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Health and Medical News Headlines Update on August 18, 2020

Headlines on August 18, 2020

Potential drug target revealed to help more children survive a lethal heart defect. When children are born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), they require a series of major surgical procedures to survive. But even with a repaired heart, as many as one in four children die from complications before age 25. Now, a study published by a new faculty member at Cincinnati Children’s reports a potential therapeutic target that might promote heart cell regeneration even before birth. Details were published online Aug. 17, 2020, in Cell Stem Cell, article: Intrinsic Endocardial Defects Contribute to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

New gene therapy approach eliminates at least 90% latent herpes simplex virus 1. Infectious disease researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have used a gene-editing approach to remove latent herpes simplex virus 1, or HSV-1, also known as oral herpes. In animal models, the findings show at least a 90% decrease in the latent virus, enough researchers expect that it will keep the infection from coming back. The study: Gene editing and elimination of latent herpes simplex virus in vivo, published August 18 in Nature Communications, used two sets of genetic scissors to damage the virus’s DNA, fine-tuned the delivery vehicle to the infected cells, and targeted the nerve pathways that connect the neck with the face and reach the tissue where the virus lies dormant in individuals with the infection.

Researchers identify enzyme-linked to colitis. An enzyme that usually stops bacterial growth in the large intestine stimulates inflammation in some people, resulting in ulcerative colitis—a chronic digestive disease that affects more than 750,000 Americans, according to scientists at Rutgers University-Newark. In a new study published in Immunity, lead author Nan Gao, Associate Professor of Cell Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences-Newark, reports that in people with ulcerative colitis, the gut enzyme lysozyme which normally functions to restrain bacterial growth instead stimulates inflammation.

Researchers get a first-ever look at a rare but vital stem cell in humans. Neutrophils are the warriors of the immune system. They are always ready to spring to action to help heal injuries or fight off disease. Unless, that is, something goes wrong in their developmental process. Immature neutrophils aren’t all warriors—they can be dangerous turncoats. High levels of immature neutrophils in the bloodstream can be a tell-tale sign of cancer and may even be a biomarker for COVID-19. Now scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) have tracked down the rare stem cells that generate neutrophils in the human bone marrow. This research: Coexpression of CD71 and CD117 identifies an early unipotent neutrophil progenitor population in human bone marrow, published August 18, 2020, in Immunity, gives researchers a potential path for intervening in diseases where neutrophil development goes awry.

Study finds physical activity is beneficial for health, and more intense activity is better. Physical activity of any intensity is beneficial for health, but more intense activity has greater benefits, according to a new study: Wearable-device-measured physical activity and future health risk, published today in Nature Medicine. In the largest study to date of accelerometer-measured physical activity, a team led by researchers at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge analyzed data from more than 96,000 UK Biobank participants.

Study finds physical activity is beneficial for health, and more intense activity is better.

Study finds physical activity is beneficial for health, and more intense activity is better. Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Key gene identified in endometrial cancer could be targeted in the future drug trial. A new study: ROR1 is upregulated in endometrial cancer and represents a novel therapeutic target, has identified a key gene in aggressive endometrial cancer, which could lead to a targeted therapeutic strategy to improve survival rates. UNSW Sydney medical researchers have identified the gene known as ROR1 as a future target for therapeutic treatment of aggressive endometrial cancer.

High-intensity physical activity in early adolescence could lead to stronger bones in adulthood. High-intensity physical activity in early life might help maximize peak hip strength and prevent osteoporosis in later life, according to a study: Physical Activity Throughout Adolescence and Peak Hip Strength in Young Adults, from University of Bristol researchers published in JAMA Network Open. The research, which analyzed data from 2,569 participants of the Children of the 90s health study, found that more time spent doing moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) from age 12 years was associated with stronger hips at age 25 years, whereas time spent in light intensity activity was less clearly associated with adult hip strength.

Study shows the way an object is named is instrumental in infants’ memory of an object. A pair of researchers at Northwestern University have found that the way an object is named by an adult is instrumental in an infant’s memory of that object. In their paper: Naming guides how 12-month-old infants encode and remember objects, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Alexander LaTourrette and Sandra Waxman describe experiments they conducted with memory in infants and what they learned from them.

Connection found between the degree of sleepiness and social interaction. A team of researchers from the Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm University has found a connection between how sleepy people are and how much they socialize. In their paper: Sleepiness, sleep duration, and human social activity: An investigation into bidirectionality using longitudinal time-use data, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of sleep and socializing patterns for a group of volunteers and what they learned from it.

