- Several of the Nobel prizes went to people whose work has an impact on public health: the Nobel in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to scientists who found treatments for parasitic infections; the Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to scientists studying DNA repair – research that is now helping us better understand cancer; the prize in Economics went to Angus Deaton, who studied issues such as calorie intake and emotional well-being as they relate to income inequality, and wrote a book on how greater health knowledge helped our society escape poverty; and the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich, who wrote about what’s happened since the Chernobyl explosion and the effect of war on people, especially women.
- Two new studies show that the Ebola virus might be able to be sexually transmitted by men who were infected.
- Because elephants are very large, and contain many more cells than humans do, it seems that they should get cancer more often than we do. A New York Times article explains why this is not the case.
- Several scientists are studying how the composition of bacteria in the gut affects brain development and behavior.
- Many illnesses that fall under the category of “neglected tropical disease” are becoming more common in the United States.
- A new technique may allow for transplanting pig organs into human patients – which would help with the organ transplant shortage.
- A new genetics project has been created that seeks to collect and analyze the genetic information from people who have already undergone genome sequencing. It will be much cheaper for researchers to analyze genetic data that already exists, rather than paying for more people to get their DNA sequenced.
- A new study found that firstborn children were more likely than their younger siblings to be nearsighted. It’s unclear why, although the study authors determined that amount of education received was a possible contributing factor.
- The state of Illinois will no longer be offering free STD testing at its labs, meaning that local health departments and programs will be shouldering the cost burden for these tests.
- At the upcoming annual meeting for the American Public Health Association, which will be held in Chicago, many researchers will likely focus on several issues surrounding gun violence, gun policies, and police response.
- A new collaboration between Rush University and DePaul University seeks to improve Chicagoans’ health by addressing health inequalities.
- A heart stent that dissolves once it’s not needed, developed by researchers at Chicago’s Abbott Laboratories, has been doing well in clinical trials.
- Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency is a disease with no effective treatments – until recently. Northwestern researchers led a recently-published phase three trial that had promising results in reducing symptoms of the disease.
- New research from Northwestern grad students sheds light on the ways in which cardiac cells are repaired following injury such as heart attack.
- Northwestern physician and geneticist Dr. Elizabeth McNally is developing a technique that helps treat a severe form of muscular dystrophy. Some of her work has been supported by Scott Frewing, who created a foundation to fund researchers working on the disease, which his two young sons have.