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Plos Medicine

SCIENCE
August 31, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Even people with a strong genetic predisposition to obesity can offset their risk of being overweight by being physically active, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine . British researchers examined the effects of 12 genetic variants associated with a higher risk of obesity among 20,430 people in Britain. Researchers calculated a genetic predisposition score for each volunteer that ranged from 0 to 24, representing the number of obesity-related variants they had inherited.
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NEWS
May 3, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Abilify, the brand name of the drug aripiprazole, is an antipsychotic medication used to treat the acute phase of bipolar disorder as well as the maintenance phase -- the period of time after a patient has improved and the focus turns toward preventing a relapse. This second use of Abilify is the target of a biting review published Tuesday by Dr. Alexander Tsai of Harvard University and Dr. Nicholas Rosenlicht of UC San Francisco. The scientists set out to review data that justify the use of Abilify for the maintenance phase of bipolar disorder -- and found very little.
HEALTH
August 30, 2010 | By James S. Fell, Special to the Los Angeles Times
I don't have anything against cosmetic surgery. No amount of running or iron pumping was going to do anything about the genetically programmed dark circles under my eyes, so I got those things zapped with a nuclear-powered laser that made me twitch and fidget in the chair like a spider monkey coming off a meth bender. Cosmetic surgery can, quite simply, do things that diet and exercise can't. If you've got something that looks like that mutant from "Total Recall" hanging off your stomach telling you to "start the reactor," and it bothers you more than the sizeable surgery scars will, then getting some work done on this area could be an option.
HEALTH
November 3, 2008 | Marc Siegel, Siegel is an internist and an associate professor of medicine at New York University's School of Medicine.
" 'Til Death" "Circumdecision" episode, Fox, Oct. 8 The premise: Kenny Westchester (J.B. Smoove) loses his swim trunks at a water park, and his new girlfriend, Angie, seems concerned that he is uncircumcised. "It doesn't quite work for her," Kenny says. As Kenny approaches his third date with Angie believing they may be about to have sex, he considers circumcision.
NEWS
December 8, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
These days, it's just good to have a job. But remaining gainfully employed can take a toll on health, especially if your work has you up at odd hours and sleeping irregularly. Shift work, say two studies out this week, poses particular problems for women, who appear to be at greater risk of Type 2 diabetes and possibly breast cancer if they maintain work schedules that mess with their internal clocks. Researchers have uncovered a host of links between humans' respect for their circadian rhythms and their health prospects.
SCIENCE
July 11, 2012 | By Erin Loury, Los Angeles Times
Treatment drugs can do more than improve the health of people with HIV: If administered early, medications can also reduce the spread of the disease to sexual partners and may help stem the AIDS epidemic. But many logistical hurdles stand in the way of making this strategy feasible, affordable and effective, according to experts writing in Tuesday's edition of the journal PLoS Medicine. The medications in question are antiretroviral therapies, which prevent HIV from multiplying and drastically diminish the amount of virus circulating in the blood.
NEWS
June 5, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Want to gauge your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes? Don't just step on the scale - reach for a measuring tape too, a new study suggests. The circumference of your waist can tell you a lot about your chances of getting diabetes, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine . Health providers usually rely on body mass index to determine patients' diabetes risk, but adding waist circumference to the equation would...
NEWS
January 5, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Before embarking on a medically invasive, expensive and emotionally taxing effort to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization, it sure would be nice to get a good sense of whether it’s likely to work. After all, only about 1 in 4 attempts resulted in a live birth as recently as 2007. So researchers from England and Scotland scoured data from more than 144,000 IVF cycles in the United Kingdom and looked for factors that might predict which couples stood the best chance of having a baby with assisted reproduction and which faced long-shot odds.
NEWS
June 20, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
Multinational food corporations have a growing influence on the health of people around the world, including obesity, and their actions need greater scrutiny, according to an editorial Tuesday in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine. The editorial kicks off the journal's three-week series looking at what it calls “Big Food.” The first articles, and the editorial, criticize not just the food companies but also officials charged with protecting public health. “The big multinational food companies control what people everywhere eat, resulting in a stark and sick irony: one billion people on the planet are hungry while 2 billion are obese or overweight,” the editorial says.
SCIENCE
May 12, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Taking folic acid supplements for a year before conception reduces the risk of very premature birth by at least 50%, researchers reported Monday. Shorter courses of the supplement were not as effective, according to the study of nearly 35,000 women reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine. Folic acid's effectiveness in reducing the risk of neural-tube and other birth defects -- even without such a long course -- is long established.
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