Connection found between degree of sleepiness and social interaction.

Connection found between degree of sleepiness and social interaction. Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers find a method to regrow cartilage in the joints. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a way to regenerate, in mice and human tissue, the cushion of cartilage found in joints. Loss of this slippery and shock-absorbing tissue layer, called articular cartilage, is responsible for many cases of joint pain and arthritis, which afflicts more than 55 million Americans. Nearly one in four adult Americans suffer from arthritis, and far more are burdened by joint pain and inflammation generally. The Stanford researchers figured out how to regrow articular cartilage by first causing slight injury to the joint tissue, then using chemical signals to steer the growth of skeletal stem cells as the injuries heal. The work (Articular cartilage regeneration by activated skeletal stem cells and Elucidating the fundamental fibrotic processes driving abdominal adhesion formation) was published Aug. 17 in the journal Nature Medicine.

Constructing odor objects in the brain. A research team led by Hokto Kazama at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan has combined brain imaging and models of brain activity to explain how smells can be generalized into categories. The team examined a region of the fly brain that plays a central role in forming olfactory memories and discovered clustered representations of mixtures and groups of odors that are conserved across individual flies. This study: Synthesis of Conserved Odor Object Representations in a Random, Divergent-Convergent Network, published in Neuron, explains how varying odors are perceived similarly in different individuals.

Romantic relationship dynamics may be in our genes. Variations in a gene called CD38, which is involved in attachment behaviour in non-human animals, may be associated with human romantic relationship dynamics in daily life, according to a study: CD38 is associated with communal behavior, partner perceptions, affect and relationship adjustment in romantic relationships, published in Scientific Reports.

Acidic niche keeps the lymphatic system in check during the immune response. In the fight against cancer, the immune system is the first line of defence. The lymphatic system specifically is essential to protecting the body against foreign invaders. Activation of immune cells in the lymph nodes leads to the production and release of antibodies, and activation of lymphocytes, including T cells, to battle infection. But little is known about how activation of immune cells in the lymph nodes can occur without enabling effector functions that could also damage the lymphatic system. In a new article: T-cells produce acidic niches in lymph nodes to suppress their own effector functions, published in Nature Communications, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers describe a novel acidic niche within lymph nodes that plays an integral role in regulating T cell activation.

Heart attack damage reduced by shielded stem cells. Bioengineers and surgeons from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) have shown that shielding stem cells with a novel biomaterial improve the cells’ ability to heal heart injuries caused by heart attacks. In a study using rodents, a team led by Rice’s Omid Veiseh and Baylor’s Ravi Ghanta showed it could make capsules of wound-healing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and implant them next to wounded hearts using minimally invasive techniques. Within four weeks, heart-healing was 2.5 times greater in animals treated with shielded stem cells than those treated with nonshielded stem cells, the researchers found. The study: Immune-modulatory alginate protects mesenchymal stem cells for sustained delivery of reparative factors to ischemic myocardium, is available online in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Biomaterials Science.

Heart attack damage reduced by shielded stem cells.

Heart attack damage reduced by shielded stem cells. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University

Why doesn’t Ebola cause disease in bats, as it does in people? A new study by researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston uncovered new information on why the Ebola virus can live within bats without causing them harm, while the same virus wreaks deadly havoc to people. This study: Species-Specific Evolution of Ebola Virus during Replication in Human and Bat Cells, is now available in Cell Reports.

Smartphones can tell when you’re drunk by analyzing your walk. Your smartphone can tell when you’ve had too much to drink by detecting changes in the way you walk, according to a new study: A preliminary study using smartphone accelerometers to sense gait impairments due to alcohol intoxication, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Targeted therapy combination effective for patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma and BRAF mutations. In a Phase II trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the combination of dabrafenib, a BRAF inhibitor, and trametinib, a MEK inhibitor, achieved a 51% overall response rate (ORR) in patients with cholangiocarcinoma marked by the BRAF V600E mutation. This trial represents the first prospective study for patients with BRAF-mutated cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer, and suggests this targeted therapy combination could serve as a much-needed treatment option for patients with treatment-resistant advanced disease. The trial results were published today in Lancet Oncology.

