Now, new findings published in the journal Nature Human Behavior suggest that individuals’ predilection for different types of foods may be linked to their genetics, CNN reports. Scientists sought to find any evidence that might link people’s food preferences to specific genetic markers. Researchers found genetic links for 13 dietary habits, including consumption of alcohol, other drinks and foods, as well as human diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Nine gene locations were associated with the consumption of coffee, tea, alcohol, yogurt, cheese, fermented soybeans, tofu, fish, vegetables and meat. Because only Japanese natives were studied, experts said the genetic variations associated with food preferences might be different among other populations around the world.
As the COVID-19 pandemic heads for a showdown with vaccines it’s expected to lose, many experts in the field of emerging infectious diseases are already focused on preventing the next one. Experts predict it would cost about $700 billion to institute these and other measures, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. He is setting up the Global Virome Project to catalog viruses in wildlife in order to predict which ones might ignite the next pandemic. One case study for how viruses emerge from nature to become an epidemic is the Nipah virus. “A road will facilitate a transport of goods and people and create economic incentive,” said Walzer, of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Safety Net Primary Care ProvidersThe findings come from a 2019 health care provider survey by Afiba Manza-A. Before adjusting variables to account for the small number of responses, that low knowledge was associated with a 91% decreased likelihood of prescribing PrEP. “Providers had a high awareness of PrEP and were willing to prescribe PrEP if given additional information,” wrote the study authors. “Providers in our survey endorsed interest in receiving educational trainings on PrEP and integrating PrEP services into primary care. This finding is encouraging because [primary care providers] and HIV specialists often disagree about whom should be responsible for prescribing PrEP.”Click here to read the study.
Funeral director Kevin Spitzer has been overwhelmed with COVID-related deaths in the small city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. They watched as New York hospitals and funeral homes marshaled refrigerated trucks to store bodies. “Morticians and funeral homes are overflowing as well. The clinic, which has just two morgue spaces, has dealt with 80 COVID deaths, including seven on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Native communities have not only been among the hardest hit with COVID illnesses and deaths, but their grieving rituals have been among the most seriously disrupted.
Here are some common issues and how you can ensure you receive the full stimulus you’re eligible for:You Haven’t Received Your Second Stimulus Payment YetMany people will receive stimulus payments by direct deposit, according to the IRS. Generally, you can expect to receive your payment in the same form you received the first stimulus payment under the CARES Act in early 2020. And if your first stimulus payment arrived via paper check, you could receive a debit card this time, and vice versa. The best way to track how and when you’ll receive your stimulus payment is with the IRS’ Get My Payment tool. Before filing, if you still haven’t received payment, continue to monitor the Get My Payment tool.
Fewer TV characters are HIV positive. In fact, in the 2020–2021 TV season, out of a total of 773 series regulars, only three characters were living with HIV—and all three were on the same show, FX’s Pose. This marks a “drastic decrease” from the previous year, which included nine characters with HIV, according to new study findings from GLAAD, an advocacy group that focuses on LGBTQ representation in the media. GLAAD’s “Where We Are on TV Report—2020” marks the 25th year the group has analyzed LGBTQ characters on television, including characters living with HIV. The site also offers an analysis by Raina Deerwater, an entertainment research associate at GLAAD, in a separate GLAAD blog post.
For the investigation, researchers looked at sperm epigenetics—the molecular processes that affect gene expression—in 13 men who fathered sons with autism and 13 who had children without the disorder. Researchers identified 805 different DNA methylation regions that could serve as epigenetic biomarkers associated with whether a man might father a child with autism. Researchers tested their theory by trying to pinpoint dads who did or did not reproduce children with autism based solely on their sperm samples. Skinner said further research of the biomarkers could also help scientists trace how epigenetic changes initially happened. “We found out years ago that environmental factors can alter the germline, the sperm or the egg, epigenetics,” Skinner said.
A series of new grants totaling $10 million aims to address this challenge by supporting organizations that promote racial equity and social justice. Gilead Sciences, perhaps best known for its line of HIV drugs, awarded a total of $10 million in grants to 20 organizations as part of its newly launched Racial Equity Community Impact Fund, according to an announcement by Gilead. Groups that organize and mobilize communities to join the quest for racial equity and social justice, working toward an equitable distribution of resources for Black communities. “The Racial Equity Community Impact Fund will provide resources to groups that are working on the front lines to combat social inequities directly impacting the health and wellness of the Black community. And for a collection of articles about COVID-19 and the Black community, click Real Health’s tag #COVID-19.
First, they prevent infected people from spreading the virus to others (masks act as “source control”). So, we need to urgently get these more effective “high-filtration” masks to all Americans. We can learn from the remarkable success of South Korea and Singapore, where governments early on manufactured and distributed high-filtration masks (e.g. I was one of over 50 U.S. public health experts who signed a Dec. 15 open letter to the federal government, led by Dr. Michael Mina at the Harvard T.H. The toll will keep rising unless we start treating COVID-19 as a national emergency that warrants aggressive public health actions.
“Remember that a bipartisan $900 billion #COVID19 relief bill became law just 18 days ago,” tweeted Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. But Biden said that was only a down payment, and he promised another major bill next month, focused on rebuilding the economy. His relief bill would be paid for with borrowed money, adding to trillions in debt the government has already incurred to confront the pandemic. Biden has called for setting up mass vaccination centers and sending mobile units to hard-to-reach areas. “There is a commitment the (incoming) administration has articulated to address the needs of communities.”Biden has set a goal of administering 100 million shots in his first 100 days.
