Happy Friday! How was your week? It was a bit of a strange week here in Nashville with seemingly the entire city shutting down on Monday for eclipse 2017. Directly in the path of maximal eclipse effect, we experienced nearly two minutes of “totality” here in TN. I, however, was viewing the phenomenon in seemingly the only cloud-covered area of the city. Still, it was a fun event and a good excuse to take an afternoon off. Although the week was a short one, I’m ready for some RR this weekend. 

If you could use some reading material for your weekend downtime, check out this week’s more interesting medical news stories. 

The way Americans drink alcohol is changing and experts are worried. Research published in JAMA this month compared Americans’ drinking behaviors in 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. Results show that high-risk drinking has increased by 30 percent. 

A brief history of eclipse glasses and the people who forgot to wear them

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Google will now ask if you’re depressed. The search engine is directing users who look up depression-related terms to a clinically-validated questionnaire, the PHQ-9, to assess their blues. Google hopes the self-evaluation will encourage people to broach the subject of depression with their healthcare provider. 

Does baby powder cause cancer? A jury says yes. Scientists aren’t so sure. 

‘Good’ cholesterol might actually be bad. A new study published in European Heart Journal finds an association between HDL cholesterol and excessive mortality. The study was observational and did not address causality. 

Aetna envelopes reveal customers’ HIV status. The letters went out to 12,000 customers and included instructions for filling prescriptions as well as post-exposure prophylaxis. 23 customers and counting have taken legal action against the insurer. 

20 percent more smokers quit after $1 price increase

Dying at home in an opioid crisis: hospices grapple with stolen meds. As more people die at home, some of the drugs they’re prescribed are ending up in the wrong hands. The problem is sparking a national discussion. 

Are athletic ability and finger length linked? A study recently published in the Journal of Early Human Development explores the difference in length between one’s index finger and ring finger, and a possible link to muscular strength. If your ring finger is longer, you may be a better athlete. 

Have a fantastic weekend! 


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