Jun 20, 2021

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Medical leaders urge Boris Johnson to bring air pollution below WHO limit

By Sandra Laville
  • A letter to the prime minister from leaders of the British Medical Association, more than 20 nursing colleges, the Lancet and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) says: “Today, before the environment bill returns to the House of Lords, we urge your government to use this bill to make a legally binding commitment to reducing fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) in the UK to below the maximum level recommended by the WHO by 2030.
  • Medical leaders are urging Boris Johnson to cut legal levels of air pollution in the UK to below World Health Organization limits in response to the death of the schoolgirl Ella Kissi-Debrah from toxic air.
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Giving help to others may increase your life span.

By mdbownds@wisc.edu (Deric Bownds)
  • Using a longitudinal US national sample, this article elucidates how the balance of social support (amount of giving one does on a monthly basis relative to receiving support) relates to all-cause mortality over a 23-y follow-up period.
  • While numerous studies exist on the benefits of social support (both receiving and giving), little research exists on how the balance between the support that individuals regularly give versus that which they receive from others relates to physical health.
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High stress may make ‘broken heart syndrome’ more likely, study finds

By Natalie Grover Science correspondent

Condition also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy is brought on by an acute emotional shock

Two molecules associated with high stress levels have been implicated in the development of broken heart syndrome, a condition that mainly affects post-menopausal women and is usually brought on by severe stress, such as the loss of a loved one.

The syndrome, formally known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is characterised by weakening of the heart’s main pumping chamber and was first identified in 1990 in Japan. It looks and sounds like a heart attack and is consequently often confused for one.

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >
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UK reports 9,284 Covid cases on day before lockdown was due to end

By Nicola Davis and Jessica Elgot
  • It came as figures revealed that more than 1m Covid jabs were booked in two days following the invitation on Friday for all adults in England to come forward for vaccination.
  • NHS England has said 1,008,472 appointments for Covid jabs were booked over Friday and Saturday following the announcement that all adults in England can now receive the vaccine.
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Government ordered to release secret pandemic planning files

By Claire Gilbody-Dickerson
  • The information commissioner ordered the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to release documents from Exercise Cygnus after it had previously refused.
  • In March 2021, Qureshi’s lawyers challenged the refusal and wrote to the information commissioner saying the decision was part of a “persistent pattern on the part of the DHSC of closing ranks and refusing to disclose documentation relevant to the public’s understanding of the nation’s preparation for and action in response to” the pandemic.
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How a new mother’s brain responds her infant’s emotions predicts postpartum depression and anxiety

By Eric W. Dolan
  • The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor the brain activity of mothers as they viewed videos of their 3-month-old infant completing tasks evoking positive or negative emotion.
  • “This research shows that differences in the way a mother’s brain responds to her infant’s cries and smiles is associated with the development of postpartum depression and anxiety symptoms almost a year later,” Finnegan told PsyPost.
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Pregnant Women With Migraine at Higher Risk of Complications

By Neuroscience News
  • A new study found migraine sufferers are at increased risk of hyperlipidemia and gestational diabetes during pregnancy, and postnatal depression following the birth of their child.
  • Women who suffer from migraines are more likely to endure obstetric and postnatal complications, a study presented today at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) has found.
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Could listening to music be slowing you down at work or school?

By Christian Rigg
  • Learning more about this was the goal of a team of Chinese researchers, whose study on the effects of background music on neural responses during reading comprehension was published in Scientific Reports (Nature).
  • Subscribing to the “limited capacity theory”, which states that individuals’ attentional resources are limited such that concurrent tasks must compete for them, the authors conclude that background music may present a significant source of distraction for reading comprehension by increasing the difficulty of semantic integration.
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Memory Helps Us Evaluate Situations on the Fly, Not Just Recall the Past

By Neuroscience News
  • Now a new Northwestern Medicine study has found the hippocampus also plays a role in short-term memory and helps guide decision-making.
  • “At any given moment, your brain rapidly initiates eye movements that you are typically unaware of,” said corresponding author James Kragel, a postdoctoral research fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
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STROKES ARE NOT JOKES: It is not OK to laugh at people who have had a stroke

By Eliza Laffin
The reality of my new normal hit home when I tried to read on my Kindle for the first time. As the screen lit up, all I saw were nonsensical symbols and squiggles, some of them morphing into different shapes while I stared at the page. I thought my Kindle must be broken, so I opened and closed it a few times, but I could not comprehend what I was looking at. I couldn’t identify a word. I didn’t understand The post STROKES ARE NOT JOKES: It is not OK to laugh at people who have had a

Continue reading at The Mindful Word journal of engaged living [http://www.themindfulword.org]
[…]Read more >Similar articles >
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5 COVID-19 Takeaways That Changed Medicine

By Elizabeth Svoboda
  • Results like these could usher in new hospital protocols where COVID-19 patients take a standard immune blood test upon hospital admission, says Adrian Hayday, an immunologist at King’s College London and the Francis Crick Institute.
  • In early 2020, before most people had even heard of an N95 mask, scientists were working around the clock to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
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‘Two Americas’ may emerge as Delta variant spreads and vaccination rates drop

By Edward Helmore
  • With Covid vaccination penetration in the US likely to fall short of Joe Biden’s 70% by Fourth of July target, pandemic analysts are warning that vaccine incentives are losing traction and that “two Americas” may emerge as the aggressive Delta variant becomes the dominant US strain.
  • Efforts to boost vaccination rates have come through a variety of incentives, from free hamburgers to free beer, college scholarships and even million-dollar lottery prizes.
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Some Medical Examiners Say Sickle Cell Trait Causes Sudden Death. They’re Wrong

By A. Kyle Mack, Rachel S. Bercovitz, Hannah Lust
  • The New York Times recently conducted an important investigation revealing the use of sickle cell trait (SCT) as a cover-up for the deaths of Black people at the hands of police while in custody.
  • The newspaper reported finding 47 cases in the past 25 years in which medical examiners, law enforcement officials or defenders of accused officers cited the trait as a cause or major factor in a Black person’s death in custody, with 15 of these deaths occurring since 2015.
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Children of obese mums at higher risk of fatty liver disease – study

