New CDC Chief On Board With Researching Gun Violence, Schumer Says
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he hopes the CDC "will use some of their newly increased resources from the omnibus spending package to get this done.” In other public health news: the E. coli outbreak, cancer, amputations, our ancestors' brains, and more.
Schumer: CDC Chief 'Agreed' Agency Can Study Gun Violence
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday said President Trump's new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes there isn’t a prohibition on his agency researching gun violence. Robert Redfield "agreed there is no longer a prohibition on the CDC conducting research on the gun violence epidemic," Schumer said after a meeting with Redfield. "That is a good first step but we have a lot of work to do to ensure the CDC initiates this extremely important research in the near future." (Weixel, 4/26)
The New York Times:
E. Coli Flare-Up Is Largest Multistate Outbreak Since 2006
A recent spate of infections linked to romaine lettuce is now the largest multistate food-borne E. coli outbreak since 2006, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 84 people were infected in 19 states between mid-March and mid-April, the C.D.C. announced Wednesday, adding more than two dozen cases to its previous count. Because of the time it takes for an illness to reach the agency’s attention, illnesses contracted after April 5 may not yet have been reported, the agency said. (Chokshi, 4/26)
Los Angeles Times:
For Firefighters Who Worked In World Trade Center Rubble, The Future Includes A Heightened Risk Of Cancer
It's been nearly 16 years since cleanup work officially ended at New York City's ground zero, but the health effects for rescue and recovery workers are still making themselves known. Two studies published Thursday in the journal JAMA Oncology suggest that the firefighters who came to lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center face a heightened risk of cancer — and will continue to do so for years to come. (Kaplan, 4/26)
The Washington Post:
Why Surgeons Amputated A 7-Year-Old’s Leg And Reattached It The Wrong Way
Not long before her seventh birthday, Amelia Eldred, a small dancer with big dreams of performing on stage, received a devastating diagnosis. Doctors discovered a 10-centimeter tumor in the femur in her left leg — and it had broken the bone, according to Birmingham Live. When the tumor did not respond to chemotherapy, doctors told her parents that the limb would need to be amputated, but they had a solution to help the active child maintain her mobility, according to the British news site. (Bever, 4/26)
Los Angeles Times:
The Shape, Not Size, Of Our Ancestors' Brains May Have Helped Them Outlast Neanderthals
For more than 200,000 years, Neanderthals successfully occupied the cold, dark forests and shores of Europe. Then early humans came along. Archaeological evidence suggests that human migrants from Africa arrived on the European continent around 40,000 years ago. About that same time, the Neanderthals all died off. (Netburn, 4/27)
He Was A Tuskegee Study Architect. Should A College Expunge His Name?
Dr. Thomas Parran Jr., whose name graces the main building of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, has also been called an architect of the syphilis experiments on black men and women in Tuskegee, Ala. While he was surgeon general, he was also aware that U.S. public health researchers were intentionally infecting with syphilis Guatemalan people who were mentally ill or in prison, in the name of research. Now, under pressure from students who say Parran’s role in these experiments shows his disregard for human lives, the university is grappling with whether to strip his name from the building, and by default, the school he helped found after decades of public service. (Satyanarayana, 4/27)
Why You Keep Waking Up At Night? It May Be Your 'Neuronal Noise'
In a new paper in the journal Science Advances, researchers from Boston University and Israel offer an explanation for these "short arousals." They blame "neuronal noise" — random fluctuations in your neurons' voltage that sometimes rise to the level of waking you up. (Goldberg, 4/26)
The New York Times:
Caffeine During Pregnancy Tied To Overweight Offspring
Consuming caffeine during pregnancy may increase the risk for obesity in childhood, researchers report. A Norwegian study, in BMJ Open, involved 50,943 mother-infant pairs. The mothers reported their caffeine intake at 22 weeks of pregnancy, and the researchers followed their children over the next eight years. After adjusting for other variables, the scientists found that compared with the children of women who consumed less than 50 milligrams of caffeine a day, those whose mothers had 50 to 199 milligrams were only slightly more likely to be overweight at ages 3 through 8 years. (A cup of brewed coffee contains about 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine.) (Bakalar, 4/26)