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Legislative advisory committee pushes more support for incarcerated pregnant women

It is estimated that four percent of incarcerated women are pregnant when they enter custody. Most of the corrections facilities in Minnesota are not equipped to house pregnant women, and given their high likelihood of medical and social risk factors, many incarcerated pregnant women may be at high risk for poor health outcomes.

After passing a bill to address this disparity last spring, an advisory committee created by the legislature recommends lawmakers consider providing additional support to incarcerated pregnant and postpartum women. The initial bill established regulations on the use of restraints and mandated pregnancy tests for inmates, among other policy changes. It was a major improvement in standard of care, but more can be done, said committee lead Rebecca Shlafer, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

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in-the-news

California measles outbreak reiterates importance of vaccines

As of this morning, there are 59 confirmed cases of measles tied to the Disneyland outbreak according to NPR.

The issue does not reside in the park itself, or any other public place for that matter. Measles is one of the deadliest of all childhood rash/fever illnesses, and the disease spreads very easily. However, measles is extremely preventable with vaccination. The CDC even declared that measles was eradicated in the United States back in 2000, attributed to a “highly effective vaccination program and a strong public health system for detecting and responding to measles cases and outbreaks.”

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research-and-clinical-trials

Small steps for big changes in 2015

As January comes to a close, many find the resolutions they made on New Year’s Day, are becoming harder to maintain. Before you throw out your resolution to be healthy in 2015, HealthTalk compiled a short list of easy steps you can take to achieve your goals.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Identified core structure of “Q” could lead to better understanding of other enzymes, future methane uses

University of Minnesota researchers have identified the structure of the key intermediate “Q” in the enzyme methane monooxygenase (MMO), which converts methane (natural gas) and oxygen into methanol and water.

John Lipscomb, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics at the University of Minnesota partnered with a team of researchers at Michigan State University on the project. It was published this month in Nature.

The study confirms that Q, one of the most powerful oxidizing intermediates occurring in nature, has a diamond-shaped core consisting of two highly oxidized iron atoms connected by twin, single-oxygen atom bridges.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Does accreditation impact centers of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT)?

There are two hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) center-accrediting organizations in the nation, the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and core Clinical Trial Network certification (CTN).

In a recent study conducted by Schelomo Marmor, PhD, M.P.H., from University of Minnesota Department of Surgery, Marmor assessed if these accreditations improved clinical care and survival for HCT, a complex treatment viable for several hematological disease groups.

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research-and-clinical-trials

New findings in cell communication may contribute to new cancer treatments

Researchers from the University of Minnesota recently discovered cells directly transfer tumor-causing microRNAs via tunneling nanotubes. Intercellular communication among distant and proximal cells is vital to survival in multicellular organisms. This communication is also extremely important in understanding cancerous tumor growth.

Gastrointestinal oncologist Emil Lou, M.D., Ph.D., collaborated with assistant professor and microRNA expert Subree Subramanian, Ph.D., on the findings published in the journal Translational Research.

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