By Nicola Davis

Researchers say influences in the womb may play a role in increasing the risk of developing the condition

Children of obese mothers have a greater risk of developing fatty liver disease in their 20s, according to researchers who say policymakers need to do more to tackle the promotion of poor-quality food and drink.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can be caused by obesity. If it progresses it can lead to serious health problems such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, while high levels of fat in the liver are also associated with a greater risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Referrals to UK gaming addiction clinic triple in year of lockdowns

By Tobi Thomas
  • The number of children and young adults entering treatment for gaming addictions and disorders tripled over the last year, with experts believing that the pandemic and lockdowns play a key role in the increase.
  • The hospital said that between March to June and July to September 2020, the number of inquiries received regarding technology addiction doubled, with the majority of them regarding parents seeking support for their children.
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Trudeau makes global vaccine pledge but how committed is Canada?

By Leyland Cecco in Toronto
  • “We’re going to be able to share around the world as we see Canadians getting vaccinated to higher and higher levels, and we simply do not need those doses,” said Trudeau at the G7 summit last week.
  • After initial hiccups with its vaccination plan, more than 65% of Canadians have now received at least one dose, edging ahead of early leaders Israel and the UK, and on Friday, Justin Trudeau said 68m doses will have arrived in Canada by the end of July.
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Man finds ‘guardian angel’ who saved him from stroke

By Jessica Murray
  • “I just want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, because I’ve still got a husband and my boys have still got a dad,” his wife, Georgina O’Toole, tweeted on Saturday as she asked for help in finding the woman she described as a “guardian angel”.
  • His wife said the family hopes to be able to thank Danielle in some way, such as donating to a charity of her choice.
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Sharing Mayo Clinic: COVID-19 vaccination experience special for young man with Down syndrome

By Cynthia Weiss
The parents of a young Florida patient were so grateful for the caring approach offered to their son during his COVID-19 vaccine appointment that they called back to express their appreciation and share their story. _______________________________________ When the father of a 19-year-old patient with Down syndrome brought his son, Tyler White, for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, he was blown away by the "care, compassion and love" displayed by the team at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Tyler’s parents were moved by the experience and relieved that Tyler left his appointment feeling happy instead of stressed. Days before the […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Under-18s could be ‘reservoirs’ for virus when all adults are jabbed, expert warns

By Robin McKie Science Editor
  • “As a result, the virus will concentrate in school-age populations, which will eventually become a reservoir and driver of any ensuing Delta variant epidemic, as well as being a hotspot in which new mutations may arise,” Tang said.
  • Tang was speaking as Public Health England revealed a 79% rise in one week in cases of the Delta variant of Covid, first identified in India.
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BBC tightens security after anti-vaxxer ‘death threats’ to staff

By Mark Townsend
  • Since the Whitehall incident, the Observer has seen apparent death threats from members of anti-lockdown groups on the messenger app Telegram, some of whom have swapped details of journalists, including their addresses, and have attempted to organise abuse.
  • A spokesperson for Tech Against Terrorism, an initiative supported by the UN counter-terrorism executive directorate, said anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown activists were becoming increasingly intertwined with the far right on platforms like Telegram.
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Ask Philippa: meet the Observer’s brilliant new agony aunt

By Philippa Perry
  • The big difference between agony aunts then and today is that now we have the internet to answer those tricky problems about how to eat an avocado pear (a lot of letters in the 70s were avocado-related), what to do about spots and how to remove stains from carpets, so these days the problems we are left with are the personal ones, and it may be surprising how little these have changed over the years.
  • I had a great time with the problem page at Red and I cannot tell you how delighted I am now to have been offered this opportunity to be the agony aunt for the Observer Magazine .
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Get ready to scroll: three graphs to help you make sense of the AstraZeneca vaccine risk | Hassan Vally

By Hassan Vally for the Conversation
  • So let’s start with what we know about the risk of dying from TTS associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, expressed the traditional way, with words and numbers.
  • The decision reflects a greater understanding of the real, but extremely low, risk of the clotting disorder called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia for people aged 50 to 59, who are now recommended to have the Pfizer vaccine.
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‘Finally having a wig puts the smile on your face’

  • Twelve months after donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides wigs to children with cancer, Kiya, from New Lubbesthorpe in Leicestershire, received her own wig from the charity following chemotherapy treatment.
  • Wendy Tarplee-Morris, founder of The Little Princess Trust, said: "We know this must be an incredibly difficult time for Kiya so we are extremely grateful to her for thinking of us and supporting the charity, both prior to her own diagnosis and since."
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A Father’s Parenting Style Could Be Predicted in Advance of His Child’s Birth

By Neuroscience News
  • “Our study suggests that prenatal neural activation in theory of mind regions does seem to be related to a postpartum father’s self-reported endorsement of an intuitive parenting style,” says Sofia Cardenas, a psychology Ph.D. student at USC Dornsife.
  • This parental intuition is often associated with mothers, but preliminary work by researchers at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences has found that fathers also use mentalizing skills — and that neural activity while engaging in mentalizing may predict later parenting styles.
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Use Rewards Effectively to Boost Creativity

By Neuroscience News
  • To boost employees’ creativity, managers should consider offering a set of rewards for them to choose from, according to a new study by management experts at Rice University, Tulane University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and National Taiwan Normal University.
  • The study, co-authored by Jing Zhou, the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Management and Psychology at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business, is the first to systematically examine the effects of reward choice in a field experiment, which was conducted in the context of an organizationwide suggestion program.
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America’s path to reopening: an emergency physician’s perspective

