Many Of The Worst Mass Shootings In Recent Memory All Have Something In Common: AR-15 Style Rifles. Why?
The rounds from that style of weapon are three times faster and strike with more than twice the force of other bullets. "Organs aren't just going to tear or have bruises on them, they're going to be, parts of them are going to be destroyed," says Cynthia Bir. In other public health news: gene-edited babies, alcohol, vitiligo, the cautious generation, cancer, CBD, and more.
What Makes The AR-15 Style Rifle The Weapon Of Choice For Mass Shooters?
The mass shooting this past April at a California synagogue has something in common with the deadliest massacres: the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. Variations of the AR-15 were used to kill at two New Zealand mosques, a Pittsburgh synagogue, Texas church, a Las Vegas concert, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and Sandy Hook Elementary School. The AR-15 style rifle is the most popular rifle in America. There are well over 11 million and they are rarely used in crime. Handguns kill far more people. But as we first reported last November, the AR-15 is the choice of our worst mass murderers. AR-15 ammunition travels three times the speed of sound. And tonight we're going to slow that down, so you can see why the AR-15's high velocity ammo is the fear of every American emergency room. (Pelley, 6/23)
Officials Say They Lack Authority To Halt 'CRISPR Babies' Plan In Russia
Two influential leaders in science for the first time publicly condemned a Russian biologist who said he plans to produce gene-edited babies but conceded that it was beyond their organizations’ authority to halt him from doing so. In separate interviews with STAT over the weekend, Margaret Hamburg, co-chair of an international advisory committee on human genome-editing, and Victor Dzau, president of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, said they were deeply concerned by the plans outlined by Russian scientist Denis Rebrikov. (Berke, 6/24)
'Sober Curious'? Taking A Break From Booze Is Trendy And Helps Health
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 86 percent of adults over 18 report having had an alcoholic drink or drinks at some point in their lifetime, and 56 percent say they've had alcohol in the past month. Still, abstaining from alcohol — on a short-term basis or longer term — is becoming more common. "Not everybody wants to get wasted when they go to the bar," says Forte. Sometimes, being there is just about wanting to be social and fit in. (Fulton and Aubrey, 6/23)
The Associated Press:
'Michael Jackson Drug' Still Prompts Curiosity From Patients
It remains the most widely used anesthetic in U.S. hospitals, but many patients still remember propofol as the drug that killed Michael Jackson. Most are no longer afraid of it, doctors say, though many still ask if they will get "the Michael Jackson drug" before an operation. And most of them will. (6/22)
The New York Times:
For Vitiligo Patients, New Treatments Offer Hope
Stella Pavlides has vitiligo. It’s an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks the cells, called melanocytes, that give skin its color. She was 22 years old and studying to be a court reporter when she first developed unsightly white patches on her hands and feet, then around her mouth, eyes, arms, legs and groin. “People say vitiligo doesn’t kill you, but it kills your spirit,” she told me. “Kids get stared at, spit on, beaten up.” Although the condition is most obvious and often most emotionally and socially devastating when it afflicts dark-skinned people, Ms. Pavlides said her disorder was painfully apparent on her light tawny Greek skin. (Brody, 6/24)
The New York Times:
The ‘Euphoria’ Teenagers Are Wild. But Most Real Teenagers Are Tame.
Teenage dramas have typically presented a soapy view of high school, with more sex, drugs and wild behavior than in real life. But HBO’s new series “Euphoria” portrays a youth bacchanal that’s a stretch even for Hollywood. The show suggests that our modern society, with its smartphone dating apps, internet pornography and designer drugs, has made teenage life more extreme and dangerous than ever before. Actually, nearly the opposite is true. (Sanger-Katz and Aaron E. Carroll, 6/23)
Patients With Feared Superbug Shed Large Amounts Of It From Their Skin
New research on a frightening new superbug confirms what scientists have both suspected and feared: Some hospitalized patients who carry the fungus shed large amounts of it from their skin, contaminating the environment in which they are being treated and leaving enough of it to infect others later on. The bug, called Candida auris, is highly resistant to many existing antifungal drugs. It’s also resistant to regular cleaning methods, making hospital outbreaks incredibly difficult to stop. (Branswell, 6/24)
Cancer Vaccine Being Tested In Dogs
If you ask most experts in the cancer community, creating a wide-ranging vaccine that prevents tumors like we prevent infectious diseases is damn near impossible. The idea may be tantalizing, but study after study over the last several decades has taught doctors that cancer is personal. Everyone's looks different on a molecular level. And each tumor is an agile, devious adversary that mutates as it grows to outwit the human immune system. (Lord and Smith, 6/21)
CBD Marijuana Information: Wonder Drug Or Snake Oil?
Wonder drug or modern-day snake oil? Appearing in stores and online in the form of body lotions, capsules, tinctures, edible gummies and bottled water, CBD has exploded in popularity as a way to reap the supposed health benefits of marijuana without the high that comes with it. All this is in spite of the paucity of evidence of its merits so far. (Moore, 6/23)
Heart Disease Can Have Long-Term Impact On The Brain, Study Says
Patients who receive a diagnosis of coronary heart disease are at higher risk for cognitive decline later on, a new study shows. The study, published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that scores on cognitive tests -- including verbal memory and orientation of time -- dropped faster after patients received such a diagnosis than they did leading up to it. (Nedelman, 6/17)
The Washington Post:
Kidney Stone Season Arrives With Summer Temperatures
With temperatures heating up, thoughts turn to beach days, cooling drinks and much-awaited vacations. For urologists, however, the coming of summer signals something else: kidney stones. It’s true: Kidney stones have been associated with warmer weather in the United States and worldwide. And kidney stone season may be getting even longer with the effects of climate change and global warming — especially in already warm climates. This is caused, at least in part, from dehydration due to increased temperatures, and is even more true during summer months. (Rosario-Santiago, 6/22)
The Wall Street Journal:
Shots Go On A Health Kick
The newcomer in the beverage case probably won’t quench your thirst and may not even taste that great. And that is part of the appeal, makers say. They are called wellness shots, typically packaged in petite 2-ounce bottles and touting benefits such as a spark of energy or a boost to the immune system. With sharp-flavored ingredients such as garlic, habanero pepper and apple-cider vinegar, fans say they offer a quick pick-me-up—but have to be gulped down quickly. (Chaker, 6/23)
The Washington Post:
How To Get Rid Of Lice.
I recently attempted a technically demanding, “around the world” braid on my kindergartner’s head. On my sloppy and meandering approach to the South Pole, I discovered a loathsome sight that scuttled my circumnavigation — a smattering of small, brownish casings stuck onto hairs. I tried to convince myself that I was looking at sand. She’s always covered in sand! (Sanders, 6/23)
The Washington Post:
False Confessions And How They Happen
If you were under interrogation, would you confess to a crime you didn’t commit? It’s more common than you might think. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 27 percent of people in the registry who were accused of homicide gave false confessions, and 81 percent of people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities did the same when they were accused of homicide. (Blakemore, 6/23)
The Washington Post:
'I Was Just Clawing At Myself': The Medical Mystery Of A Woman's Unrelenting Itchiness
Leslie Lavender knew that the outfit she wore to her younger daughter’s wedding in April 2017 was unusual for the mother of the bride. But dark pants and a long-sleeved top, she decided, were the best way to hide the damage caused by an incessant itch impervious to antihistamines, dietary changes and special creams. “I was just clawing at myself,” recalled Lavender, then 60, who lives in Stockton Springs, a tiny town 110 miles north of Portland, Maine. (Boodman, 6/22)