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In the news: No link between MMR vaccine and autism, even for children at risk for autism

Photo: Army Medicine/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/oA62yq

In a new study published in JAMA, researchers yet again found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism, even for kids who are at risk for developing autism.

According to Forbes, “the likelihood of developing autism was actually lower for those at-risk children if they received the vaccine, though that finding was not statistically significant and no one would suggest that vaccination reduces autism risk. What vaccination reduces is disease, the kinds that can disable and kill children and the kind that is even more likely to cause serious complications in children with neurological conditions.”

The study’s findings were not surprising to infectious disease experts, including Mark Schleiss, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota.

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In the News: Breaking The Silence

Photo via CUHCC

According to the Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC), Latin-American women face a high probability of being victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse at some point in their lifetime. In attempt to help lower the probability, CUHCC started a program here at the University of Minnesota, called “Breaking The Silence.”

The “Breaking The Silence” program was created with the purpose to empower Latino women to prevent domestic and sexual violence in their personal lives and communities.

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In the News: University of Minnesota doctor discusses America’s sleep problems

Image courtesy Flickr user Flood G.

Oftentimes when people think of the consequences of poor sleep they think crabbiness and irritability. While those are two outcomes of poor sleep, there are many more serious consequences that can occur.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 41,000 Americans are injured or killed in car crashes caused by drowsy drivers. The amount is second to alcohol-related accidents. As stated in the same report, roughly 62 percent of Americans report having trouble falling asleep more than a few nights per week.

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In the News: Bruce Jenner’s Gender Transition

Photo courtesy Flickr user Mike Mozart

Bruce Jenner has been in the media lately regarding his gender transition. Jenner’s decision has sparked a national conversation regarding the treatment of those identifying as transgender.

Earlier this month, Eli Coleman, Ph.D., director of the Program in Human Sexuality and professor and Chair in Sexual Health spoke with Esme Murphy on WCCO Radio to discuss gender transition and the stigma people face when coming out as transgender.

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In the News: More Americans using integrative therapies

Photo: CC, Seattle Yoga News, https://flic.kr/p/ovoYgo

More Americans are practicing mind-body therapies, a recent survey from the  National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed.

The survey compared data on integrative therapy use in the U.S., compiled from surveys taken in 2002, 2007 and 2012. By 2012, the number of adults practicing yoga, tai chi or qigong doubled, reaching 10 percent of the American adult population. Use of massage therapy and meditation grew, too.

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In the News: Ebola vaccine needs fast track

Photo: from CDC Global via Flickr

According to a recent Star Tribune article, “More than 23,000 people suffered suspected infections and more than 14,000 died in the current Ebola outbreak, but the number of new cases has slowed in recent weeks.” Although Ebola may be slowing down in the headlines, the epidemic is far from over. Experts suggest health officials shouldn’t be drawing back on testing and creating vaccines for this highly deadly virus.

Michael Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., an infectious disease expert and director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), told the Star Tribune that “waiting for another global scare to ramp up vaccine efforts won’t work.” Osterholm, joined by 25 other international leaders in infectious disease, also known as “Team B,” are advocating for a pace of vaccine development that would be considered the fastest in human history.

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