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Internet infidelity: Is it time to snoop?
December 22nd, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Internet infidelity: Is it time to snoop?

This is a repost of Ian Kerner's column.  Kerner will be back with new posts in January.

From Don Juan to David Letterman, infidelity has been around as long as civilization has existed, and the Internet is still but a tiny blip in the long jaded history of adultery. But the Internet is also arguably the biggest threat to relationships that has come along since the birth of marriage, and it’s here to stay.

New threats demand new rules, and the next time your partner goes online, maybe you should be worrying about if he or she is also out of line.

These days, cheating and engaging in other secretive behaviors that could lead to infidelity have become easier than setting up a Wii.

Technology isn’t just enabling secretive behavior, it’s accelerating it at record pace: Flirtatious friendships, emotional affairs, the return of the ex, sexting, online porn and cyber-sex—with each new advance in technology comes a new way to deceive, and more and more of us are increasingly leading “digital double-lives.”

FULL POST


Details of new lab-created bird flu strain may be too dangerous to publish
December 21st, 2011
05:39 PM ET

Details of new lab-created bird flu strain may be too dangerous to publish

A genetically altered strain of the H5N1 avian flu virus is at the center of a controversial request to keep the details of its creation under wraps.

Scientists in Wisconsin and the Netherlands each created a strain of the influenza virus that is both highly lethal and easily transmitted between ferrets.  Ferrets are the animals that most closely mimic the human response to the flu.

The Dutch paper, on the transmissibility of H5N1, was to be published in the journal Science and the University of Wisconsin study was to be published in the journal Nature.  But the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), an independent committee that advises the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  and other federal agencies on biosecurity matters reviewed the manuscripts and expressed concern about the release of some of the data.

FULL POST


Please thank your nurse this Christmas
December 21st, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Please thank your nurse this Christmas

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in Metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.

You can guarantee that three places will be open on Christmas day: Chinese restaurants, Denny’s and hospitals.

I spent part of last Christmas in the hospital visiting my mother-in-law who was recovering from open heart surgery.  I felt depressed walking into the building that morning.  My mother-in-law treasures the holidays more than anyone else in my family.  Lying in a hospital bed was the absolute last way she wanted to spend Christmas. FULL POST


Musicians die at age 27: Coincidence or not?
December 20th, 2011
06:31 PM ET

Musicians die at age 27: Coincidence or not?

Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain are only a handful of well-known musicians who died at the age of 27.

Were these deaths at age 27 just a freaky coincidence or something more? A group of scientists decided to investigate.

The results of their study were published in the BMJ. The researchers found the deaths have nothing to do with age, but more to do with fame. After all, the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle is one that is often associated with unhealthy influences like booze and drugs.

Every year around Christmas time, the BMJ publishes various quirky studies, but the articles have been through the journal's peer review process. The author, Adrian Barnett, said he conducted the study and that the data had been validated during the review process.

FULL POST


Sleeping disorders affect work of police officers
December 20th, 2011
04:01 PM ET

Sleeping disorders affect work of police officers

A new study finds that many police officers might be better at their jobs, if they had more and better sleep.

Researchers screened officers for sleeping disorders and found that 40% had at least one disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia.

Those with sleeping disorders were 51% more likely to fall asleep while driving, 63% more likely to violate safety protocols, 43% more likely to make administrative errors, and 22% more likely to be injured on the job, compared to officers reporting no sleeping disorders.

People had more bad things to say, too, about police officers who happen to sleep poorly, with citizens filing 35% more complaints against those with sleeping disorders. FULL POST


Sleeping through the holidays
December 20th, 2011
12:27 PM ET

Sleeping through the holidays

Last year around this time, my friend Sue called worried about her college-age son Charlie because he seemed to be sleeping away his whole Christmas vacation.

“At first, I thought, OK, he is just catching up because he was up many nights studying for finals. But now two weeks have gone by and he is still sleeping the day away.”

There are a number of reasons that college kids or teens could be sleeping all day. As my friend suspected, we do indeed try to “catch up” on sleep. It seems to work to a certain extent, but we can’t make up for the full amount of sleep lost. FULL POST

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Filed under: Mind and body • Sleep • Stress

December 20th, 2011
10:53 AM ET

Human Factor: Zach Anner takes on the world

In the Human Factor, we profile inspiring figures who've confronted a challenge, tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed.   This week Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to Zach Anner who followed his dream to host his own travel show despite having cerebral palsy and being in a wheelchair.  Here is his story in his own words.

11 years ago my dad, my brother, and I all went on a spontaneous trip to Rome, Italy. All we had were our clothes, a couple of Italian phrase books and a video camera. We didn't know what to expect but we knew no matter what happened it was going to be fun.

On that adventure we tried to document as much of the experience as possible with the camera whether it was traversing over the Roman ruins, trying to start chants at the bottom of the Spanish Steps or visiting the tomb of Rafael (my favorite ninja turtle). Back then I would just reinterpret what was in our guidebook and try to make it kind of funny because I knew my mom would be watching the video.

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Filed under: Human Factor

Cancer survivors have higher risk of melanoma
December 19th, 2011
05:04 PM ET

Cancer survivors have higher risk of melanoma

Doctors have long known that people who survive one melanoma have a markedly higher risk of developing another of these aggressive skin cancers. Now, for the first time, a study has found that survivors of non-skin cancers also may have an increased risk of melanoma.

The risk was most pronounced among survivors of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia. Women who developed breast cancer before age 45 and recovered, for instance, were 38% more likely than women in the general population to develop melanoma later in life.

Excessive exposure to UV radiation from sunlight (or tanning lamps) is the biggest risk factor for melanoma. The apparent link between melanoma and other cancers, however, may be explained in part by an underlying genetic susceptibility to multiple types of cancer, the researchers say.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Cancer

What the Yuck: Is it gross to reuse floss?
December 18th, 2011
09:04 AM ET

What the Yuck: Is it gross to reuse floss?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Am I totally gross for reusing my floss picks?

Well, you’re not gross. But, yes, the practice of reusing your picks is!

Floss is used to remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from between your teeth. If you reuse it, you may reintroduce the old bacteria, which can lead to more plaque, and even some new varieties of bacteria that may have been lurking wherever you store your picks.

In other words: bad idea.


Two dead in Louisiana after unclean water used in neti pots
December 16th, 2011
07:24 PM ET

Two dead in Louisiana after unclean water used in neti pots

Louisiana health officials are warning residents not to use nonsterilized tap water in neti pots after the deaths of two people who exposed their brains to a deadly amoeba while flushing out their nasal passages.

The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, can be found in lakes and ponds as well as in contaminated lukewarm tap water. The organism doesn't pose a threat when ingested, but if it becomes lodged in a person's nose it can end up in the brain and cause an infection.

The infection, lethal in 95% of cases, triggers an array of symptoms that resemble those of bacterial meningitis, including vomiting, headaches and sleepiness. As it progresses, it can cause changes in a person’s behavior and lead to confusion and hallucinations. It usually causes death within one to 12 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FULL POST

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Filed under: Cold and flu • Health.com

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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