Rob Stein http://hppr.org en Do We Choose Our Friends Because They Share Our Genes? http://hppr.org/post/do-we-choose-our-friends-because-they-share-our-genes People often talk about how their friends feel like family. Well, there's some new research out that suggests there's more to that than just a feeling. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:08:00 +0000 Rob Stein 34534 at http://hppr.org Easy Method For Making Stem Cells Was Too Good To Be True http://hppr.org/post/easy-method-making-stem-cells-was-too-good-be-true A prestigious scientific journal Wednesday took the unusual step of retracting some high-profile research that had generated international excitement about stem cell research.<p>The British scientific journal <em>Nature</em> retracted two papers published in January by scientists at the <a href="http://www.riken.jp/en/">Riken </a>research institute in Japan and at <a href="http://hms.harvard.edu/">Harvard Medical School</a> that claimed that they could create stem cells simply by dipping skin and blood cells into acid.<p>The claim raised the possibility of being able to use the cells to easily Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:37:00 +0000 Rob Stein 33992 at http://hppr.org Easy Method For Making Stem Cells Was Too Good To Be True Warnings Against Antidepressants For Teens May Have Backfired http://hppr.org/post/warnings-against-antidepressants-teens-may-have-backfired Government warnings that antidepressants may be risky for adolescents, and the ensuing media coverage, appear to have caused an increase in suicide attempts among young people, researchers reported Wednesday.<p>A study involving the health records of more than 7 million people between 2000 and 2010 found a sharp drop in antidepressant use among adolescents and young people and a significant increase in suicide attempts after the Food and Drug Administration issued its warnings.<p>"This was a huge worldwide event in terms of the mass media," says <a href="http://www.populationmedicine.org/node/ Wed, 18 Jun 2014 22:34:00 +0000 Rob Stein 33399 at http://hppr.org Warnings Against Antidepressants For Teens May Have Backfired Father Devises A 'Bionic Pancreas' To Help Son With Diabetes http://hppr.org/post/father-devises-bionic-pancreas-help-son-diabetes An alarm sounds on Ed Damiano's night stand in the middle of the night. He jumps out of bed and rushes into his son's room next door.<p>His son, David, has Type 1 diabetes. The 15-year-old sleeps hooked up to a monitor that sounds an alarm when his blood sugar gets too low. If it drops sharply, David could die in his sleep.<p>"The fear is that there's going to be this little cold limb, and I screwed up. It's all on me," Damiano says.<p>But when he touches David's hand, he's warm. He's OK. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:50:00 +0000 Rob Stein 33250 at http://hppr.org Father Devises A 'Bionic Pancreas' To Help Son With Diabetes Teen Smoking Hits A 22-Year Low, But Other Tobacco Uses Rise http://hppr.org/post/teen-smoking-hits-22-year-low-other-tobacco-uses-rise Cigarette smoking among U.S. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 17:14:00 +0000 Rob Stein 33107 at http://hppr.org Teen Smoking Hits A 22-Year Low, But Other Tobacco Uses Rise Should HPV Testing Replace The Pap Smear? http://hppr.org/post/should-hpv-testing-replace-pap-smear Robin Reath was getting a routine checkup recently when her doctor brought up something new about cervical cancer screening.<p>"We might be doing something a little bit different than what we've been doing in the past when we've screened you," said <a href="https://www.medstarhealth.org/provider/andrea-jacobs-singer-md-internal-medicine">Dr. Andrea Singer</a>, an internist at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington.<p>For years, doctors have been using the Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer. Wed, 21 May 2014 07:51:00 +0000 Rob Stein 32110 at http://hppr.org Should HPV Testing Replace The Pap Smear? Deadly MERS Virus Detected In Florida http://hppr.org/post/deadly-mers-virus-detected-florida The second U.S. case of a dangerous new virus from the Middle East has been found in Florida, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/a0512-US-MERS.html">said</a> Monday.<p>The patient is a health care worker from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who developed symptoms May 1 while traveling to Orlando, Fla., to visit family, the CDC said.<p>MERS is a life-threatening respiratory infection that first emerged on the Arabian Peninsula in 2012. Mon, 12 May 2014 19:54:00 +0000 Rob Stein 31708 at http://hppr.org Deadly MERS Virus Detected In Florida Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO http://hppr.org/post/keep-or-kill-last-lab-stocks-smallpox-time-decide-says-who The World Health Organization is revisiting a question that's been the subject of intense debate for decades: whether to destroy the only known samples of the smallpox virus.