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Preventing Colon Cancer in African Americans with Earlier Screening

UMN researchers survey fair goers at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair

In observance of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, HealthTalk is featuring a University of Minnesota researcher working to reduce the harm caused by colon cancer in the African American community.

Colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death for men and women in the United States, but African Americans bear the greatest burden. This is why one University of Minnesota researcher is calling for lowering the age at which African Americans have a routine colonoscopy.

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u-of-m-voices

Report maps complex challenges to Ebola vaccine efforts

NIAID/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/nQg4F7

As experimental Ebola vaccines start to head toward large clinical trials in Africa, a report released today by academic experts and a British charitable foundation spelled out the complexity of the challenges involved in providing a vaccine to help stop West Africa’s sprawling epidemic.

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u-of-m-voices

I got my flu shot today and here’s why you should, too

Today I did something that could help safeguard my community from getting a potentially deadly infectious disease. Before you begin to think I did something heroic, I did something so simple it may surprise you (sans the title of this blog post): I got my flu shot.

Yes, it’s that simple folks. I got my flu shot. It took less than 30 seconds and the pain involved from the flu shot was far less than the pain involved in getting the actual flu.

I’ve heard many excuses or explanations as to why people choose not to get a flu shot, and many are rooted in myth, not fact. Health Talk even debunked many common flu shot myths in a blog post in 2013.

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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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patient-care

Some drugs may be off-label, but not off focus

Photo courtesy Flickr user Jamie

The advancement of medicine and technology have allowed doctors to find many uses for medications beyond the initially intended benefits. For example, a teenager’s alopecia was recently cured by an arthritis drug. This type of use is called “off-label drug use,” the common term for using a medication to treat or manage symptoms outside the approved uses.

Off-label drug use is more prominent than you may think. For example, aspirin helps reduce blood pressure and oral contraception can be used to treat acne or endometriosis. These are all examples of using a drug off-label.

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How pharmacy education differs from U.S. to Germany

Editor’s note: Ashley Artmann is a doctor of pharmacy student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. To document her five-week rotation in Germany, Artmann is blogging about her experiences learning about German pharmacy education and practice. Find this and additional posts from Artmann at aeartma.blogspot.com.

Last Tuesday we ventured via bus and train in the rain to Düsseldorf to visit their university and pharmacy school.

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