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How to Deal with Asthma?

asthmaAsthma is really a long-term ailment that has simply no cure. The particular goal associated with asthma therapy is to manage the condition. Right there are the most of asthma symptoms and treatment:
·Prevent chronic plus troublesome signs and symptoms, for example breathing problems and shortness of breathing
·Reduce your own requirement for quick-relief medicines
·Help you preserve good lung perform
·Let you preserve your regular activity degree and rest through the particular night
·Prevent asthma episodes that can lead to a good emergency area visit or even hospital remain
To handle asthma, companion with your physician to control your asthma or your own child's asthma. Children old 10 or even older-and younger kids who are usually able-should consider an energetic function within their asthma care.
Using an energetic function to manage your own asthma requires:
·Working along with your physician to deal with other circumstances that may intervene with asthma management.
·Avoiding things that will worsen your own asthma (asthma triggers). Nevertheless, one cause you must not prevent is actual physical activity. Physical exercise is an essential portion of the healthy life-style. Talk along with your physician regarding medicines that will can assist you keep active.
·Working along with your physician as well as other wellness care suppliers to generate and stick to an asthma plan of action.
A good asthma motion plan offers guidance in obtaining your drugs properly, staying away from asthma sets off (except actual physical activity), monitoring your height of asthma control, reacting to deteriorating symptoms, plus seeking crisis care as needed.
Asthma is usually treated along with two varieties of medications: long-term handle and quick-relief medicines. Long lasting control medications help decrease airway irritation and stop asthma symptoms. Quick-relief, or "rescue, " medications relieve asthma symptoms that will may surface.
Your preliminary treatment is determined by the intensity of your own asthma. Followup asthma treatment is determined by just how well your own asthma activity plan is usually controlling your own symptoms plus preventing asthma attacks.
Your height of asthma handle can differ as time passes plus with adjustments in your own home, college, or function environments. These types of changes can modify how usually you're subjected to the elements that may worsen your own asthma.
Your own doctor might need to increase your own medicine when your asthma doesn't remain under manage. However, when your asthma is properly controlled for a number of months, your physician may reduce your medicine. These types of adjustments for your medicine can help you maintain the particular best manage possible along with the minimum amount associated with medicine essential.
Asthma therapy for many groupings of people-such as kids, pregnant females, or individuals for who exercise provides on asthma symptoms-will end up being adjusted in order to meet their particular special requirements.
Follow a good Asthma Plan of action
You may work together with your own doctor to produce a personal asthma action program. The master plan may describe your own daily remedies, such like which medications to consider plus when to consider them. The master plan also can explain whenever to contact your physician or even navigate to the crisis room.
In case your child provides asthma, all the people who else take care of your pet or the girl ought to know regarding the kid's asthma plan of action. This contains babysitters plus workers from daycare facilities, schools, plus camps. These types of caretakers may help your kid follow their action program.
Avoid Items That Can easily Worsen Your own Asthma
Several common items (called asthma triggers) may set away from or aggravate your asthma symptoms. As soon as you understand what these types of things are usually, you may take procedure for control most of them.
For illustration, contact with pollens or atmosphere pollution will make your asthma worse. If you are, try in order to limit time period outdoors whenever the degrees of these elements in the particular outdoor air flow are higher. If pet fur sets off your asthma symptoms, maintain pets along with fur out there of your own home or even bedroom.
A single possible asthma trigger a person shouldn’t prevent is physical exercise. Physical exercise is an important component of a proper lifestyle. Talk to your physician about medications which will help a person stay energetic.
In case your asthma symptoms are usually clearly associated to contaminants in the air, and a person can't prevent contact with individuals allergens, your own doctor might advise a person to obtain allergic reaction shots.
A person may require to visit a specialist in case you are thinking regarding getting allergic reaction shots. These types of shots may lessen or even stop your asthma symptoms, yet they aren't cure your own asthma.
Many health circumstances could make asthma harder in order to manage. These types of conditions consist of runny nasal area, sinus bacterial infections, reflux condition, psychological tension, and stop snoring. Your physician will deal with these circumstances too.
Medications
Your physician may consider several things whenever deciding which usually asthma drugs are very best to suit your needs. He or she or the lady will verify to notice how properly a medication works. After that, she or he may adjust the particular dose or even medicine since needed.
Asthma medicines may be consumed pill type, but many are used utilizing a device called a good inhaler. A good inhaler enables the drugs to look straight to your own lungs.
Not every inhalers are utilized the exact same way. Request your physician or even another physician to present the correct method to make use of your inhaler. Review how you use your own inhaler from every healthcare visit.
Long lasting Control Medications
Most individuals who may have asthma require long lasting control medications daily in order to help avoid symptoms. The very best long-term drugs reduce respiratory tract inflammation, which usually helps avoid symptoms through starting. These types of medicines may provide you with fast respite from signs and symptoms.

Institute for Health Technology Transformation Announces Health IT Summit in Denver July 24-25

The iHT2 Health IT Summit in Denver, will bring together C-level, physician, practice management, and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices. For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solutions providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.