As an emergency physician, Eugenia South, MD, MSHP, was in the first group of people to receive a COVID vaccine. “I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe doing that.”And although COVID vaccines are highly effective, South plans to continue wearing her mask outside the hospital as well. Vaccines don’t provide immediate protection. COVID vaccines will take a little longer than other inoculations, such as the flu shot, because both the Moderna and Pfizer products require two doses. COVID vaccines may not prevent you from spreading the virus.
Feeling Stressed? Ways to Improve Your Well-BeingHave you been feeling more stressed than usual? “It’s the feeling that you’re overloaded, out of control, and unable to cope,” she says. Ways to De-StressThe first step is to recognize the signs that you’re stressed beyond a normal level. “It’s well known that slow breathing techniques have a positive effect on emotional state,” says Dr. Jack Feldman of UCLA, an expert on the neuroscience of breathing.
DNA Base Editing May Treat Progeria, Study in Mice ShowsPosted on January 7th, 2021 by Dr. Francis CollinsCredit: Progeria Research FoundationMy good friend Sam Berns was born with a rare genetic condition that causes rapid premature aging. That’s what makes some more recently developed DNA editing agents and approaches so important. Here’s how it works: Instead of cutting DNA as CRISPR does, base editors directly convert one DNA letter to another by enzymatically changing one DNA base to become a different base. Our three labs (Liu, Brown, and Collins) first teamed up with the Progeria Research Foundation, Peabody, MA, to obtain skin cells from kids with progeria.  Programmable base editing of A•T to G•C in genomic DNA without DNA cleavage.
NIAID is hosting a virtual Workshop on Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 on Dec. 3 through 4, 2020, to summarize existing knowledge on post-acute manifestations of COVID-19 and to identify key knowledge gaps. Workshop links will be sent closer to the date of the workshop. The first day will wrap up with a series of talks on post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 as reported to date in various focus areas. The second day will start with a talk on the intersection of social determinants of health and race/ethnicity on post-acute COVID-19 sequelae and the charge to the breakout groups, who will dive deeper to identify key knowledge gaps regarding the sequelae in various focus areas. The workshop will be on the Zoom platform; however, due to space restraints on Zoom, we will also videocast the meeting.
X-Ray Diffraction: Still Beautiful After All These YearsPosted on December 14th, 2012 by Dr. Francis CollinsThis year marks the 100th anniversary of X-ray diffraction technology. More than 85% of the protein structures we know today have been determined via this method. For more information about x-ray diffraction, I recommend Structural Biology Fact Sheet and The Structures of Life: X-ray Crystallography. Here you see the X-ray diffraction image that James Watson and Francis Crick used to decipher the double helix structure of DNA in 1953. After which famous scientist, responsible for the image used by Watson and Crick, is my guitar named?
Has an Alternative to Table Sugar Contributed to the C. Diff. And that’s not all: a diet containing trehalose significantly increased the severity of symptoms in a mouse model of C. diff. C. diff is a common bacterium that many people already have in their gut. These drugs can upset the normal balance of healthy gut microbes, and because C. diff. This shows the two C. diff strains have adapted to feed on trehalose in two completely different ways!
Smoking marijuana is common among young people with mood disorders, such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. But young marijuana users are at greater risk for self-harm and death, suggest new findings published in JAMA Pediatrics. Scientists identified 204,780 youth ages 10 to 24 with mood disorders between 2010 and 2017 from Ohio Medicaid claims data linked with death certificate data. More than 10% of youths with mood disorders used cannabis, according to study findings. For related coverage, read “Mental Disorders Increase Risk of Early Death, Study Says.”
As Black History Month kicks off, the Black community continues to mourn the loss of beloved actress and icon Cicely Tyson, who died January 28 at age 96. “With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon,” said her longtime manager, Larry Thompson, in a statement issued January 28, according to The Associated Press (AP). Tyson garnered praise for her role in the 1972 film Sounder, which earned her both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. At age 88, Tyson won her first Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for the Broadway production of The Trip to Bountiful. She had a heart unlike any other—and for 96 years, she left a mark on the world that few will ever match.”Hillary and I mourn the passing of Cicely Tyson.
Many of the cancer survivors that I have counseled know this and it’s why they choose to work with an oncology dietitian. The slogan for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Make Every Bite Count, demonstrates the importance of the whole diet. Not much has changed from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but there are a few new additions. For the first time, the Dietary Guidelines include information for babies and toddlers. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines have two primary focuses that cancer survivors that can incorporate into daily life.
Washington is still standing after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and the Jan. 20 Inauguration of President Joe Biden. After the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, the Secret Service shut down the section of Pennsylvania Avenue directly to the north of the White House, but pedestrians and bikes could still pass. Elsewhere, throughout Washington, additional security measures were adopted, but it’s still a pretty accessible city when you consider just how much power is concentrated in a relatively small space. So is the lawn between the White House and the Washington Monument, the place probably best known for hosting the National Christmas Tree and National Menorah. Instead, the real walls Trump brought into creation might be the ones surrounding government office buildings and previously public parks.
At Wellness Axis we want to encourage habits of wellness, Increase awareness of factors and resources contributing to well-being, Inspire and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health, and to support a sense of community. Wellness can be thought of as the quality or state of being in good health.