SprioSmart uses a smartphone's microphone to take lung measurements of breath capacity. For people with pulmonary problems like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis, this easy to use method may be a game changer.
"There's a big need in the pulmonary community to make testing cheaper and more convenient," said lead researcher Shwetak Patel, a University of Washington assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of electrical engineering, in a press release. "Other people have been working on attachments for the mobile phone that you can blow into. We said, 'Let's just try to figure out how to do it with the microphone that's already there."Continue »
(CBS News) Health officials are urging Americans to start thinking about their flu vaccine for the upcoming 2012-2013 influenza season. Though last year's flu season was considered mild, health experts warn influenza is unpredictable and the disease could take a serious toll on many Americans.
Flu season begins as early as October and may last until May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"I urge everyone to join me and get a flu vaccine this year," Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services Dr. Howard K. Koh said in a press release. Koh was the first to receive his flu vaccine during a Thursday National Foundation for Infectious Diseases' news conference in Washington, D.C. where he was joined by officials from the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Pharmacists Association, AARP, National Medical Association and CDC.
"When it comes to flu, we can't look to the past to predict the future," Koh said. "Stay healthy - get vaccinated!"Continue »
(CBS News) Have you been tested for HIV/AIDS recently?
Today marks National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD), and the National Association of People With Aids, along with other groups, are encouraging gay men to stay safe and get tested frequently for HIV/AIDS.
"NGMHAAD calls on gay men across the United States to remember that the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic may be in sight, but the epidemic isn't over - and men who have sex with men are still at high risk," the National Association of People With Aids wrote on its web site. "The number of gay men already living with HIV in this country may be as high as 1 in every 8, so we have to protect ourselves. Play safe!"Continue »
(AP) Nonfat cheese that tastes like plastic. Low-calorie soda that leaves a bitter aftertaste. Sugar-free brownies that crumble like Styrofoam.
Dieters have learned an important lesson: When you take the fat and calories out of your favorite treats, you sometimes have to say goodbye to the taste too.
But snack brands like Dreyer's/Edy's ice cream, Hershey's chocolate and Lay's potato chips are trying to solve this age-old dieter's dilemma by rolling out so-mid-calorie goodies that have more fat and calories than the snacks of earlier diet crazes but less than the original versions. They're following the lead of soda companies like Pepsi and Dr Pepper that introduced mid-calorie drinks last year.Continue »
The testing is part of a pilot program for the park's 2,500 employees, to see how many were infected with the disease but aren't showing symptoms, reports KTVU-TV in Oakland, California.
Nine people who spent time at the park this year have been infected with the rare virus, the majority after staying at the "Signature" cabins in Curry Village. Three of them died.
(CBS News) An African mouse with skin regeneration properties may hold the key to scar-free procedures for humans.
The African spiny mouse is known for its ability to allow its skin to rip off its tail when being grabbed by predators because it can regenerate the missing bits. But, what scientists discovered was this ability extended to the entire mouse's body and that the skin could look exactly as it did before, right down to regrowing the exact hair color at the site of the injury.
"These guys had been known to lose their tail, but no one had ever reported on skin dislodging from their body," study author Dr. Ashley W. Seifert, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida, said to Discovery News.Continue »
(CBS News) There have been 3,545 cases of West Nile virus reported in the U.S. as of Sept. 25, according to the latest statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday. Of theses cases, 147 have proven fatal this year.
The new numbers through last week are the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported since September 2003.
West Nile virus cases continue to climb, CDC says
What's making the 2012 West Nile virus outbreak the worst ever?
CDC: "Dramatic" jump in West Nile virus cases as US faces one of largest outbreaks ever seen
About 51 percent, or 1,816 cases, are classified as neuroinvasive disease or brain-related, which include meningitis or encephalitis. The remaining 1,729 cases are non-neuroinvasive. Seventy percent of the reports are coming from eight states: Mississippi, South Dakota, Michigan, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Illinois and Texas.Continue »
(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - More elderly patients are undergoing knee replacement surgeries in order to remain active in their later years. However, current money-saving practices and the increasing rate of obesity may be leading to more additional surgeries and more costs in the long run.
