Health

2:45am

Fri August 3, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Nursing Schools Face Faculty Shortage

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 1:43 pm

Nursing students in a simulation lab at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
Elizabeth Lee Cantrell UVA School of Nursing

There have been lots of goodbye parties this year at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. So far, 11 professors have retired. That's one-fourth of the faculty, and Dean Dorrie Fontaine is in no mood to celebrate.

Over the next few years, the Affordable Care Act will probably boost demand for nurses to take care of the newly insured, she says, "and I need faculty to teach the practitioners that are going to take care of these uninsured."

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4:39pm

Thu August 2, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

West Nile Virus Makes A Comeback This Summer

Christopher Doll releases fish into the water of a neglected pool to kill mosquitoes that might carry West Nile Virus in Concord, Calif., in 2009.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The West Nile virus is back, and it's looking like it could be particularly bad this year. As as result, federal health officials are warning people to protect themselves against the mosquito-borne infection.

The West Nile virus first showed up in the U.S. in 1999 and quickly spread from coast to coast, raising widespread alarm. Some have argued that red-breasted robins play a key role in the spread of the virus.

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4:18pm

Thu August 2, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

The Science Of Ritual: Why We Seek Help And Healing In Repetition

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 2:21 pm

Devotees take part in rituals and offer gifts in celebration of Yemanja Day, in Salvador, Bahia state, Brazil, in February.
Ricardo Cardosa DPA /Landov

A few days ago, I found myself sitting in a room full of cross-legged yogis with my sweaty hands resting on the sweaty knees of the people beside me, bellowing a mantra in unison over and over again. What united us at that yoga studio was empathy for yoga instructor Michael Joel Hall, who was savagely beaten as he walked home earlier that week with his boyfriend.

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7:42am

Thu August 2, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Mixed Feelings About Side Effects From Cholesterol Pills

Lipitor and other cholesterol-fighting drugs carry risks of side effects.
Paul Sakuma AP

Drugs to lower cholesterol run neck and neck with antidepressants for popularity in the U.S.

There's ample evidence cholesterol-lowering pills called statins can reduce the risk of a repeat heart attack. The pills are frequently prescribed for people who've never had a heart attack or stroke, but are at high risk for trouble.

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11:25am

Wed August 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Lab Findings Support Provocative Theory On Cancer 'Enemy' Within

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:54 pm

The white arrows in these two tumor samples point to a subset of tumor cells that are in a resting state.
Nature

Scientists reported new evidence Wednesday that supports a provocative theory about cancer.

Three separate teams of scientists said they had, for the first time, shown that so-called cancer stem cells can be found naturally in brain tumors and early forms of skin and colon cancer.

Evidence has been mounting in recent years for the existence of these cells, which would be especially insidious. They are believed to resist standard chemotherapy and radiation and fuel the growth of tumors and relapses.

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