Measuring the social networks of young adults with autism. As many have recently discovered, social connections are vital to a person’s wellbeing. While social isolation is a core challenge associated with autism, researchers from Drexel University’s A.J. Drexel Autism Institute have laid the groundwork to show how interpersonal relationships, and the resources they provide, could impact autistic youth’s adult outcomes. The study, “Social Capital and Autism in Young Adulthood: Applying Social Network Methods to Measure the Social Capital of Autistic Young Adults,” will be published in Autism in Adulthood.

The study hopes to encourage the use of new technology to reduce errors in DNA testing. Today’s DNA testing is highly accurate, but errors still occur due to the limited genetic information accessible with current technologies. These errors can have a serious impact on people’s lives. New technology has been shown to reduce the chances of false associations and should be more widely used, said Jianye Ge, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Human Identification at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. In a study titled “How Many Familial Relationship Testing Results Could Be Wrong?” Dr Ge reviewed worldwide practices to assess the potential of errors. Co-author of the study is Dr Bruce Budowle, Director and Professor for the Center for Human Identification.

A poo transplant successfully treated a man who was brewing alcohol in his own gut. Clinicians who have patients with gut fermentation syndrome should consider treatment with fecal microbiota transplantation, especially if more traditional therapy has failed. Researchers from University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium describe the first case report showing the efficacy of this method for treating the rare syndrome. The case report: Treatment of Gut Fermentation Syndrome With Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Differences in blood biomarkers in people with genetic risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers at the University of Glasgow have conducted the largest study to date on a wide range of common blood biomarkers and show clear differences in people at genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The research: Alzheimer’s Disease Susceptibility Gene Apolipoprotein E (APOE) and Blood Biomarkers in UK Biobank (N = 395,769), published today in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and using data from nearly 400,000 people in the UK Biobank—found relatively-large associations of neuro-inflammatory and cholesterol biomarkers, such as low-density lipoprotein levels, in people with a genetically-high risk of Alzheimer’s .

DIY device for monitoring sleep patterns. Audrey Duarte has spent most of her research career as a professor with the School of Psychology studying memory and ageing. “It’s really my bread and butter,” Duarte says. Soon, that research will focus on another aspect of daily—and nightly—the life that changes as people grow older, in an area that often impacts their memory: sleep.

Social connection boosts fitness app appeal. New research: Psychological mechanisms underlying the relationship between commercial physical activity app use and physical activity engagement, led by Flinders University PhD candidate Jasmine Petersen examining commercial physical activity apps has found that the social components of these apps hold great potential to increase physical activity engagement. Sharing physical activity outcomes and progress to app communities and social networking platforms provides the necessary encouragement for people to engage more enthusiastically with their apps.

Social connection boosts fitness app appeal.

Social connection boosts fitness app appeal. Credit: CC0 Public Domain

How setting aside some ‘worry time’ can help reduce anxiety over COVID-19 lockdowns. Many New Zealanders will be feeling anxious, disappointed and even angry about the return of COVID-19 in the community. Many of us prefer to suppress these emotions because they are unpleasant or we may feel under-equipped to manage them. But if left unrecognized and unchecked, they will drive our behaviour.

Wide variation across hospitals in nurse staffing is a threat to the public’s health. According to a new study published today in BMJ Quality & Safety, many hospitals in New York and Illinois were understaffed right before the first surge of critically ill COVID-19 patients. The study, “Chronic Hospital Nurse Understaffing Meets COVID-19,” documented staffing ratios that varied from 3 to 10 patients for each nurse on general adult medical and surgical units. ICU nurse staffing was better but also varied significantly across hospitals.

These drugs carry risks and may not help, but many dementia patients get them anyway. Nearly three-quarters of older adults with dementia have filled prescriptions for medicines that act on their brain and nervous system, but aren’t designed for dementia, a new study shows.

New links found between diabetes blood markers and Alzheimer’s disease pathology. A new study: Association of Peripheral Insulin Resistance and Other Markers of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus with Brain Amyloid Deposition in Healthy Individuals at Risk of Dementia, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease provides insight into the association of blood markers of diabetes with brain beta-amyloid accumulation among older people at risk of dementia. The results suggest a link between Alzheimer’s pathology, lower levels of insulin and lower insulin resistance.

Here’s why we crave food even when we’re not hungry. Food cravings are very familiar to most people. We may see or smell food and want to eat, or sometimes we suddenly feel like eating something delicious. These intense desires occur even when we’re not hungry and can be very difficult to resist. An interesting study: Impulsivity makes more susceptible to overeating after contextual appetitive conditioning, found that people could easily learn such associations when they were given a milkshake while being shown images on a computer screen. The participants reported greater desire for a milkshake when they were shown these images compared to when they were shown images that were not associated with the milkshake.

