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NEWS
February 24, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A mental illness that strikes young children suddenly may be caused by a range of factors, including infections, according to a new report. The paper, published in the journal Pediatrics & Therapeutics, reflects a consensus statement on a condition called Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections -- or PANDAS. PANDAS causes the abrupt onset of obsessive-compulsive symptoms in young children. In many cases, children fell ill after having a simple, childhood streptococcal infection, such as strep throat.
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NEWS
June 13, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The gender gap persists in academic medicine, with female physicians who do research earning about $13,000 a year less than their male counterparts, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal JAMA. The coauthors, from the University of Michigan and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, surveyed 1,729 physician-researchers who received National Institutes of Health grants for career development between 2000 and 2003 -- reasoning that members of that cohort were likely to have similar aptitude and to conduct similar work.
NEWS
July 21, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Researchers at De Montfort University, the University of York and Loughborough University in Britain have released a study suggesting that many students with sickle cell disease aren't getting the help they need from their schools.   Sickle cell disease is a rare, inherited blood condition - in the U.S., most prevalent in African Americans - that causes sufferers to develop abnormally shaped, "sickled" red blood cells that clog blood vessels and cause complications such as chronic severe pain, organ damage and sometimes stroke.
NEWS
September 17, 2010
British researchers reported Friday that it may be possible to identify people who are going to develop Type 2 diabetes even before symptoms occur. If the test can be verified, it might be possible to screen people who are at higher-than-normal risk of developing diabetes and intervene before symptoms, and the broad spectrum of complications that accompany them, occur. Triggered by increases in obesity, Type 2 diabetes is becoming a major health problem, with an estimated 285 million people worldwide now affected by the disease -- a number that is expected to grow to 400 million by 2030.
NEWS
September 6, 2012 | By Mary MacVean
As a parent, I never wished popularity on my children; it takes a lot of work to stay on top. And researchers have come up with a reason I hadn't thought of: Popular kids are more likely to smoke cigarettes, they say. The conclusion, published Wednesday in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on surveys among teenagers in ninth and 10 th grades at seven predominantly Latino high schools in the Los Angeles area. It confirms previous studies about high school students in the U.S. and Mexico.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
We all know that reading a novel can transport you, delight you and intrigue you while you're reading it. Now, thanks research by scientists at Emory University, we know that immersing yourself in a novel causes measurable physical changes in the brain that can be detected up to five days after the reader closes the book. The Emory researchers, in a paper for the journal Brain Connectivity, compared the effect to “muscle memory.” "The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist," neuroscientist Gregory Berns said, according to a report in the journal Science Codex . "We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense.
NEWS
February 3, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
Women who are just starting out in their medical careers earn less money than their male counterparts. And that's probably a good thing, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Health Affairs . Let me explain. It's well known that women tend to earn less than men even when they're in the same jobs. As of 2009, the so-called gender wage gap was nearly 23%, meaning that for each dollar earned by men, women earned only 77 cents. When it comes to doctors, there are several explanations for the pay gap. For instance, women are more likely to go into primary care fields such as internal medicine, family practice and pediatrics that pay less than specialties such as cardiology, radiology and orthopedic surgery.
SCIENCE
July 17, 2010 | By Rachel Bernstein, Los Angeles Times
Malaria kills nearly 1 million people a year, but it has a weakness — to infect humans, it needs mosquitoes. In a potential step toward eradicating the disease, researchers report that they have developed a genetically engineered breed of mosquito that cannot be infected by the malaria-causing parasite. Genetically-modified mosquitoes are far from ready for use in the field, but the researchers achieved an unprecedented 100% blockage of the Plasmodium parasite, highlighting the promise of this approach, according to their study.
SCIENCE
April 20, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
DNA and RNA molecules are the basis for all life on Earth, but they don't necessarily have to be the basis for all life everywhere, scientists have shown. Researchers at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England, demonstrated that six synthetic molecules that are similar to - but not exactly like - DNA and RNA have the potential to exhibit "hallmarks of life" such as storing genetic information, passing it along and undergoing evolution. The man-made molecules are called "XNAs.
NEWS
October 30, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
It's not just what you eat but where and how you eat that seems to affect obesity, say researchers who looked at the effects of family dinner rituals. Families who frequently ate dinner in the kitchen or dining room had significantly lower body mass indices for adults and children, compared with families who ate elsewhere, including in front of the television, the researchers wrote. “Family meals and their rituals might be an underappreciated battleground to fight obesity,” the researchers wrote in the journal Obesity, published Wednesday.
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