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Most loved Health Talk posts of 2015

Photo: CC, https://flic.kr/p/fpanYi, Harold Navarro

As 2015 comes to a close, the team at Health Talk wanted to take a minute to thank you – our readers. Since the beginning of 2015, more than 112,000 of you have stopped by to read one of our posts, with the majority staying to enjoy multiple blog posts. Having a strong readership is what makes Health Talk so successful. In honor of our readers, we wanted to share what posts you loved the most in 2015.  

Have a wonderful New Years Eve and see you in 2016!

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news-and-notes

Two U of M College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members appointed to National Presidential Advisory Council

Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures http://flic.kr/p/nCRq68

An increasing number of bacterial infections no longer respond to antibiotics, which threatens public health and the economy. As a result, the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria was formed. Out of just four U.S. veterinarians to be appointed to the committee, two are University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members Peter Robert Davies B.V.Sc., and Randall Singer, D.V.M.

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Accreditation of dental therapy will set national standards

Photo: CC, G3ntle, http://bit.ly/1Wjq6uR

The Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the sole group tasked by the U.S. Department of Education with accrediting dental education and dental-related programs, voted to accredit dental therapy education in the U.S. (Background on dental therapy)

Currently, dental therapists are approved and licensed to practice in MaineMinnesota and Alaskan tribal communities, but their education programs are not accredited. Minnesota was the first state to license dental therapists (in 2011), and the University of Minnesota is the only dental school to educate dental therapists.

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A dentist’s role in oral cancer treatment

Photo: US Army Africa, CC, https://flic.kr/p/9Ghxuk

Open wide!

Each trip to the dentist helps spot and treat cavities, clean teeth, provide preventative treatments like sealants, and seek out signs of gum disease. But many don’t realize it is a cancer screening, too.

“A routine dental exam is vital for maintaining good oral health, and it’s also the best method for detecting oral cancer in its early stages,” says Mark Roettger, D.D.S., Clinic Director of the University of Minnesota Dental Clinic. “Dentists have the primary role in oral cancer detection because we work most closely with the mouth, and inspect it most thoroughly.”

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Minnesota invests in regenerative medicine

Last year, 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 regenerative medicine research, clinical translation and commercialization efforts.

Some of that research funding has now been awarded to Bruce Walcheck, Ph.D., professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, whose proposal was one of six funded out of 90 applications. Bruce is the principal investigator on a new $500,000 grant for research on engineering human pluripotent stem cells to generate enhanced natural killer cells for cancer therapy. The ultimate goal: treating cancer using the patient’s immune system.

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news-and-notes

Rat poisoning’s secondary effects can harm Minnesota owls

Great horned owl photo by Amber Burnette

Winter can invite household nuisances like mice and rats inside along with unwelcome gnawing habits, putrid droppings and disease. But as you look to eradicate vermin from your house this winter, The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota invites you to take a moment and pause.

Your choice between rat poison and an old-school snap trap could impact human, pet and wildlife health.

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