Tag Archives: oregon

Most clinical studies on vitamins flawed by poor methodology

Many projects have tried to study nutrients that are naturally available in the human diet the same way they would a powerful prescription drug. This leads to conclusions that have little scientific meaning, even less accuracy and often defy a wealth of other evidence, said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, in a new review published in the journal Nutrients. These flawed findings will persist until the approach to studying micronutrients is changed, Frei said. Such changes are needed to provide better, more scientifically valid information to consumers around the world who often have poor diets, do not meet intake recommendations for many vitamins and minerals, and might greatly benefit from something as simple as a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement…

Oregon passes bill on vaccination education

A bill that is intended to persuade more Oregon parents to take their kids to doctors for shots and get over their mistrust of conventional medicine has taken a big step in the Legislature with passage by the state Senate. Oregon has the nation's highest rate of parents refusing vaccinations for their kindergartners for nonmedical reasons. This school year, 6.4 percent of Oregon kindergartners were exempted from at least one required vaccination, up from 5.8 percent last year. The median nonmedical exemption rate for kindergartners in the U.S. was 1.2 percent for the 2011-2012 school year, the most recent period for which national data was available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are some pockets in the state where parents don't believe vaccinations protect their kids and they choose alternative treatments instead. Those kinds of beliefs have raised concerns that Oregon children aren't being adequately protected. On Thursday, the Senate approved a bill that would make it more difficult for parents to get nonmedical exemptions from vaccines for their children. It now goes to the House. The 16-13 vote was along party lines. The bill riled Republicans who said it trampled on religious freedoms and limited parents' choice. “I'm getting very tired of this legislative assembly and this body taking away the choices of parents as to how they raise their kids,” said Sen. Jeff Kruse, a Roseburg Republican. Republicans pitched an alternative proposal that would have carved out an exemption for “sincerely held religious beliefs,” but the plan failed. As proposed, the bill would still allow parents to refuse vaccinations for religious or philosophical reasons, but only after they'd visited the doctor or watched the educational video. Current state law requires all children in public and private schools, preschools and certified child care facilities to be immunized. Parents, however, can seek exemptions for medical or religious reasons. “I worry that most people who use the religious exemption currently are doing so because of pseudo-scientific misinformation, and not because of their faith,” said Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Beaverton Democrat and family physician. Under the bill, parents enrolling unvaccinated children in school would have to prove they consulted a physician for information or show verification they watched an online educational video about the risks and benefits of immunization. The educational material would be consistent with the most up-to-date medical information provided by the CDC. Doctors and public health officials back the plan, saying the rate of unvaccinated children in Oregon is alarming and could cause a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases like whooping cough and measles. Similar legislation was passed in Washington in 2011. The following school year, the rate of religious immunization exemptions for kindergartners fell by almost 25 percent, according to CDC data.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/10/oregon-passes-bill-on-vaccination-education/

