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Does This Phylum Make Me Look Fat?

37 minutes ago

We would all love a simple weight-loss plan. Beyond carbs and fats, some studies have hinted that a key group of gut microbes — from the phylum Firmicutes — might be more common among people who are overweight.

Thinner people, these studies suggest, might have more bacteria from the phylum known as Bacteroidetes. Maybe we just need to reestablish a Bacteroidetes-favoring gut to more easily lose weight, some people have said. A stack of diet books has already jumped on the notion.

The Ebola epidemic has entered a new phase. And it's a good one.

For the first time since the virus hit Sierra Leone, the country hasn't had a single new case in a week, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

And over in Guinea and Liberia, the situation is also looking up. This week Guinea reported only three new cases, while Liberia hasn't had a case in more than a month.

Florida’s healthcare agency is doubling down on claims three Southwest Florida planned parenthood offices performed unlicensed abortions. The moves comes a day after lawyers for the Agency for Healthcare Administration seemed to back down from that assertion.

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One of the most prestigious names in health care is taking a stand on food.

This week, Cleveland Clinic announced it would sever ties with McDonald's. As of Sept. 18, the McDonald's branch located in the Cleveland Clinic cafeteria will turn off its fryers and close its doors for good. Its lease will not be renewed.

A deal struck between drugmakers AbbVie and United Therapeutics Wednesday set a record price for a voucher that can be redeemed for a fast-track review of a new medicine by the Food and Drug Administration.

AbbVie, marketer of Humira and AndroGel, has agreed to pay $350 million to United Therapeutics, a company specializing in treatments for rare diseases, for a ticket to the regulatory fast lane.

It looks like a regular hardcover book, though in an eye-catching shade of orange with an even catchier title: The Drinkable Book.

Norovirus is a huge public health problem, sickening as many as 21 million people a year in the U.S. But for all the gastric distress it causes, there are still some basic, unanswered questions about the virus.

One biggie: When an ill person vomits, does norovirus become aerosolized? That is, can an ill person's vomiting launch tiny viral particles into the air, where they might waft into your mouth or onto surfaces that you would later touch?

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The report that ISIS is forcing girls as young as 12 to become sex slaves is part of a larger issue. In the world today, an estimated 2 million underage girls work in the sex trade.

Remember so-called death panels?

When Congress debated the Affordable Care Act in 2009, the legislation included a provision that would have allowed Medicare to reimburse doctors when they meet with patients to talk about end-of-life care.

But then Sarah Palin loudly argued that such payments would lead to care being withheld from the elderly and disabled.

Her assertions greatly distressed Dr. Pamelyn Close, a palliative care specialist in Los Angeles.

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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Siri is just the beginning.

Soon enough — like it or not — we are all going to be talking a lot more with computers, at least according to Brian O'Neill, a professor of computer science at Western New England University. They will be tutoring our students and tending to us in our old age. And a big part of their job will be telling stories.

The assortment of microbes in a pregnant woman's vagina appears to play a role in her chances of giving birth prematurely, new research suggests.

The study of 49 pregnant women, published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that those who had a diverse array of microbes were more likely to give birth prematurely.

I'm driving through a frozen world, where the roads are paved in ice. As I swerve left to avoid a miniature iceberg, a red fish flashes at the top of my screen. I'm supposed to tap all the red fish that pop up, but not the green fish or the blue. And I have to do this without crashing the car.

An unidentifiable, omnipresent game-meister says: "Doing one thing at a time is easy, but doing them both at the same time is where the magic happens!"

A new clinical trial is set to begin in the United Kingdom using the powerful noses of dogs to detect prostate cancer in humans.

While research has been done before, these are the first trials approved by Britain's National Health Service.

The trials, at the Milton Keynes University Hospital in Buckinghamshire, will use animals from a nonprofit organization called Medical Detection Dogs, co-founded in 2008 by behavioral psychologist Claire Guest.

When parents lose a child, there are rituals to mark their grief — holding funerals, sitting shiva, bringing casseroles. But when that loss happens before birth, it often isn't marked. Sometimes, it's barely even mentioned. It's different in Japan, which has a traditional Buddhist ceremony that some Americans are adopting as their own.

You can join us and be a part of our audience for a special Florida Matters town hall on the rising tide of HIV infection in Florida. 

Ben Carson alleged in an interview with Fox News Wednesday that Planned Parenthood puts most of its clinics in black neighborhoods to "control the population" and that its founder, Margaret Sanger, "was not particularly enamored with black people."

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Amateurs.

About Nancy Frates' TED Talk

The 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was one of the fastest fundraising efforts in history. Nancy Frates recounts how her love for her son Pete plunged her into leading a worldwide awareness campaign.

About Nancy Frate

Note: This post contains a photo of a monkey carcass, on sale at a bush meat market, that may be disturbing to some readers.

What's for dinner?

Porcupines, giant squirrels, dwarf crocodiles and a variety of primates, including golden-bellied crowned monkeys and Bioko black colobus monkeys.

Those are some of the bush meat offerings at the outdoor covered market in Malabo on Bioko Island, part of Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. And shoppers are willing to pay more for these prized delicacies than they'd fork over for chicken or fish.

When bioengineer Christina Smolke started her own research lab, she was only 29-years-old. But that didn't stop her from setting colossal goals.

Smolke immediately began to work on what many considered to be a holy grail in bioengineering: yeast that can literally brew narcotic drugs. Achieving that, she knew, could open the door to the quick development of better medications of all sorts.

New Hampshire is in the throes of a drug epidemic driven by prescription opioids and heroin.

"The state of New Hampshire loses a citizen to an overdose death about every day," said Tym Rourke, chairman of the New Hampshire Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 most residents evacuated safely. But thousands lost homes, careers, and the lives they had known. Since then, many seem to have recovered emotionally from the trauma. But some have not.

When the patient showed up in the emergency department, he was hurting. He'd taken a nice long soak in a warm tub, and a few hours later his fingers swelled enough to trap his ring. Now that finger was painful and swollen. The ring needed to come off, since restricted blood flow can lead to tissue death in the finger, which is about as fun as it sounds.

Epicurus, the ancient Greek philosopher, once likened eating alone to "leading the life of a lion or wolf." This philosopher of pleasures, it seems, was a big fan of companionship. Communal meals are woven into our DNA.

But a lot of us are lone wolves these days when it comes to dining. New research finds 46 percent of adult eating occasions — that's meals and snacks — are undertaken alone.

If you've ever tried to lose weight, you've probably gotten drawn into the argument over whether it's better to cut carbs or fat from your diet. A new study doesn't completely resolve that question, but it does provide an important insight.

Some proponents of the low-carb diet insist that you must cut carbs to burn off body fat. Their reasoning goes that when you cut carbs, your body's insulin levels drop, and that's essential in order to burn fat.

Learning to make sounds by listening to others is a skill that helps make us human.

But research now suggests a species of monkey may have evolved similar abilities.

Marmosets have the capacity to learn calls from their parents, according to research published Thursday in the journal Science. The results mean that studying marmosets might provide insights into developmental disorders found in humans. It also suggests that vocal learning may be more widespread than many researchers thought.

It was a gift of about $600, to make up for wages that weren't paid. A gesture of gratitude, it may be the encouragement embattled nurses need to continue working with the specter of Ebola ever-present.

In the darkest hours, bonds formed between Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious disease doctor from Boston University who volunteered to fight Ebola last year, and the West African nurses who cared for patients beside her.

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