By Owais Durrani, MD
  • Seeing the sickest of the sick, as my emergency room colleagues and I do every day, has gotten just a bit easier now that we can spend time with family again.
  • After I gave her the good news that she had an ankle sprain and not a fracture, she shared with me how because of vaccinations, this would be the first time in 18 months she would get to see her family and go to a wedding that had been pushed back twice.
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Only 21% of Americans worried about contracting COVID-19

By Lisa Schnirring
  • Once believed to be a pandemic game changer because of its simple dosing and standard refrigeration, only 11.8 million Johnson & Johnson doses have been administered in the United States so far, the New York Times reports.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker shows 377,215,060 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered in the United States and 314,969,386 have been administered, with 147,758,5858 Americans fully vaccinated (65% of US adults have at least one dose).
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Biden threatened with communion ban over position on abortion

By Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
  • Roman Catholic bishops in the US have voted to press ahead with moves that could result in Joe Biden being banned from receiving communion because of his stance on abortion, and that risks increasing tensions in a divided church.
  • Conservative bishops are behind the push to draw up a new teaching document expected to say that Catholics who diverge from the church’s standpoint on abortion should be denied holy communion.
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London stadiums host ‘super Saturday’ of mass rapid Covid vaccinations

By Jedidajah Otte
  • “Chelsea FC, West Ham at the London Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Charlton Athletic FC, are hosting large-scale pop-up clinics, and there are a huge number of events taking place in local community centres, so that as many people as possible get convenient access to the life-saving Covid jabs,” Khan said.
  • The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he was delighted to visit Chelsea’s ground at Stamford Bridge, where 6,000 Pfizer vaccines were available on Saturday to all adults over the age of 18 yet to receive a first dose, as well as those who were waiting to get a second Pfizer shot.
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Covid jabs for billions of humans will earn their makers billions of dollars

By Julia Kollewe
  • D rugmakers led by US firms Pfizer and Moderna stand to make tens of billions of dollars from their Covid-19 vaccines this year and next, given G7 governments’ pledge to vaccinate the entire world by the end of 2022, but sales are likely to drop sharply thereafter, according to analysts.
  • Johnson & Johnson, which charges the US government $10 per dose for its single-jab vaccine, is likely to generate $6.6bn in revenue this year, according to calculations made by Barclays in March, followed by $1.2bn in 2022 and $383m in 2023.
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‘It’s such a relief’: how Europe’s Covid vaccine rollout is catching up with UK

By Philip Oltermann in Berlin Angela Giuffrida in Rome Kim Willsher in Paris
  • While the UK remains ahead on fully vaccinated people in both absolute and relative terms, EU countries are catching up fast: Germany, which on Friday passed the milestone of having given a first shot to 50% of its entire population, is due to overtake the UK in the coming days in terms of the total number of people who have had at least one dose .
  • Since the start of this month, Germany, France and Italy have all administered more doses of vaccine on a seven-day average than Britain .
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Science Saturday: The regenerative alternative to hip replacement for baseball player

By Susan Buckles
  • Sierra M.D., and his colleague, Aaron Krych, M.D., are among a few orthopedic surgeons in the United States to perform a regenerative surgery called Fresh Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation Surgery (OATS) to the femoral head as an alternative for hip replacement in select patients with avascular necrosis.
  • The diagnosis: sickle cell disease was choking off blood supply to the top of the hip joint known as the femoral head.
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Rapid exclusion of COVID-19 infection using AI, EKG technology

  • When additional normal control subjects were added to reflect a 5% prevalence of COVID-19 — similar to a real-world population — the negative predictive value jumped to 99.2%.
  • "If validated prospectively using smartphone electrodes, this will make it even simpler to diagnose COVID infection, highlighting what might be done with international collaborations," says Paul Friedman, M.D., chair of Mayo Clinic's Department of Cardiovascular Medicine in Rochester.
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Mayo Clinic researchers study new class of drugs to treat multiple myeloma

  • Mayo Clinic researchers are studying a new class of immunotherapy drugs called "bispecific antibodies" that have demonstrated potent tumor-killing activity in multiple myeloma.
  • She says that bispecific antibodies represent a new class of immunotherapy drugs based on similar technology as CAR-T cell therapy, but it uses off-the-shelf small molecules to guide a patient's immune response to kill cancerous tumors rather than the patient's own modified immune cells.
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Journalists Follow Up on Unused Vaccines and For-Profit Medical Schools

KHN correspondent Rachana Pradhan discussed the politics of unused Johnson & Johnson covid vaccines and the FDA’s potential announcement that their shelf life can be extended on Newsy on June 11. Click here to watch Pradhan on NewsyRead Pradhan’s “Unused Johnson & Johnson Covid Doses Are Piling Up as FDA Waits to See if Shelf Life Can Be Extended“KHN reporter Victoria Knight discussed for-profit medical schools on Montana Public Radio on June 10. Click here to hear Knight on Montana Public Radio Read Knight’s “Montana Med School Clash Revives For-Profit Vs. Nonprofit Flap“ KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Coronavirus live news: UK expert says third wave definitely under way; Cambodia reports highest daily deaths

By Kevin Rawlinson
  • People in the UK who have had two jabs and come into contact with someone infected with the virus may soon be spared 10 days of self-isolating, according to Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh.
  • The Centre for Disease Control changed their guidance a while ago to say that people who had had both doses of the vaccine and about 10 to 14 days after the second dose didn’t have to self-isolate, so I think we are moving in that direction.
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NHS app gains 2.7m users as people rush to show Covid vaccine status

By Tobi Thomas
  • The app, separate from the NHS Covid-19 app, began enabling people to show proof that they had received the vaccine from 17 May, in order to travel internationally or attend sporting events, such as Wimbledon and Euro 2020 matches.
  • The NHS app has gained an additional 2.7 million users since a new version of the app has allowed people to show whether they have received the coronavirus vaccine.
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Fit in my 40s: after a year away from classes, I’m back in the boxing gym | Zoe Williams

