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Inappropriate antibiotic use fueling antibiotic resistance

Photo Credit: Victor,

Most of the population doesn’t remember a time when antibiotics were not around. Introduced in the 1940s, the life-saving drugs are now some of the most frequently prescribed drugs. When we’re sick, an antibiotic might seem like the best solution, but doctors warn that unnecessary use of antibiotics is detrimental to both personal and public health.

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From tick to sick: the search for a Lyme disease diagnosis

Photo: CC, USDA k8002-1,

A blacklegged tick, just the size of a poppy seed, perches on the tip of a leaf. It stands poised with its limbs outstretched, ready to latch onto its next prey.

It’s barely noticeable, but looks essentially harmless; just another tiny bug that will leave itchy red bumps up and down your legs. But that bite carries a greater threat: Lyme disease.

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In the News: Drug manufacturers fail to report serious side effects within 15-day time period

Photo courtesy of, CC, Wendy

Drug manufacturers are required to disclose serious side effects and unexpected adverse events to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within 15 days of being notified by a patient. However, a recent study at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health in collaboration with Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Carlson School of Management, found 1 in 10 companies fail to comply with these regulations.

The research, referenced in a recent Star Tribune article, analyzed 1.6 million reports from drug manufacturers between 2004 and 2014. Results showed the companies were less likely to disclose the reports to the FDA if the side effects were fatal.

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Ouch! 6 steps to avoid sunburns

Photo courtesy of Aikawa Ke, CC,

Come this August, the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Vanicream and the Minnesota State Fair will have fair-goers covered for a long day under the sun. The partnership aims to keep Minnesotans protected from damaging sun rays by providing free Vanicream sunscreen at all 11 booths throughout the grounds.

While just one sunburn may seem harmless, long-term effects of multiple burns are enough to consider lathering (and re-lathering) the sunblock at this year’s ‘Great Minnesota Get-Together’. Health Talk turned to Megan Wood, M.D., from the University of Minnesota Medical School, to find out how taking advantage of sunscreen can help avoid these risks.

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Research snapshot: Potential therapeutic target for cardiomyopathy identified

New research out of the University of Minnesota Medical School shows a new potential therapeutic target for viruses causing cardiomyopathy, or disease of the heart muscle.

The paper was published in the July 2015 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Research led by Joseph Metzger, Ph.D., looked at potential causes for cardiomyopathy, specifically related to enterovirus infection.

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In the news: lack of access to dental care remains problem in Minnesota

Photo: CC, Bart Everson,

For many, quality, affordable, access to dental care can be difficult to find.  A 2013 gallup poll found that one-third of American adults didn’t even see a dentist over the course of the year.

An estimated 1,500 patients received care they wouldn’t be able to normally afford or access this weekend in Duluth through “Missions of Mercy,” a service event where dentists provide free services to the public.  Many UMN School of Dentistry faculty and students volunteered.

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