Skipping shots at sick visits tied to vaccine delays

Kids who don't get vaccines when they see their pediatrician for a sick visit - despite being due for the shots - are more likely to fall behind on immunizations and routine check-ups, according to a new study. “It's pretty common that kids will come in (for a sick visit) at a time when they should be getting their shots,” said Steve Robison, the study's author and a researcher at the Oregon Immunization Program, part of the state's health department. Sometimes babies end up skipping those shots, perhaps because parents are concerned they could make a sick baby feel worse or doctors are worried that parents won't come back for a well-baby check-up if infants are already caught up on vaccines. “The challenge is, if they come in sick, are they going to come back and get shots and well-baby visits in a timely way?” Robison said. His findings suggest those babies end up worse off if doctors forgo shots until they're better. “It's very clear that vaccinating at sick visits improves the vaccination rate,” said Dr. Alexander Fiks, a pediatrician at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who was not part of this study. “For parents, what I would say is, don't be afraid to get vaccines at sick visits because, for most kids with minor illnesses, it's really no problem. Medically, it's fine,” he added. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that babies receive at least 16 vaccine doses during their first six months. Those are spread across well-child visits. In an earlier study, Robison and his colleagues found a growing number of parents in Oregon are not sticking to the recommended vaccine schedule - so kids end up getting their shots late or not at all. This time, Robison looked at the immunization records of 1,060 children who went to the doctor for an ear infection around the time when a well-baby check-up should occur. All of the children had state-funded health insurance. About 8 percent of the sick babies received a diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine at the sick visit itself, and another 57 percent had one within a few weeks. The others were late on their shots. Fiks said the findings support the results of other studies showing that when doctors skip shots at sick visits, kids are more likely to end up not following the immunization schedule. What's more, giving shots at sick visits did not seem to stop parents from bringing their baby back for well-child visits. Compared to babies who received their immunizations at routine check-ups, those who had their shots at sick visits had just as many well-baby visits by age two - about five, on average. And kids who skipped the shot at their sick visit, but had another visit within a few weeks, ended up receiving more routine check-ups compared to similar normally-vaccinated children, Robison reported in the medical journal Pediatrics. On the other hand, kids who didn't get a shot at the sick visit or within four weeks had slightly fewer routine visits over their first two years. Increasingly, children are becoming “under-vaccinated,” researchers said. A study earlier this year found that half of some 300,000 kids born between 2004 and 2008 had fallen behind on their immunizations at some point before age 2. The concern is that those children are vulnerable to the diseases that vaccines are designed to prevent. “The more kids within a given classroom who are unprotected, the more likely it is for there to be an outbreak,” said Fiks. The researchers agreed that a minor illness is not a reason to fall behind on routine shots. “If you want to keep the kids on schedule so that they're protected from disease, it's best to give the shot,” Robison said.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/06/skipping-shots-at-sick-visits-tied-to-vaccine-delays/

How to cheer yourself up

Look on the bright side. Keep your chin up. See the glass as half-full. Feel better yet? If these bumper-sticker mantras fail to do the trick, follow the surprising advice from experts who know all about keeping spirits high. Related: 25 Easy Instant Energy Boosters Do the Chicken Dance “Adults sometimes forget what kids intuitively understand: that moving your body helps release negative emotions. I’m a big believer in doing that myself.  “Once, I had a confrontation with one of my band members before a performance. We resolved the argument, but there were residual hard feelings—I still felt upset. And so I changed the set list to begin with a loud song of ours called “We Are the Dinosaurs.” That way, I was able to roar and stomp around on stage and transform my bad mood into something else.  “Try some variation of this yourself the next time you’re down. If you don’t release your emotions, sadness and helplessness will continue to pile on top of each other.” - Laurie Berkner is a best-selling children’s recording artist and a co-creator of “Sing It, Laurie!” an animated musical series for preschoolers on Sprout. She lives in New York City. Related: 10 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person Look Out the Window “When I’m having a trying moment, I walk over to my office window and gaze outside. Maybe I’ll spot a family of quail enjoying the suet cakes I’ve left them. Or a silly vehicle will drive by:  “One day I was ecstatic to see a bright pink kiddie-amusement-park ride breeze past on a huge flatbed trailer. We tend to view our burdens as more intimidating than they actually are. Taking a moment to stop and simply observe the world in all its beauty and strangeness is one of the best ways I know to get perspective.” - Elizabeth Fournier is the owner and operator of Cornerstone Funeral Services, in Boring, Oregon. Related: Are You Tired All the Time?

No increased risk of infection for long-term sex partners of people with HPV-related oral cancers, study suggests

“While we can’t guarantee that the partners of patients will not develop oral HPV infections or cancers, we can reassure them that our study found they had no increased prevalence of oral infections, which suggests their risk of HPV-related oral cancer remains low,” says Gypsyamber D’Souza, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is expected to present the results of her study June 1 at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting…

