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Players pass more than the puck as mumps spreads through the NHL

Photo: Rowan Peter/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/9jimKy

A fever is spreading through hockey nation, but this one isn’t about fan frenzy. It’s mumps, and at least a dozen National Hockey League (NHL) players have been diagnosed.

According to the Associated Press, mumps has spread through the locker rooms of the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Minnesota Wild – where five players are reportedly ill. It isn’t clear if the teams passed the disease along with the puck during matchups or caught it in other ways.

Mumps is a disease most common among children. It is highly contagious and symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and swelling in the salivary glands. In some cases, it can have serious effects, including encephalitis, hearing loss, or even sterility in young men.

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news-and-notes

UMN mourns loss of Lee Wattenberg, M.D., recognized as the “father of chemoprevention”

The faculty and staff of the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota are mourning the loss of cancer pioneer Lee Wattenberg, M.D. Wattenberg died December 9 at the age of 92, and will be remembered for his immense contribution to the field of chemoprevention.

Wattenberg is credited with the creation of an entire field of research in the wake of his landmark 1966 paper in Cancer Research examining the effects of certain compounds on cancer development.  This led to a new emphasis on understanding cancer prevention, including the use of foods such as cabbage and broccoli to try to prevent cancer.

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nutrition

Make a plan, but consider balance when it comes to Halloween candy

Eric/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/5xRyuc

One of the biggest candy days of the year is upon us, and parents and kids alike are trying to strike an accord on how much candy will be consumed in the coming days.

How much, really, is too much? And is there a magic formula families should follow to ensure the Halloween stash doesn’t lead to bigger problems later on?

According to pediatric dietician Laura Gearman, M.S., R.D., L.D., with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, it’s a good idea to make a plan ahead of time and discuss it as a family but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Halloween candy consumption.

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beyond-minnesota

First World Suicide Report released on World Suicide Prevention Day at University of Minnesota

Jared Keener/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/fPfxTY

For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has created the World Suicide Report in collaboration with nations around the world. It is being released today in the USA in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day by SAVE, IASP and the University of Minnesota.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 800,000 people die by suicide each year, one person every 40 seconds, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 15-29 years old.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Master regulator of key cancer gene found, offers new drug target

Gene partnership may be fueling cancer spread in as much as 20 percent of cancers

A key cancer-causing gene, responsible for up to 20 percent of cancers, may have a weak spot in its armor, according to new research from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

The partnership of MYC, a gene long linked to cancer, and a non-coding RNA, PVT1, could be the key to understanding how MYC fuels cancer cells. The research is published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Regenerative medicine funding approved, benefits MN researchers, residents

Photo courtesy Flickr user Teemu008

The 2014 Minnesota legislative session brought a big win for regenerative medicine, as legislators passed a bill allotting nearly $50 million over 10 years for research. Governor Dayton signed the measure in late May.

Leading the charge was Representative Erin Murphy in the House and Senator Katie Sieben in the Senate. The work was supported by both the University of Minnesota Stem Cell Institute (SCI) and Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine.

HealthTalk spoke with the SCI director and Masonic Cancer Center researcher, Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., to get more details on the funding, regenerative medicine, and what this means for Minnesota.

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