By Zoe Williams
  • The class followed a classic HIIT (high-intensity interval training) formula, divided into four-minute blocks: four on the bag; four of floor work; one minute resting in between.
  • F rom a distance, boxing looks like the least Covid-compliant exercise possible: a contact sport with more sweat than you ever dreamed and a presumably concomitant amount of heavy breathing.
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English councils refuse six in 10 requests for Covid self-isolation pay

By Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent
  • Gateshead council, in north-east England, which rejected 97% of claims because they did not meet strict eligibility criteria, said: “We have to refuse many people who we know need help.”
  • Councils are continuing to refuse more than six out of 10 applications despite the government increasing funding for the vital anti-Covid system in March to £20m a month, freedom of information requests by the Trades Union Congress found.
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U.S.-Canada border restrictions extended until July 21

By Rob Gillies, Associated Press
  • Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the move has been made in coordination with the U.S. There are growing calls in the U.S. to open the Canada-U.S. border for nonessential travel like tourism, but less than 20 percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated.
  • Border restrictions on nonessential travel with the United States will be extended until July 21, officials said Friday, as Canada works to get a higher percentage of Canadians fully vaccinated.
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Going With Your Gut Can Result in Better Decision-Making Than Using Detailed Data Methods

By Neuroscience News
  • Summary: People who trust their gut instinct with simple decision-making strategies make equally as good, but faster, decisions as those who rely on data methods alone.
  • Managers who use their gut instinct together with simple decision-making strategies may make equally good, but faster, decisions as those who use data to reach an outcome, a new study has found.
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I’ve been delivering babies for 50 years. What exactly is a ‘normal birth’?

By Caroline de Costa
  • For example, the NSW Health project Towards Normal Birth provides targets for reducing the numbers of caesarean sections, inductions of labour and other interventions, and increasing the number of “normal” births while also making care more women-centred and medical staff happier.
  • No instruments can be used to assist vaginal birth, as happened with countless women I’ve delivered with the vacuum, the forceps or by caesar.
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Tiny Cannabis Capsules Could Help Treat Alzheimer’s, MS, and TBI

By Neuroscience News
  • A team of researchers led by Curtin University has discovered a new way to improve the absorption rate of medicinal cannabis when taken orally, which could potentially be used to treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries in the future.
  • Lead researcher, Associate Professor Ryu Takechi from the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) and the School of Population Health at Curtin University, said there has been a growing interest in the use of cannabidiol to treat various neurological diseases, but there are limitations due its poor absorption and sensitivity to light and stomach acid when consumed orally.
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Men Doing More Family Caregiving Could Lower Their Risk of Suicide

By Neuroscience News
  • The study tests Canetto’s theory that men’s suicide mortality is related to men’s private-life behaviors, specifically their low engagement in family care work – not just the adversities they may encounter in aspects of their public lives, such as employment.
  • By contrast, in countries where men reported less family care work, higher unemployment rates were associated with elevated male suicide rates.
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How Childhood Exercise Could Maintain and Promote Cognitive Function in Later Life

By Neuroscience News
  • A research group including Professor MATSUDA Tetsuya of Tamagawa University’s Brain Science Institute (Machida City, Tokyo; Director: SAKAGAMI Masamichi) and Assistant Professor ISHIHARA Toru from Kobe University’s Graduate School of Human Development and Environment has illuminated the changes in the brain’s neural network and cortex structure that underlie the positive association between childhood exercise and the maintenance and promotion of cognitive function in later life.
  • The positive association between childhood exercise and cognitive function was evident in the modular (*1) segregation of brain networks, strengthened inter-hemispheric connectivity, greater cortical thickness, lower levels of dendritic arborization and decreased density.
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Coronavirus News Roundup, June 5 to June 18

By Robin Lloyd
  • The story then describes two recent studies of cancer patients showing that they produced antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Nearly one quarter of all people in the U.S. who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 last year, including 19% of those who never reported COVID-19 symptoms from their infection, had new medical problems within a month or more of recovering from the virus, according to a large study covered by Pam Belluck at The New York Times (6/15/21).
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Anna Cockrell named 2021 Honda Sports Award Winner for track and field

By USC News
  • Cockrell becomes the 17th Trojan to earn a Honda Sports Award and joins Virginia Powell (2006) and Angela Williams (2002) as the only USC athletes to receive the honor for track and field.
  • Anna Cockrell, winner of both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles at the 2021 NCAA Track & Field Championships, has been named the 2021 Honda Sport Award winner for Track and Field it was announced by the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards (CWSA) today (June 18).
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Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery and the continuing struggle for liberty and justice

By USC News
  • "I often think about the jubilant self-congratulation and definitive declarations that slavery had ended from politicians at the end of the Civil War when all the while an entire population of Black Americans continued to toil in bondage," said Alaina Morgan, an assistant professor of history at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
  • "Often, in popular accounts, the date June 19, 1965, is followed by the phrase, 'two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation,' as though Abraham Lincoln had actually 'freed the slaves' by his proclamation in 1863," said Ariela Gross, a professor of law and history at the USC Gould School of Law who researches race and slavery in the United States.
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WATCH LIVE: Biden to announce 300 million COVID-19 shots given in 150 days

By News Desk
  • Biden will announce that 300 million COVID-19 shots have been administered in the 150 days since he took office on Jan. 20, the White House said in previewing the president’s latest coronavirus update to the American people, set for Friday afternoon.
  • But as Biden marks a new milestone, he is in danger of failing to meet another: his target to have 70 percent of Americans at least partially vaccinated by July 4, in a little over two weeks.
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Poorer US counties have lower COVID-19 vaccine uptake

By Lisa Schnirring
  • In the study, researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock used the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI) and seven theme scores to identify links between socioeconomic vulnerability and adult vaccination rates in 2,415 counties up to May 25, 2021.
  • The researchers showed that a 10-point rise in the CCVI, low socioeconomic status, housing type and composition, and epidemiologic factors were tied to a 1.0 percentage point or more reduction in county-level vaccination uptake.
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USC experts look at the complex case for reparations