The Summit will feature keynote presentations from Peter Fine, FACHE, President & CEO, Banner Health, and Bernard Harris, Jr., MD, MBA, President & CEO, Vesalius Ventures, and President, American Telemedicine Association.

Featured Speakers include: Dana Moore, SVP & CIO, Centura Health; Gregory Veltri, CIO, Denver Health; Russell Leftwich, MD, CMIO, Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives; Neal Ganguly, VP & CIO, CentraState Healthcare System; Andrew Steele, MD, MPH, Director, Medical Informatics, Denver Health; Jonathan Gold, MD, MHA, MSc, Regional CMIO, Catholic Health Initiatives; Charles Doarn, MBA, Research Professor and Director, Telemedicine & e-Health Program, University of Cincinnati; Mark Caron, SVP & CIO, Capital BlueCross, and many more.

Panel Discussions for the Health IT Summit in Denver include: Accountable Care Organizations: Taking on Risk & Identifying Critical Tools, Leveraging Data to Improve Outcomes & Safety, Preparing for 2013: Organizational Strategies for the Transition to ICD-10, Breach Avoidance: Strategies to Protect Patient Data, HIE Performance: Defining Your Objectives & Measuring Progress, Meaningful Use Stage 2: Reaching the Next Stages of Quality & Care, and Mobile Health: Leveraging Data at the Point of Care.

The full agenda can be viewed by visiting: http://ihealthtran.com/2012denveragenda.html

Sponsors and Partners include: ICA, Quantix, Extract Systems, SLI Global Solutions, Nuance, Comcast, Altus, Rubbermaid Healthcare, VMware, Healthcare IT News, CMIO, FierceHealthIT, ADVANCE, NASCIO, AMDIS, eHealth SmartBrief, Frost & Sullivan, IDC Health Insights, Mobile Healthcare Today, SearchHealthIT.com, and more.

Institute for Health Technology Transformation Appoints New Health IT Leaders to Advisory Board

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT²) announced ten new members to their Advisory Board this week. These members represent some of the brightest minds in healthcare information technology, and they will work to provide thought leadership and valuable industry connections to expand and improve the quality of the Institute’s initiatives throughout the year.

The Institute’s Advisory Board is a group of health care thought leaders representing the diverse stakeholders involved in the integration of health information technology. This esteemed group provides iHT² with insight and guidance throughout the year on how it can better serve the health care industry in their goal of fostering the adoption and implementation of health IT.

“Members of the iHT² Advisory Board greatly enhance our ability to offer health IT leaders superior educational and collaborative opportunities,” said Barry P. Chaiken, MD, MPH, Senior Fellow & Health IT Chair, Institute for Health Technology Transformation, CMO, DocsNetwork & former HIMSS Chair. “The insight provided by these distinguished professionals allows iHT² to keep pace with developing trends in healthcare, and offer conferences, webinars and publications that satisfy the needs of a wide range of industry professionals.”

The new members join a board of over twenty health IT leaders representing organizations throughout the country including: Kaiser Permanente, Catholic Health Initiatives, Capital BlueCross, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Delaware Health Information Network, and more.

The newly appointed members are:

  •     Samantha Burch, VP, Quality & Health IT, Federation of American Hospitals
  •     Mary Carroll Ford, MBA, VP & CIO, Lakeland Regional Medical Center
  •     Dick Gibson, MD, Chief Health Intelligence Officer, Providence Health & Services
  •     Fred Galusha. CIO & COO, Inland Northwest Health Services
  •     Chris Jaeger, MD, VP, Medical Informatics, Sutter Health
  •     Elizabeth Johnson, SVP, Applied Clinical Informatics, Tenet Healthcare
  •     Bill Phillips, CIO, University Healthcare System
  •     Justin Graham, CMIO, NorthBay Healthcare
  •     Andy Steele, MD, Medical Director, Informatics, Denver Health
  •     Doris Crain, CIO, Broward Health
  •     John Santangelo, Director of IT, Cleveland Clinic Florida

“The Advisory Board contributes invaluable industry insight that results in some of the most comprehensive, intimate, and informative programs taking place year after year,” said Waco Hoover, CEO, Institute for Health Technology Transformation. “The accomplishments and dedication of the Advisory Board is what truly separates the Institute apart from other organizations.”

Intermountain Healthcare, Partners Healthcare System, and Kaiser Permanente to Deliver Keynote Presentations at the Health IT Summit in San Francisco

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation announced the keynote presenters for the Health IT Summit in San Francisco, which will take place March 27-28th at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport. The keynote presenters at the annual program will be Mark Probst, CIO, Intermountain Healthcare, Blackford Middleton, MD, Corporate Director of Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners Healthcare System, and Hal Wolf, SVP & COO, The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente.

The iHT2 Health IT Summit, will bring together C-level, physician, practice management, and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices. For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solutions providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.

“We are dedicated to continuous improvement that enhances patient care. I look forward to learning from health care leaders and sharing our experience in improving outcomes by putting advanced health IT in the hands of clinicians, care teams, and patients,” said Hal Wolf, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente.

