Rob Stein http://wuis.org en FDA Advisers Vote Against Approving New Opioid Painkiller http://wuis.org/post/fda-advisers-vote-against-approving-new-opioid-painkiller A key government panel Tuesday voted unanimously against approval of a powerful opioid prescription painkiller intended to provide faster relief with fewer side effects.<p>At the conclusion of a hearing, the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 14-0 against recommending that the agency approve Moxduo, the first drug to combine morphine and oxycodone into one capsule.<p>The committee also voted unanimously that the drug's developer had not proved that Moxduo is less likely to cause potentially life-threatening respiratory suppression than taking morphine or oxycodone alone.<p>" Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:54:00 +0000 Rob Stein 23541 at http://wuis.org FDA Advisers Vote Against Approving New Opioid Painkiller Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval http://wuis.org/post/powerful-narcotic-painkiller-fda-approval The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether to approve a powerful new prescription painkiller that's designed to relieve severe pain quickly, and with fewer side effects than other opioids.<p>While some pain experts say the medicine could provide a valuable alternative for some patients in intense pain, the drug (called Moxduo) is also prompting concern that it could exacerbate the epidemic of abuse of prescription painkillers and overdoses.<p>An FDA advisory committee is holding a daylong hearing Tuesday to decide whether to recommend that the agency approve the drug.<p><a hr Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:29:00 +0000 Rob Stein 23491 at http://wuis.org Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval Voodoo Dolls Prove It: Hunger Makes Couples Turn On Each Other http://wuis.org/post/voodoo-dolls-prove-it-hunger-makes-couples-turn-each-other A lot of us know what can happen when we get hungry. We get grumpy, irritable and sometimes nasty.<p>There's even a name for this phenomenon: "Hangry, which is a combination of the words hungry and angry," says psychologist <a href="http://www.comm.ohio-state.edu/people/the-lantern-soc/userprofile/67.html">Brad Bushman</a> from Ohio State University.<p>Many studies have suggested that low blood sugar may be the underlying cause of hunger-induced crankiness. But most of those studies were performed with strangers in the laboratory. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:25:00 +0000 Rob Stein 23025 at http://wuis.org Voodoo Dolls Prove It: Hunger Makes Couples Turn On Each Other Doctors Use 3-D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe http://wuis.org/post/doctors-use-3-d-printing-help-baby-breathe Ever since the day Garrett Peterson was born, his parents have had to watch him suddenly just stop breathing.<p>"He could go from being totally fine to turning blue sometimes — not even kidding — in 30 seconds," says Garrett's mother, Natalie Peterson, 25, of Layton, Utah. "It was so fast. It was really scary."<p>Garrett was born with a defective windpipe. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 08:18:00 +0000 Rob Stein 20994 at http://wuis.org Doctors Use 3-D Printing To Help A Baby Breathe Mix Of Gut Microbes May Play Role In Crohn's Disease http://wuis.org/post/mix-gut-microbes-may-play-role-crohns-disease The particular assortment of microbes in the digestive system may be an important factor in the inflammatory bowel condition known as Crohn's disease.<p>Research involving more than 1,500 patients found that people with <a href="http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-crohns-disease/">Crohn's disease</a> had less diverse populations of gut microbes.<p>"[This] basically for the first time identifies what might be the bacterial changes in patients with Crohn's disease," says <a href="http://www.massgeneral.org/doctors/doctor.aspx?ID=16452">Ramnik Xavier,</a> of Masssachusetts Gen Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:08:00 +0000 Rob Stein 20698 at http://wuis.org Mix Of Gut Microbes May Play Role In Crohn's Disease Genetic Sequencing May Not Be Ready To Become Routine http://wuis.org/post/genetic-sequencing-may-not-be-ready-become-routine Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>Getting your entire genetic code deciphered is the cutting edge of medicine. The test to spell out every letter in one's genetic blueprint can be done quickly and has become relatively inexpensive. That's raising the question: Is the technology ready for primetime? NPR's Rob Stein joins us now to talk about one of the first carefully done studies aimed at answering that question. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Rob Stein 20639 at http://wuis.org Blood Test Provides More Accurate Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome http://wuis.org/post/dna-based-blood-test-down-syndrome-much-more-accurate A new blood test offers pregnant women a safe and much more accurate way to screen for Down syndrome.<p>A study that evaluated the test in 1,914 pregnancies found that the test, which checks DNA, produces far fewer false alarms than the current screening techniques.<p>"It's very good news for pregnant women," says <a href="https://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/PhysicianDirectory/Diana-Bianchi.aspx">Diana Bianchi</a>, a pediatric geneticist at Tufts Medical Center who led the study. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 22:42:06 +0000 Rob Stein 19779 at http://wuis.org Blood Test Provides More Accurate Prenatal Testing For Down Syndrome Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs http://wuis.org/post/scientists-question-safety-genetically-altering-human-eggs A panel of government advisers has expressed serious concerns about a controversial proposal to allow scientists to try to make babies using eggs that have been genetically altered to include DNA from another woman.<p>Members of the Food and Drug Administration panel said they were worried that not enough research has been done to know whether the experiments would be safe.<p>"I think there was a sense of the committee that at this particular point in time, there was probably not enough data either in animals or in vitro to conclusively move on to human trials ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:22:00 +0000 Rob Stein 19762 at http://wuis.org Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs Flu Strikes Younger Adults Hard This Year http://wuis.org/post/flu-strikes-younger-adults-hard-year This year's flu season is hitting younger and middle-aged adults unusually hard, federal health officials say.<p>More than 60 percent of flu patients who ended up in the hospital this year have been between the ages of 18 and 64. The proportion of young people among the hospitalized is much higher than usual, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 18:26:00 +0000 Rob Stein 19357 at http://wuis.org Flu Strikes Younger Adults Hard This Year An Artificial Arm Gives One Man The Chance To Feel Again http://wuis.org/post/artificial-arm-gives-one-man-chance-feel-again <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtPs8d4JbwY</p> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 19:07:00 +0000 Rob Stein 18363 at http://wuis.org An Artificial Arm Gives One Man The Chance To Feel Again Wanna Smoke? It Could Cost You A Tooth, FDA Warns Teens http://wuis.org/post/wanna-smoke-it-could-cost-you-tooth-fda-warns-teens When it comes to persuading teenagers not to smoke, you have to think short-term, the Food and Drug Administration says.<p>"While most teens understand the serious health risks associated with tobacco use, they often don't believe the long-term consequences will ever apply to them," FDA Commissioner <a href="http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/ucm193998.htm">Margaret Hamburg</a> told reporters Monday before unveiling the agency's first-ever anti-smoking campaign.<p>Instead, the ads focus on how smoking affects teenagers' appearance by ruining their skin and messing up their teeth. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 08:45:00 +0000 Rob Stein 18250 at http://wuis.org Wanna Smoke? It Could Cost You A Tooth, FDA Warns Teens Adult Obesity May Have Origins Way Back In Kindergarten http://wuis.org/post/adult-obesity-may-have-origins-way-back-kindergarten A lot of parents like to think their kids will simply outgrow baby fat. But the risk of becoming a severely overweight adult can actually start as early as kindergarten, research suggests.<p>"As parents, as a society, as clinicians, we need to think about a healthy weight really early on," says <a href="http://cfusion.sph.emory.edu/Faculty/Profile.cfm?Network_ID=SARGESE&DEPT=GH">Solveig Cunningham</a>, who led the study. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 22:30:00 +0000 Rob Stein 17914 at http://wuis.org Adult Obesity May Have Origins Way Back In Kindergarten Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies? http://wuis.org/post/can-probiotics-help-soothe-colicky-babies When Melissa Shenewa and her husband imagined their first weeks with their new baby, they pictured hours of cuddling. Instead, they're enduring hours of inconsolable crying.<p>Their 6-week-old son, Aladdin, is a colicky baby. He cries for hours, usually in the middle of the night. They've tried everything they could think of. Nothing helps.<p>"Being a parent when your child is screaming in pain for hours on end and there's nothing you can do, you feel helpless," says Shenewa, 24, who lives in Houston. "You feel like you're not a good parent."<p>The Shenewas are far from alone. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 08:39:00 +0000 Rob Stein 17281 at http://wuis.org Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies? Patients, Consumer Advocates Question Hip Implant Settlement http://wuis.org/post/patients-consumer-advocates-question-hip-implant-settlement Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The company that made a defective artificial hip has agreed to pay more than $2 billion to thousands of patients who had to have those implants replaced. But some patients are questioning whether the settlement is enough. Consumer advocates say the deal with Johnson & Johnson does nothing to prevent faulty medical implants from getting on the market in the future.<p>NPR's Rob Stein reports.