By USC News
  • "It's a compelling case that the only way to actually achieve equality in the United States for Black families is that you need to provide restitution for what had been stolen from the generations of those families over time," said Professor Gary Painter, Chair of the Department of Public Policy and Director of the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation.
  • "The racial wealth gap amounts to a condition in which the average Black household in the United States has approximately $840,000 less in net worth than the average white household," said Darity, a professor at Duke University.
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How the sun can damage your eyes

By USC News
The sun can be more damaging to the eyes than many realize — and the damage adds up, says Assistant Professor Annie Nguyen, an ophthalmologist with the USC Roski Eye Institute. The post How the sun can damage your eyes appeared first on USC News. Read more from Yahoo News […]Read more >Similar articles >
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News Scan for Jun 18, 2021

By Lisa Schnirring
  • Convalescent blood plasma treatment was associated with a reduced risk of 30-day, all-cause mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with blood cancers, according to a JAMA Oncology study yesterday.
  • In 2020, Switzerland's all-cause mortality saw a standardized mortality rate 8.8% higher than in 2019, with statistical significance only for men older than 70 and women older than 75, according to a study yesterday in PLOS One .
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Tracking digital competition enforcement in the Americas

By USC News
  • With countries around the world seeing a rise in antitrust and competition enforcement in digital and technology sectors, the Center for Transnational Law and Business, based at the USC Gould School of Law, has launched an international study group to track trends and developments in the Americas.
  • The Digital Competition in the Americas Study Group is a response to a general lack of awareness of antitrust enforcement activity outside of the United States and Europe -- especially in the Americas, said Brian Peck, center director.
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COVID wards are filled with unvaccinated patients, many homebound seniors

By Fred Mogul, Kaiser Health News
  • For instance, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, one of the area’s largest home care providers, has a contract with the city to vaccinate people in Queens.
  • New York City in March launched a program for reaching the homebound by working with housing agencies, private health care providers, the city’s Department for the Aging and teams of nurses from the Fire Department.
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Mandatory vaccinations for care workers and the blame game | Letters

By Letters
  • So, it may be assumed that I would be supportive of moves to mandate the vaccination of care home staff who work specifically with older people ( Report, 15 June).
  • I recently wrote a paper in the Journal of Adult Protection identifying the structural abuse of people in care homes during the Covid pandemic, which implicated the government by means of its approach in the initial and subsequent wave.
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Kent hospital trust fined £733,000 over failures that led to baby’s death

By Denis Campbell Health policy editor
  • The trust pleaded guilty in April to a charge of failing to provide safe care to Harry and his mother after she went into labour and around the time of the birth in November 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother hospital in Margate, which resulted in them both suffering avoidable harm.
  • A hospital trust has been fined £733,000 over serious failures that led to the death of a week-old baby, in a groundbreaking prosecution brought by the NHS care regulator.
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Drinking straw device ‘instant’ cure for hiccups say scientists

By Nicola Davis Science correspondent
  • But he added: “I think this is a solution to a problem that nobody has been asking for,” noting there were other effective and low-cost options, including his own favourite approach of plugging both ears tightly, while drinking a glass of water through a normal straw .
  • Published in the journal Jama Network Open, the results reveal that the device stopped hiccups in almost 92% of cases.
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Move of the week: how to boost your bum | Shona Vertue

By Shona Vertue

The rear foot elevated split squat – using a chair – can be incredibly useful in improving the structural balance of your body

This is the “ticks-all-boxes” lower-body exercise you never knew you needed. Not only will it strengthen your legs and bum, and generate better mobility (and flexibility) in the hips and ankles, it will also improve your stability. You do one leg at a time, which works each side of your body in turn, and helps with balance. Try not to wobble: staying still works your core.

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Rural Health Journalism Workshop great source for story ideas

By Melba Newsome
  • That’s one of the reasons next week’s AHCJ Rural Health Journalism Workshop, a free three-day virtual conference, is such a great opportunity.
  • The topics presented at the conference will inspire a wealth of story ideas on subjects like defining rural residents, using data to give more context to your reporting, and aging in post-pandemic rural America.
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Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast: Cardiology pumps AI into patient care

By Jennifer O'Hara
When it comes to technology, Mayo Clinic is a leader in bringing the tools and science of artificial intelligence, or AI, into practice. In health care, AI is simply a way of programming a computer to process and respond to data for better patient outcomes. Mayo’s AI work in Cardiovascular Medicine uses computer algorithms applied to EKG to aid in early risk prediction and diagnosis of serious and complex heart problems. Early applications have used AI and EKG technology to show the difference between numerical and biological age, to screen for atrial fibrillation, and to detect a weak heart pump before a patient is symptomatic. […]Read more >Similar articles >

Expect the Unexpected From the Delta Variant

By Sarah Zhang
  • Delta has gotten so much attention because it has the most troubling collection of traits yet: It is markedly more transmissible than Alpha, can sicken a large proportion of people who have had only one dose of a vaccine ( though not those who have had two ), and may even cause more severe disease .
  • The Alpha variant also got to Michigan relatively early, and happened to find its way into groups of young people who were not yet eligible to be vaccinated.
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As an ex-Covid vaccine guinea pig, I’m relieved to have had my first jab | Francis Beckett

By Francis Beckett

I took part in the Novavax trial and I had been worrying I would not be allowed an authorised vaccine

On my way for my first Covid jab on Thursday, I worried they might turn me away. I told the doctor screening the queue: “I was in a clinical trial for the Novavax vaccine, and I had two jabs of it last November. I’ve left the study now.”

I did not add – but she knew – that official advice is that I should not have another vaccine on top of the trial vaccine.

