Mashable – How breastfeeding can help address some of the world’s biggest inequalities
What if mothers could tackle some of the world’s most pervasive problems simply by feeding their babies? Breastfeeding advocates argue they can. August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, with the first week dubbed World Breastfeeding Week – an annual observance to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and infants across the globe. And many of those benefits, advocates say, can help address some of the world’s biggest inequalities.
FOX News – Sickle cell trait may not increase risk of premature death, study finds
Black men and women with a sickle cell trait don’t see any more of an increased risk of death than those without the trait but who have other risk factors including obesity, older age and a history of smoking, a new study of American service members suggests. Sickle cell gene variants occur in about one in 13 black Americans and are linked to an increased risk of premature death. Two copies of the sickle cell gene variant causes sickle cell disease, which shortens individuals’ lifespan to only 40 to 60 years and leads to intermittent, intense bouts of pain. People with one copy of the gene have sickle cell trait, which previous studies have linked to a higher risk of premature death from exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER). ER occurs when muscle breakdown ends up in the kidneys, and it commonly affects football players and soldiers on active duty.
CNN – Human trials begin for Zika vaccines
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has injected two human volunteers with an experimental DNA-based Zika vaccine, Director Anthony Fauci announced today, a month ahead of its projected schedule for vaccine development. “If it’s a home run, we’ll know pretty quickly,” Fauci said, adding that if it is successful, phase 2 trials could begin as early as January. Human trials of another DNA-based vaccine created by Inovio Pharmaceuticals started in Miami a few days ago, but Fauci stressed that those DNA inserts are different from the ones the his agency is using.
U.S. News – Average American 15 Pounds Heavier Than 20 Years Ago
There’s no doubt about it: Americans are getting heavier and heavier. But new U.S. estimates may still come as a shock — since the late 1980s and early 1990s, the average American has put on 15 or more additional pounds without getting any taller. Even 11-year-old kids aren’t immune from this weight plague, the study found. Girls are more than seven pounds heavier even though their height is the same. Boys gained an inch in height, but also packed on an additional 13.5 pounds compared to two decades ago.