Hey, hey, it’s Friday! What are you all up to this weekend? The weather is fantastic here in Nashville this late February morning. So, I’m looking forward to some patio sitting tonight – perhaps over chips, guac and a margarita… What’s getting you through the workday? If you’re prematurely in weekend mode, pass the time by checking out this week’s more interesting medical news. 

Put down the Twizzlers. Licorice consumption during pregnancy is linked to health issues for kids. A small Finnish study suggests that a natural sweetener in the candy increases the risk of having children with cognitive or behavioral problems. 

Here’s why we need to pay more attention to medication side effects

The results have been tallied. The CDC says this year’s flu vaccine is 48% effective. Last flu season, efficacy was similar at about 47%. The 2014-2015 flu vaccine remains one of the least beneficial in recent years at just 19% effective. 

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People who sleep longer are twice as likely to develop dementia. In a recent study, researchers found that people who sleep regularly for 9 or more hours are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s within 10 years compared with those who sleep less than 9 hours. 

It’s time for FDA approved poo! Fecal transplants are increasing in popularity as a way to battle C. diff infection. To become more widely available, the practice must gain FDA approval, a process that’s not easy. C. diff survivors are bringing awareness to the issue hoping to make the intervention an option for more patients. 

Which teens are most likely to smoke pot? The smart ones. High-achieving adolescents were 50% more likely to smoke pot than their peers who don’t do as well in school according to a recent British Medical Journal study. 

Researchers are ready to test a Zika vaccine…but they need another outbreak first

Ice fishing has its rewards, but bring a first aid kit. According to a study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, the seemingly tame sport has a few risks. Cuts, hook punctures and sprains were the most commonly reported injuries among participants, and occurred at a significantly higher rate than for traditional fishing aficionados. 

Right-handed or left-handed: Why? New research indicates it’s not the brain that determines if people are right or left-handed, but the spinal cord. It appears that gene activity in the spinal cord is already asymmetrical in the womb. 

New magnet-powered implant releases drugs in a more controlled fashion. The device is designed to release a drug when triggered with an external magnet. The amount of drug that the implant ejects can be controlled using different strength magnets. 

Have a fantastic weekend!


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