<p>ROB STEIN, BYLINE: Mary Schrag is 69 and lives outside Seattle. Tue, 07 Jan 2014 09:59:00 +0000 Rob Stein 16423 at http://wuis.org FDA Weighs Restrictions, Possible Ban On Menthol Cigarettes http://wuis.org/post/fda-weighs-restrictions-possible-ban-menthol-cigarettes The Food and Drug Administration is considering restricting or even possibly banning menthol cigarettes. Public health advocates are pushing for this, saying menthol makes cigarettes more addictive and makes it easier for young people to start smoking. But opponents argue there's no evidence that menthol is bad and even some evidence it may be less risky. They also worry about creating a dangerous black market for menthol cigarettes, especially in African American communities, where menthol is most popular. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Rob Stein 16112 at http://wuis.org FDA Tells Company To Stop Selling Genetic Test http://wuis.org/post/fda-tells-company-stop-selling-genetic-test Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>A high-profile genetic medical testing company is in trouble with the federal government. The Food and Drug Administration has asked 23 And Me to temporarily halt its work.<p>As NPR's Rob Stein reports, the FDA has accuracy concerns.<p>ROB STEIN, BYLINE: 23 And Me may be best known for its $99 genetic test. For $99, anyone can get their DNA analyzed. No need to go to a doctor. No need to get their blood drawn. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:14:00 +0000 Rob Stein 13767 at http://wuis.org FDA Tells Google-Backed 23andMe To Stop Selling DNA Test http://wuis.org/post/fda-tells-google-backed-23andme-stop-selling-dna-test The Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to the company 23andMe demanding that its saliva test be taken off the market. The company claims the test can detect the genetic likelihood of more than a hundred diseases — a claim the FDA says the company has not proved sufficiently. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 21:32:00 +0000 Rob Stein 13751 at http://wuis.org Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds http://wuis.org/post/gut-bacteria-might-guide-workings-our-minds Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.<p>"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says <a href="http://www.uclahealth.org/body.cfm?xyzpdqabc=0&id=479&action=detail&ref=8408">Dr. Emeran Mayer</a>, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. Mon, 18 Nov 2013 08:07:00 +0000 Rob Stein 13241 at http://wuis.org Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds Babies' Immune Systems May Stand Down To Let Good Microbes Grow http://wuis.org/post/babies-immune-systems-may-stand-down-let-good-microbes-grow Here's possible solace for parents who are up at night with a baby who gets sick all the time: There appears to be a good reason why infant immune systems don't fight off germs.<p>A newborn's immune system is deliberately not doing battle with every germ that comes along so that "good" microbes have a chance to settle in, researchers say. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 18:46:00 +0000 Rob Stein 12472 at http://wuis.org Babies' Immune Systems May Stand Down To Let Good Microbes Grow Exploring The Invisible Universe That Lives On Us — And In Us http://wuis.org/post/exploring-invisible-universe-lives-us-and-us The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you're more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.<p>Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. Without them, our bodies don't seem to do as well. We don't seem to be as healthy and might actually get sick more often.<p>But these tiny compatriots are invisible to the naked eye. So we asked artist Ben Arthur to give us a guided tour. Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:45:00 +0000 Rob Stein 12289 at http://wuis.org Exploring The Invisible Universe That Lives On Us — And In Us Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issues http://wuis.org/post/getting-your-microbes-analyzed-raises-big-privacy-issues After spending months working on a series of stories about the trillions of friendly microbes that live in and on our bodies, I decided it might be interesting to explore my own microbiome.<p>So I pulled out my credit card and paid the $99 needed to sign up for the <a href="http://americangut.org/">American Gut Project</a>, one of a couple of "citizen science" or crowdsourced microbiome projects.<p>Organizers of the American Gut Project are recruiting thousands of people to donate their microbes to science — along with lots of personal information — to help researchers learn more about the tri Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:16:00 +0000 Rob Stein 12287 at http://wuis.org Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issues FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers http://wuis.org/post/fda-seeks-tighten-controls-hydrocodone-painkillers The Food and Drug Administration Thursday <a href="http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm372089.htm">announced</a> that it wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers.<p>The FDA said it planned to recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a "Schedule III" drug to a "<a href="http://www.justice.gov/dea/druginfo/ds.shtml">Schedule II</a>" drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used.