Read about a pilot of broad-based DNA sequencing, the promise of a new Ebola vaccine and why consumers shouldn’t trust pills marketed as sun protection.
Genetic tests can help predict future health problems, and at least one health system is embracing the technology. Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania has a goal to offer DNA sequencing free of charge to all 3 million of its patients. Doctors there are hopeful this will help improve health and decrease the cost of care, Kaiser Health News reports, while others are skeptical, predicting the testing may lead to over-treatment.
Ebola is back, with an outbreak spreading in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But unlike the major outbreak in 2014, this time, a vaccine exists. After years of research, it’s being put to use in the real world for the first time to fight the growing outbreak. “I’m of course excited that we are there. And of course it has taken too long,” the vaccine’s designer told STAT.
Companies selling pills or capsules claiming they can protect people against the sun are “misleading consumers, and putting people at risk,” the head of the Food and Drug Administration warned this month. “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” he said, according to USA Today.
In 2015, children visited hospitals for suicidal thoughts or attempts roughly twice as often as in 2008, NPR reports from a recent study. The cause of the increase isn’t clear, but researchers did see peaks around fall and spring — when school-related pressure would be at a high point. Doctors recommend talking to kids and asking how they’re feeling to assess possible suicide risk.
Thumb overuse cases are on the rise, thanks to smartphones, and injuries are becoming more common in working adults. A New York Times writer shares her experience after she developed tendinosis in her phone thumb. “It’s a crisis,” one doctor told her.