Registration opens for APHA Annual Meeting; Autistic brains lack ‘Internet” connectivity; doctors advocate for Evolutionary Medicine and improved diets; scientists create ‘smart bomb’ weapons to combat cancer. These stories and more topping public health headlines today, June 4, 2012.
APHA – Registration opens for 140th Annual APHA Meeting
Registration is now open for the American Public Health Association’s 140th Annual Meeting. The meeting will take place October 27-31 in San Francisco, CA. Attendees will have full access to the Annual Meeting, which includes over 1,000 scientific sessions, a Public Health Expo that provides information about public health careers, and the largest gatherings of public health officials in the world. Other attendees include international physicians, administrators, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and more. Register now to reserve a space!
NPR – What’s Different About the Brains of People with Autism?
Like a lot of people with autism, Jeff Hudale has a brain that’s really good at some things. Hudale can do triple-digit multiplication in his head. But he doesn’t do so well with social interactions, where logic and rules aren’t so obvious. What Hudale has done for the past 25 years is help scientists understand autism — by letting them study his brain.
Wall Street Journal – Bionic Brains and Beyond
Over the next decade, new implantable technologies will fundamentally alter the social landscape. These tools aren’t sinister. They’re being created to solve real problems. Simply put, prosthetic limbs help people move, and neural implants help people think. But these days the technology can solve our problems and then some. Solutions may not only erase physical or mental deficits but leave patients better off than “able-bodied” folks. The person who has a disability today may have a superability tomorrow.
CTV News – Cancer treatment grows more high-tech with ‘smart bomb’ drugs
New research shows a sharp escalation in the weapons race against cancer, with several high-tech approaches long dreamed of but not possible or successful until now. he field continues to move toward more precise treatments with fewer side effects and away from old-style chemotherapy that was “like dropping a bomb on the body,” he said. In fact, an emerging class of “smart bombs” was one of the most hopeful developments reported at the meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
New York Times – A Drug for Advanced Melanoma Is Found to Prolong Patients’ Lives
A new type of drug prolonged the lives of patients with advanced melanoma in a clinical trial, potentially adding to a growing number of therapies for a disease that was once nearly untreatable. While melanoma, if caught early, can usually be cured by surgically removing the skin lesion, it has been very difficult to treat once it spreads elsewhere in the body. But last year two drugs that prolong the lives of these very ill patients received regulatory approval.
New York Times – Slathering on Sunscreen, Early and Often
This is a plea to all children and teenagers, their parents and teachers, and the doctors who treat them: Please take sun exposure more seriously. Unless sun protection practices are established early in life as inviolable habits, akin to using seat belts in a vehicle, children become increasingly lax as they get older about preventing sunburns that can lead to life-threatening cancers decades later.
Kaiser Health News – As Patients’ Records Go Digital, Theft and Hacking Problems Grow
As more doctors and hospitals go digital with medical records, the size and frequency of data breaches are alarming privacy advocates and public health officials. Keeping records secure is a challenge that doctors, public health officials and federal regulators are just beginning to grasp. And, as two recent incidents at Howard University Hospital show, inadequate data security can affect huge numbers of people.
Washington Post – Republican state officials stall on setting up health insurance marketplaces
In about two dozen states across the country, the insurance marketplaces at the heart of the 2010 health-care law remain in limbo, with Republican governors or lawmakers who oppose the statute refusing to act until the Supreme Court decides its constitutionality.
NPR – The Paleo Diet Moves From The Gym To The Doctor’s Office
By now the paleo diet and lifestyle has inched from the fringe a little closer to the mainstream, thanks to some very passionate followers sold on the notion that our Paleolithic hunter-gatherer ancestors avoided modern day ailments like obesity and diabetes because they ate what some consider an “ideal” diet of meat, fruit and vegetables. But the paleo way is now moving beyond the gym and Web to an entirely new space — the doctor’s office. There the somewhat amorphous idea of “evolutionary medicine” is taking shape.