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Population currently sees coronavirus as the greatest health risk
The coronavirus is currently the population's main concern. More than a quarter of consumers perceive the virus as the greatest health risk. This is a finding of the most recent edition of the Consumer Monitor, a representative population survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). (2020-10-20)

Treating cystic fibrosis with mRNA therapy or CRISPR
The potential for treating cystic fibrosis (CF) using mRNA therapies or CRISPR gene editing is possible regardless of the causative mutation. CF clinical trials showing that a genotype-agnostic gene therapy for CF is possible (2020-10-08)

"Liking" an article online may mean less time spent reading it
When people have the option to click ''like'' on a media article they encounter online, they spend less time actually reading the text, a new study suggests. In a lab experiment, researchers found that people spent about 7 percent less time reading articles on controversial topics when they had the opportunity to upvote or downvote them than if there was no interactive element. (2020-09-30)

Engineered capsids for efficient gene delivery to the eye
A rational design approach created novel variants of adeno-associated viral (AAV) capsids. These have improved transduction properties in the mouse retina and cornea. (2020-08-13)

In anti-piracy work, blocking websites more effective when multiple sites are targeted
A new study that examined the effectiveness of anti-piracy efforts in the United Kingdom found that blocking websites can be effective but only when multiple channels are blocked. The website blocking policies in the UK caused a decrease in overall piracy and a 7 to 12% increase in the use of legal subscription sites. (2020-06-02)

Social grooming factors influencing social media civility on COVID-19
A new study analyzing tweets about COVID-19 found that users with larger social networks tend to use fewer uncivil remarks when they have more positive responses from others. (2020-04-20)

How robust is e-government in American state election administration?
A new study examined how well American states are using Internet-based platforms to disseminate electoral information and communicate with voters (2020-04-14)

Telemedicine reduces mental health burden of COVID-19
Telemental health services are a practical and feasible way to support patients, family members, and healthcare providers who may experience psychological side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including anxiety, fear, depression, and the impact of long-term isolation. (2020-03-24)

March Madness bracket analysis shows picking final four first leads to better brackets
Data science researchers at the University of Illinois have some March Madness advice based on new research: Pick top-seeded teams as the Final Four in your March Madness bracket and work backward and forward from there. If you are going to submit multiple brackets, starting with the Final Four is still a good strategy, but make sure you also diversify your brackets as much as possible. (2020-03-04)

Exposure to 'fake news' during the 2016 US election has been overstated
Since the 2016 US presidential election, debates have raged about the reach of so-called 'fake news' websites and the role they played during the campaign. A study published in Nature Human Behaviour finds that the reach of these untrustworthy websites has been overstated. (2020-03-02)

New tool aids patients in selecting a transplant center
A new website developed by researchers at Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (HHRI) and the University of Minnesota (UMN) is making it easier for organ transplant candidates to choose which transplant center is right for them. The website,, was developed for candidates seeking kidney, liver, heart and lung transplants. Data for liver centers is currently live. Data for other organs will soon be available. (2020-02-24)

Designer proteins
David Baker, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Washington to speak at the AAAS 2020 session, 'Synthetic Biology: Digital Design of Living Systems.' Prof. Baker to identify how algorithmic processes such as de novo design, predict protein structures, protein folding mechanisms, and new protein functions. (2020-02-07)

Hospital websites lack usability for non-English speakers
English proficiency shouldn't be a barrier to health care. But a patient who needs language services would have to navigate through one to four web pages in English to find information on such services at most hospitals in Washington, according to new WSU research. (2020-02-03)

STD crowd-diagnosis requests on social media
Online postings seeking information on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) on the social media website Reddit were analyzed to see how often requests were made for a crowd-diagnosis and whether the requested diagnosis was for a second opinion after seeing a health care professional. (2019-11-05)

Is Instagram behavior motivated by a desire to belong?
Does a desire to belong and perceived social support drive a person's frequency of Instagram use? (2019-07-23)

Using tumor biomarkers to tailor therapy in metastatic pancreatic cancer
A new pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of using molecular tumor markers as the basis for selecting the chemotherapeutic agents to use in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. (2019-06-10)