The findings are in a study of more than 3 million Medicare patients, aged 65 and older, who got artificial knees from 1991 through 2010.
The number of initial knee-replacement surgeries each year on these older patients more than doubled during that time and rose to nearly 244,000 in 2010, an increase of 162 percent. Revision surgeries, procedures to repair previously implanted artificial knee joints, also rose 106 percent in the same time period.Continue »
(CBS News) Is obesity America's greatest threat to national security?
A group of retired military leaders seem to think so, given 27 percent of 17 to 24-year-olds in the United States are too fat to serve in the military. That's 9 million potential recruits.
In their new report dubbed "Too Fat to Fight," the nonpartisan group of 100 retired generals and admirals known as Mission: Readiness calls on the U.S. government to reduce the amount of junk foods available at schools in favor of healthier options.Continue »
(CBS News) The first experimental drug for the treatment of progeria has brought hope for the families and people affected by the accelerated aging disease.
Progeria patients who used a farnesyl transferase inhibitors (FTI) called lonafarnib were able to improve their cardiovascular health and increase their weight gain, problems usually associated with the condition. The drug was initially slated by manufacture Merck to treat brain cancer, but was found ineffective against that disease.
"This is a fantastic first step," says Leslie Gordon, medical director for the Progeria Research Foundation, a physician at Boston Children's Hospital and Brown University and the mother of a child with progeria, told NPR.Continue »
A new study shows that active video games -- such as "Dance Central" and "Kinect Sports: Boxing" - can increase oxygen intake, heart rate and energy expenditure in children, leading researchers to believe that the games may be a way to combat childhood obesity.
"Although it is unlikely that active video game play can single-handedly provide the recommended amount of physical activity for children or expend the number of calories required to prevent or reverse the obesity epidemic, it appears from the results of this study that Kinect active game play can contribute to children's physical activity levels and energy expenditure, at least in the short term," the authors wrote.Continue »
(CBS News) About 1 out of 10 Americans report having depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While prescription medication is one way to treat the symptoms, the American Psychological Association (APA) is urging people in new videos to consider an alternative form of treatment first, psychotherapy.
"By arming people with information, APA is encouraging those with symptoms of depression or anxiety to ask their primary-care practitioners about psychotherapy as a first course of treatment," Dr. Katherine Nordal, executive director for professional practice at the American Psychological Association, told CBSNews.com by email. "We want Americans to know that when it comes to treating depression and anxiety, they have choices about treatment, and psychotherapy is one of them."
The National Institutes of Health calls depression one of the top 10 chronic health problems in the United States, affecting more than 14 million people. The National Healthcare Quality Report reported that mental health problems accounted for 156 million visits to the doctors' offices, clinics and hospital outpatient departments in 2005.Continue »
(CBS/AP) New Mexico-based Sunland Inc. has expanded its recall to 76 types of peanut butter and almond butter after a product it sold to Trader Joe's groceries was linked to a salmonella outbreak.
The company recalled the products under multiple brand names after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked 29 salmonella illnesses in 18 states to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter. Sunland Inc, manufactures and packages the Trader Joe's peanut butter.
Sunland spokeswoman Katalin Coburn said the company recalled the other peanut and almond butters because they were manufactured with the same equipment as the Trader Joe's product. None of the other products have been linked to illnesses.Continue »
A genealogical study of eunuchs of the Korean Chosun dynasty published in the Sept 24 issue of Current Biology finds that men who were castrated lived almost 20 years longer than other men of the same time periods.
"Our study supports the idea that male sex hormones decrease the lifespan of men," wrote the researchers, led by Kyung-Jin Min of Inha University.
Animal studies show castration - removing the source of male sex hormones, the testes - can prolong lifespan in males, but the effect hasn't been seen in humans.Continue »
(CBS News) It's hard to remember an entire dance routine, but one special girl has committed the entire lead ballet role in Coppelia to memory.
Clara Bergs's parents wrote that they thought their daughter was just dancing ballet moves around the house, until they realized she had memorized an entire routine from the Coppelia ballet.
The 10-year-old is diagnosed with both autism and DiGeorge syndrome, a genetic disorder.Continue »
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