Panel discussions for the Health IT Summit in San Francisco include: Accounting for Assumptions: Taking a deeper look at reforming our healthcare delivery system, HIE & HIX: The convergence of healthcare information, Securing Electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI): From the Data Warehouse to the Point of Care, Analytics in Healthcare: Improving Outcomes Through Data Management, The Cloud in Healthcare, Stage 2 Meaningful Use: Leveraging Technology to Improve Outcomes & Efficiency, Patient Management Without Walls: Enabling mHealth and Telemedicine, and more.

“Healthcare I.S. leadership is consumed with the demands of ARRA HITECH (meaningful use), ICD-10 (maybe we are going to get some relief) and a barrage of requests to meet the demands of a changing healthcare landscape,” said Mark Probst. “I believe that even though the demands are great – as I.S. leaders, we must not simply follow and adopt aging solutions, rather we have the responsibility to innovate.”

Sponsors and Partners include: ICA, InnerWireless, CloudPrime, Accellion, ICW, SLI Global Solutions, VMware, athenahealth, Comcast, InterSystems, LANDesk Software, Pano Logic, Aventura, Key Info, AUXILIO, Somansa Technologies, Inc., Salesforce.com, EMC2, AMDIS, The California Association of Healthcare Leaders (CAHL), California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), CMIO, DOTmed, eHealth SmartBrief, Executive Insight, Frost & Sullivan, Healthcare IT News, IDC Health Insights, MarketsandMarkets, NASCIO, ReportsandReports, SearchHealthIT.com, and more.

Health Care Thought Leaders Release Research Report Finding Automation Is Key to Population Health Management

The Institute for Health Technology Transformationtoday released findings from an Automating Population Health Research Project, which seeks to educate the healthcare industry on how best to apply technology in meeting the challenges of population health management.

Prepared in consultation with a broad range of industry experts, the Population Health Management: A Roadmap for Provider-Based Automation in a New Era of Healthcare report finds that population health management requires healthcare providers to develop new skill sets and new infrastructures for delivering care. To make the transition from fee-for-service reimbursement to accountable care, which depends on the ability to improve population health, providers will need to automate many routine tasks, ranging from identification of care gaps and risk stratification to patient engagement, care management, and outcomes measurement.

“In the era of healthcare reform, provider organizations must change their traditional approach and embrace new ways of thinking about their mission,” said Waco Hoover, CEO of the Institute for Health Technology Transformation. “They must not only care for the sick, but also strive to keep their patient populations healthy. Information technology is the key to doing this cost efficiently, and automation can enable care teams to identify and work with the patients who truly need their help.”

Report coauthor Paul Grundy, MD, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation for IBM, and President of Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, commented, “Patient-centered medical homes based on primary care are the building blocks of accountable care, and information technology is the key to successful medical homes. With the help of registries, electronic health records, health information exchanges, and other tools for care coordination and automation, healthcare providers can manage their populations effectively and keep their patients as healthy as possible.”

Andy Steele, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Informatics at Denver Health, and another of the report’s contributing authors, said, “Given potential health care reform and efforts to increase quality and efficiency of care in the setting of persistent fiscal limitations, the importance of leveraging information technology and focusing on population health management has become a top priority for many health care institutions. Our goal for the project is to provide resources that health care providers can utilize as they are considering and implementing population health management initiatives.”

Richard Hodach, MD, MPH, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Phytel and chair of the report’s research committee, commented, “This important new report underscores the message that Phytel has been spreading among physician groups for the past several years. By using technology to identify subpopulations and patients who are at risk, to reach out to those patients, and to automate care management, healthcare providers can provide optimal preventive and chronic care to their patient populations. Providers can also use technology to engage patients in their own care, which is the real key to lowering costs and improving population health. We are proud of our participation in this project, and we hope that the report will be helpful to providers who plan to move in this direction.”

Among the healthcare thought leaders who contributed to the Automating Population Health Research Project are Alide Chase, MS, Senior Vice President for Quality and Service, Kaiser Permanente; Robert Fortini, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Bon Secours Health System; Connie White Delaney, PhD, RN, School of Nursing Professor & Dean, Academic Health Center Director, Associate Director of Biomedical Health Informatics, and Acting Director of the Institute for Health Informatics, University of Minnesota; Richard Hodach, MD, MPH, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Phytel; Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation, IBM; Margaret O’Kane, President, National Committee for Quality Assurance; Andy Steele, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Informatics, Denver Health; and Dan Fetterolf, Principal, Fetterolf Healthcare Consulting.

Institute for Health Technology Transformation Appoints Jay Srini Senior Fellow & Innovation Chair

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation announced today that Jay Srini, Chief Strategist at SCS Ventures has been appointed Senior Fellow & Innovation Chair for the Institute’s 2012 series of educational programs and meetings.

Jay Srini is an internationally recognized thought leader on national and international trends that are changing the face of healthcare. In her current role at SCS Ventures, Jay works with startup companies internationally to help them with their business development, technology strategy, and expansion. She also advises established companies on their strategies to enter and grow their healthcare vertical.