Related: I had a trial Covid vaccine and now feel lost in the approvals system | Francis Beckett

Francis Beckett is a journalist, author and playwright

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Mayo Clinic to light buildings to observe Juneteenth

By Uma Thangaraj
  • Juneteenth, which is short for "June Nineteenth," is celebrated on June 19 each year to commemorate the end of slavery in the U.S. Mayo Clinic will observe Juneteenth by lighting facilities in Arizona, Florida and Rochester and the health system in red, black and green.
  • On June 19, 1865, after the Civil War had ended, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to share the news that the war was over and slaves in the U.S. had been freed.
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Pandemia eleva el número de beneficiarios de Medicaid a más de 80 millones

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News
Las últimas cifras de inscripción al Medicaid muestran que creció de 71,3 millones de miembros en febrero de 2020, cuando la pandemia comenzaba en los Estados Unidos, a 80,5 millones en enero, según un análisis de KFF de datos federales. La recesión causada por la pandemia y un requisito federal de que los estados mantuvieran inscritos a los beneficiarios de Medicaid hasta que terminara la emergencia nacional aumentó el grupo de personas en el programa en más de 9 millones durante el año pasado, indica el nuevo informe. En 2013, justo antes de que muchos estados expandieran Medicaid bajo la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA), el […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Linen condoms and bed curtains: tour exposes history of sex in Scotland

By Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent
  • “We talk about sex work and we do take that very seriously – we’re very honest about some of the issues that these women faced such as venereal disease, violence and extreme poverty.”
  • In a first for the National Trust of Scotland, which is more usually associated with heritage gardens, it presents a thematic history of privacy, sex work and contraception, spanning from 17th to the early 20th century and using sources drawn from across Scotland.
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Why science shouldn’t be ‘colorblind’

By Clarice
  • Texas Southern University (TSU), one of the nation’s largest historically black colleges and universities, recently took the reins in addressing this ongoing issue of underrepresentation in science by hosting the first Clinical Research & Engagement Conference (CREC) hosted by the Center for Biomedical & Minority Health Research (CBMHR).
  • Underrepresentation in STEM, particularly at the highest levels, is not a new revelation – but the NIH has been chastised for its lukewarm approach in applying power and leadership to combat the effects of systemic racism on the scientific community.
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Weekend reading: Peter Hoffman’s food memoir (“foodoir”)

By Marion
  • Peter Hoffman, the chef-owned of the much loved and late-lamented Savoy restaurant in Manhattan’s SoHo has written an account of its rise and fall along with a close examination of what went into it, foods, ingredients, and emotions.
  • In the midst of writing a memoir myself, I wanted more of the memoir and a faster moving narrative, but also greatly enjoyed the ingredient chapters.
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Torch, phone, map and compass: things that might save your life while out walking | Letter

By Letters

Andy Simpson of Mountain Rescue England and Wales on the pieces of kit that mountain rescue volunteers would always recommend walkers to carry

Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) is keen to reinforce the message in your print supplement on the joy of walking (12 June) about enjoying the outdoors and putting a best foot forward. However, in the article about equipment (From boots to base layers: the best walking gear, 12 June), you omitted to mention a couple of other pieces of kit that mountain rescue volunteers would always recommend walkers to carry. A torch can be a life-saver, as can a map and compass with the knowledge and skills to use them.

Mobile phones are also invaluable in an emergency – as long as there’s a signal – but they need to have battery power too. MREW recommends carrying a power pack for charging, or reserving one charged phone for emergency use so that, if the worst happens, walkers can use their phone to do what only a phone can do – call 999 for the police and request our help.
Andy Simpson
Mountain Rescue England and Wales

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Human Waste Could Be The Next Big Weapon in Controlling COVID-19

By Alice Park
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, has turned to wastewater surveillance to help monitor SARS-CoV-2 infections, and specifically new variants that might be gaining ground in certain communities.
  • Within weeks, Ghaeli and her partners at MIT and the Harvard School of Public Health, developed a way to pick up the virus in sewage and became the first to detect SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.
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Cases of Covid Delta variant in UK rise over 75,000 – PHE data

By Nicola Davis Science correspondent

Figures show Delta is more transmissible and more resistant to vaccine than Alpha

The total number of cases of the Covid Delta variant in the UK has risen to 75,953 to date, data has revealed, with the variant now accounting for 99% of Covid cases.

Also known as B.1.617.2, the Delta variant, combined with relaxations in coronavirus restrictions, is believed to be behind a sharp rise in Covid cases in the UK in the past weeks – a development that led Boris Johnson to delay the planned 21 June date for full lifting of Covid restrictions in England.

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Haven’t seen a doctor in more than a year? 8 ways to make the most of your first visit.

By Stacey Colino
  • Another option, Hanak said, is to ask if you can schedule a virtual visit first — “almost like a planning visit so you can make sure there’s time for the most important issues during the in-person visit.”
  • If you don’t get to all of your concerns during the visit, ask the doctor whether you should schedule a follow-up or if you can discuss the issues through email or the patient portal.
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Does Your Heart Stop When You Sneeze?

By gilmerm
  • Dr. Mayuga says, “While sneezing may have the potential to slow the heartbeat for a very short amount of time — for example, from an increase in what’s called the vagal tone — overall we do not see it causing clinically meaningful pauses.”
  • “These monitors are designed to detect clinically meaningful heart pauses, which is something we generally don’t see with sneezing.”
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‘We have more in common than what separates us’: refugee stories, told by refugees

By Lizzy Davies
  • Among those featured in the project so far is a 29-year-old Iranian tattoo artist living in Sweden and missing his car, house, and, most of all, his family; a transgender woman from Pakistan who dreams of becoming a mother; a teenager who fled military service in Eritrea; a Nicaraguan journalist who longs for a hug from his relatives; and a 33-year-old atheist feminist activist who fled death threats from her family in Iraq and lives in Germany where she hopes to work as a biologist.
  • “I’ve spent most of my career on the African continent being an outsider, telling other people’s stories, and I wanted to see if I could contribute to supporting the capacity of refugees to tell their own stories,” says Hammond, speaking by Zoom from New Zealand.
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Do we still need the traditional office visit?

