Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Health news for the week of Food Day

As I noted in Another dose of health news from campuses on the campaign trail, the research universities in states and cities holding elections this year continue to be rich sources for health stories.  Since Thursday is Food Day, I'm going to start off with a seasonal health tip involving food.

University of Florida Extension: Reducing Candy Calories

University of Florida/IFAS Nutritionist Karla Shellnut provides nutritional facts of reducing candy calories for your Halloween trick-or-treaters.
Trick or treat!

Follow over the jump for the rest of the health and health care news from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Another asteroid fly-by) on Daily Kos.

University of Florida: UF faculty finds some mind-body therapies may reduce effects of functional bowel disorders
October 15th, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Although some health care providers may overlook alternative therapies when treating functional bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, University of Florida faculty members have found evidence that hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy may benefit patients suffering from these diseases.

Led by researchers Oliver Grundmann of the UF College of Pharmacy and Saunjoo “Sunny” Yoon of the UF College of Nursing, the study was published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine, which highlighted it as the “Editors Choice” in its August issue.

“Our work being highlighted in this way indicates that we are able to raise awareness for the issue of a more integrative and holistic approach to medical care in the area of functional bowel disorders in the scientific community — a goal that both Dr. Yoon and I have been striving for in our professional endeavors for many years,” said Grundmann, a clinical assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy.
Columbia University: Chemist Devises Optical Imaging Technique to Unlock the Mystery of Memory
October 9, 2013
In the search to understand memory, Wei Min is looking at cells at the most basic level, long before the formation of neurons and synapses. The assistant professor of chemistry studies the synthesis of proteins, the building blocks of the body formed using genetic code from DNA. “We want to understand the molecular nature of memory, one of the key questions that remain in neuroscience,” he says.

Proteins carry out almost every biological function, and protein synthesis is a crucial step in gene expression, determining how cells respond to pathological conditions caused by cancer, autism and the physiological stresses linked to disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Min’s lab examines the proteome (the sum of the cell’s proteins), a dynamic structure tightly regulated by both production and death of proteins that ensures that the body functions normally. The formation of long-term memory is dependent on protein synthesis at a specific location and time in brain tissues.

Min and his team recently developed a new imaging technique to pinpoint exactly where and when cells produce new proteins. The method is significant in that it enables scientists to create high-resolution images of newly synthesized proteins in living cells. The findings were published in the July 9 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the research was done in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine.
From the science of health to its practice--here are two articles about educating health professionals, broadly defined.

Rutgers University: Are Your Doctors Ordering the Right Tests?
Rutgers in lead to enhance the role of laboratory scientists
Monday, October 14, 2013
Newark, NJ – The bulk of medical decisions made today are based on laboratory results. A misinterpreted result or misordered test has the potential to drastically elevate health care costs and negatively impact a patient’s health.

With so much riding on lab results, Rutgers is taking the lead to enhance the role of clinical laboratory scientists by implementing the country’s first advanced practice doctorate in clinical laboratory science (DCLS).

Beginning in 2014, the new degree offered by Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences at its School of Health Related Professions (SHRP), will address an ongoing need to achieve greater accuracy and cost efficiency in lab testing services.
University of Virginia: To Meet Societal Needs and Student Demand, U.Va. Creates Kinesiology Department
Audrey Breen
Rebecca P. Arrington
October 15, 2013
The Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia is elevating its kinesiology program to department status.

The expansion of U.Va.’s kinesiology program – the Ph.D. component of which is ranked ninth nationally, and the undergraduate component of which has the school’s most competitive admissions process – is the result of societal needs and student demand, U.Va. education professor Arthur “Art” L. Weltman said. According to the American Kinesiology Association, kinesiology is one of the fastest-growing majors across the country, with enrollment rising more than 50 percent between 2003 and 2008.

The academic discipline is growing in large part due the recognition that inactivity represents a major societal concern that expands the entire lifecycle, according Weltman, who will chair the new department.

“An emerging body of research indicates that sedentary behavior is associated with reduced quality of life and impaired health, including increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer, depression and cognitive impairment, and the increased risk of falls and other injuries, just to name a few,” Weltman said.
That's it for this week's installment.  Stay tuned for more until the week after election day.

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