“We’re thrilled to work with Jay in a concerted effort to move our health system forward with programs that foster the more innovative use of information technology,” said Waco Hoover, the Institute’s CEO. “Jay has a wealth of industry expertise that will make a meaningful and lasting impact on programs and initiatives developed at the Institute.”

In Jay Srini’s role as Senior Fellow and Innovation Chair she will work with the Institute’s Advisory Board and other industry leaders to program and develop leading educational programs and collaboration opportunities for health care leaders. In tandem with the Institute’s mission to promote the effective use of technology across the U.S. health system, Mrs. Srini will engage leaders from the community to ensure the Institute continually provides timely and relevant resources.

“We are in the midst of tectonic shifts in healthcare on all fronts ranging from new discoveries to new payment models and new stakeholders entering the healthcare sector,” said Jay Srini. “Finding innovative ways to deliver cost effective patient centered health care has never been as important as now. Innovation is virtually impossible without collaboration! I am honored and excited to take on this new role at iHT2 to develop new programs and platforms to drive innovation in healthcare through collaboration knowledge acquisition and knowledge dissemination.”

Jay’s prior experience includes her role as Chief Innovation Officer for UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Insurance Services Division as well as her role as Vice President of Emerging Technologies for UPMC. Jay was Managing Director for e-Health Initiatives at Internet Venture Works where she led technology and industry assessments of opportunities presented by strategic partners, investors and external sources and served in executive management roles for its’ portfolio companies. She has served on several healthcare boards including HIMSS (himss.org), PRHI (prhi.org) and is a frequent speaker on International Healthcare forums. She serves on several HHS (Health and Human Services –hhs.gov) related advisory panels and serves in an advisory capacity to International healthcare Institutions and Venture capitalists.

Jay has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from New York University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and her executive education from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She also serves as one of the commissioners at CCHIT (Certification Commission of HealthCare Information Technology) in addition to her role as adjunct faculty Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and advisory board of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

 

About iHT2

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation is the leading organization committed to bringing together private and public sector leaders fostering the growth and effective use of technology across the healthcare industry. Through collaborative efforts the Institute provides programs that drive innovation, educate, and provide a critical understanding of how technology applications, solutions and devices can improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare.

The Institute engages multiple stakeholders:

• Hospitals and other healthcare providers
• Clinical groups
• Academic and research institutions
• Healthcare information technology organizations
• Healthcare technology investors
• Health plans
• Consumer and patient groups
• Employers and purchasers
• Device manufacturers
• Private sector stakeholders
• Public sector stakeholders

Are Vaccines Making Viruses More Dangerous?

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Luiscar74/Shutterstock

Despite the near-universal acceptance of the benefits of vaccination, some people still worry about risks associated with their use. Luckily, scientists are vigilant about identifying possible risks, so they can be addressed before problems emerge.

Still, people sometimes forget that science is the process by which we arrive at solutions. And they worry about incremental scientific steps that often expose weakness in these solutions.

A recent study published in the journal PLOS Biology, for instance, was presented by some media as claiming that certain vaccines make viruses more dangerous. The research showed chickens treated with its vaccine are more likely to spread a highly virulent strain of Marek’s disease virus, a condition that affects poultry.

The reason was simple: the vaccine used in the study targets Marek’s disease, not the virus that causes it. These types of vaccines are known as “leaky vaccines” because they don’t affect the ability of the virus to reproduce and spread to others; they simply prevent the virus from causing disease.

Marek’s disease vaccines use a non-disease-causing virus to...

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What Lies Behind The Hype And The Hope Of Stem Cell Research And Therapy

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Embryonic stem cells. shutterstock

The words “stem cell research and therapy” evoke a number of responses. In emotionally vulnerable patients, a sense of hope. In scientists, a great deal of excitement about future prospects. In the case of legal experts and ethicists, a need to ensure that patient safety and a spirit of distributive justice are maintained. And in the minds of entrepreneurs, an opportunity to develop a profitable business.

Stem cells are the building blocks of our bodies. They are able to differentiate into the more that 200 cell types that make up our bodies. From a fertilised egg to a fully fledged human being which contains billions of cells, the purpose of stem cells during development in the womb is to ensure normal structure and function.

In postnatal life, stem cells replace those cells that have been damaged by wear and tear or by disease.

Gaining Momentum

In research, stem cells are at the cutting edge of science, with regular breakthroughs being announced in the field. By 2012, it was estimated that there were close to 100,000 active stem cell researchers across the globe. Massive funding is being...

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So You Think You Have IBS, Coeliac Disease Or Crohn’s? Here’s What It Might Mean For You

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: See your doctor if you suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly if you’ve had them for weeks or months. Holly Lay/Flickr, CC BY

Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract are common in modern humans and many are on the rise. The gastrointestinal tract extends from the mouth to the anus, via the stomach and the bowels, which include the small intestine and the large intestine (colon).

Around one in five Australians suffers symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) at some point in their life. Around one in 70 have coeliac disease (though many don’t know they have it). Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which usually manifests as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, is less common, affecting three in 10,000 Australians.