Early term infants less likely to breastfeed
A new, prospective study provides evidence that 'early term' infants (those born at 37-38 weeks) are less likely than full-term infants to be breastfeed within the first hour and at one month after birth. The early-term infants also had lower exclusive breastfeeding and lower breastfeeding intensity during the first 72 hours in the hospital and at one month. (2019-05-14)

Suicidal thoughts? Therapy-oriented website can help
Mental health researchers behind the website have demonstrated that the site could be beneficial in decreasing suicidal thoughts. (2019-05-02)

When is sexting associated with psychological distress among young adults?
While sending or receiving nude electronic images may not always be associated with poorer mental health, being coerced to do so and receiving unwanted sexts was linked to a higher likelihood of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms, according to a new study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. (2019-04-23)

Men's knowledge on prostate cancer needs improving
UBC researchers have determined the majority of men struggle when it comes to understanding the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Professors Joan Bottorff and John Oliffe are scientists with UBC's Men's Health Research Program. Together, while studying men's knowledge or literacy of prostate cancer, they realized many are in the dark when it comes to what they know about the disease. And, more importantly, what direction to take after diagnosis. (2019-04-16)

Bringing more human intelligence to AI, data science and digital automation
The advent of data science, wireless connectivity and sensors, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things has raised the prospects for digital automation, smart hospital design and the home health care industry for an aging population. (2019-03-04)

Adults with cerebral palsy at increased risk of depression, anxiety
While cerebral palsy is considered a pediatric condition because it develops and is diagnosed in early childhood, it is a lifelong condition with the majority of children living into adulthood. Little research exists on the mental health of adults with cerebral palsy. This study included 1,700 adults 18 years or older with cerebral palsy and 5,100 adults without cerebral palsy. (2018-12-28)

Is program to reduce hospital readmissions associated with a change in patient deaths?
The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP) was created under the Affordable Care Act and hospitals face financial penalties for higher-than-expected 30-day readmission rates for patients with heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia. Lower hospital readmission rates for those conditions have been associated with the program but it was unclear if the program was associated with a change in patient deaths. (2018-12-21)

Opioids vs. placebo, nonopioid alternatives for chronic noncancer pain
An estimated 50 million adults in the United States were living with chronic noncancer pain in 2016 and many of them were prescribed opioid medications, even though a clinical benefit is uncertain. This study combined the results of 96 randomized clinical trials with about 26,000 participants to compare opioids with placebo and nonopioid alternative pain medications for the treatment of chronic noncancer pain. (2018-12-18)

Study analyzes report card release dates, calls to child abuse hotline
This study used a complex method to analyze report card release dates and cases of child physical abuse called into a hotline and verified by Florida's child welfare agency for elementary school children during an academic year. In an analysis that included 1,943 cases of verified child physical abuse, calls that resulted in verified cases came in at a higher rate on Saturdays when report cards were released on Fridays. (2018-12-17)

Using EHR-linked medication reminders for glaucoma patients
Mobile device reminders have been associated with better medication adherence and linking reminders to patient electronic health records (EHRs) could potentially allow some oversight by clinicians. In this study, 100 patients (average age 65) agreed to set up electronic health record-linked reminders delivered via text or voice message for glaucoma medications for three months and were surveyed about the experience. (2018-12-13)

Antipsychotic treatment and risk of unexpected death in children, young people
Antipsychotic medications can have adverse effects, including those that are life-threatening. This observational study examined the association of antipsychotic medications prescribed for children and young adults without psychosis and risk of unexpected death, which includes deaths due to unintentional drug overdose or cardiovascular/metabolic causes. About 250,000 children and young people (ages 5 to 24) enrolled in Medicaid in Tennessee were included. (2018-12-12)

Houston Methodist launches real-time flu tracker website
Pathologists at Houston Methodist developed a real-time website to track flu cases, just in time to assist physicians, the CDC and patients for the fall 2018 flu season. (2018-12-06)

Dementia associated with most deaths of older adults with down syndrome
Older adults with Down syndrome are at increased risk for developing dementia. This study examined the effect of dementia on death rates in adults with Down syndrome in the United Kingdom. The study included 211 adults, of whom 66 had dementia with an average age at diagnosis of 52. Over the 5 ½-year study period, 27 adults died, 70 percent of whom had dementia, and their average age at death was 57. (2018-11-19)

