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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

Diabetes susceptibility gene regulates health of cell’s powerhouse, study finds

Diabetes susceptibility gene regulates health of cell’s powerhouse, study finds

A team led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that a susceptibility gene for type 1 diabetes regulates self-destruction of the cell’s energy factory. Continue reading

Nearly four percent of U.S. babies born before full-term without medical reason

Nearly four percent of U.S. babies born before full-term without medical reason

New University of Minnesota research out this week is the first of its kind to show who is having early elective deliveries between 37 and 39 weeks gestation, and whether these deliveries happen following labor induction or cesarean. Labor induction or cesarean delivery without medical reason before a baby is considered full-term at 39 weeks, or an “early elective delivery,” is associated with health problems for mothers and babies. The study, led by University of Minnesota School of Public Health Assistant Professor Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D., M.P.A., in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers Michelle Macheras, M.A., and Scott A Continue reading

Placental marker of prenatal stress linked to brain mitochondrial dysfunction

Placental marker of prenatal stress linked to brain mitochondrial dysfunction

When a woman experiences a stressful event early in pregnancy, the risk of her child developing autism spectrum disorders or schizophrenia increases. Continue reading

Health policy researchers lack confidence in social media for communicating scientific evidence

Health policy researchers lack confidence in social media for communicating scientific evidence

Though Twitter boats 645 million users across the world, only 14 percent of health policy researchers reported using Twitter — and approximately 20 percent used blogs and Facebook — to communicate their research findings over the past year, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In contrast, sixty-five percent used traditional media channels, such as press releases or media interviews Continue reading

Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce air pollution harmful to people, environment

Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce air pollution harmful to people, environment

Setting strong standards for climate-changing carbon emissions from power plants would provide an added bonus — reductions in other air pollutants that can make people sick; damage forests, crops, and lakes; and harm fish and wildlife. Continue reading