The gastrointestinal tract. Blamb/Shutterstock

Irritable bowel syndrome is also called irritable colon. People with IBS have sensitive large intestines that are easily aggravated.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body reacts abnormally to gluten, which is found in wheat, oats, rye and barley. (An easy way to remember this is the acronym WORB.) This abnormal reaction to...

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According To New Study, A Blood Test Could Predict Suicide Risk

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: What causes an individual to decide to commit suicide is incredibly complex. hikrcn/Shutterstock

In hindsight, it can often seem like there were many clues to what might have led someone to commit suicide. But what if there were hidden indicators you could spot before someone made an attempt on their life? In what is sure to be highly controversial research, a new study claims to be able to predict a person's risk of committing suicide with over 90% accuracy, using only a blood test coupled with a questionnaire.

According to the researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine, they have developed a simple test that looks for 11 biomarkers in a patient’s blood. When they coupled this with an app-based questionnaire, they say they were able to predict which individuals in a group of patients already being treated for psychiatric disorders would go on to develop suicidal thoughts over a period of two years.

“We believe that widespread adoption of risk prediction tests based on these findings during healthcare assessments will enable clinicians to intervene with lifestyle changes or treatments that can save lives,” said...

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DIY Can Be Dangerous – But It’s The Invisible Dust That May Harm You The Most

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: It’s dirty work… and that’s only the visible dust. Susan Sermoneta, CC BY

We all know about the obvious dangers of DIY and construction work – smashed thumbs, stubbed toes and so on. Even hanging wallpaper results in 1,500 British people going to hospital every year.

But the biggest threat might be invisible. Research by my team has revealed that drilling, cutting and sawing releases into the air dangerous levels of ultrafine particles. These tiny specks of dust that are 700 to 70,000 times thinner than human hair are small enough to slip through most masks and could cause serious heart and lung diseases due to prolonged exposure.

Our latest study, published in the Journal of Nanoparticle Research indicates peak concentrations during drilling, cutting or sawing could reach as high as 4,000 times as much as the level at the same site when there is no work going on.

We measured the particles released by a variety of different DIY and construction activities – wall chasing (cutting grooves into a wall using an electrical tool, for example to lay electrical cables) released the most particles but, on average, up to 40-times higher...

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The Science Of Doping And How Cheating Athletes Pass Drug Tests

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Two news outlets have alleged there was widespread cheating in endurance sports between 2001 and 2012. Peter Mooney/Flickr, CC BY-SA

The 15th Athletics World Championships, which open on August 22 in Beijing, China, present a significant challenge for the organisers. Allegations in early August of mass doping among athletes mean any untoward behaviour will pose a threat to the integrity of the competition.

According to the media revelations, a third of endurance runners who won Olympic and world championship medals from 2001 to 2012 may have cheated by taking performance enhancers or by “blood doping”. More than 800 track and field athletes are thought to have returned abnormal blood tests, suggesting they were cheating with impunity.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) uses a battery of blood and urine tests to determine if athletes are cheating. A key tool is the biological passport program, which tests all athletes for doping and performance-enhancing drugs.

Blood Doping

Blood doping increases the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. This can have a direct impact on VO2max, the measure of a person’s aerobic capacity....

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Vomiting Machine Shows How Viruses Spread Through The Air

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: The vomiting device. The clay mask actually serves a practical purpose, weighing down the end of the tubing to direct the spray of the vomit. Grace Tung-Thompson.

To study how viruses spread through the air when we throw up, researchers have built a vomiting machine, complete with a clay face and a mouth that spews fake barf. According to their findings, published in PLOS ONE this week, upchucking makes virus particles airborne. 

Around the world, human noroviruses are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis, or the stomach flu. These infections can occur when we consume contaminated food or water, though they spread more often through close contact between people. Exactly how it’s transmitted hasn’t really been tested. “Epidemiological studies have suggested that norovirus can be ‘aerosolized’ through vomiting, meaning that small particles containing norovirus can become airborne when someone throws up,” North Carolina State University’s Grace Tung-Thompson says in a statement. These viruses make us throw up, but does throwing up help to spread them?

To see if that’s the case, she and colleagues developed a vomiting device...

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Enemy Within: The Fungus That Lives In Your Mouth And Kills As Many As MRSA

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Candida albicans lives in the mouth or digestive tract of 50% of people. Graham Beards, CC BY-SA

On hearing the word “fungi” most people will probably think of pizza al funghi or a portobello mushroom burger. Incidentally, roughly half of the people salivating about these dishes will also carry a fungus called Candida albicans in their mouths or digestive tracts where it lives quietly, invisibly to the human eye, without causing disruptions or symptoms.

But Candida albicans does not always go unnoticed. While most people carrying the fungus will go through life without ever learning the scientific name of their innocuous tenant, also called a “commensal”, some do encounter it as the common cause of oral thrush, nappy rush or vaginal yeast infections. Indeed, 75% of women will experience at least one episode of yeast infection throughout their lifetime.