By Cara Litvin, MD
  • Chronic care management and remote monitoring billing codes have been developed and expanded in recent years as an attempt to capture the additional time spent by physicians caring for patients beyond the traditional in-person patient visit.
  • Even on days when I don’t have patients scheduled, my workload consists of responding to patient messages, renewing prescriptions, following up on laboratory and imaging results and discussing these with patients, reviewing home blood pressure monitoring measurements, and reaching out to subspecialists and my nursing staff to coordinate care.
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The Hard Realities of a ‘No Jab, No Job’ Mandate for Health Care Workers

By Christine Spolar
  • Managers at ProMedica, a nonprofit health system that operates ManorCare and senior care facilities in 26 states, faced a workforce conundrum familiar to all manner of providers during the pandemic: how to persuade essential workers to get vaccinated — and in a way that didn’t drive them away.
  • Christopher Richmond keeps a running tab on how many workers at the ManorCare skilled nursing facility he manages in western Pennsylvania have rolled up their sleeves for a covid-19 vaccine.
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Mental health struggles are ubiquitious. We are all Naomi Osaka now | Tayo Bero

By Tayo Bero
  • And despite the messy circumstances, her experience lies at the intersection of a number of issues that are germane to all of us as people; work, mental health and having to show up to the job even when one is struggling.
  • Yet rather than bow to the organization’s demands, Osaka opted to remove herself from a situation that she knew would jeopardize her mental wellbeing (the 23-year-old four-time Grand Slam winner has since also withdrawn from the Berlin WTA tournament, raising questions about whether she will be competing at Wimbledon later this month).
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Could Mitochondria Be the Key to a Healthy Brain?

By Diana Kwon, Knowable Magazine
  • Studies in humans and lab animals — though much of it still preliminary — suggest these organelles could be key players in virtually every type of brain disorder, including neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism, psychiatric illnesses like depression and schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.
  • They may even be at the heart of an enduring mystery for researchers who study brain disorders: how genetic predispositions and environmental influences interact to put people at risk for developing these conditions.
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More Than 100 Missouri Schools Have Bought ‘Often Unproven’ Air-Cleaning Technology

By Lauren Weber and Sarah Fentem, St. Louis Public Radio
  • More than 100 public and private schools in Missouri are installing air-cleaning technology to try to ease the covid fears of staff members and parents, KHN and St. Louis Public Radio found through a review of school board notes, school websites and news reports.
  • School officials need to be cautious when considering installing the devices, said Yang Wang, an assistant professor in environmental engineering who studies aerosols and air quality at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
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A father’s gift to his son

By Jason Howland
  • After spending much of his two years in a hospital bed with a rare kidney disease, toddler Easton Teeples has returned home from Mayo Clinic after a lifesaving transplant from dear old dad.
  • So the only option was to remove Easton's kidney, and to connect the new one right in that spot," says Dr. Prieto.
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SIREN: One year on

By Susan Hopkins
  • As infections soared around the world, we set up the SIREN study to start looking for answers to some of the most important questions about reinfection and the impact of antibodies.
  • When SIREN reported its first analysis, the study showed that 83% of people infected with COVID-19 had protection against reinfection for at least 9 months.
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Key abortion provider Marie Stopes closes regional clinics in Queensland, NSW

By Ben Smee
  • Family planning organisation Marie Stopes Australia says its regional abortion clinics are “no longer financially viable” and will close next month, prompting concerns some women in regional Queensland could have to travel more than 2000km to access services.
  • “The barriers to accessing timely and compassionate abortion care will increase for women and pregnant people in areas that already find access to healthcare challenging,” Kelleher said.
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From gossip at the tea point to watercooler chat, I miss the office | Hannah Jane Parkinson

By Hannah Jane Parkinson
  • I miss scooting over to the morning editorial meeting in my chair, or chastising my friend for putting his feet on the desk during boring phone calls, or knocking on the glass for a catch-up in a side room.
  • I miss overhearing the conversation drifting down from other teams, or our desk repartee even when all eyes are focused on screens: two parts of all our brains working at once.
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Our ‘Self’ extends vastly beyond our brain.

By mdbownds@wisc.edu (Deric Bownds)
  • This second extension is the subject of the other article I want to mention, in which Emily Underwood does a review of communication between the brain and other organs, mediated by the vagus nerve, that shapes how we think, remember, and feel (not open source, but motivated readers can obtain a copy by emailing me).
  • All four of these extraneural resources — technology, the body, physical space, social interaction — can be understood as mental extensions that allow the brain to accomplish far more than it could on its own.
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How clinical trials work: COVID-19 and beyond

  • In this Q&A, the Mayo Clinic News Network Team sat down with Dr. Naveen Pereira, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, and Dr. Andrew Badley, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist and chair of Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 Research Task Force, to get some answers and insights on some of the most common questions people have about clinical trials.
  • However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been able to see and experience clinical trials operating on fast-forward.
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Science Saturday: Mayo researchers study the genetic basis of high cholesterol in adults

  • In a new study published in NPJ Genomic Medicine, Mayo Clinic researchers found that genetic testing may help identify patients with high cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia.
  • "In our study, we found more than 50% of the people with disease-causing variants did not meet the clinical criteria for familial hypercholesterolemia," says Iftikhar Kullo, M.D, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist.
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Hospitals undertook 1.6m fewer operations last year because of Covid

By Denis Campbell
  • Hospitals in England and Wales undertook almost 1.6m fewer operations last year because of the pandemic, including on people who needed emergency and urgent surgery, a study shows.
  • “The interruption of surgical treatment detailed in our research will be felt by millions of patients for many years to come”, said Tom Dobbs of Swansea University Medical School, the co-lead author of the study, which was funded by the charitable arm of the Barts Health trust in London.
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Our extraordinary lungs’ power and fragility [PODCAST]