Here's why we crave food even when we're not hungry.

Here’s why we crave food even when we’re not hungry. Credit: Roman Samborskyi/ Shutterstock

Fetal health negatively impacted by airplane noise. The likelihood of having a low birth weight (LBW) baby is increased if the mother lives close to the airport, in the direction of the runway, and is exposed to noise levels over the 55 dB threshold, a new University of Colorado Denver study found. Results come from a study conducted by Laura Argys, Ph.D., professor of economics at CU Denver, and her colleagues, Susan Averett and Muzhe Yang, examining residential neighbourhoods impacted by airplane flight patterns from one of the biggest airports in the nation—Newark Liberty International in New Jersey.

High fructose diet in pregnancy impacts the metabolism of offspring. Study finds an increased level of fructose intake during pregnancy can cause significant changes in maternal metabolic function and milk composition and alter the metabolism of their offspring, researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington, have found. The research: Fructose Consumption During Pregnancy Influences Milk Lipid Composition and Offspring Lipid Profiles in Guinea Pigs, which was led by Dr Clint Gray, a Research Fellow in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, found increasing the fructose in the diets of female guinea pigs led to highly significant and consistent changes in the free fatty acids circulating in the blood of their offspring. This was despite the offspring consuming no fructose themselves.

High fructose diet in pregnancy impacts metabolism of offspring.

High fructose diet in pregnancy impacts the metabolism of offspring. Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Multivitamin, mineral supplement linked to less-severe, shorter-lasting illness symptoms. Older adults who took a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement with zinc and high amounts of vitamin C in a 12-week study experienced sickness for shorter periods and with less severe symptoms than counterparts in a control group receiving a placebo. The finding: The Effect of a Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement on Immune Function in Healthy Older Adults: A Double-Blind, Randomized, by Oregon State University researchers were published in the journal Nutrients.

School flu vaccine program reduces community-wide influenza hospitalizations. A city-wide school influenza vaccine intervention was associated with a decrease in influenza-associated hospitalizations for all age groups and a decrease in school absence rates among students in seasons with an effective influenza vaccine, according to a new study: Evaluation of a city-wide school-located influenza vaccination program in Oakland, California, with respect to vaccination coverage, school absences, and laboratory-confirmed influenza: A matched cohort study, published this week in PLOS Medicine by Jade Benjamin-Chung of University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues.

RNA as a future cure for hereditary diseases. ETH Zurich scientists have developed an RNA molecule that can be used in bone marrow cells to correct genetic errors that affect protein production. Patients suffering from a rare hereditary disease that causes a painful hypersensitivity to sunlight could benefit in future. Short RNA molecules can be used as medication. Their effectiveness is based on the genetic information they carry: therapeutic RNA can bind to the body’s own RNA and thus influence how it functions. However, only a handful of such drugs are available so far. Delivery of oligonucleotides to bone marrow to modulate ferrochelatase splicing in a mouse model of erythropoietic protoporphyriaNucleic Acids Research (2020)

A bright idea: Genetically engineered proteins for studying neurons using light. In many human endeavours, having good tools for a particular task is an essential requirement to obtain the best results possible, and neuroscience is no different than other scientific fields in this regard. However, neuroscientists tackle the colossal objective of shedding light on the inner workings of neurons and neuronal circuits, and they rely on various methods to observe and control the firing of neurons to gain a better understanding of their functions. This new study by Japanese scientists: Green-Sensitive, Long-Lived, Step-Functional Anion Channelrhodopsin-2 Variant as a High-Potential Neural Silencing Tool, published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, expands the available options for optogenetic neuronal silencing and explores the potential of GtACR2, a natural light-regulated anion channel from an alga.

How protein protects against fatty liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common chronic liver disease in the world, with sometimes life-threatening consequences. A high-protein, calorie-reduced diet can cause harmful liver fat to melt away—more effectively than a low-protein diet. A new study: High‐protein diet more effectively reduces hepatic fat than low‐protein diet despite lower autophagy and FGF21 levels, by DIfE/DZD researchers published in the journal Liver International shows which molecular and physiological processes are potentially involved.

Scan for the arterial plaque is better at predicting heart attack than stroke. The amount of calcified plaque in the heart’s arteries is a better predictor of future heart attacks than of strokes, with similar findings across sex and racial groups, according to new research: Predictive Value of Coronary Artery Calcium Score Categories for Coronary Events Versus Strokes: Impact of Sex and Race, from UT Southwestern.

