Parents, Let Your Kids Get A Little Dirty; New Study Suggests It Has Health Benefits.
Researchers find that children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails are less likely to develop allergies later in their lives, which could support the theory that exposure to microbes does have health benefits. Also in public health news: the long-term effects of protesting, a second person with the superbug gene, workers' habit of going into work sick, and more.
The Washington Post:
Thumb-Sucking And Nail-Biting Might Prevent Allergies
If you’re a parent, you might want to think twice about shooing a thumb from your child’s mouth. Researchers in New Zealand have found that children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails are less likely to develop allergies later in their lives. The research comes from a long-term project known as the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has followed more than 1,000 children from Dunedin, New Zealand, since birth. The study is now in its fifth decade. (Beachum, 7/11)
MInnesota Public Radio:
What Are The Long-Term Health Effects Of Protesting?
In the wake of the death of Philando Castile, protesters took to the streets - and to the governor's mansion - demanding justice and systematic change. Some of those protesters are the same people who took part in the occupation at the 4th precinct in north Minneapolis after Jamar Clark was killed. How will these events affect those protesters? It turns out there's not much research into how protest and resistance affect a person's long-term physical and mental health. (Weber, 7/11)
The Washington Post:
Superbug Gene Detected In A Second Person In The U.S.
Researchers have found bacteria resistant to the antibiotic of last resort in a sample from a second patient in the United States, according to a study published Monday. The patient had surgery at a New York hospital last year, researchers said. The news comes after researchers reported in late May that a patient in Pennsylvania carried a strain of E. coli bacteria that was resistant to the antibiotic colistin, the antibiotic that doctors use to treat patients who have infections that don't respond to other drugs. (Sun, 7/11)
Sick? People Say They Still Go To Work, Even When They Shouldn't
A majority of working adults say they still go to work when they have a cold or the flu. There are some jobs where doing that can have a big effect on health. At least half of people who work in very public places, like hospitals and restaurants, report going to work when they have a cold or the flu. Those were among the findings of a poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (Bichell, 7/11)
Pregnant Women Don’t Need Prenatal Multivitamins, Study Concludes
Prenatal vitamins are a staple of modern pregnancy. But a report out Monday in the journal Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin suggests they don’t make much difference in preventing complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth. ... The journal reviewed dozens of clinical trials testing the effect of several vitamins and nutrients commonly included in prenatal supplements. Some of the trials were quite large, with up to 24,000 participants. (Samuel, 7/11)
Researchers Regrow Brain Cells In Mice, Offering Hope To Glaucoma Patients
There is no cure for glaucoma, the second-most common cause of blindness (after cataracts), but a new study offers hope that it might not always be so. In lab mice, combining two very different therapies let the animals see again — at least partially. ... Scientists have put a lot of effort into figuring out how to make neurons recover, and are still searching for a cure for diseases that result from nerve damage, like spinal trauma or glaucoma. (Seervai, 7/11)
The Washington Post:
Deadly And Beautiful: The Mesmerizing Images Of Cancer Research
Delicately colored mosaics. Swirling currents of neon green. Who knew that cancer, so terrifying, could be so weirdly beautiful? Adam Marcus, for one. A cancer researcher at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute, he embedded lung cancer cells in a gel and let them invade surrounding tissue for 24 hours. The resulting image he created looks like a gaily lit mainland, with a handful of tiny vessels — individual cancer cells — setting out for distant shores. (McGinley, 7/11)
The New York Times:
A Cavity-Fighting Liquid Lets Kids Avoid Dentists’ Drills
Nobody looks forward to having a cavity drilled and filled by a dentist. Now there’s an alternative: an antimicrobial liquid that can be brushed on cavities to stop tooth decay — painlessly. The liquid is called silver diamine fluoride, or S.D.F. It’s been used for decades in Japan, but it’s been available in the United States, under the brand name Advantage Arrest, for just about a year. (Saint Louis, 7/11)