It gets worse. Changes to a person’s immune defences can help Candida albicans cause life-threatening infections of the blood stream and the inner organs. Patients suffering HIV/AIDS or those undergoing cancer chemotherapy or solid organ transplants or babies with low birth...

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Narcolepsy Medication Could Be A Safe “Smart Drug”

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: A growing number of students are taking modafinil to improve concentration. Pressmaster/Shutterstuck

Modafinil is a medicine used to treat sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. Dubbed as a “smart drug,” modafinil is becoming increasingly popular among students to improve their concentration before an exam. But is it safe and does it really work? A recent review by researchers suggests modafinil does work for some people and is safe in the short term.

Dr. Ruairidh Battleday and Dr. Anna-Katharine Brem from the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School analyzed all research papers on the cognitive effects of modafinil in healthy individuals who are not sleep deprived. Researchers note in the study that there have been “discrepancies” in the methodology of previous studies that have looked at the drug's overall effectiveness as a cognitive enhancer in healthy people.

Battleday said in a statement: “This is the first overview of modafinil's actions in non-sleep-deprived individuals since 2008, and so we were able to include a lot of recent data.”

Battleday found that the type of tests studies used to evaluate modafinil's...

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Researchers Narrow In On Common Cystic Fibrosis Infection

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Lung infections are common for cystic fibrosis patients. Puwadol Jaturawutthichai/Shutterstock

Cystic fibrosis patients are prone to lung infections that can be deadly. One of the most common infections – caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria – is particularly difficult to treat. The opportunistic bacteria is able to persist even after treatment. Researchers from the University of Washington have just discovered why: After the bacterium infects the lungs, populations become isolated and then evolve region-specific traits.

Cystic fibrosis is characterized by the buildup of mucus in the lungs and other organs. This sticky and thick substance is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. While a combination of different treatments are able to eliminate large swaths of P. aeruginosa, the bacterium is still able to replicate and survive in a patient’s lung. It is able to persist because different populations become isolated from one another, move to different parts of the lung and then evolve.

According to lead researcher Dr. Peter Jorth, bacterial populations found in different parts of the lung “varied dramatically in terms of...

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Spouses of stroke survivors face lingering health issues

Caregiver spouses of stroke survivors are at an increased risk of mental and physical health issues that may continue for years after stroke. Spouses of stroke survivors reported lower scores in several mental and physical areas -- more health issues affecting their lives, less vitality, and reduced social function -- not only during the first years after stroke but also in the long-term, research shows.

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US hospitals flout CDC recommendations that prevent infections

There is significant variability regarding how clinicians manage catheters placed in the arteries of patients in intensive care units, research shows. Some practices may increase risk of infection associated with these catheters. Fewer than half of those surveyed complied with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention infection prevention guidelines for arterial catheter insertions.

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Northern bald ibises fit for their journey to Tuscany

January 2014 saw the launch of one of Europe’s largest species conservation projects. The project’s aim is to reintroduce the northern bald ibis, a species of migratory bird, to Europe by the year 2019. Veterinarians make sure the animals are fit for their journey to the south. 31 hand-raised northern bald ibises are healthy and will begin their migration coming Saturday, following an ultralight aircraft towards Tuscany. Other 17 juvenile birds raised by their parents will follow experienced adult birds.

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How can we improve data sharing of biomedical research across the globe?

With the globalization of biomedical research and growing concerns about possible pandemics of diseases such as HIV, SARS, and Ebola, international data-sharing practices are of growing interest to the biomedical science community. A new special journal issue presents guidelines, protocols, models, and new resources to improve data sharing across the globe.

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Something to chew on: Millions of lives blighted by smokeless tobacco

More than a quarter of a million people die each year from using smokeless tobacco, researchers have concluded. The study estimates that in 2010 alone smokeless tobacco resulted in more than 62,000 deaths due to cancers of the mouth, pharynx and esophagus and accounted for more than 200,00 deaths from heart disease.

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High sugar consumption among children relates to poor family functioning, study finds

The quality of general family functioning is a major determinant of healthy dietary habits, according to new research. A British study found that a mother's perception of effective general family functioning has a significant effect on limiting the intake of sugary foods and drinks by their three and four year old children. In contrast, less effective family functioning leads to high frequency intake of sugary foods and drinks by three and four year old children in the family.

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Anti-aging tricks from dietary supplement seen in mice

The dietary supplement alpha lipoic acid can stimulate telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens chromosomes' protective caps, with positive effects in a mouse model of atherosclerosis, scientists report. The discovery highlights a potential avenue for the treatment for chronic diseases.

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Diabetes linked to bone health

A link between diabetes and bone health has been found by researchers. Clinical trials have revealed a startling elevation in fracture risk in diabetic patients, the investigators note.

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Mindfulness-based Therapy Shown To Reduce PTSD Symptoms In Veterans

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Veterans are particularly vulnerable to PTSD. John Gomez/Shutterstock.

People who are exposed to distressing events can go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This mental health condition was first brought to light by veterans of the Vietnam War and it continues to persist in both the armed forces and the rest of society. The growing problem of PTSD has led to a number of treatments, but which one works best? A recent study suggests mindfulness-based therapy may ease PTSD symptoms in veterans.