Risk of diabetes complications increases with elevated levels of NT-proBNP
Healthy people—especially women—with elevated levels of heart failure marker NT-proBNP have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, if these people develop diabetes nonetheless, they are more likely to suffer from macro- and microvascular complications such as heart attack, stroke, or severe damage to eyes, kidneys, or nerves. These are the findings of a recent study: Opposing Associations of NT-proBNP With Risks of Diabetes and Diabetes-Related Complications, by DZD researchers that have now been published in Diabetes Care.

Federal and state websites flunk COVID-19 reading-level review. Information about COVID-19 offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House, and state health departments failed to meet recommendations for communicating with the public, according to a Dartmouth study: Comparison of Readability of Official Public Health Information About COVID-19 on Websites of International Agencies and the Governments of 15 Countries.

Decline in milk consumption by children in school lunch programs may affect future health. Fluid milk consumption among children is vital, as adequate consumption of dairy products, especially during childhood, has beneficial health outcomes later in life. These benefits include reduced risk of osteoporosis, hypertension, obesity, and cancer in adulthood. Milk consumption among children has been declining for decades, so understanding and fulfilling the needs of children is crucial to reverse the decline. In an article: Invited review: Maintaining and growing fluid milk consumption by children in school lunch programs in the United States, appearing in the Journal of Dairy Science, scientists from North Carolina State University and Cornell University studied key contributors to increasing milk consumption among children.

Stress overload and pain common among patients with traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability. Post-injury distress is common, with many individuals experiencing chronic anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as chronic pain. In this collection of articles in the journal NeuroRehabilitation – Volume 47, issue 1, experts report on findings that shed light on the relationship between stress and pain following a TBI and implications for rehabilitation.

Study identifies optimal timing for phone calls after skin surgery. Phone calls after Mohs micrographic skin surgery can address patient concerns and quickly identify complications. But what is the optimal time for dermatologists to check-in with surgical patients after surgery? A new study: Optimal timing of postoperative patient telephone calls after Mohs micrographic surgery: A randomized controlled trial, from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care provides insight into how the timing of post-operative phone calls can address pain, bleeding and overall patient satisfaction.

Higher BPA exposure linked to increased risk for all-cause mortality. Higher bisphenol A (BPA) exposure is associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality in a nationally representative cohort of U.S. adults, according to a study: Association Between Bisphenol A Exposure and Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality in US Adults, published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Rates of prescription opioid use higher in cancer survivors. Cancer survivors have higher rates of prescription opioid use but do not have increased rates of prescription opioid misuse compared with those without a history of cancer, according to a study: National Patterns in Prescription Opioid Use and Misuse Among Cancer Survivors in the United States, published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Recent diabetes and weight loss tied to pancreatic cancer risk. Recent-onset diabetes accompanied by weight loss is associated with a substantially increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer, according to a study: Diabetes, Weight Change, and Pancreatic Cancer Risk, published online Aug. 13 in JAMA Oncology.

Climate change could bring heat ‘health crisis’ to U.S. cities. Some of the leading hotspots in the United States are on track to become even more sweltering in the coming decades—thanks to a combination of greenhouse gas emissions, urban development and population growth. In a new study: The motley drivers of heat and cold exposure in 21st century US cities, researchers estimate that over the course of this century, the biggest relative increases in extreme heat will hit cities in the Sunbelt, including Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Miami and Orlando, Fla.

Persistence of ADHD into adulthood is an important predictor of car crash risk. A new study report: Effects of Childhood and Adult Persistent Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder on Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes: Results From the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, that the risk of being involved in car crashes increases for those diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, looked specifically at the rate of car crashes by adulthood, which was 1.45 times higher in those with a childhood history of ADHD compared to adults with no ADHD.

The study suggests opioid use linked to pregnancy loss, lower chance of conception. Opioid use among women trying to conceive may be associated with a lower chance of pregnancy, suggests a National Institutes of Health study. Moreover, opioid use in early pregnancy may be associated with a greater chance of pregnancy loss. The study: Is opioid use safe in women trying to conceive? appears in Epidemiology.

Study suggests opioid use linked to pregnancy loss, lower chance of conception.

Study suggests opioid use linked to pregnancy loss, lower chance of conception. Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Low ‘good’ cholesterol levels found in Latin America and the Caribbean. Low levels of HDL cholesterol, the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol, are the most common lipid disorder in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, a new meta-analysis: A systematic review of population-based studies on lipid profiles in Latin America and the Caribbean, published in eLife shows.

