Trends in Medicine: December News Roundup 2017

December 29, 2017

Stay current on the latest medical news and trends!

Here are some of the stories that made headlines in December from Harvard Medical School and our affiliated hospitals, instructors, and researchers:

LGBTQ Suicide Risk Revealed – Reuters Health
In light of a national survey revealing that “LGBTQ teens are more than three times as likely to attempt suicide as their heterosexual peers,” Boston Children’s Hospital psychiatrist Kimberly McManama O’Brien notes how parents can help.
Read: One in four gay, lesbian, bisexual teens attempt suicide by Lisa Rapaport

Phase 1 Trials Begun in Zika Vaccine Research – Harvard Magazine
Dan Barouch, director of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Virology and Vaccine Research and an author of a research study on the long-term efficacy of Zika vaccines, highlights the positive progress made on three different vaccine candidates.
Read: Toward a Zika vaccine by Jonathan Shaw

Sugar Linked to both Obesity and Asthma – Reuters Health
HMS researcher Sheryl Rifas-Shiman has co-authored a study which finds that “women who consumed the most soda and sugary beverages during pregnancy were 70 percent more likely to have a child diagnosed with asthma by mid-childhood than mothers who never or rarely had sodas during pregnancy.”
Read: Prenatal and early childhood fructose tied to asthma in kids by Lisa Rapaport

Human Germline Editing (Still) Debated– The Washington Post
HMS ethicist Jeantine Lunshof wrote this commentary on “where to draw the line” regarding genome editing.
Read: Gene editing is now outpacing ethics

Less Health Care for Blacks? – The Boston Globe
This series from the Boston Globe puts a spotlight on segregation patterns in Boston health care, while exploring the reasons why, “If you are black in Boston, you are less likely to get care at several of the city’s elite hospitals than if you are white.”
Read: Color line persists, in sickness as in health by Liz Kowalczyk

Alzeimer’s Trials Funded – The Harvard Gazette
HMS neurology professor Reisa Sperling is one of three physicians chosen by the NIH to receive a $70 million award for the launching of a network of Alzheimer’s disease trial sites across the country.
Read: Harvard professor among 3 to receive up to $70M for Alzheimer’s research by Haley Bridger

Hospital Mortality Rates Rising for Opioids – The Boston Globe
Deadlier conditions are sending opioid users to the hospital, driving a spike in opioid-related deaths, according to new research from Harvard Medical School.
Read: Deaths after opioid-driven hospitalizations have quadrupled, new study says By Martin Finucane

Disability in Clinical Practice – The New York Times
Seven-time Paralympic medalist and practicing physician Cheri Blauwet shares her experiences as a doctor in a wheelchair in this opinion piece she wrote for the NY Times.
Read: I use a wheelchair. And yes, I’m your doctor.

Resolvins Highlighted In Cancer Research – Medical News Today
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Beth Israel Deacones Medical Center who collaborated with the Institute of Systems Biology in Seattle, WA may have found a way to keep our immune systems from being tricked into spreading cancer cells.
Read: Killing cancer softly: New approach halts tumor growth by Jasmin Collier


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