By The Podcast by KevinMD
  • We continued our patient on the first-line anti-TB drugs he had been on, this time at a slightly higher dose, and added one dose intravenously since he had inflammation in his abdomen and likely wasn’t absorbing a lot of the medicine he had been taking.
  • The art of medicine is knowing when to give up and start anew versus when to stay with the basic plan, executed better.
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Pandemic Swells Medicaid Enrollment to Record 80 Million People

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News
  • The pandemic-caused recession and a federal requirement that states keep Medicaid beneficiaries enrolled until the national emergency ends swelled the pool of people in the program by more than 9 million over the past year, according to a report released Thursday.
  • As more people get fully vaccinated, Salo said, states expect an uptick in enrollees seeking care that they have put off during the pandemic, which will increase costs.
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Biden to build on ‘Obamacare’ after Supreme Court tosses GOP lawsuit, Sec. Becerra says

By PBS NewsHour
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, survived a third major legal challenge at the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday. In a 7-2 vote, the justices rejected a lawsuit brought by 18 Republican-led states that questioned the ACA's legality over an individual mandate penalty. Judy Woodruff speaks with Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra about the Supreme Court's rejection. […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Unraveling the Origin of Alzheimer’s Disease

By Neuroscience News
  • Case Western Reserve University researchers studying prions–misfolded proteins that cause lethal incurable diseases–have identified for the first time surface features of human prions responsible for their replication in the brain.
  • Research was done at the Safar Laboratory in the Department of Pathology and the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and at Case Western Reserve’s Center for Synchrotron Bioscience at Brookhaven Laboratories in New York.
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News Scan for Jun 17, 2021

By Lisa Schnirring
  • Black COVID-19 patients were more likely to die or be discharged to hospice after 30 days of hospitalization compared with White patients, according to a study today in JAMA Network Open .
  • Routine pediatric vaccine administration declined in all children during stay-at-home orders in southern California, but children older than 2 saw less coverage recovery, according to a Pediatrics study today.
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White House announces $3.2 billion toward antivirals

By Lisa Schnirring
  • Today, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announced during a White House press briefing that the Biden administration is investing $3.2 billion in the research and development of oral antiviral therapies for COVID-19 and other viruses with limited treatments.
  • During the briefing, Jeff Zients, the Biden administration's coronavirus czar, said America was entering a summer of "joy, celebration, and increasing freedom from the virus," and 14 states and the District of Colombia have already met the Jul 4 goal of vaccinating 70% of their adult populations with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
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Youth, Delta variant behind UK COVID surge

By Lisa Schnirring
  • Two new studies look at the Delta variant (B1617) behind the UK COVID-19 surge, with the first noting that young people are helping drive the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases in England.
  • In an Imperial College London news release, Riley adds, "Even though we are seeing the highest infection prevalence in younger people who are less susceptible to COVID-19, if this growth continues it will drive up infections in older, more vulnerable people, as the vaccines are not 100% effective and not everyone has been fully vaccinated.
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Stress During Pandemic Linked to Poor Sleep

By Neuroscience News
  • A study of twins led by Washington State University researchers found that stress, anxiety and depression during the first few weeks of the pandemic were associated with less and lower quality sleep.
  • “The results show that deviations from your typical sleep behavior may be associated with depression, anxiety and stress,” said Siny Tsang, lead author on the study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience .
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Africa’s COVID-19 surge picks up speed

By Lisa Schnirring
  • In other developments — and with much of the world struggling with scarce vaccine supplies — Germany-based CureVac yesterday reported disappointing efficacy findings for its mRNA COVID vaccine.
  • Africa is in the middle of a full-blown third surge of COVID-19, with cases already near the peak of its first wave, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office warned today, as she pressed countries on the continent to step up their public health measures.
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Engineered Nk Cells Can Eliminate Glioblastoma Stem Cells

By Neuroscience News
  • Preclinical research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center finds that although glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) can be targeted by natural killer (NK) cells, they are able to evade immune attack by releasing the TFG-β signaling protein, which blocks NK cell activity.
  • The findings, published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggest that engineering NK cells to resist immune suppression may be a feasible path toward using NK cell-based immunotherapies for treating glioblastoma.
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The U.S. Government Placed a Big Bet on an Antiviral Pill to Fight COVID-19

By Jeffrey Kluger
  • Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Biden Administration has authorized $3.2 billion to accelerate the development of antivirals already in the R&D pipeline, with the hope that at least one will be ready for release before the end of the year.
  • With epidemiologists around the world increasingly accepting the reality that SARS-CoV-2 and its variants will become endemic viruses—like the seasonal flu—the push is on to develop antiviral medications that can be taken at home to prevent infections from leading to hospitalization and death.
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Commercial Video Games Could Help Treat Mental Illness

By Neuroscience News
  • The team at Lero, a world leader in connected-health research, said video games could be used where conventional therapies are not available because of cost or location, or as an addition to traditional therapeutic treatments for depression or anxiety.
  • Lero researcher Dr Mark Campbell said there is mounting scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of commercial video games to improve mental health outcomes after the team reviewed existing academic research on the impact of video games on mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety.
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Anti-Aging Protein in Red Blood Cells Helps Stave off Cognitive Decline

By Neuroscience News
  • Our findings reveal that the red blood cell ADORA2B signaling cascade combats early onset of age-related decline in cognition, memory and hearing by promoting oxygen delivery in mice and immediately highlight multiple new rejuvenating targets”.
  • Published in the open access journal PLOS Biology on 17th June 2021, the study shows that depleting mouse blood of the protein ADORA2B leads to faster declines in memory, delays in auditory processing, and increased inflammation in the brain.
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USC Price and USC Viterbi launch executive education certificate in global space and defense

By USC News
  • The USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, in partnership with the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), announced the creation of the Executive Program in Global Space and Defense.
  • The executive education program sets out to educate aspiring senior leaders from the military, government and innovation communities about the intersection of public policy and engineering, which are too often separate within the complex and growing field of defense security.
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