Twins May Hold The Key To Unlocking Mysteries Surrounding Zika
Determining why one twin became infected in the womb while the other did not may illuminate how Zika crosses the placenta, how it enters the brain, and whether any genetic mutations make a fetus more resistant or susceptible to Zika infection. In other public health news: chronic fatigue syndrome, fasting, gender identity, hunger, premature babies and back pain.
The New York Times:
Clues To Zika Damage Might Lie In Cases Of Twins
On the bed next to her brother, Ana Vitória da Silva Araújo acted like the 1-year-old she was. She smiled and babbled. She played with a stuffed whale. She plucked the pacifier from her brother’s mouth and the burp cloth from his shoulder. Her brother, João Lucas, seemed unaware of her, his eyes closed, his mouth making sucking motions. It was typical behavior for a newborn. But João Lucas is the exact same age as Ana Vitória — they are twins. (Belluck and Franco, 5/1)
NIH Launches Study Of Illness Known As 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome'
In July 2012, a science reporter for The Washington Post, Brian Vastag, was in Wisconsin visiting his family when a high fever hit. He became instantly bedridden with flu-like symptoms that never went away. "It didn't feel like anything I'd ever had before. ... The things that distinguished it were the dizziness and the feeling of unreality in the head," Vastag says. Now, nearly five years later, the 45-year-old can no longer concentrate or read even a few sentences without becoming exhausted. A short walk to the mailbox means lying down for the rest of the day. In September, he'll qualify for Medicare due to his disability. (Tucker, 5/1)
People Do Not Change Their Eating Habits Easily, Studies Find
A new study suggests that skipping meals is difficult. Obviously, right? The study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine did not set out to investigate the hardships of abstaining from food. The main question was: Is alternate-day fasting more effective for weight loss and weight maintenance compared with daily calorie restriction? (Hersher, 5/1)
Kids And Teens Challenge Either/Or Genders
Max, age 13, is agender — neither male nor female. When referring to Max, you don't use "he" or "she;" you use "they." Once strictly a pronoun of the plural variety, "they" is now doing double duty as singular, too — referring to individuals, like Max, who do not see gender as an either/or option. ... If the whole he/she pronoun thing feels awkward to you, Max is sympathetic — and patient. (Brooks, 5/2)
Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio: 'We Can End Hunger In This Country'
Hunger in America can often seem invisible, but recent studies have shown that it is a problem that affects millions of people, many of them children. An estimated 13.1 million kids live in homes with insufficient food, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Dalrymple, 5/1)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Parents Of 'Micro Preemies' Wowed By Philly Artificial Womb Study
Scientists [at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia] gained international headlines last week for inventing an artificial womb, keeping extremely premature lambs alive inside a fluid-filled bag for up to a month until they could survive on their own. Physicians say it will be three to five years before they are ready to try such an approach on human babies. When they do, the effort will be aimed at critically premature infants just like Patrick: those born before 26 weeks. The goal is to cocoon them for just a few weeks, getting them to an age when most children survive and the risks of complications — brain bleeds, lung problems, grave infections, to name a few — are sharply reduced, said team leader Alan W. Flake, a fetal surgeon at Children’s. (Avril, 5/1)