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SCIENCE
May 28, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Medical researchers have unlocked the human genome, wiped out smallpox and made great strides in the fight against AIDS. They have also published studies revealing that: Alcohol increases reaction time and errors during decision-making. • People who live in safe, well-lit neighborhoods are more likely to walk and get exercise. • College drinking is just as bad as researchers thought, but not worse than expected (try pondering that one after chugging a beer). Well, duh, you might think — and you wouldn't be the first.
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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.
SCIENCE
September 5, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Researchers have discovered a gene mutation that protects people in Southeast Asia against malaria in much the same fashion that a sickle cell trait protects Africans from the disease. But while the sickle cell protects against the frequently lethal form of the disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum , the newly discovered gene mutation protects against Plasmodium vivax , which is generally thought to be more benign. Malaria causes an estimated 1 million deaths per year worldwide, and at least half the world's population lives in areas at risk for the disease.
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
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.
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.
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.
WORLD
September 28, 2008 | Richard Boudreaux, Times Staff Writer
With $3 billion in new pledges, world leaders say they believe that an ambitious goal to stop deaths from malaria by 2015 is finally within reach. A plan billed as the most comprehensive ever to tackle the mosquito-borne disease, which kills nearly 1 million people each year, was unveiled last week at a United Nations gathering of heads of government, global health leaders and philanthropists.
NEWS
November 8, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
It will be an even 20 for Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, who announced Tuesday that they're expecting their 20th child. The Duggars, stars of their own TLC show, are a source of fascination for some people, since super-sized families aren't the norm the way they were about a century ago. Michelle Duggar, you'll recall, didn't have such an easy time around with her last pregnancy in 2009. Daughter Josie was delivered early when it was discovered that Michelle had preeclampsia and gall bladder problems (Josie is now doing fine)
SCIENCE
July 2, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The twin plagues of economic hardship and low academic attainment turn out to be an inflammatory problem, not just for society but for the human bodies beset by them. And for many, including those in minority groups who disproportionately experience stunted economic and academic prospects, high rates of Type 2 diabetes are the common result, a new study says. The new research, based on a long-running study of British government workers, offers a partial explanation for a trend that is firmly established in industrialized democracies -- that where calories are plentifully available, those clinging to the lower rungs of the economic ladder are most likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
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