Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

HealthNewsReview.org – Independent Expert Reviews of News Stories

Health News Review

HealthNewsReview.org – Independent Expert Reviews of News Stories

Health News Review includes reviews of health articles in the news.Their objective criteria includes these factors…

The Web site also includes a toolkit – “a number of tipsheets, primers, links and other resources to help journalists and consumers do a better job of evaluating claims about health care interventions”

From their About Page

HealthNewsReview.org is a website dedicated to:

  • Improving the accuracy of news stories about medical treatments, tests, products and procedures.
  • Helping consumers evaluate the evidence for and against new ideas in health care.

We support and encourage the ABCs of health journalism.

  • Accuracy
  • Balance
  • Completeness
Related Resources
How to Read a Research Paper (and also Understand Health News Research Items) (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
patientInform
 “The goal of patientINFORM is to allow patients, their family members and anyone interested in learning more about a specific disease or its treatment to access the most important new research articles through the web sites ofparticipating health organizations or publishers. Participating health organizations provide interpretation of research articles, in the form of summaries or news items written to be understood by nonphysician, nonscientist readers..
Understanding medical research (MedlinePlus) – links to overviews, related issues, and information from organizations
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December 31, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disease-causing fungi prevalent in sink drains, study finds (but serious fusaria caused infections are rare)

The Fusarium species cultured here are commonly found in sink drains. A new study found that about 70 percent of Fusarium samples taken from drains belong to one of the six genetic types most often associated with human infections.

The Fusarium species cultured here are commonly found in sink drains. A new study found that about 70 percent ofFusarium samples taken from drains belong to one of the six genetic types most often associated with human infections.

From the 21 December 2011 Penn State press release

 A study examining the prevalence of the fungus Fusarium in bathroom sink drains suggests that plumbing systems may be a common source of human infections.

In the first extensive survey of its kind, researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences sampled nearly 500 sink drains from 131 buildings — businesses, homes, university dormitories and public facilities — in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and California.

They analyzed fungal DNA to compare the spectrum of Fusarium species and sequence types found in drains with those recovered from human infections.

The study identified at least one Fusarium isolate in 66 percent of the drains and in 82 percent of the buildings. About 70 percent of those isolates came from the six sequence types of Fusarium most frequently associated with human infections….

Fusarium may be best known for causing a variety of diseases in agricultural crops. In Pennsylvania, Fusariumdiseases of grains and greenhouse crops are of particular concern. Fusarium species also produce mycotoxins in association with plants, causing a direct health threat to animals and humans that eat the plants.

Some species of Fusarium also cause opportunistic and sometimes fatal infections in humans, typically entering the body through wounds or trauma, via catheters and intravenous devices or by introduction of a biofilm to the eye. While relatively rare, Fusarium infections can be difficult to treat because of the organism’s resistance to many antifungal drugs. Those most at risk are individuals with weak or compromised immune systems.

In one high-profile case, Fusarium was found to have caused a widely publicized 2005-06 outbreak of fungal keratitis — infection of the cornea — among contact-lens wearers.

“In the recent outbreaks of fungal keratitis in Southeast Asia and North America connected to contact-lens use, plumbing systems were the main environmental sources of the most frequent Fusarium species and sequence types associated with eye infections,” Short said….

David Geiser, professor of plant pathology and a member of the research team, pointed out that the serious infections caused by fusaria are relatively uncommon and that these fungi may even play positive roles in plumbing systems. But he said the study provides the strongest evidence to date supporting an epidemiological link between human fusarioses and plumbing systems. [Flahiff’s emphasis]

Read the entire press release here

 

 

December 31, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

More Reasons To Keep This New Year’s Weight Loss Resolution Uncovered By Ben-Gurion U Researchers

 

Deutsch: Das Messen des Gewichts ist ein wicht...

Image via Wikipedia

From the 31 December 2011 Medical News Today article

Long-term healthy dietary interventions frequently induce a rapid weight decline, mainly in the first four to six months, followed by weight stabilization or regain, despite continued dieting. The partial regain may discourage people from adhering to healthier habits, but research now shows that improvements to health remain even if weight is regained.

The study recently released online in Diabetes Care (Print: February 2012) identified two distinct biomarker patterns that correspond to weight change, one of which continues to improve with time.

According to BGU Faculty of Health Sciences Prof. Assaf Rudich, “This study tells us that we may all have tunnel vision on weight when it comes to healthy dieting. Although maintainingideal body weight is linked to better health, when it comes to adopting healthier dietary habits in mild to moderately obese people, there are benefits beyond weight loss, such as decreasing inflammatory tone and elevating the ‘good cholesterol‘ HDL.”

Rudich explains that switching to healthier dieting extends benefits beyond the single outcome of weight loss. In fact, important improvements that likely signify decreased risk for cardiovascular disease occur even despite weight regain, as long as dieting continues. ….

Read the entire article

December 31, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Nutrition | , | Leave a comment

Climate Sensitivity Greater Than Previously Believed

Se below

estimated by the Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research version 3.2, fast track 2000 project

From the 31 December 2011 Medical News Today article

Many of the particles in the atmosphere are produced by the natural world, and it is possible that plants have in recent decades reduced the effects of the greenhouse gases to which human activity has given rise. One consequence of this is that the climate may be more sensitive to emissions caused by human activity than we have previously believed. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) have collected new data that may lead to better climate models.

“Emissions by plants to the atmosphere are influenced by climate change – higher temperatures can increase the rate of the biological processes that control the emissions. If natural emissions increase as the temperature rises, this in turn increases the amount of particles that are formed”, says Kent Salo of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Gothenburg

The interactions between particles and the climate constitute a very complex web of processes. …

Read the entire news article

December 31, 2011 Posted by | environmental health | , , | Leave a comment

Too Many Athletes Warming Up Wrong Says Australilan Sports Scientist

From the Gallery of the South Dorset Giants 

From the 15 December Media Release of Victoria University, Melbourne Australia

Do you know the difference between static stretching and dynamic warm-ups? Did you know that doing the wrong one of those two can decrease subsequent athletic performance while doing the right one can increase it? If your answer is yes then perhaps you are not one of the athletes that James Zois from the School of Sport & Exercise Science at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia is referring to when he says athletes are warming up wrong.

Earlier this month, Zois talked to the press about the research he is doing on the effect of pre-competition static stretches and dynamic warm-ups on athletes’ jumping performance.

He found that static stretching decreased jumping performance by nearly 8%, while dynamic warm-ups increased athletes’ vertical jump by 3%.

Static stretching includes things like calf, quad and hip flex stretches. Dynamic warm-ups are range of motion activities such as high knee raises, leg swings and run-throughs, or physical tasks that involve change of direction.

Zois said too many athletes are over-using static stretches as pre-competition warm-ups, and this can be counter-productive. Over-using them just reduces your performance power….

Read entire news article

Related Resources

 

December 31, 2011 Posted by | Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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