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We drink more alcohol on gym days

We drink more alcohol on gym days

A new Northwestern Medicine ® study finds that on days when people exercise more — typically Thursdays to Sundays — they drink more alcohol, too. This is the only study to use smartphone technology and a daily diary approach for self-reporting physical activity and alcohol use. “Monday through Wednesday people batten down the hatches and they cut back on alcohol consumption,” said David E. Continue reading

New cancer drug target involving lipid chemical messengers

New cancer drug target involving lipid chemical messengers

More than half of human cancers have abnormally upregulated chemical signals related to lipid metabolism, yet how these signals are controlled during tumor formation is not fully understood. Youhai Chen, PhD, MD, and Svetlana Fayngerts, PhD, both researchers in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues report that TIPE3, a newly described oncogenic protein, promotes cancer by targeting these pathways. Lipid second messengers play cardinal roles in relaying and amplifying signals from outside the cell to its interior and outer membrane Continue reading

Exercise boosts tumor-fighting ability of chemotherapy, team finds

Exercise boosts tumor-fighting ability of chemotherapy, team finds

Study after study has proven it true: exercise is good for you. But new research from University of Pennsylvania scientists suggests that exercise may have an added benefit for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Their work, performed in a mouse model of melanoma, found that combining exercise with chemotherapy shrunk tumors more than chemotherapy alone. Continue reading

Reduced energy density in foods can create healthier food environment, may help to reduce obesity

Reduced energy density in foods can create healthier food environment, may help to reduce obesity

On the heels of new research showing that 16 major food and beverage companies have collectively cut 6.4 trillion calories from U.S. food products, The Obesity Society (TOS) issues an official position statement pointing to the pervasive availability of foods high in calories per unit of weight, or energy density, as a contributing factor for weight gain and obesity. The Society goes further to urge food companies to test and market foods that will help individuals reduce the energy density in their diets and better manage body weight. Continue reading

Reduced energy density in foods can create healthier food environment, may help to reduce obesity

Reduced energy density in foods can create healthier food environment, may help to reduce obesity

On the heels of new research showing that 16 major food and beverage companies have collectively cut 6.4 trillion calories from U.S. Continue reading

Sorting cells with sound waves

Sorting cells with sound waves

Researchers from MIT, Pennsylvania State University, and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a new way to separate cells by exposing them to sound waves as they flow through a tiny channel. Their device, about the size of a dime, could be used to detect the extremely rare tumor cells that circulate in cancer patients’ blood, helping doctors predict whether a tumor is going to spread. Separating cells with sound offers a gentler alternative to existing cell-sorting technologies, which require tagging the cells with chemicals or exposing them to stronger mechanical forces that may damage them Continue reading

Women will benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage

Women will benefit from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage

Women could benefit greatly from the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for contraceptive coverage, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The Affordable Care Act requires private insurance plans — except those grandfathered or exempted due to employers’ religious beliefs — to provide women with access to all FDA-approved contraceptive methods without cost-sharing. This first-dollar coverage “has the potential to dramatically shift contraceptive use patterns, to reduce the U.S. Continue reading

Gloves after hand washing associated with fewer infections in preterm babies

Gloves after hand washing associated with fewer infections in preterm babies

Extremely premature babies in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) had fewer infections when medical staff wore gloves after washing their hands compared with hand washing alone. Continue reading

Drinking alcohol provides no heart health benefit, new study shows

Drinking alcohol provides no heart health benefit, new study shows

Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health Continue reading

Major gaps in hepatitis C care identified as new drugs, screening efforts emerge

Major gaps in hepatitis C care identified as new drugs, screening efforts emerge

A new meta-analysis published online in PLOS ONE by infectious disease and epidemiology specialists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania highlights significant gaps in hepatitis C care that will prove useful as the U.S. health care system continues to see an influx of patients with the disease because of improved screening efforts and new, promising drugs. In the largest study of its kind, the team examined data culled from 10 studies between 2003 and 2013 and found that less than 10 percent of people infected with hepatitis C in the United States — 330,000 of nearly 3.5 million people — were cured (achieved viral suppression) with antiviral hepatitis C treatment Continue reading