Does having 'lazy eye' affect a child's self-esteem?
Academic performance, interactions with peers, and athletic ability are factors connected to self-esteem in school children. This study of children in the third to eighth grades looked at whether the condition 'lazy eye' or amblyopia, where one eye has reduced vision due to misalignment or blur, was associated with lower self-perception by children of their competence, appearance, conduct and self-worth.  (2018-11-15)

USPSTF recommendation statement on screening and behavioral counseling interventions to reduce unhealthy alcohol use in adolescents and adults
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening adults 18 and older, including pregnant women, for unhealthy alcohol use in primary care settings. Those patients who engage in risky or hazardous drinking should be offered brief behavioral counseling interventions to reduce unhealthy alcohol use. The USPSTF also concludes the evidence is insufficient regarding screening for alcohol use in adolescents 12 to 17 in primary care settings. (2018-11-13)

Concussion associated with suicide risk
Experiencing concussions or mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) was associated with increased risk of suicide in a new analysis but the absolute risk was small because nearly all patients diagnosed with concussion or TBI didn't die by suicide. Data from 17 studies for more than 700,000 patients diagnosed with concussion or mild TBI and more than 6.2 million people without such diagnoses were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. (2018-11-12)

Prenatal exposures to medication affecting brain neurotransmitter systems and risk of ASD
An exploratory study that examined autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk and prenatal exposure to medications that affect neurotransmitters, including the typical targets of antidepressants and antipsychotics, suggests that most medications weren't associated with higher estimates of ASD risk. The study used data from a large health maintenance organization in Israel for an analytic sample that included 34 groups of medications and 96,249 children, including 1,405 with ASD. (2018-10-31)

Autonomous vehicles and moral decisions: What do online communities think?
In 2016, researchers at CNRS, MIT, Harvard University and the University of British Columbia launched the 'Moral Machine' online platform to ask users about moral dilemmas facing us in the development of autonomous vehicles. The researchers gathered 40 million decisions from millions of web users worldwide. The results show global moral preferences that may guide decision makers and companies in the future. The analysis of this data was published in Nature on October 24, 2018. (2018-10-24)

USPSTF recommendation statement on screening for intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and abuse of vulnerable adults
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends clinicians screen women of reproductive age for intimate partner violence and then connect women who screen positive to ongoing support services. However, current evidence is insufficient regarding screening older or vulnerable adults for abuse and neglect. (2018-10-23)

More caffeine from coffee associated with decreased rosacea risk
Consuming caffeine from coffee but not from other foods (tea, soda and chocolate) was associated with less risk of rosacea, a common chronic inflammatory skin disease where the skin appears red and flushed. This observational study included more than 82,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study II with data collected on coffee, tea, soda and chocolate consumption. (2018-10-17)

Is weight-loss surgery associated with lower risk of macrovascular events like heart attack, stroke for patients with type 2 diabetes?
Macrovascular disease events, which include heart attack and stroke, are a leading cause of illness and death for patients with type 2 diabetes. Medical management, including lifestyle changes, may not reduce patient risk but bariatric surgery may help. (2018-10-16)

How are pulsed electric fields being used in cancer therapy?
Pulsed electric fields are helping fight cancer, whether by inducing tumor cell death or by stimulating the immune system. A comprehensive overview of this developing field is published in the preview issue of Bioelectricity. (2018-10-11)

Long-term follow-up of using patients' own fat to correct deformities after breast cancer surgery
One technique to correct disfiguring deformities after breast cancer surgery is autologous fat transfer (AFT or fat grafting), which involves injecting a patient's own fat into a soft tissue deformity. Previous studies examining the safety of this procedure in regard to cancer relapse have been limited by a relatively short follow-up. This study included nearly 600 women with breast cancer who underwent fat grafting or conventional breast reconstruction. (2018-10-10)

Can the timing of pushing during delivery affect outcomes?
The best time to push during the second stage of labor (when the cervix is completely dilated through delivery) is unknown and it's unclear whether the timing affects rates of natural delivery or possible complications. The two most common approaches are either immediate pushing (pushing with uterine contractions once complete cervical dilation occurs) or delayed pushing to allow for spontaneous descent of the fetus. (2018-10-09)

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