Veterans are particularly vulnerable to PTSD, which currently affects 23% of those returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Researchers note in the study that though the U.S. government is heavily invested in providing treatment, 30% to 50% of veterans participating fail to show clinically significant improvements.

"Thus, research aimed at testing novel treatments for PTSD in this population is important," the researchers note in their study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association

For the study, 116 veterans were recruited in 2012 and 2013. Researchers randomly assigned one group of veterans to undergo...

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Asthma Rates Falling But Eczema And Hay Fever Stand Still. What Does This Tell Us About Allergies?

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Asthma inhaler. Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

You might have thought that health specialists would closely monitor the prevalence of allergies in the population, especially when they are far more common than they used to be. In fact, it happens less than you would think. For asthma, for example, the government publishes statistics on the numbers of people that are admitted to hospital or die from the condition, but it does not publish a running total of how many people are affected overall.

The University of Aberdeen is one of very places that does regularly publish data on childhood asthma, eczema and hay fever, going back as far as 1964. Though we only survey what is happening in the city, the figures are closely watched because they have a very good record of predicting the incidence of these allergies across the rest of western Europe.

When we published our five-yearly report on July 29, it showed that childhood prevalence of asthma had fallen by a third to around 20% following a long rise over decades. Reasons are likely to include improved air quality, reduced smoking, changing diets and improved diagnosis.

The figures...

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Massive New Study Suggests The Pill Has Prevented 200,000 Cases of Womb Cancer

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Contraceptive pill. Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

The contraceptive pill is arguably one of the biggest advancements in women's health of the 20th century. A recent study suggests that the birth control pill not only gave women the opportunity to use their reproductive rights, but has also prevented hundreds of thousands of cases of womb cancer.

According to new research, published in the journal The Lancet Oncology, the pill reduces the incidence of womb cancer, which is also known as uterine or endometrial cancer. This form of cancer affects the female reproductive system and usually occurs after menopause. Womb cancer often begins in the inner lining of the womb, which is called the endometrium. The most common symptom is abnormal vaginal bleeding.

To investigate the link between the pill and the subsequent risk of womb cancer, researchers analyzed data from 36 studies that included 27,276 women with womb cancer and 115,743 women without it. Researchers note in the study that this is almost all available data on the effect of the pill on endometrial cancer.

They found that the pill had prevented an estimated 400,000 womb...

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New Anti-Prion Compound Provides New Hope For Treating Brain-Wasting Disease

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: New drug compound can bind to prions and prevent it from replicating. Herrmann/Science Translational Medicine

Prions have previously been described as the “world’s most indestructible biological entity,” and for good reason. These infectious proteins are able to reproduce with deadly consequences. While you may not have heard of prion disease, you may know some of its various forms – bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, for example. There’s no effective medication for the treatment of animals and humans infected with prion disease, but a new drug compound could lead to a breakthrough.

As a type of fluorescent compound, the promising agent could do what others have failed to do so far: block prions from growing. The findings, published in the journal Science Transitional Medicine, could lead to new treatment for the fatal disease. 

Prion disease occurs when misfolded prion proteins induce others to fold into this abnormal shape. This sets a chain reaction where the misfolded proteins build up, leading to large clusters that cause brain damage. Scientists are still unclear exactly how prions...

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Hospital Patients Are More Likely To Die At Weekends But Seven-Day Rosters Are No Panacea

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: England’s NHS is taking implementing seven-day services in an attempt to reduce excess deaths on weekends. Sfam_photo/Shutterstock

If you are admitted to a hospital on the weekend, you have a higher chance of dying than if you are admitted during the week. This is known as the “weekend effect”.

Evidence from the United Kingdom suggests an 11-16% increased risk of death for patients admitted on weekends, mostly driven by emergency admissions. This effect has also been found in the United States and Australia, among Queenslanders admitted for heart attacks.

But while seven-day rosters for doctors and nurses have been touted as a solution to this problem in the UK, the evidence suggests it’s a little more complicated.

What Causes The Weekend Effect?

Generally, there are fewer routine elective procedures and outpatient appointments scheduled on weekends. This means there are fewer nurses and doctors available for emergency care.

During the week, for example, heart surgeons working on elective procedures in hospitals can easily be called away to treat patients admitted through the emergency department. These surgeons may be less...

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Child Camping At Yosemite National Park Contracts Plague

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Main entrance to Yosemite National Park, California. William Silver/Shutterstock

A child who was camping in Yosemite National Park has contracted the plague. The California Department of Public Health have launched an investigation and are monitoring other members of the camping party. This case comes in the wake of the recent death of an adult in Colorado who also contracted the incredibly rare disease.

Yes, I’m talking about that plague, the one that killed millions across Europe in the 1300s. While the disease was devastating centuries ago, it’s become incredibly rare since the advent of modern medicine. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most human cases of the disease have occurred in Africa, but there continues to be scattered cases in the United States. The WHO estimates there were 783 cases, including 126 deaths, reported worldwide in 2013.