Down syndrome mice open door to better understanding of the disorder. Scientists across the globe often use mouse models in the study of human conditions to advance the pursuit of medicines and treatments. Now, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers and their collaborators have created and characterized a new mouse replica of Down syndrome, long considered one of the most challenging disorders to simulate in laboratory animals. A report of their research: A non-mosaic transchromosomic mouse model of Down syndrome carrying the long arm of human chromosome 21, appeared June 29, 2020, in the journal eLife.

Police officers face multifaceted, compounding stressors that can lead to adverse events. Repeated exposure to high-stress calls for service and ongoing exposure to stress without relief were two of the contributing factors that could lead law enforcement officers to become susceptible to adverse events while performing their duties, according to a new study: Cumulative, high-stress calls impacting adverse events among law enforcement and the public, published in BMC Public Health by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Half of breast cancer survivors had delays in care due to COVID-19. The results of an online questionnaire of 609 breast cancer survivors in the U.S. suggest that nearly half of patients experienced delays in care during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study: Patient-reported treatment delays in breast cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic, by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago, is published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

People who feel their lives are threatened are more likely to experience miracles. People who experience threats to their existence—including economic and political instability—are more likely to experience miracles, according to a Baylor University study.

Ratio of two proteins may add kidneys to the transplant donor pool. Earlier this year, a study: Uromodulin to Osteopontin Ratio in Deceased Donor Urine is Associated with Kidney Graft Outcomes, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine provided strong evidence that hundreds of deceased donor kidneys with acute kidney injury (AKI)—traditionally discarded as unsuitable for transplantation—could be safely and successfully used. Now, a follow-up investigation by the same team, in collaboration with researchers at 13 other medical institutions in the United States, has shown that two proteins found in deceased donor urine can be measured to define which donor organs—including those with AKI—are the best candidates for saving the lives of patients with kidney failure.

ACP, AAFP release new guideline for the treatment of non-low back pain. The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) today released a new clinical guideline: Nonpharmacologic and Pharmacologic Management of Acute Pain From Non–Low Back, Musculoskeletal Injuries in Adults: A Clinical Guideline From the American College of Physicians and American Academy of Family Physicians, recommending that physicians treat acute pain from non-low back musculoskeletal injuries with topical NSAIDs, with or without menthol gel, as first-line therapy. The new, evidence-based, joint guideline was published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Bariatric surgery associated with reduced risk for dying over the long-term, especially for older patients. A study of more than 26,000 patients found that bariatric surgery is associated with a lower risk for dying over the long-term, especially for heavier patients and those who have weight loss surgery at older ages. The results: Association Between Bariatric Surgery and All-Cause Mortality: A Population-Based Matched Cohort Study in a Universal Health Care System, are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The new method proposed for preoperative needle insertion trajectory planning. Percutaneous needle insertion is a widely used technique in needle-based interventions. However, it is difficult to achieve high targeting accuracy due to needle deflection and the boundary effect in multilayered tissues. Researchers from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a preoperative needle insertion trajectory planning method that includes needle deflection modelling, insertion angle correction and needle trajectory optimization. Their study: Needle Deflection Modeling and Preoperative Trajectory Planning during Insertion into Multilayered Tissues, was published in IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics on August 3.

The meanings of meat. Invitations to dinner more often entail the consumption of meat than does an evening meal alone at home. A new study: The meaning of meat: (Un)sustainable eating practices at home and out of home, by LMU researchers shows that the willingness to forego meat is highly context dependent.

First US face transplant recipient dies, leaving an important legacy. On December 9 2008, 45-year-old Connie Culp became the first person in the United States, and only the fourth in the world, to receive a face transplant. Connie’s transplant took a team at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio more than 22 hours to perform and allowed her to eat solid food again, to smell, and to breathe independently. Four years earlier, Connie had been shot in the face by her husband, who was subsequently imprisoned for seven years for aggravated attempted murder. Sadly, Connie died on July 29 2020, of an as yet unspecified infection.

Current lung cancer public health screening guidelines under count African Americans. Public health screening guidelines for lung cancer followed by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) undercount African Americans, contributing to disparities in lung cancer screening and treatment, according to a study: Risk Prediction Model versus United States Preventive Services Task Force Lung Cancer Screening Eligibility Criteria – Reducing Race Disparities, published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.