<p>The World Health Assembly, the WHO's decision-making body, is set to <a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2014/wha67/en/">convene </a>May 19 to vote on a <a href="http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA67/A67_37-en.pdf">recommendation</a> to destroy the stocks of smallpox virus held at the U.S. Fri, 09 May 2014 21:06:00 +0000 Rob Stein 31611 at http://hppr.org Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO First American Case Of MERS Reported In Indiana http://hppr.org/post/first-american-case-mers-reported-indiana Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. The first case of MERS has been confirmed in the U.S. MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Virus Syndrome. Health officials say a man in Indiana was hospitalized on Monday and is in stable condition. Fri, 02 May 2014 20:08:00 +0000 Rob Stein 31297 at http://hppr.org 'Provocative' Research Turns Skin Cells Into Sperm http://hppr.org/post/out-skin-cells-sperm-provocative-fertility-treatment Scientists reported Thursday they had figured out a way to make primitive human sperm out of skin cells, an advance that could someday help infertile men have children.<p>"I probably get 200 emails a year from people who are infertile, and very often the heading on the emails is: Can you help me?" says <a href="http://www.montana.edu/news/12229/internationally-recognized-stem-cell-scientist-to-lead-msu-s-research-enterprise">Renee Reijo Pera</a> of Montana State University, who led the research when she was at Stanford University.<p>In a <a href="http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211 Thu, 01 May 2014 20:54:00 +0000 Rob Stein 31255 at http://hppr.org 'Provocative' Research Turns Skin Cells Into Sperm With New E-Cigarette Rules, FDA Hopes To Tame A 'Wild, Wild West' http://hppr.org/post/new-e-cigarette-rules-fda-hopes-tame-wild-wild-west The Food and Drug Administration is proposing to expand its regulatory powers to e-cigarettes and other popular products containing nicotine. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Rob Stein 30934 at http://hppr.org FDA Moves To Regulate Increasingly Popular E-Cigarettes http://hppr.org/post/fda-moves-regulate-increasingly-popular-e-cigarettes The Food and Drug Administration Thursday proposed regulating e-cigarettes for the first time.<p>The agency unveiled a long-awaited <a href="https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/04/25/2014-09491/sale-and-distribution-of-tobacco-products-and-required-warning-statements-for-tobacco-products">rule</a> that would give it power to oversee the increasingly popular devices, much in the way that it regulates traditional cigarettes.<p>"It's a huge change," FDA Commissioner <a href="http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/commissionerspage/default.htm">Margaret Hamburg</a> told reporters in a briefing Wedn Thu, 24 Apr 2014 04:03:00 +0000 Rob Stein 30900 at http://hppr.org FDA Moves To Regulate Increasingly Popular E-Cigarettes FDA Advisers Vote Against Approving New Opioid Painkiller http://hppr.org/post/fda-advisers-vote-against-approving-new-opioid-painkiller A key government panel Tuesday voted unanimously against approval of a powerful opioid prescription painkiller intended to provide faster relief with fewer side effects.<p>At the conclusion of a hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 14-0 against recommending that the agency approve Moxduo, the first drug to combine morphine and oxycodone into one capsule.<p>The committee also voted unanimously that the drug's developer had not proved that Moxduo is less likely to cause potentially life-threatening respiratory suppression than taking morphine or oxycodone alone.<p>" Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Rob Stein 30824 at http://hppr.org FDA Advisers Vote Against Approving New Opioid Painkiller Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval http://hppr.org/post/powerful-narcotic-painkiller-fda-approval The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether to approve a powerful new prescription painkiller that's designed to relieve severe pain quickly, and with fewer side effects than other opioids.<p>While some pain experts say the medicine could provide a valuable alternative for some patients in intense pain, the drug (called Moxduo) is also prompting concern that it could exacerbate the epidemic of abuse of prescription painkillers and overdoses.<p>An FDA advisory committee is holding a daylong hearing Tuesday to decide whether to recommend that the agency approve the drug.<p><a hr Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:29:00 +0000 Rob Stein 30786 at http://hppr.org Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval Voodoo Dolls Prove It: Hunger Makes Couples Turn On Each Other http://hppr.org/post/voodoo-dolls-prove-it-hunger-makes-couples-turn-each-other A lot of us know what can happen when we get hungry. We get grumpy, irritable and sometimes nasty.<p>There's even a name for this phenomenon: "Hangry, which is a combination of the words hungry and angry," says psychologist <a href="http://www.comm.ohio-state.edu/people/the-lantern-soc/userprofile/67.html">Brad Bushman</a> from Ohio State University.<p>Many studies have suggested that low blood sugar may be the underlying cause of hunger-induced crankiness. But most of those studies were performed with strangers in the laboratory. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:25:00 +0000 Rob Stein 30472 at http://hppr.org Voodoo Dolls Prove It: Hunger Makes Couples Turn On Each Other Doctors Use 3-D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe http://hppr.org/post/doctors-use-3-d-printing-help-baby-breathe Ever since the day Garrett Peterson was born, his parents have had to watch him suddenly just stop breathing.<p>"He could go from being totally fine to turning blue sometimes — not even kidding — in 30 seconds," says Garrett's mother, Natalie Peterson, 25, of Layton, Utah. "It was so fast. It was really scary."<p>Garrett was born with a defective windpipe. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 08:18:00 +0000 Rob Stein 29181 at http://hppr.org Doctors Use 3-D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe Mix Of Gut Microbes May Play Role In Crohn's Disease http://hppr.org/post/mix-gut-microbes-may-play-role-crohns-disease The particular assortment of microbes in the digestive system may be an important factor in the inflammatory bowel condition known as Crohn's disease.<p>Research involving more than 1,500 patients found that people with <a href="http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-crohns-disease/">Crohn's disease</a> had less diverse populations of gut microbes.<p>"[This] basically for the first time identifies what might be the bacterial changes in patients with Crohn's disease," says <a href="http://www.massgeneral.org/doctors/doctor.aspx?ID=16452">Ramnik Xavier,</a> of Masssachusetts Gen Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:08:00 +0000 Rob Stein 28994 at http://hppr.org Mix Of Gut Microbes May Play Role In Crohn's Disease Genetic Sequencing May Not Be Ready To Become Routine http://hppr.org/post/genetic-sequencing-may-not-be-ready-become-routine Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>Getting your entire genetic code deciphered is the cutting edge of medicine. The test to spell out every letter in one's genetic blueprint can be done quickly and has become relatively inexpensive. That's raising the question: Is the technology ready for primetime? NPR's Rob Stein joins us now to talk about one of the first carefully done studies aimed at answering that question. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:12:00 +0000 Rob Stein 28959 at http://hppr.org Blood Test Provides More Accurate Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome http://hppr.org/post/dna-based-blood-test-down-syndrome-much-more-accurate A new blood test offers pregnant women a safe and much more accurate way to screen for Down syndrome.<p>A study that evaluated the test in 1,914 pregnancies found that the test, which checks DNA, produces far fewer false alarms than the current screening techniques.<p>"It's very good news for pregnant women," says <a href="https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/PhysicianDirectory/Diana-Bianchi.aspx">Diana Bianchi</a>, a pediatric geneticist at Tufts Medical Center who led the study. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 22:55:35 +0000 Rob Stein 28476 at http://hppr.org Blood Test Provides More Accurate Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs http://hppr.org/post/scientists-question-safety-genetically-altering-human-eggs A panel of government advisers has expressed serious concerns about a controversial proposal to allow scientists to try to make babies using eggs that have been genetically altered to include DNA from another woman.<p>Members of the Food and Drug Administration panel said they were worried that not enough research has been done to know whether the experiments would be safe.<p>"I think there was a sense of the committee that at this particular point in time, there was probably not enough data either in animals or in vitro to conclusively move on to human trials ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Rob Stein 28464 at http://hppr.org Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs Flu Strikes Younger Adults Hard This Year http://hppr.org/post/flu-strikes-younger-adults-hard-year This year's flu season is hitting younger and middle-aged adults unusually hard, federal health officials say.<p>More than 60 percent of flu patients who ended up in the hospital this year have been between the ages of 18 and 64. The proportion of young people among the hospitalized is much higher than usual, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 18:26:00 +0000 Rob Stein 28212 at http://hppr.org Flu Strikes Younger Adults Hard This Year An Artificial Arm Gives One Man The Chance To Feel Again http://hppr.org/post/artificial-arm-gives-one-man-chance-feel-again <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtPs8d4JbwY</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 19:07:00 +0000 Rob Stein 27622 at http://hppr.org An Artificial Arm Gives One Man The Chance To Feel Again Wanna Smoke? It Could Cost You A Tooth, FDA Warns Teens http://hppr.org/post/wanna-smoke-it-could-cost-you-tooth-fda-warns-teens When it comes to persuading teenagers not to smoke, you have to think short-term, the Food and Drug Administration says.<p>"While most teens understand the serious health risks associated with tobacco use, they often don't believe the long-term consequences will ever apply to them," FDA Commissioner <a href="http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/ucm193998.htm">Margaret Hamburg</a> told reporters Monday before unveiling the agency's first-ever anti-smoking campaign.