s Guide

By Rachel Gutman
  • Meanwhile, the NIH released the results of a long-awaited (and not yet peer-reviewed) clinical trial on the “mix and match” approach to booster shots, in which people receive a dose of a different vaccine from the one they started with.
  • (The FDA still has to authorize, and the CDC still has to recommend, any new use of boosters before they’ll be readily available.) Committee members have already voted yes on giving boosters to people over 65 and other high-risk adults who received the Moderna vaccine.
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How Highly Processed Foods Harm Memory in the Aging Brain

By Neuroscience News
  • The results also showed that DHA supplementation of the processed-food diets consumed by the older rats effectively prevented the elevated inflammatory response in the brain as well as behavioral signs of memory loss.
  • Four weeks on a diet of highly processed food led to a strong inflammatory response in the brains of aging rats that was accompanied by behavioral signs of memory loss, a new study has found.
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Brain Activity Patterns After Trauma May Predict Long-Term Mental Health

By Neuroscience News
  • Looking at participants’ brain activity profiles in relation to their mental health outcomes, Stevens and co-authors found that participants with the reactive/disinhibited profile—those who showed high activity related to both threat and reward—reported higher levels of symptoms of both PTSD and anxiety over the six-month follow-up period compared with the other profiles.
  • Stevens and colleagues hypothesized that different patterns of stress-related brain activity may predict participants’ long-term mental health symptoms across a range of diagnoses.
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Austerity in England linked to more than 50,000 extra deaths in five years

By Andrew Gregory Health editor
  • The research by the University of York also found that a slowdown in life expectancy improvement coincided with the government’s sharp cuts to health and social care funding after David Cameron came to power a decade ago.
  • Austerity cuts to the NHS, public health and social care have killed tens of thousands more people in England than expected, according to the largest study of its kind.
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Missouri’s Medicaid expansion aims to benefit low-income workers, but sign-ups still lag

By Lisa Desjardins
Missouri is now the 38th state to expand Medicaid to low-income residents as part of the affordable care act. It's been over a year since voters approved it, and after many delays, the first few thousand people enrolled this month. We begin our coverage by hearing from a few people now eligible for Medicaid about the long wait and urgent need for coverage, and Lisa Desjardins has more. […]Read more >Similar articles >

Benton Harbor’s water has had excess lead for years. Residents are only now receiving help

By John Yang
Residents in Michigan's Benton Harbor -- a predominantly Black city -- have been advised to only use bottled water, for things like cooking and bathing, due to lead contamination. The warning comes just a few years after Flint's water crisis was discovered. But this is not a new discovery. Benton Harbor has detected elevated levels of lead in its water supply for years. John Yang reports. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Brain Activity Fluctuations May Hold the Keys to Psychiatric Treatment Efficacy

By Neuroscience News
  • In a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany show that moment-to-moment fluctuations in brain activity can reliably predict whether patients with social anxiety disorder will be receptive to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
  • The researchers showed that brain signal variability measured during the emotional task was the strongest and most reliable predictor of treatment outcome, despite the task only taking three minutes for patients to complete.
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