Errors in cloning study cast doubt on publication process

A headline-making paper last week announcing that scientists had, for the first time, cloned human embryos and harvested stem cells from them contains minor errors, the authors acknowledged on Thursday.  The mistakes raised questions about how well the journal that published the paper vetted it but probably do not undermine the study's central claim. In a statement, the journal, Cell, said “there were some minor errors” in the paper, but “we do not believe these errors impact the scientific findings of the paper.” An anonymous commenter on the website PubPeer, where scientists discuss papers after they have been published, first pointed out problems with the paper, which drew extensive media coverage. Even before the errors were spotted, however, there was concern among experts not involved in the study that Cell had rushed publication. It received the manuscript on April 30, tapped outside scientists to review it in the standard process called peer review, asked the authors to make revisions based on that review and accepted the paper on May 3. When asked about the short turnaround time last week, Cell spokeswoman Mary Beth O'Leary said the paper “underwent a rigorous peer review and editorial process.” Outside experts disagree. A three-day review process “is almost impossibly fast,” said cell biologist Jim Woodgett of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada. “To have a paper like this received, reviewed, revised and accepted so quickly is very, very unusual.” In a statement on Thursday, Cell referred to “the preeminence of the reviewers” (whom it would not identify) and said it has “no reason to doubt the thoroughness or rigor of the review process.” The rapid turnaround was possible because the reviewers “graciously agreed to prioritize” the paper. DOLLY REDUX The paper described how scientists led by biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University accomplished what others had failed to: “therapeutic cloning” in humans. That procedure begins with a human egg. The Oregon scientists removed its genetic material, or DNA, then took an adult skin cell and fused it with the egg. The DNA in the skin cell took over, causing the egg to begin developing as if it had been fertilized. This “somatic cell nuclear transfer” was used to clone Dolly the sheep in 1996. But in this case, the goal was not a human being; Mitalipov said last week that scientists would not implant the dividing embryo into a womb so that it could develop into a baby. Instead, the aim was a dishful of stem cells, which can morph into any of the 200-plus cells in the human body and might be used therapeutically, such as to replace cells lost to degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. After a few days, the human embryo contained exactly that: stem cells that the Oregon scientists could use to start cell lines. The errors in the Cell paper involve photographs and data plots, something OHSU spokesman Jim Newman said was “an editing error, not issues with the research or the data itself. “OHSU agrees that there were some minor errors made when preparing the figures for initial submission,” Newman said, adding that the university does not believe the errors “impact the scientific findings of the paper in any way. We also do not believe there was any wrongdoing.” In one case, an image described as a cloned stem-cell colony is reproduced in another image, where it is labeled an embryonic stem-cell line derived from in vitro fertilization (IVF), not cloning. Mitalipov told the journal Nature that the label is wrong, and that another labeling mistake explained other duplicated images. Another error was in images purporting to show that the genes that are turned on in stem cells derived from the cloned embryo (such as genes that make a cell a neuron) are similar to those in stem cells taken from IVF embryos, considered the gold standard for embryonic stem cells. The point was that the stem cells taken from the cloned embryos are true stem cells. The problem, said the anonymous reviewer on PubPeer, is that the two images - genes activated in IVF stem cells and in clone stem cells - are suspiciously identical. Mitalipov said one image used the wrong data, and that he and his team are correcting it. While the mistakes seem innocent, they raised concerns among stem-cell researchers because the field has been struck by fraud in the past. In 2004 scientists led by Woo Suk Hwang of Seoul National University claimed to have produced human embryonic stem cells through the same technique used by the Oregon team. Their paper, published in Science, turned out to contain fabricated data. That came to light when scientists figured out that some of the images in the paper were copied or manipulated. “When I read the Hwang paper, I didn't find any glaring problems” at first, stem-cell biologist George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute said, explaining how difficult it is to spot fraud. “I am waiting to learn more, but there is a difference between errors in photomicrographs and fraudulent production of cell lines,” he said. So far, most scientists' ire is being directed at Cell more than the Oregon researchers. “To thoroughly evaluate the claims requires delving into the data, and you can't expect people to do that in a day or two,” said Mount Sinai's Woodgett, referring to peer review. “You're forcing them to be superficial.” Science journals compete intensely for “hot” papers, which can translate into headlines, subscriptions and advertising. Cell is published by Elsevier, a division of Reed Elsevier . Six years ago, Nature held up by six months a paper by Mitalipov in which his team used the Dolly method to clone monkey embryos, the journal reported on Wednesday. Scientists sometimes shop around hot papers, seeking a journal that will publish it fastest. Mitalipov told Nature he was in a hurry to get his Cell paper out before a stem cell meeting in June.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/24/errors-in-cloning-study-cast-doubt-on-publication-process/