Health

Breast cancer: women with severe, chronic health issues screened less often than healthier women

Sub-title: 
Researcher finds women with "severe disability, multiple chronic conditions, low income and lower education" have fewer screens
Author: 
Geoff Koehler

Women with severe disabilities and multiple chronic conditions are screened for breast cancer less often than women with no disabilities or no chronic conditions, a new study has found.

Of healing and henbane: what a medieval sedative says about modern medicine

Sub-title: 
Using modern pharmacokinetics to assess drug known as the "Great Rest"
Author: 
Jim Oldfield

“In fact, the history of medical treatment, until recently, has been essentially the history of the placebo effect.”
— Arthur and Elaine Shapiro*

For Nicholas Everett, the future of medicine may lie in the past.

Everett is an associate professor in the Department of History and an expert in the history of medicine. He argues that many ancient and medieval treatments, which were often mixtures of plants, minerals and animal products, were neither ineffective nor placebos – although he admits a few were lethal.

Smog-producing toxins are down but GTA still violates Canada's ozone standards

Author: 
Kim Luke

A new study shows that, while the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has significantly reduced some of the toxins that contribute to smog, the city continues to violate the Canada-wide standards for ozone air pollution.

Smog, which can cause or aggravate health problems such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is produced by a set of complex photochemical reactions involving volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides and sunlight, which form ground-level ozone.

Can't sleep? Blame these neurons

Sub-title: 
A “sleep switch” in the brain that helps explain why older people can't get a good night's rest
Author: 
Michael Kennedy

New research led by University of Toronto neurologist Andrew Lim sheds light on sleep disruption in aging adults.

"In many older people with insomnia and other patterns of sleep disruption, the underlying cause is unknown,” said Lim, assistant professor of neurology and neuroscientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences.

“We provide evidence that loss of neurons in a particular region of the brain that controls sleep may be an important contributor to insomnia in many older individuals.”

Why this U of T biotech entrepreneur made MIT’s Innovators Under 35 list

Sub-title: 
Engineering alumnus David He tapped for work on covert startup, Quanttus
Author: 
Brianna Goldberg

David He finds himself in good company today: MIT Technology Review just named him to its list of Innovators Under 35.

It's a title the University of Toronto engineering alumnus shares with past honourees such as Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Jonathan Ive (designer of the iPod and iPad), to name a few.

So what market disrupting innovation has He produced to get added to this list of game-changers?

Helping people with disabilities in Cameroon

Author: 
Vitaly Kazakov

If you have a special connection to a place, it lasts a lifetime. When Lynn Cockburn was 11 years old, her father got a teaching job at a school in a small village near Bamenda, the capital of Cameroon’s North West Region. Her whole family ended up moving to Africa for two years.

“At first, it was really difficult for a small town Ontario girl to adjust to living in an African village,” says Cockburn. “That was quite an experience, but I loved it.”

What you need to know about the Ebola virus

Sub-title: 
A Q & A with experts from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Author: 
Nicole Bodnar

The world is watching the outbreak of Ebola virus infection that has spread across West Africa, through the countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and most recently Nigeria, since early 2014. 

While the outbreak was first reported by North American sources in March, cases appear to have occurred as early as December 2013.

Beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils increase fullness and could help manage weight

Author: 
Leslie Shepherd

Eating about one serving a day of  beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can increase fullness, which may lead to better weight management and weight loss, a new study from a University of Toronto expert has found.

How a concussion started a career

Sub-title: 
In the clinic and the lab, Michael Hutchison is making his mark
Author: 
Lanna Crucefix

It was the second concussion he received as a University of Toronto Varsity Blues hockey player that really piqued Michael Hutchison’s interest.

“Although the injuries were identical in terms of the diagnosis, I felt completely different,” he says. “I wanted to know why.”

Hope for ALS patients? Discovery of a gene's function offers clues

Sub-title: 
“This is an extremely important finding"
Author: 
Katie Babcock and Heidi Singer

U of T researchers have found a missing link that helps to explain how ALS, one of the world’s most feared diseases, paralyses and ultimately kills its victims.

The breakthrough is helping them trace a path to a treatment or even a cure.

“ALS research has been taking baby steps for decades, but this has recently started changing to giant leaps,” said Karim Mekhail, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology. 

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