California health officials announced on Thursday that the child is currently recovering and that no one else from the camping party has reported symptoms. The last time a human case of the plague occurred in California was in 2006. There have been 42 human cases of...

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Alcohol Guidelines Ignore How People Drink – That’s Why They’re Not Heeded

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Blackcurrant cordial? Jenn Vargas, CC BY-SA

As part of the government’s strategy to cut the human and economic cost of alcohol misuse, it currently recommends that men and women shouldn’t regularly drink more than three to four and two to three units a day respectively. In theory, such guidelines help people make informed decisions about their health, but researchers have questioned their effectiveness.

The consequences of drinking to excess are well known. It increases the risks of chronic health conditions and suffering acute injuries, costing the NHS an estimated £3bn a year. Alcohol is also associated with a range of social and criminal harms, such as domestic violence and antisocial behaviour.

A fair number of people evidently pay no attention to the drinking guidelines whatsoever. To find out why not, we put together focus groups of 66 male and female drinkers in England and Scotland. They were aged between 19 and 65 from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds. We asked them what they thought of the UK guidelines, and asked them to compare them with those of Australia and Canada, both of which distinguish single-occasion...

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Scientists Discover How A Single Mutation Can Cause Autism

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Autism is five times more common among boys than girls. Dubova/Shutterstock

Autism is an incredibly complicated disorder that is thought to be caused by a complex set of genetic and environmental factors. In short, we’re not really sure what causes autism, but a new breakthrough might have just brought us one step closer. Researchers have discovered how a switch in one autism-linked gene mutation could cause the neurodevelopmental disorder in some children.

It was just last December that researchers first identified more than 1,000 gene mutations linked with autism. While these mutations were shown to increase the risk of autism, researchers weren’t exactly sure how. In a new study, published in the journal Cell, researchers have for the first time pinpointed how a mutation turns off a switch in one of the genes linked to autism.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) found that an enzyme called UBE3A, which is important for brain development, is constantly switched on in children with autism. During normal brain development, a phosphate molecule is attached to UBE3A to switch it off. This process is tightly...

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DEA Admits Marijuana Is Definitely Safer Than Heroin

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: Man rolling a joint. Nikita Starichenko/Shutterstock

It’s finally happened – the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has admitted that marijuana is “clearly” safer than heroin. Though this isn’t news to science, it represents a small but significant shift in the DEA who had previously refused to acknowledge that marijuana is less dangerous than heroin.

The science has been clear on the matter for a while. Not only is marijuana safer than heroin, but drug experts broadly agree that it’s also safer than alcohol. Yet, both drugs continue to be Schedule I controlled substances. According to the DEA, marijuana and heroin “have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”

The DEA’s acknowledgment follows a recent study released earlier this week that has challenged previous research linking teenage marijuana use with physical and mental health issues. Research on marijuana has been widely conflicted for the last few decades due to different methodologies and various factors that are difficult to control for.

In the new...

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Calcified Fetus Found In Woman After More Than 50 Years

Health and Medicine
Photo credit: A calcified fetus (not from Esta Meléndez) removed from a woman after 50 years. Otis Historical Archives of National Museum of Health & Medicine.

Reports in June this year from Chile described a woman who, at 91 years old, found out she had a calcified fetus within her body after going into hospital for an isolated injury.

Esta Meléndez, the abovementioned woman from La Boca, Chile, discovered this strange entity while in hospital for treatment after falling over. Meléndez spoke to CNN after learning of this stone fetus within her.

"The doctor said I had a tumor and that they needed to operate on me," Meléndez said in the video interview. However, a second X-ray revealed that the mass was not a tumor: It was a calcified fetus.

Calcified fetuses occur when a pregnancy happens outside the womb. While Meléndez's startling find had settled in her uterus, calcified fetuses are often found within the mother’s abdomen. Usually ending with a miscarriage, the fetus can also be reabsorbed back into the mother’s body if small enough or surgically removed if too big.

First written about in the 10th century, this bizarre occurrence is...

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New vitamin B3 pathway identified

A new vitamin B3 pathway that regulates liver metabolism has been identified by scientists. The discovery provides an opportunity to pursue the development of novel drug therapies for the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic diseases.

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Why it's hard to make a bunny mad

Rabbits have long been considered immune to prion disease, but recently scientists have shown that they can -- under certain circumstances -- get transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (or TSE, the scientific term for the fatal brain disease caused by prions). Two studies address what makes rabbits hard to infect with prions and how their resistance can be overcome.

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Controlling inflammation to reduce chronic disease risk

An unresolved inflammatory response is likely to be involved from the early stages of disease development, scientists say. Controlling inflammation is crucial to human health and a key future preventative and therapeutic target. In a recent article, a coalition of experts explains how nutrition influences inflammatory processes and help reduce chronic diseases risk.

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Scientists adopt new strategy to find Huntington's disease therapies

Scientists searched the chromosomes of more than 4,000 Huntington's disease patients and found that DNA repair genes may determine when the neurological symptoms begin. The results may provide a guide for discovering new treatments for Huntington's disease and a roadmap for studying other neurological disorders.

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