<p>Instead, the ads focus on how smoking affects teenagers' appearance by ruining their skin and messing up their teeth. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 08:45:00 +0000 Rob Stein 27540 at http://hppr.org Wanna Smoke? It Could Cost You A Tooth, FDA Warns Teens Adult Obesity May Have Origins Way Back In Kindergarten http://hppr.org/post/adult-obesity-may-have-origins-way-back-kindergarten A lot of parents like to think their kids will simply outgrow baby fat. But the risk of becoming a severely overweight adult can actually start as early as kindergarten, research suggests.<p>"As parents, as a society, as clinicians, we need to think about a healthy weight really early on," says <a href="http://cfusion.sph.emory.edu/Faculty/Profile.cfm?Network_ID=SARGESE&DEPT=GH">Solveig Cunningham</a>, who led the study. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 22:09:00 +0000 Rob Stein 27353 at http://hppr.org Adult Obesity May Have Origins Way Back In Kindergarten Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies? http://hppr.org/post/can-probiotics-help-soothe-colicky-babies When Melissa Shenewa and her husband imagined their first weeks with their new baby, they pictured hours of cuddling. Instead, they're enduring hours of inconsolable crying.<p>Their 6-week-old son, Aladdin, is a colicky baby. He cries for hours, usually in the middle of the night. They've tried everything they could think of. Nothing helps.<p>"Being a parent when your child is screaming in pain for hours on end and there's nothing you can do, you feel helpless," says Shenewa, 24, who lives in Houston. "You feel like you're not a good parent."<p>The Shenewas are far from alone. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 08:39:00 +0000 Rob Stein 26944 at http://hppr.org Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies? Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds http://hppr.org/post/gut-bacteria-might-guide-workings-our-minds Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.<p>"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says <a href="http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=479&action=detail&ref=8408">Dr. Emeran Mayer</a>, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 08:07:00 +0000 Rob Stein 24460 at http://hppr.org Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds Babies' Immune Systems May Stand Down To Let Good Microbes Grow http://hppr.org/post/babies-immune-systems-may-stand-down-let-good-microbes-grow Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.<p>A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 18:46:00 +0000 Rob Stein 23965 at http://hppr.org Babies' Immune Systems May Stand Down To Let Good Microbes Grow Exploring The Invisible Universe That Lives On Us — And In Us http://hppr.org/post/exploring-invisible-universe-lives-us-and-us The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you're more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.<p>Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. Without them, our bodies don't seem to do as well. We don't seem to be as healthy and might actually get sick more often.<p>But these tiny compatriots are invisible to the naked eye. So we asked artist Ben Arthur to give us a guided tour. Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:45:00 +0000 Rob Stein 23829 at http://hppr.org Exploring The Invisible Universe That Lives On Us — And In Us Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issues http://hppr.org/post/getting-your-microbes-analyzed-raises-big-privacy-issues After spending months working on a series of stories about the trillions of friendly microbes that live in and on our bodies, I decided it might be interesting to explore my own microbiome.<p>So I pulled out my credit card and paid the $99 needed to sign up for the <a href="http://americangut.org/">American Gut Project</a>, one of a couple of "citizen science" or crowdsourced microbiome projects.<p>Organizers of the American Gut Project are recruiting thousands of people to donate their microbes to science — along with lots of personal information — to help researchers learn more about the tri Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:16:00 +0000 Rob Stein 23827 at http://hppr.org Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issues FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers http://hppr.org/post/fda-seeks-tighten-controls-hydrocodone-painkillers The Food and Drug Administration Thursday <a href="http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm372089.htm">announced</a> that it wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers.<p>The FDA said it planned to recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a "Schedule III" drug to a "<a href="http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/ds.shtml">Schedule II</a>" drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used.<p>OxyContin, another opioi Thu, 24 Oct 2013 22:50:00 +0000 Rob Stein 23408 at http://hppr.org FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers