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expert-perspectives

E. coli in our lakes: What does it really mean?

Image courtesy Death to the Stock Photo

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the personal blog of University of Minnesota associate professor of biosciences Timothy Johnson, Ph.D.
Johnson’s research at the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine includes investigations into antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens, microbial communities in the animal gastrointestinal tract, and multidrug resistance of E. coli and Salmonella in both humans and animals.

If you follow the local news, or have children that love swimming, you have probably noticed an increasing number of beaches in Minnesota closed recently due to high E. coli levels. Just in Minneapolis, Lake Hiawatha Beach and Lake Calhoun’s Thomas and 32nd Street beaches were recently closed in response to high E. coli counts in the water. The simple phrase “E. coli” strikes fear into the hearts of anyone who has ever experienced gastrointestinal distress. However, it is important to understand what E. coli actually is and what “high E. coli levels” actually means to our lakes.

What is E. coliE. coli stands for Escherichia coli. This is the formal name for a species of bacteria in honor of the German-Austrian physician Theodor Escherich, who first identified the bacteria associated with digestion in infants. Here are the important take-home messages about E. coli:

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: The evidence is in (again). Vaccines are safe

Photo courtesy Flickr user Lou Bueno

In 1998, Andrew Wakefield published fraudulent evidence blaming the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination as the cause of autism in young children, prompting parents around the world to stop vaccinating their children. Despite the fact the paper was retracted, the damage was done and the anti-vaccine movement is still prevalent today.

CNN recently addressed the issue of vaccination refusal, and stated once again that children should be vaccinated. Period.

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expert-perspectives

What does broccoli sprout tea have to do with cancer?

From a young age, kids are taught to eat their vegetables for the healthy benefits they pose. Now research is suggesting cruciferous vegetables like broccoli sprouts could offer more gains — cancer prevention.

Stephen Hecht, Ph.D., a University of Minnesota professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, conducts research focusing on tobacco-related cancer prevention. He recently was part of a different kind of groundbreaking research finding the right diet has the ability to decrease risks of developing certain types of cancer.

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: Maximize your health through diet and exercise

Courtesy: Arya Ziai, Flickr

Regular exercise is extremely important for people of all ages in order to stay healthy, whether it’s running a marathon or simply setting aside time to power walk a few times per week. But knowing when to eat, what to eat and what exercises are safe at a given age can have a major impact on how someone gains muscle or loses excess fat.

In order to fully understand some variables that impact the effectiveness of a diet and exercise routine, Health Talk consulted David Jewison, M.D. in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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expert-perspectives

Men’s health: Ganesh Raveendran, M.D., and the fight against heart disease

Heart disease is the top killer of Americans, both men and women, accounting for about one in four deaths each year. From diets high in fat and sugar to a growing sedentary lifestyle, combating heart disease is difficult. To curb this national epidemic, University of Minnesota researcher Ganesh Raveendran, M.D., is working to provide improved cardiac treatment.

Raveendran, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has conducted multiple studies on regenerative cardiac repair. Throughout his research, Raveendran has worked to find a way to help regrow damaged human hearts.

“If we identify the correct cell population, if we identify the correct dosage of cells, if we identify the correct rate of injection, I think that will make a huge difference in the patients who suffer from heart attack,” Raveendran said.

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expert-perspectives

Men’s health: Diet and quality food key to lifelong health and wellness

Photo: Tetra Pak via Flickr

Promising a slimmer waist or quick weight loss results, new diet fads or trends often offer the easy way out rather than focusing on lifelong health and wellness. Earlier this year Health Talk featured the top diet trends for 2014 with some words of advice from School of Public Health professor David Jacobs, Ph.D.

Jacobs advised to maintain a diet with minimally processed foods along with a more plant-centered diet along with smaller portion sizes.

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