<p>OxyContin, another opioi Thu, 24 Oct 2013 22:24:00 +0000 Rob Stein 11667 at http://wuis.org FDA Seeks To Tighten Controls On Hydrocodone Painkillers Proposed Treatment To Fix Genetic Diseases Raises Ethical Issues http://wuis.org/post/proposed-treatment-fix-genetic-diseases-raising-ethics-issues The federal government is considering whether to allow scientists to take a controversial step: make changes in some of the genetic material in a woman's egg that would be passed down through generations.<p><a href="http://www.columbiaobgyn.org/doctor/mark-v-sauer#.Uk7GGtKshcY">Mark Sauer</a> of the Columbia University Medical Center, a member of one of two teams of U.S. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 06:58:00 +0000 Rob Stein 10554 at http://wuis.org Proposed Treatment To Fix Genetic Diseases Raises Ethical Issues Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders? http://wuis.org/post/could-detectives-use-microbes-solve-murders In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.<p>It's a strange scene at the <a href="http://www.shsu.edu/%7Estafs/">Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility</a>. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 21:01:00 +0000 Rob Stein 9495 at http://wuis.org Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders? Big Measles Outbreaks Worry Federal Health Officials http://wuis.org/post/big-measles-outbreaks-worry-federal-health-officials Federal health officials are worried about an unusually high number of measles cases occurring in the United States this year.<p>There have been at least eight outbreaks so far this year involving 159 cases, the federal <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a> reported Thursday in its <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/">Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report</a>.<p>About 60 people get measles in the United States each year on average, the CDC says. Thu, 12 Sep 2013 17:14:00 +0000 Rob Stein 8783 at http://wuis.org Big Measles Outbreaks Worry Federal Health Officials FDA Ratchets Down On Prescribing Of OxyContin And Other Opioids http://wuis.org/post/fda-ratchets-down-prescribing-oxycontin-and-other-opioids The Food and Drug Administration today took another step toward restricting use of OxyContin and other powerful and often-abused prescription pain medications.<p>The move comes amid an <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/01/23/169963431/painkiller-paradox-feds-struggle-to-control-drugs-that-help-and-harm">emotional debate</a> over so-called long-acting opioid analgesics. Tue, 10 Sep 2013 20:24:00 +0000 Rob Stein 8658 at http://wuis.org FDA Ratchets Down On Prescribing Of OxyContin And Other Opioids Microbe Transplants Treat Some Diseases That Drugs Can't Fix http://wuis.org/post/microbe-transplants-treat-some-diseases-drugs-cant-fix Billie Iverson may be getting up there, but for an 86-year-old, she's still plenty active.<p>"I take trips, and I go do my own shopping, and I take myself to the doctor," Iverson says. "I do everything. I don't let anything stop me."<p>But one day, she got hit with something she'd never experienced — the worst case of the runs ever.<p>For days at a time, off and on for weeks, the problem kept coming back. Iverson eventually got so weak, she ended up in a nursing home.<p>"I just thought maybe I wasn't going to make it," she says. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 21:17:00 +0000 Rob Stein 8604 at http://wuis.org Microbe Transplants Treat Some Diseases That Drugs Can't Fix From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint http://wuis.org/post/birth-our-microbes-become-personal-fingerprint Look in the mirror and you won't see your microbiome. But it's there with you from the day you are born. Over time, those bacteria, viruses and fungi multiply until they outnumber your own cells 10 to 1.<p>As babies, the microbes may teach our immune systems how to fight off bad bugs that make us sick and ignore things that aren't a threat.<p>We get our first dose of microbes from our mothers, both in the birth canal and in breast milk. Mon, 09 Sep 2013 07:28:00 +0000 Rob Stein 8554 at http://wuis.org From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint How A Change In Gut Microbes Can Affect Weight http://wuis.org/post/how-change-gut-microbes-can-affect-weight The evidence just keeps mounting that the microbes in our digestive systems are a factor in the obesity epidemic.<p>A team of European researchers recently <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/08/28/216081342/diverse-gut-microbes-a-trim-waistline-and-health-go-together">reported</a> they'd found that obese people appeared to have less diverse microbes in their guts than did lean people. Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:53:00 +0000 Rob Stein 8422 at http://wuis.org How A Change In Gut Microbes Can Affect Weight Kids' Use Of Electronic Cigarettes Doubles http://wuis.org/post/kids-use-electronic-cigarettes-doubles The percentage of middle and high school students who have tried electronic cigarettes more than doubled in a year, federal health officials reported Thursday.<p>The percentage of students in grades 6 through 12 who had ever used e-cigarettes increased from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6235a6.htm?s_cid=mm6235a6_w">reported</a> in <em>Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report</em>. Thu, 05 Sep 2013 17:30:00 +0000 Rob Stein 8415 at http://wuis.org Kids' Use Of Electronic Cigarettes Doubles